In the 21st Century, you don’t have to be a doctor to be on call.
We are all now on call all of the time. I’m not old enough to know for certain, but I’m told by some people, that a time existed when people could go home. And be at home. You could clock out, disconnect, leave.
Let’s call this time P/I, or pre-Internet. Now surely, there have always been people who were always on the clock. They were the first with beepers, pagers, a red phone or a driver standing by. But that’s not been most people. Now everyone is on call.
Now we all have electronic tethers. And most of the time, I love the connection it provides – e-mail, blogs, Skype, Facetime, and Facebook, help me stay connected to friends both near and far. But more and more all of this restrains us from facing the fact that we are little more than leashed to a desk or a client, a project or a need. We are always available – whether the needs are important or not. Little by little, the constant drip of ever-present connection reminds us that we are always on call. All of us. All the time.
There is always someone, somewhere that wants our attention. And it’s not always work or volunteering that demands our deliberations. There are projects, both at work and elsewhere, that need advancement or completion.