The Movie: A Hard Day's Night, 1964 (Alun Owen, screenwriter; Richard Lester, dir.)
Who says it: George Harrison as George, member of a popular rock group
The context: George warns against the mistreatment of a set of drums belonging to his bandmate, Ringo (Ringo Starr)
How you can use it: When someone's being a little self-defensive.
I always say that the key to success is finding a way to make money off your most unattractive personality traits. Being the Answer Girl allows me to support myself as a compulsive reader and insufferable know-it-all, and most of the time, that's a good thing.
The problem with making your personality your profession is that it gets very hard to set boundaries. Because there's no natural boundary between what I do and who I am, sometimes I feel like I'm working all the time, and sometimes I get really, really tired of myself and the sound of my own voice (aloud or on paper).
One of my clients called my mobile phone at 5:30 yesterday afternoon, looking for feedback on five chapters that had been e-mailed to me on Friday afternoon. I managed to tell this person, "I'm really trying not to work weekends -- can we talk about this on Monday?" But I couldn't stand fast. I let this client keep talking, and wound up promising to read the chapters that evening and get some notes out before the end of the weekend.
I understand this is all my fault. Clients call me on weekends, at night and on my mobile phone because I let them. I've been too much of a wimp to draw boundaries and enforce them.
So I'm drawing them now. Better late than never. It's going to hurt some feelings, but that's part of the problem; some of my clients are also my friends, and it's not that I don't want to talk to them -- as friends -- at all hours. But I have to have some time that I am simply not available, or what's the point of living in a small town in the middle of nowhere? The alternative is getting a job in Antarctica and disappearing altogether for six months, which I fantasize about far more often than is healthy.
As part of this, I'm going to quit posting or replying to e-mails from clients on Sunday. It's a beginning.