My attempt at re-tiling the bathroom floor (fictional):
I pin the picture of what my bathroom will soon look like to the mirror, and bask in the awe and adulation of crowds who will soon be knocking on the door. I decide to hire a personal assistant who will manage exclusive appointments. He’ll become my right-hand, and run the marketing campaign, and then we will take over the world!
I open the first box of tile and cut my hand. I decide to ignore this foreboding omen, even as blood drips into the mortar.
After six hours of effort half the tiles are wasted, the other half are covered in glue, missing or sticking up at odd angles which will most likely cause massive lacerations and blood loss. The bathroom is useless for at least 24 hours.
I regroup, certain that my personal assistant will be able to spin this into a story about how the Glorious Leader can persevere through anything. I spend two hours removing the previous attempt, an hour reviewing YouTube videos to try answering questions, and at least one call to my father. I begin tiling the floor again, glancing at the photo for renewed inspiration, and feeling the warm cheers of the crowds. My imaginary assistant smiles reassuringly while tweeting of my success. I glance over and see the rubber backing sitting still rolled up and not under the tile where it should be.
Several beers quell my rage. I tell my assistant to take one for himself, until I realize that his warm smiles were actually smug grins. I start making plans to terminate him and find an unpaid intern.
The bathroom has now been useless for two days, and I have to go to work in the morning. I vow to spend an hour each evening after work to complete it.
After living with the bathroom for two weeks. My wife has moved out because she can’t “live in a house without running water.” I never promised her a rose garden!
After pouring myself a third gin and tonic, I start again. I spend five hours carefully laying down the backing, the tile and gluing into place. My phantom assistant sends out scathing sarcastic tweets, and updates his Facebook while flirting with my wife. I hate him. Who cares if he has a degree from Harvard and looks like Gabriel Macht. The unwashed crowds pass by to jeer and mock my efforts, but they’ll rue the day. Theirs will be the first asses nailed to the wall when the Revolution comes!
I finish. The floor looks nothing like the picture, and I’m sure my assistant kept switching floor plans on me. But I have ceased to care. As the Glorious Leader, I know that this will be remembered as a holy shrine. The floor is level, mostly. There is a strange bubble that pops and creaks near the middle where everyone will walk. My assistant hands me his resignation, letting me know that based on his public following, he will be starring in a series on HBO, making six-figures.
I call a professional. Three hours later, the floor is done.