I've made myself notorious by my knack of writing articles and essays at the last possible minute. It was a trait I pridefully accepted. However I never really took the time to see how others felt about it.
Rather than being an empathetic individual and considering how others felt about it, karma decided to do me one better by allowing me to experience it firsthand. I was elected as editor for my medical program's online newsletter. It was safe to say I was ecstatic about the new position without pondering over the responsibilities it came with.
Being the horrible optimist I am, I gathered up quite a crowd of peers all with a writing assignment of their own. I then went on fantasizing about how gloriously full the newsletter was going to be with so many writers in this particular issue. I was sadly mistaken.
My crowd of many produced the astonishing total of two articles. However, those two articles required incessant begging on my part to get done. What happened to my dutiful crowd, you ask? I first began to consider possible themes of mutiny and sabotage. For all the drama enthusiasts out there, this was sadly not the case.
Instead, it appeared that my writing crew had been struck by the Selective Memory Epidemic. I would request one of my members to please get along with their article and then strike up casual conversation about dancing pickles. Ten minutes into the stimulating conversation, I would segue back into the article, only for them to question, "What article?"
I became one of those horrendous nagging mothers that I despise over the next couple of weeks. My attitude change was to no avail, and my article total of 2 remained stagnant at 2. My nagging had soon given away to avoiding. When it came to meetings, I'd be the first out the door to avoid the ominous topic about the newsletter. When it came to walking around the medical hall, I became paranoid that I'd see the club sponsor at every twist and turn, and I'd resorted to speed-walking to my medical class every other morning.
At the most recent meeting, the sponsor looked me directly in the eyes which I reciprocated with a deer-caught-in-the-headlights glance. He then matter of factly asked about the current state of the newspaper. I meekly replied that I'm still waiting on a few more articles.
I was expecting a half-hearted short lecture on how I need to speed things up and get it done. What I had anticipated him doing, was demanding the names of people who I was waiting on. These mentioned people were either acquaintances of friends of mine, who were sitting right before me in the meeting!
I narrowly dodged the bullet and promised him the newspaper by next week, and stood ground from mentioning names. While this Spanish Inquisition was occurring, I was delighted to see the article-less crooks looking at me guiltily, as deserved. I hoped that mortifying moment for me would be a wake-up call to the others that they needed to turn the articles in.
This of course did not happen. Instead, here I am busting out articles on the various events that occurred in the program with the lovely company of me, myself and I. While the rest of my peers are enjoying their weekend, forgetting their homework no doubt, I am stuck writing these articles with a good reason for procrastinating on homework.
Besides highlighting how unreliable my friends are, this experience has definitely shown me the responsibilities that arise from advising a group of people and I'd like to say it has helped me at becoming a better leader.
It's safe to say I can now empathize with the Times Editor when 12-15 articles are submitted over the weekend. I appreciate how even with less response than wanted, she keeps the same level of motivation to keep coming out with weekly issues and stay on top of things.