Why Procrastination Is a Bad Habit – a Story About a Procrastinator Extraordinaire

(Last Updated On: March 19, 2018)

Dear Friends!
I am introducing the fictitious Robert Quirk as the main character and his wife Monica in part 1 of this short story series. In these stories, we will be looking at the effects of procrastination and how it can lead to other bad habits such as pride and dishonesty in our relationships and dealings with others. We hope that you will find our lightly-humored story entertaining and thought-provoking. There are many points and topics of interest here concerning life in general so please feel free to share.

Part 1  

Introducing Roberto Quirk – Virtuoso and Procrastinator Extraordinaire 

Roberto gazed at his “striking” image in the mirror but although he could scarcely see himself in the faint, hazy light coming from the corridor, he thought to himself, “what a handsome man! There are just no words to describe how I look right now. I hope Monica intends to keep herself looking great, the other ladies are looking and who can blame ’em?” Roberto hummed cheekily as though he were singing a song.

“Dear, are you sure you can see well in there? I told you it’s too dark to dress properly, Roberto.”

“I told you, yes, honey!”  He was a little annoyed by the question. He knew where this was leading and he wasn’t in the mood for an argument now. Tonight is a special night. He was the opening act for the President’s Ball.

“You still have that proud, stubborn streak, don’t you” his wife retorted. She couldn’t take it anymore. She had tried her best to be understanding but her patience had run out.

Procrastination and Relationships – How It Affects Others

Monica was Roberto’s darling and very supportive wife, but she was known to be quite forthright in her conversations. She knew how Roberto liked to procrastinate and had mentioned to him to replace the faulty fluorescent bulb in their bedroom. This was three weeks ago. “Roberto…” she would say gently every day. She understood well that Roberto never liked to be told the same thing twice but she had mastered the art of getting around this. She just had to craft her tone not to imply any hint of judgment for his lack of effort. “Did you get around to changing that light as yet?” For which his reply had become a daily routine. This time, the strain in Monica’s voice was noticeable. She was tired of walking on eggshells.

“No, honey, you know I am quite busy, I will do it tomorrow! I can see quite fine anyway and remember, don’t call anyone to fix it. I will do it myself…tomorrow! Tomorrow will be a good time, honey.” He was beginning to sound like a fly trying to convince a lizard not to eat it. He knew it was only a matter of time before she blew up and he got a tongue-lashing, but he would fix it tomorrow anyway. “This tie feels silky smooth,” he said, trying to change the subject. “Is this the new one from Daisy’s?”

“But I need to see when I am dressing, Roberto,” she snapped, ignoring his question. “I have been using the guest room for a while and you know how I don’t like to have to walk up and down the stairs with my things.” She was correct. She had just returned from upstairs and had forgotten to take her new pair of stockings with her. The stockings were somewhere in their bedroom and she couldn’t be bothered to look for them in the dark. Plus, she would have to go back up those daunting stairs to see herself properly in the full-length mirror there.

“You know you need the exercise, dear,” Roberto said playfully. However, this infuriated Monica.

Roberto has now double-checked his clothes and was ready to go. “The chauffeur has just arrived, are you ready, dear?”

How Procrastination Causes Stress and Anxiety

“Yes Roberr..!” she started to reply but she noticed a few things that were wrong with his attire as he appeared from the ‘dark-room’ beaming with pride. She was still upset that he would joke about the few extra pounds she had recently put on. She had become very sensitive and rightly so. Those “extra” pounds were really more than a few. She pondered for a moment and decided that she would use this opportunity to teach him a lesson he needed to learn. After all, she did warn him about the light, right? (That’s me the storyteller talking here. I am not sure I like where this is going…)

They are all set to leave the house and as they were about to enter the impressive luxurious silver-plated Limo with matching rims, Tommy, the happy, well-dressed chauffeur stopped singing and started to grin and was about to mention Roberto’s wardrobe failings but was quickly admonished not to, by Monica. “How could they have known that I would be wearing my silver shoes and matching tie, tonight,” he muttered to himself. “Surely this a sign that tonight will be a great night for me…” Ever since we were children, Roberto was fascinated by two things, music, and clothes. Nothing could come before them.

