Whenever I’m feeling annoyed, depressed, harassed or gloomy, I take some time and contemplate the humble echidna; calms me right down (courtesy of that wild man of the worldwide web, TimT).
The echidna came in handy this morning, as I tried to recover from a most unsettling experience. I had come back to my office from a relaxing smoke, and noticed that I had a voice mail message. I began to play it and found that it was from one of my colleagues in our agency's economic analysis department. I was about 30 seconds into what turned out to be a longish message when one of my employees barged into the office. She saw that I was on the phone and retired quickly, but her sudden appearance must have been more distracting than I thought, because when I resumed listening to the recorded message I had unaccountably developed the impression that I was having a live conversation. The economist droned on awhile, and I interjected a question during a momentary break in his spiel, and - here's the weird thing - his next comment coincidentally turned out to be an answer to the very question I had asked, which, of course, perpetuated the notion that I was talking to someone live, rather than listening to a recording. However, I attempted to ask a couple of additional questions which he ignored, just talking away, then he hung up. Suddenly I remembered that I had been listening to a recorded message, not actually participating in a live dialog.
Hmmm...m'yes...I believe it's time for a long vacation, perhaps in one of those places where the tourists spend their time acquiring new skills in arts and crafts - like, for example, basket weaving.