To Do Zombies

Every morning when I get to work, I make a To Do list. I scribble down the day’s intended accomplishments on a little yellow post-it note and stick it on my keyboard above the numerical keypad I never use because I have a degree in English (two, in fact). As the hours go by and the tasks on the To Do List are done, I take the same pen and scratch them out. This is harder than it sounds.

I’ve begun to notice an inevitability; that whenever I scratch out a task on the little yellow post-it note, something else will be handed to be to take its place. I will, for instance, finish translating some speech, and as soon as “translation” has been terminated in a hurried stroke of black ink, my boss will wander out, ask if I’m busy, and then give me a new assignment. That’s to be expected, of course. That’s work.

Where it gets tricky, even potentially disturbing, is how often I will cross out a task, only to have it come back to life immediately. No sooner is “translation” crossed out than another translation comes along. This has begun happening more and more frequently. At first, I was beginning to think that the tasks on my To Do list were reproducing asexually. But then I thought, no, they’re coming back from the dead. The tasks, they are zombies. Still living, un-crossed out tasks, like “contact travel agencies about hotel bookings” and “clean ninja sword” remain undone, un-terminated, whilst I battle the To Do list zombies. And the zombies are relentless, and infectious. Soon after one task reanimates, every dead To Do List task is back, gnawing on my tasty brains, while my ninja sword sits in the corner rusting and my inbox overfloweth.


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