Ahhh December. It’s here yet again and speeding right along! Normally, as you know, I share only my own pearls of “Working Wisdom” with you, dear reader, but this particular month it’s my heart’s desire to bring you a “half-and-half” edition of “Working Wisdom”, as we bring 2005 to a close and try to remember all that December means to so many faiths and cultures.
It’s that time of year again… summer (at least in the northern hemisphere) has given way to autumn and most everyone has now heeded the call to “get back to proper work”. Time, again, for strategic planning, new projects, new launches, renewed commitment to professional development and attending company/organization and association meetings. Such events often include formal kick-offs, roll-outs and conferences and you…you lucky duck…may be invited (or volunteer) to sit on a committee designing the program, selecting the speakers or, perhaps, say a few words or give a formal speech yourself!
Ah, the “dog days of summer”! Where does that expression come from, anyway??? Turns out it’s from antiquity. The Great Dog constellation of Sirius occurs in the summer sky. “Sirius” comes from the Greek word seirios meaning “scorcher”. According to the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky, as this dog constellation is visible only in the daytime (and faint at night), the ancients thought that the heat of Sirius, “the scorcher”, was added to that of the sun, making for the hottest days of summer. Hence, the term, “dog days”.
Who was the best boss you ever worked for and why? What made him or her different from the rest? Why would you have gone more than just the extra mile for them? One word probably answers all–inspiration.
“You’ve got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive and e-lim-minate the negative and latch on to the affirmative; don’t mess with Mr. In-between”, so croons the timeless song and message from the 1944 Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton classic Hollywood musical, “Here Come the Waves”. Cute in a song lyric, trickier in life–especially at work! The rest of the chorus? “You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum. Bring gloom down to the minimum. Have faith, or pandemonium liable to walk upon the scene.”
Work is difficult. Or so it often seems once the “honeymoon” is over. And the “honeymoon”, reported Wallace Immen of the Globe and Mail on March 30th, is typically over within six months! Immen shares the findings of a large-scale survey of attitudes conducted by Sirota Consulting, based in New York state, which declares this three year study surveyed 1.2 million employees at 52 American Fortune 500 companies found: “Job satisfaction tends to decline…
My first reaction was, “I don’t believe this! This project cost how much and for how many days??? It’s so ugly–so 70’s.” Then it started to grow on me. I saw the beauty. The fun. The urgency to get on board now and enjoy the symbolism of what it offers (especially at this time of year), or miss out on the good feelings altogether. I started plotting how I could participate…get there…be there, if not physically, at least in spirit.