I have some very efficient coworkers. They are so efficient, it's scary. They never say "um," and they get from point A to point B like high speed trains. When I am near them, I start to doubt myself: my ability to type my password without making a typo, to not lose my train of thought from one second to the next, to pass a sobriety test.

This so frightens me that I decided to work remotely from home. Actually, I went one better. I decided to move to another city halfway around the world and work remotely from there. But every now and then I get a yen for efficient office culture, and I come back for a month or two or three. Then things like this happen:

It is winter, and cold in the office, so I climb up onto a chair to reach the thing with knobs and vents up on the wall. Just then a coworker, one of the most frighteningly efficient ones, pops his head into the room, and we have the following conversation.

"What are you doing?"

"Turning up the heat."

"That's the air conditioner."


Now, I may have looked chagrined, even like a person who could have used a power failure just then, but then I remembered: If I appear absent-minded, it is because I live in a more fluid reality.

It is clear to me that G‑d has made me this way. I have a sister whom G‑d made differently. She is the one I call right before I depart to the airport to go anywhere, and she has saved me from more than one toothbrush-less journey. She can do this while baking a cake and feeding a baby and placing a Zappos order online. She is just uncannily efficient.

I used to resent this. I thought that since I was the older sister, I get to be better at everything. But eventually I figured out that it doesn't work that way. She doesn't keep her wallet so neat to spite me; she just really can't help it. Shredded receipts, similar to the ones which I harvest by the handful every few months from my handbags and pockets, simply do not loll about in artistic disarray when she is around. They give an insulted sniff, fold themselves up, and place themselves elsewhere. They know where they are welcome.

And she is a nice person, even if she knows where her cell phone is at all times. (Anyway, somebody has got to have their phone on them, or how would I ever find mine? I did once call my cell phone from my own cell phone, in order to locate it, and that led to a memorable moment of puzzlement when I found myself listening to my own voicemail greeting.)

I have resigned myself to trailing my sister (and a lot of other people) in the efficiency department, but my way of life is ultimately vindicated, I believe.

For example, take the story of Purim. Haman thought he had it all figured out. He was like one of those people who have Blackberries and also know how to use them. It was all scheduled and definitely going to happen: 13th of Adar, kill all the Jews.

I know better. Anything can happen.