My feeling of accomplishment is completely out of proportion with what I’ve actually achieved.
During my last shift, I had started building a Lego car, the Nitro Menace, that would be put in a display case. In two hours I had barely finished 10 pages of the 62 page instruction booklet. The age suggestion of the book, 12+, infuriated me. This simple thing proved a logistical and engineering nightmare.
Today, I got to open it up again and continue. The first hour was slow going; it took a great deal of time digging through the parts looking for the tiny black rod I need amongst all the tiny black and dark gray rods I didn’t need. I made little noticeable progress in the four hours before lunch. I packed the pieces back in cellophane bags, the cellophane bags back in the box, and the box back in the electrical room.
After lunch (Asian Express Eatery from the food court), I returned to the car. Now that I had depleted the number of tiny black rods, it was much easier to find the tiny black rod I needed. I finally finished about an hour and a half later. My feeling of accomplishment, though, is completely out of proportion with what I’ve actually achieved. I was triumphant. After 8 horrible hours over two different days, endless scrambling through piles of plastic toy miscellany, I had defeated my captor. However, since my bested task was designed for, and routinely completed, by children, I kept my jubilation to myself as I carried the finished car to the office.
My victory was undercut from all sides. Mitch recalled his conquest of the Nitro Menace, which had taken him 45 minutes while watching television. A coworker pointed out two mistakes that rendered the vehicle inoperable. Another coworker simply took the car from me and fixed another mistake. No matter; my spirits would not be crushed. I had accomplished what an average 12-year old could.