Apparently Jennifer Yane has never heard of spontaneous human combustion. Those wacky scientists have not yet determined exactly how or why humans spontaneously melt into piles of ash, but I think I know the reason. It’s deadlines.
Just think about the word deadline.
Some history on that word: according to some sources, the etymology or historical origin of “deadline” may relate back to the American Civil war. During that time, armies had no proper facilities for holding prisoners, so they would create a makeshift and inadequate prison (perhaps even draw a line on the ground around a group of prisoners) then warn them that whoever crossed the line would be shot to death. Whoa.
Nowadays, deadline refers to “the time by which something must be finished or submitted.” Despite its much milder usage, one could argue that today’s barrage of stressful work deadlines might still feel like a sniper with a big maniacal smile on his face is hiding nearby ready and waiting to blast the next person on the wrong side of some so-called important deadline.
Personally, I’ve never experienced many deadline difficulties. That is, unless they are actually enforced. My point is this: people aren’t robots and stuff happens. Like really good TV programs for example. (Okay, maybe not the best excuse.) Like mangled hard-drives. Or family emergencies. Even death. Those who enforce excessively rigid and unyielding deadlines should remember that sort of shit just makes God chuckle.
Folks need lifelines, not deadlines. Overwhelmed workers are less creative, less productive. Not exactly beneficial to the workplace, is it? And although I’m clearly no scientist, I think that when faced with merciless deadlines some people just sit down in an armchair and stare blankly at their TVs and then it happens: they spontaneously combust.
And the saddest part of all? No one might even notice until it's too late.