June 27, 2008

Name on the Building

It’s the Friday of a long weekend in Canada. It’s the beginning of a very long extended extra long weekend for some in the U.S. Every few years, the calendar doesn’t work in our favor.

This Tuesday (July 1st) is Canada’s 141st birthday and next Friday (July 4th) is America’s 232nd anniversary. I’m thinkin’ it’s time for a massive backyard BBQ for everyone in both countries. Now that’s free trade, baby!

But the discussions are hilarious these days. Tuesday (July 1st) or Canada Day is the official beginning of cold beer and wearing too little and being outside season. It works better when it’s attached to a weekend. So everyone is asking “Are you off on Monday?” “Who’s coming in Monday?” “Will we be open Monday?” “Have you booked Monday?”

A hundreds of years from now, who cares ...take the day off.

This year works out perfect in the U.S. but there is one problem, because Independence Day lands on the Friday. The long weekend is extra special when it falls on the Monday because then you get three days off and only have to go back to work for four.

Work is important, it lets us buy things. But unless your name is on the building, have some perspective. Millions and millions of us have at one time left a meeting with an envelope in our hand and our security card in our former boss’ hands. It happens, for various reasons – doesn’t matter. If that has happened to you, what happened to all those deadlines you were trying to meet? Did all those Blackberry pins vanish? How were they going to survive without you?

I was talking with a colleague a few months back and she said that she was so stressed she broke down crying in her office. She said she really “needed to take some time off”. Have you been there? Does this sound familiar? I left a gig with 39 accrued vacation days – I am the idiot. Congrats, I work hard – yippee. Unless your name is on the building, sign out the vacation request form and get out of the office.

There is nothing that excites me more than working with smart people on fun projects. Well, a Porsche GT and a villa is Tuscany may change my view, but that’s not the point. But after working for a lot of years and being the “busy person” everyone goes to – it’s time for all of us to take off the work gear, crack a cold one and call friends we haven’t talked to in a while and remember – if our name is not on the building, we deserve it.

The person who's name is on the building learned this lesson long ago.


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