Thursday, January 3, 2008

One for the road

Maven Lacey Kaye

Transcribed from an Actual (Overheard) Conversation:

BOSS MAN: Why didn't you meet your astronomically impossible goal today?

NEW MANAGER: (smiles politely) We tried, we really did.

BOSS MAN: Are you planning to have everyone stay late? Get the job done?

NEW MANAGER: (smiles politely) We'll keep at it while we can. See how far we can get tonight.

BOSS MAN: Tonight, tomorrow, Friday, Saturday -- overtime's available.

NEW MANAGER: (smiles politely) There are a few volunteers.

BOSS MAN: Well, I hope you can find a few more. You can stay all night, work all weekend if you have to. I don't see why you can't complete your impossible goal in the next few days.

NEW MANAGER: (smiles politely)

BOSS MAN: It's your head, you know.

NEW MANAGER: (smiles politely)

BOSS MAN: (to others in room) Will you look at this guy? I can't phase him! Doesn't matter what I say, he's a cool cat. (to new manager) C'mon, tell me. What do I have to say to freak you out?

NEW MANAGER: (continues to smile politely) Boss Man, I'm only doing what the old manager told me to do.

BOSS MAN: Which was what?

NEW MANAGER: "Just keep breathing."

I think it's easy, especially at this time of year, to forget that not everything is *so important* you have to freak out about it. Some things are important, of course. I've heard they sort of frown on you leaving your children at school until 10 o'clock at night. But most of the small things, including our self-imposed goals, are always as manageable as we make them.

And they are also only as manageable as we make them.

Very few elements of the daily grind are worth sacficing our personal well-being. While it's (usually) true there's no pain, no gain, that good things are worth working for (and rarely easy to attain), and that slackers are total losers (my own quote?), it's also true that you can't enjoy the fruits of your labors if you're dead.

Which is why I'm ditching this post to go for a walk. Anyone coming with me?


Carrie Ryan said...

Awesome -- and what a great point! I was just thinking about these things recently. I spend almost all my time either on law or writing, sometimes you have to take a break for something else -- life isn't all about banking towards the future!!

Bill Clark said...

I'll join you for that walk if you can promise warmer weather than the icebox which is CT today - we *may* hit a high of 20, but the windchill will keep things in the single digits. Brrrrr!!

Wasn't it Thoreau who said something about how sad it is to come to the end of life and find out one hasn't lived? I think your boss man will likely fall into that category.

Marnee Bailey said...

I took my little man out for a walk today, in the freezing cold South Jersey weather. (We're in the same boat, Bill. Brrr....) However, the little man is only one, doesn't walk by himself yet, and insisted on heading for the neighbors porch to say hello to their kitty. We didn't get far.

And this boss man sounds like some of the people I worked for/with. So glad I don't work right now.

lacey kaye said...

LOL, people. I happen to love BOSS MAN. Although he is as hardcore as I made him sound, he knows his stuff.

He also high-fived NEW MANAGER directly following the point of this blog.

But I digress. Yes, Carrie, I agree sometimes I get way too caught up in planning & forget to enjoy my successes. I actually had a really great vacation--totally took advantage of my successes, as they were, but man, when I got back it was BAM! instant stress.

Bill, all I can promise you is rain. I got lots; actually, maybe I'm sharing it with you in the form of snow, at a much belated date?

Marnee, how cute! That must be one of those moments, right? When it's easy to get distracted by what didn't happen (the walk) and forget to enjoy what did happen (a toddler and a kitty!). Thanks for sharing! I'm imagining a postcard moment right now.

Erica Ridley said...

Well said! (and hilarious convo!)

Darcy Burke said...

Love, love, love this post with the fire of a thousand suns. A Lacey-keeper.

I didn't take a walk, but I did do some things I really wanted to and overall had a productive day. Yay me!

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