A couple of annoyances over the past few weeks. Nothing worth detailing, really, because I don’t want to spend a whole lot of energy on them, but let’s just say this: If you’re not as unflappable as a New York City traffic cop, you won’t last in this writing business.
The metaphor demands an explanation.
NYC traffic cops are a particular breed of human beings. They walk down the street, peering at meters, registration tags, and license plates with no visible interest or emotion. They work with a singular efficiency and dedication to their task, particularly when that task involves writing a ticket (or, now, using a little handheld mobile device to print a ticket. As an aside, this printed ticket ushered in the era of the virtually incontestable ticket, so if you plan on driving or parking here, consider yourself warned).
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed flustered drivers fly out of a bank or deli as if pit bulls were chomping on their heels, their rant going full tilt even before they start breathing–literally–down the traffic cop’s neck. “But I was only double parked for a second! There’s no goddamned parking in this city! Where do you expect me to park? This city’s eating me alive with fees! You can’t give me a ticket.”
Through the tirade, the traffic cop takes it all and appears completely unperturbed. And unmoved, because that ticket is going under your windshield wiper. No. matter. what. (Not that I have any personal experience with this….).
Maybe it’s because they deal with verbal abuse every day. Maybe it’s because they genuinely don’t care about anything other than collecting a pay check. Or maybe they really are cut out of some exceptional cloth that wicks away criticism.
I don’t know, but in a way, I’d like to be more like them.
And you- are you as unflappable as a New York City traffic cop?
How do you deal with criticism, rejection, or unfair experiences as a writer?