My Voices Column for November

Save Yourself. The LAG Antidote to the Busyness Epidemic
I had finally convinced Myron, my fierce, brilliant and sometimes demented
red-headed cousin, that it was high time we invited some of the other relatives
to sample the corned beef at the “no name restaurant” on Queens Bld. The
restaurant served lean but moist corned beef, the holy grail of secular Judaism.
It wasn’t until we got to the 14th cousin on our list that we found one who was
not too busy to join us for lunch.
Ruth was about 20 years our junior and an up and coming clerk at the Motor
Vehicle Bureau about two blocks from the restaurant. Both of us remember her as
being a nice kid, funny and very red-headed. She arrived about 10 minutes late,
red faced, and breathing hard. She moved to our table with such incredible force
that about a hundred napkins were left floating in her wake. She sat, arranged
as powerful an array of electronics as the world has ever seen, nodded in our
direction and stood again to signal the waiter.
“I’ll have a lean corned beef on rye, a potato knish, a cup of tea and my check
with the order,” she said.
“It’s faster that way,” she noted.
Ruth sat once more, nodded at us again and began to simultaneous scan what
appeared to be three smart phones. “Sorry,” she said, “But I really need to stay
connected with my work
As she started to text, I glanced over at Myron. I knew for a fact that he had
thrown people through plate glass windows for lesser offenses. But Myron looked
composed. I was a bit surprised, however, when Myron ordered three bowls of
Matzo ball soup with his lunch. Myron never orders soup. He often says it is
the only thing his wife, Marsha, can cook. When the soup arrived, he tasted one
bowl, declared it delicious and proceeded to take each of Ruth’s phones and
submerge them in the soups. As she stormed out one of the devices was
plaintively jingling, “so tired, tired of waiting…”
Are you insanely busy? A recent survey found that 98.7% of all Americans have
only time for shallow breathing. When a second survey asked Americans whether
they felt their job was “critical to the National Security” or “a matter of life
and death,” a startling 179% answered both. People we long thought of as sane
brag of never taking a lunch break or even going to the bathroom during their 19
hour workdays.
Clearly, being frantically busy—while life depriving— is the new “cool.” We
at Stevieslaw want you to keep both your cool and your life, which is the reason
we are pleased to publish—in two parts—Save Yourself, Combating the Busyness
Epidemic, as part of the Less-intelligent-than-average American Guide Series.
In Part 1 of the guide you will learn to:
1. Recognize, through a series of exercises the important differences between
you and Superman, Wonder Woman, or a member of Seal Team 6. We will convince
you that, in fact, the only similarities are very minor anatomical ones.
2. Accept that your immediate supervisor has not processed a single word you
have said since you started work. He is much too busy being incredibly
essential to have any time for his profession. Agree to everything he
suggests—just don’t follow up by doing it.
3. Accept that frantic busyness is more the perception others have of you than
anything you do or might accidentally accomplish.
In Part 2, we will teach you how to put these insights to work. In the guide,
you will learn techniques that promote your air of busyness, including how to:
4. Use body language to show your impatience. Using the guide, you will learn
to adjust your body to project “I’m leaving now” to whoever might wish to engage
you in an office related conversation. Learn to use the faraway look, the
brutal glare at your watch and the cut-away phrase, “You expect to speak to me
now.”
5. Sweat and stammer to create an illusion of overwork. Laugh. At everything.
High- pitched is best. People, worried you are ill, will avoid you like the
plague.
6. Swallow “uppers (m & m’s)” as you complain about being so busy you cannot eat
or drink. Claim that, sadly, the pills make you violent and although you
wouldn’t want to hurt anyone…
7. Carry things. Look disheveled. You can get a lot of mileage out of carrying
work related documents—in hundred pound piles—from place to place in the
office. You might mutter, “I will never finish reading this, while loosening
your tie and tossing back you greasy unwashed hair. This exercise is also
aerobic and will save you the cost of a gym membership.
8. And much, much more.
Make time to buy the guide. Use it to become the person others think of when the
words “absolutely essential” come up. Then enjoy your leisure. For starters,
have two-hour lunches at your favorite restaurant. Bring the guide along to
read. The restaurant is likely to be pretty empty.

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4 Responses to My Voices Column for November

  1. Terry Ryan says:

    I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

    Like

  2. Visit site says:

    Aw, this was a very nice post. In thought I would like to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and not at all seem to get something done.

    Like

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