Well, don’t apologize for it. That’s what Liz Ryan says.

True story – 20-some-odd years ago a couple of colleagues of mine in our local chapter of the Society for Technical Communications were trying to bring me onto the team where they worked. After an interview with the president of the company (a guy who had a bad toupee and chain smoked), I was put in a room and asked to take a lengthy “assessment,” a predictive index thing that, I guess, would reveal whether or not I was a borderline ax murderer.

A few weeks later, my colleague invited me out to lunch where she told me I didn’t get the job. My predictive profile, she said, indicated that I had a tendency to be too creative and would also tend to disregard policies.

“That’s how I get things done,” I told her.

I also had a unsuccessful four-months with a company that encouraged creativity, but I never felt it was sincere. “Let’s get creative on this,” was a line I saw in e-mails to me and others. I’ve always felt that creativity isn’t a switch to turn on and off at will, kind of like how the frog behaves in the legendary Warner Bros. cartoon “One Froggy Evening.”

Creativity happens when it happens. And for creative people, that’s all the time.

UPDATE: Then there’s always these: