I translate this to "please do this impossible task within 2 hours even though you're about to go into an hour-long meeting - I've heard you don't do any work anyway, and no one else could possibly want anything from you, so I'm sure you'll be able to dedicate yourself to what I want right away and get it magically done ten minutes ago - ta very muchly."
Now, I've gotten pretty good at prioritisation lately, but this was a whole new kettle of fish. So I put my frowny go-away face on so no one would ask me questions, took no breaks and went hell for leather to get it all done.
It did get me thinking though that there must be a better term out there than "urgent" (which really just means "roll your eyes, I'm being unrealistic again"). So I've come up with a few, in order of importance.
Catastrophically Urgent. If it doesn't get done, the world will actually blow up and we'll all be smashed into cosmic spacedust. It'll be like a scene from 2012 only better, but no one will be able to catch it on camera because the cameras are all cosmic spacedust too.
Truly Actually Urgently Vital. Failure to complete the stated task by its due date will cause irreparable damage to humanity; many, many people will die and the Earth will not be able to support our future generations.
Majorly Life-threateningly Urgent. If you don't do it, someone's gonna die - and that someone is you. Do it now.
Life-threateningly Urgent. Similar to the above, but it's someone else's head on the proverbial chopping block. You can probably leave it for a while.
So Urgent Baby Jesus is Going to Cry. Pretty self-explanatory, really. I hear that kid liked to whine about a lot of things though, so I wouldn't put off my manicure for it.
Mumsy Urgent. This includes things like doing the laundry so you have clean socks, visiting Grandma in the nursing home or doing the dishes so you can cook yourself a proper meal with veges and everything. In other words, "meh".
Urgent. If it isn't done, another manager is going to frown at your manager, your manager is going to frown at you, and then they'll both climb in their BMWs and whine about you over cocktails at the country club whilst you stay at work and finish that report that no one is going to take any notice of anyway. You may also get an 'Excellent' instead of 'Outstanding' on your end of year review.
Well now. That puts things in perspective. Turns out I should have just gone to the pub after all...