There's one thing you must do this May. Go to refeshleadership.com and read its recent blog post "5 Things to Do This Month: May 2014." (I guess that's six things you have to do, but what the heck? It's not like you're doing any work.)
Refresh Leadership is a staffing company, but if its tagline is to be believed, what it really is all about is "Fresh Ideas for Today's Business Leaders." One fresh idea is to provide business managers with a list of five activities for every month of the year. This is a very valuable service, since without this list, business managers would probably continue to do what they're currently doing every month of the year, which is — not much.
For May, author James C. Price finds himself in a lyrical state of mind. "May is finally upon us," he writes, "which means spring is in full swing. Out of the April showers, we are now enjoying May flowers. Other than your normal spring activities of spending time at parks and patios, try these five things to do this month."
Despite the fact that Price clearly doesn't know you very well — how else could he ignore your normal spring activities of spending time at strip clubs and bars — it is certainly worth our while to explore any potential management initiatives that may hit in May. We don't want to be blindsided while totally occupied sniffing posies.
May activity No. 1 is to become aware of National Blood Pressure Awareness month. This is a serious problem, as Price points out with the alarming statistic that "nearly one out three American adults and one out of five Canadians have high blood pressure."
To me, the solution is obvious — move to Canada, where you have two other people to take up the slack. Of course, if you're not willing to replace Beyonce as your ringtone with Shania Twain, or end every sentence with an "eh," the blood pressure awareness luncheon that Mr. Price suggests to your manager does sounds good. It will definitely be amusing to hear the person who routinely keeps your adrenaline boiling by creating impossible deadlines with dire consequences for failure explain how important it is to live a stress-free, relaxed lifestyle.
It's too late to do two other things that need to be done, since International Workers' Day (May 1) and Cinco de Mayo (May 5) are already in the rearview mirror. I'm very sorry if your management didn't put on a festive Cinco de Mayo celebration for you and your co-workers, but you can easily make up for their failure by establishing the new tradition of Margarita Monday, starting at 9 a.m. in the office supply closet. This can be followed by Margarita Tuesday, Margarita Wednesday, Margarita Thursday and Margarita Friday. Saturday and Sunday, you're on your own.
It's OK to skip Workers' Day. The holiday celebrates workers who went on strike in 1884, demanding an eight-hour workday. I don't know how many hours they were already working, but I don't believe they had cellphones that insure management can reach you at any hour any day of the week. Bottom line: I'm sure those workers in 1884 had plenty to complain about, but compared to you, they're a bunch of wimps.
Celebrating National Bike to Work Day on May 16 by "organizing a group of co-workers to meet at a certain place in order to ride to work together" is another activity for managers who need fill their empty days in May. Coming from an employment agency, this sounds sinister to me. What better way to insure that a large number of positions open up than to put you and your co-workers on the open road? (In fairness, he does remind management to make sure employees wear helmets. I'm guessing the aluminum foil helmet you wear every day at work to protect you from gamma rays emanating from the corner office will suffice.)
The final management activity for May is "Plan for Vacations."
Call me paranoid, but the fact that Refresh Employment uses this moment to promote hiring "seasonal temporary workers to bear the load of vacationers" makes me wonder if your job will still be there when you get back. The smart move here is to simply ask your manager to tack your allotted vacation time onto their own.
Hey, after all the effort they made in May, doing five things, they deserve the rest.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected] To find out more about Bob Goldman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.