Saturday, August 18, 2012

You Say You Want An Evolution?

When you have an "office" job and you start your work day - six days a week - at 4:30 a.m. people tend to get the wrong idea about you.  A mythology is created - an urban legend if you will - regarding you and your alleged idiosyncracies and foibles.  

I am the person described in the opening paragraph.  My work day starts hours before sunrise not because my employer requires it but because I demand it.  There is always too much to do and too little time in which to accomplish it.  I do not require any person who reports to me - either directly or indirectly - to adopt a similar work schedule.  Candidly I am significantly less impressed by the hours I keep than many of my colleagues seem to be.  I enjoy early morning much in the same way others enjoy - and excel at working late into - the evening.  I consider what I do to be more of a parlor trick than anything else.  As the Poet Laureate of Freehold once observed, "You get used to anything.  Sooner or later it just becomes your life."

Tied closely into the absurd exaggerations others tell about my work ethic based upon the hours I keep is the correlated fable about my inability to relax and/or to enjoy myself.  I suspect that this misconception finds it origin in the rather limited amount of vacation time I use.  There have in fact been years on which I have taken zero days off.  Why?  There was no need to take one.  Since no need existed, manufacturing one for the sense of taking a day seemed a bit inane.  Thus the legend grew - "He starts his day before dawn!  He takes no time off ever!" - as if the people in the community surrounding the office were going to be advised to lock up their children and small animals out of concern for their safety in my presence. 

I look forward eagerly to the reaction that I shall get when those who need to know at the Firm shall be informed that between now and the middle of February the Missus and I shall have our travelin' pants pressed and ready to wear.  This fall we are heading first to Texas to see Suz and Ryan and then - the following month - to Colorado to visit Jess and Rob (and Tillie) in their new digs.  In February Margaret has arranged for me to have a gift for my 46th birthday I have not enjoyed on any of the first 45:  Warmth.  We shall be in Florida on my birthday.  The prospect of running outside every day wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt - IN FEBRUARY - already has me smiling ear-to-ear.   

Evolution, Baby, Evolution.  Embrace the change.

-AK

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