Soon they arrived at Cabbage Hall, a well-known performing arts theater reserved only for the best performers in the country, of which Roberto was one. He had gained a remarkable following because of his virtuoso playing on the piano and his quirky sense of being, and of course his dress. He loved glittering colors.

Monica promised never to “interfere” again by offering any advice concerning how he dressed for his performances. She had learned her lesson well. The last time she tried to advise him to wear a formal dark suit, he blamed her for the audience’s general lack of response. He thought his audience needed the unique mix of his playing and his special attire to fully appreciate him as a brand and give him the extra edge over everyone else. He didn’t fully understand his musical abilities were enough. He took himself quite seriously (and he should have, as he was quite a musician) but that’s what created the “magic” around his persona.

As they entered backstage and thankfully out of sight of the massive crowd that had assembled at the front, he managed to glance down at his growingly uncomfortable shoes only to discover that he was wearing two distinctively different color shoes. “How could this have happened to me? My shoes are always well arranged in my closet,” he grumbled. “Someone must have been messing around in my shoe closet…”

The show had begun and would be awaiting his entry in a few moments. He wouldn’t dare return to the house for a matching pair now. He had refused to listen to Monica. “Why didn’t I listen to her?” he fumed with himself. He is too embarrassed to question his wife but at the same time, he is angry with her. She could have been more forceful, he thought and objected to his whining. However, to confront her, would be silly on his part and would make him look like an idiot. (Do I have to interject here, folks? No, I won’t bother).

The smart man he was, he quickly resolved the situation in his mind by…”How do you like my shoes, dear, isn’t this a unique way to approach my next act? After all, I am performing ‘doublespeak’ tonight, isn’t that just ingenious dear?”

“Yes, it is Roberto!” She said. Monica had somehow always liked Roberto’s peculiar way in dealing with matters such as this, though she had begun to feel slightly guilty. Anyway, Roberto was really good at making the most of his many mistakes and she admired him for it. It seemed to be the energy behind his amazing performances. Even she had to admit she was impressed by his artistic abilities and intellect.

That time, when he had played in the formal dark suit she had recommended, he had forgotten to pack his black shoes even though Monica kept reminding him. “Oh, yes! I will do it tomorrow, dear,” he would always say.  When he proceeded to dress at the venue, he discovered that he didn’t have them and had to perform in his sandals. Although feeling like a fool, the discomfort had caused him to play his absolute best from the sheer embarrassment of having to wear them. Are procrastination and perfectionism a good pair for Roberto?

He was boiling inside and but the audience was so spellbound after his first rendition, that they didn’t applaud the way he had anticipated. This made him more agitated. He thought they were unimpressed by his appearance, so he played with even more passion. Was this the reason behind her not telling him about his error in dressing? Did she want to get him to perform at his best? Maybe…

As he stood backstage, the presenter is about to announce him as Monica made her way to a reserved seat in the VIP area. Roberto began to become a little uneasy about his appearance once more. He questioned himself again; “what was I thinking?” As he made his way across the stage he became more aware now and wanted to crawl into any hole and disappear but there was no way out of this. It was too late to do anything but perform now. The numbers in the audience are huge with TV cameras and lights everywhere. Even Monica regretted that she had allowed this to happen. She didn’t realize the magnitude of this event. She had forgotten that this particular event was a special function for the President of Graceland. She thought it was a show for the national circus association and thought that Roberto might have fitted in with the occasion. That event was scheduled for another time.

Procrastination – What’s Done in the Dark Will Be Seen in the Light

In the meantime, on stage, as Roberta prepares to take his usual bow before starting, the stage lighting is in full force as they suddenly switched to their newly upgraded lights. The stage is brighter than a flash of lightning and Roberto and his unique attire are on display for the entire world to see. The four newly installed high-definition jumbotrons are so large that the presence of himself four times was a little unnerving. The cameras were not shy and zoomed in so much, he could see every detail of himself. He wondered, surely the snickering will not be reserved for only those close to the stage now. He also thought he noticed something else a little strange about his attire but he couldn’t focus on that now.

