I present to you two things that sound like they should be metaphors for project issues. Except for two things:
- They are real
- I have no idea what they might be metaphors for
The Library Book Priority Conundrum
I read a lot. In general, I purchase books I’m very excited about reading, and books that I’m less sure about I check out from my local library. The problem is that I always have more books than time to read, and the library books have the nasty property that the library expects them back sooner or later.
The practical effect is that aside from a few books that are “drop everything” when they come out, I’m forever reading library books first, before the books I’ve purchased, because they will go back home, where as the books I own I get to keep.
Since I’ve already said that I’m usually more excited about the books I’ve purchased and get to keep, this is clearly not optimal. But even knowing this problem, I book I actually purchased (Ganymede by Cherie Priest) has been waiting behind a bunch of library books (That is All by John Hodgman, Kingdom of the Gods by N. K. Jemisin, among others). Okay, those books are great too. But still…
The last clementine problem
I go to the grocery store and buy a bag of clementines. Because they are yummy and easier to peel than grapefruits. Every bag has one or two clementines that are clearly a little less good than the others, so naturally I wait to eat those last. However, since as the clementines get yuckier they become less desirable than anything else in my kitchen, I don’t eat them at all. The result is that I don’t eat the last few clementines, because the pretzels are more enticing. I don’t get new clementines, because I already have clementines, and I don’t throw out the bad clementines until they are well and truly no longer food. The upshot is that I can go weeks without clementines, even though I like them.