Please tell me this happens to you…so I don’t think I’m going nuts.

It happens to me all the time, but I Googled the heck out of it, and nada.
Maybe I didn’t use the right Boolean search terms, I dunno.

There are a number of words that kinda describe it.

  • Coincidence
  • Simultaneous
  • Concurrent
  • Synchronous
  • Multiplicity

….only, it’s all those terms and more.

There’s a “mystery of the universe” feel about it.




The best example of this [name unknown] syndrome in voiceover land usually manifests itself in the following manner:

Work dries up for a few days (weeks), and then alla sudden two or three clients approach you WITHIN HOURS to do big projects and they all have short/immediate deadlines.  Where were you guys last week?  Why all at once?  Did y’all coordinate this?

The corollary to the above scenario is the inevitable call for a major job the moment you arrive at a vacation destination for some family time or downtime.

But there are other examples too.  The following happens to me with alarming and inexplicable frequency:

My wife/daughter/friend/work associate calls me to talk, and WITHIN SECONDS someone else of equal familiarity calls on top of THAT call.


Like the above…a person close to me calls, and almost simultaneously the doorbell rings.



Because of cookies, and prying virtual advertising schemes (thanks Google and FB) we now understand why those “coincidences” keep happening online. Prying eyes and all that…

But no one has apparently identified THIS circumstance as being a cultural or population-size phenomenon enough to identify it or name it.  

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology, DID come up with the definition of synchronicity:  “…circumstances that appear meaningfully related, yet lack a causal connection.”

“Coincidence” is another term that seems to apply.  We all know what coincidence means, but there are some interesting schools of thought that take away the seeming randomness of these occurrences.  If you don’t believe me, try reading the series of  3 books written by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Levenathal called “Small Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life“. 

The books are testimony to the probability that more is at work here than mere chance.


Let’s go with the presumption that that’s the case with these one-on-top-of-the-other happenings.  If there is something other than coincidence happening here…what’s the message?  Or even more importantly: how should you handle it?

First, what you should not do is the thing that seems to come most naturally:  BE FRUSTRATED, irate, groaning at the irony of it.

This is abundance and opportunity.  Be grateful

‘Hard to do, I know….but it’s the right posture.

Let’s take the situation of the arrival at your email of 2-3 simultaneous VO job demands after a conspicuous drought.  Don’t curse the opportunities….MANAGE THE CONFLICT.

Which client or job has the absolute most urgency or respect for getting done first?  Decide that, then email or call the two other clients and ask them what flexibility they have in their timeline. 

Personally, I wouldn’t mention the complication of the other two clients.  In my estimation, most clients want to at least have the perception that you are at their beck ‘n’ call.  Just reassure them their project is of the utmost importance, and you’re preparing to work on it, but there is an ongoing priority that you’re in the middle of, and MUST be finished first. 

You could not have foreseen this unannounced job from the client, and remind the client that they would expect the same commitment and excellence to what you’re doing now, for what you are preparing to do for them ASAP.  (Doctors’ offices have perfected this appeal).

Ask them would XXX hour on XXX day be do-able as a deadline?

Same  with the phonecall predicament.  Your spouse is on the line (important), but your client is calling (also important).  Quick decision:  which one can you put off in deference to the other?  Don’t exhibit frustration….manage the opportunity.  Quickly text the incoming caller that you’ll call right back, or beg the spouse for their understanding, and switch calls to the client.

I love that there is an unpredictable-ness to life and work.  All would be stultifyingly boring otherwise.

So take the coincidental calls and opportunities with a smile…it’s the abundance and the connectedness you want…even if it does come all at once.




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