Circling Back

Circling Back

The project was simple: a group picture where each artist painted one square of a picture. I gave John the middle since he was our virtuoso.

The outside came together quickly. I started emailing. Tactfully.

Hi John, just wanted follow up about the bridge picture . . .

John, just circling back about the picture . . .

Hey there, a gentle reminder concerning . . .

John, just touching base about the upcoming show . . .

I called, suggested someone else. No, no, he insisted. It would be done.

Finally, the exhibition day arrived, the colorful squares surrounding a patch of unfulfilled white.

I changed the title to Circling Back.

As someone who spends a lot of their working day emailing people, I have used some of these to gently get someone to do something. However, since I also have more work than any one person can realistically do, I also get a lot of people sending these to me as well.

19 Comments Add yours

  1. elmowrites says:

    I enjoyed the composite picture you posted, David, and the story of its creation. This is the problem with teamwork. There’s always one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jen. I’ve gotten into creating extra images to go with the story and this one seemed to call for it more.
      Of course, you could probably just leave the middle blank on a picture and people would just think it was art anyway and get some meaning out of it. 🙂


      1. elmowrites says:

        Absolutely- people love to interpret art, and white space is no different

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Miles Rost says:

    It’s one reason why I really dislike collaborating with others. I always have one person who drags the rest of the team down.

    Well done, good sir.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep, there’s always one. That’s why group projects in school can be a trial with the wrong people.


  3. neilmacdon says:

    An adaptable response


  4. Loved this, great image too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. James McEwan says:

    I think the disrespect from John has ruined a great piece of team work. Should have dropped him when he failed to respond. This says a lot about collaborating and team work.


  6. Sandra says:

    Ingenious title and theme. It was a phrase I wasn’t familiar with until a certain White House spokesperson started peppering their work with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. CGraith says:

    I can relate to this story….having to find a way to manage around someone else’s incomplete work. Email is a taskmaster that can hold you captive and addicted, I just switched roles and my daily email dropped to single digits. It’s frightening but I’m allowing myself to heal from e-mail/work overload.


  8. trentpmcd says:

    Yep, been there done that, and sometimes you just have to call the unfinished work “Art”.


  9. I’ve dealt with John before, myself!


  10. Dale says:

    Ugh. Much as I can be a team player, I so do not like having to deal with that one (there always is one!) who doesn’t do their share…


  11. Justawriter says:

    John reminds me of the guy in college who didn’t do his part when it comes to group assignments. Hilarious but meaningful story.


  12. Procrastination is a hard trait to conquer, but we have hope for John. Always love your Friday. F.. that first-class imagination of yours at its flash fictional best. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bill says:

    Email has its limits. Excellent story, David.


  14. poetisatinta says:

    Love this artful creation 🙂


  15. Dear David,

    I can always count on you to not be part of the herd of predictable stories. John is not a team player. Well done. BTW Did you get my email?



    PS Just kidding about the email. 😉


  16. msjadeli says:

    I like what Trent said and that seems to be what you’ve done with your story. I remember one “team member” at school that was always coming up with lame excuses why it wasn’t done. When I called her out on it, the other team members looked at me like I was the one in the wrong. Now she’s an elected official. Go figure!


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