All posts tagged: simple refusal

There’s No Shame in Flaking

There’s No Shame in Flaking

Years ago, when I lived in Southern California, I worked with an extremely responsible project manager I’ll call Rocco. Rocco was reliable to the point of neurosis. Accountable to a fault, he was a first-guy-in-the-office guy whose shirts were always pressed and whose meetings started and ended on time. Everyone liked Rocco, but we also wished he would lighten up a little. One day, Rocco didn’t make it to a scheduled meeting. The next time we saw him, we asked what happened. Was he okay? Rocco wore an ear-to-ear grin as he explained that, yes, he was fine. “I just flaked,” he said, beaming. “I flaked!” He had done it. Rocco had adopted a social strategy that everyone else grapsed, even if they never spoke of it: Sometimes you just flake. Alas, flaking—which is to say, failing to keep a commitment—is rarely celebrated with Rocco’s newfound enthusiasm. The term has long been used in a derogatory rather than liberatory sense: “I can’t believe Rocco flaked on us. He’s so unreliable.” It is time for everyone …