His face is radiant with shame as he is sure everyone has now noticed his mismatched shoes. Some are laughing and he wrongly assumes they were laughing at him. “How can I focus on my playing now?” However, he managed to get through. He played brilliantly and with a fiery passion, though none knew that the reason for his “enthusiasm” is his way of beating himself up. Meanwhile, the audience had risen to its feet in appreciation with loud shouts of “bravo!” and “encore!” Even his dress didn’t matter to him now as everyone was especially moved by his effervescent rendition of doublespeak. He is compelled to satisfy them and continues to play much to their gratitude.

Afterwards, as he begins to show his appreciation by bowing, he notices that apart from wearing two different color shoes, he also was wearing two right-foot shoes. “That’s why they felt so uncomfortable.” he gasped. “Well I hope no one noticed,” he muttered.

As he was saying that to himself, it was as though the camera team had overheard him. Suddenly the jumbotrons were all filled with every aspect of his attire. This was the custom and they always highlighted the attire of the performers. Many banked on this for stimulating the latest trends in fashion and the sales that would result. Surely, two right-foot shoes would not be any sort of trend… Who would even bother making them?

A hush came over the audience as Roberto stood with his head in the air, hoping the cameras would move upwards and away from his feet. Could they be seeing right or is it the lighting? Thankfully, they attributed it to the lighting but Roberto had also helped to defer their attention by brilliantly standing at the other side of the piano. He did this as soon as he realized what was happening. Now, it’s time to finally leave the stage and head home to change before any more surprises should arise. Monica was glad it had come to an end and she too was hoping for him to quickly dash off the stage before the “fashion police” got really close.

He got his wish and ran off as though it was a part of the act. “Sheesh, what a relief? It’s over,” he panted. “Now to get home, but first the dressing room…” As he enters the very bright room he notices his tie, or was it a tie…”What is this?” He was wearing his wife’s pair of stockings that she didn’t bother to put on. “How in the world did I…? Why did Monica leave these stockings lying around?” He shouted, without realizing that someone else was in the washroom, but didn’t want to be seen before their performance.

Procrastination Can Lead to Other Bad Habits and Poor Decisions

 – Walking in someone else’s shoes – Opportunist or thief?

“Roberto!” someone was shouting to the top of their voice. “Come!” Mr. McGeary (the President’s bodyguard) is requesting your presence on stage to accompany the President on his steel pan!!” What could be worse than this, especially after this new wardrobe-fail discovery? Luckily, he noticed a suit in the restroom that was just his size equipped with tie and shoes to match…

Roberto was backed on the stage in a new suit. This time he was happy, full of confidence and looking quite dapper; though, this garb was for him a little tame. Monica wondered what was going on.

While Roberto had exited the stage, the show’s organizer who was inspired by Roberto’s performance, was ecstatic and rushed to the stage to announce that he wanted Roberto to accompany a specially invited singer. That singer would be joining them on stage in a little while but first, Roberto was asked to play alongside the President as he played the steel pan as a tribute to Graceland. It was unrehearsed, but he was confident that all would go well and it did. The crowd was elated and received it very well.

As the ‘singer’ eventually came to join them on the platform, there was a hush across the large bright room. The ‘singer’ was partially dressed in Roberto’s clothes and fuming. Roberto wanted to dive headfirst into the nearest hole and come out yesterday. You wouldn’t believe who he was. Was it the chauffeur, the President’s bodyguard or…

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4 Replies to “Why Procrastination Is a Bad Habit – a Story About a Procrastinator Extraordinaire”

  1. A thoroughly entertaining story! If only Roberto hadn’t been such a horrible procrastinator! (I have to admit, I am a bit of a procrastinator at times so this story made me smile). I think your writing style is very engaging and makes for a very relaxing read. You have great tension and the story flows. Very well done

    1. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Mishi! We all procrastinate sometimes; we just have to be careful that it doesn’t master our every move. 🙂 Much appreciated. Please feel free to share!

  2. Wow, very cool concept of teaching valuable lessons through short stories. The story was intriguing and I am looking forward to reading part 2!

    Procrastination is detrimental to success and is a problem that many people don’t even realize is affecting their personal and professional lives.

    Thanks for bringing “light” to this issue in a fun and interesting way.

    1. Thanks, David for reading. I am glad you liked the story. Using stories to teach life-lessons is something I am trying to use going forward. Thanks for taking the time and stay tuned.

      All the best!

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