I briefly played for a coach who put forth the following axiom when referencing offense and defense:
“On offense you have to maintain; on defense you have to communicate.”
I often wondered why you needed to communicate just 50% of the time in a game, and many of us openly questioned both his coaching credentials and overall knowledge of the subject matter. Apparently, the school board did as well and released him after just two underperforming seasons. My guess is he didn’t communicate too well with either his players or his employers.
Sometimes, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, people can’t be convinced of events or truths.
Like the beleaguered spouse who discovers receipts for hotel nights and assorted jewelry of which he/she was never the beneficiary and who steadfastly refuses to believe that their other half may be checking in for the evening without a toothbrush.
In January, there are certain things I can count on: my car will have trouble starting on a regular basis, my holiday credit card statements will nearly equal the national debt, and until the end of April, regular company clients will greet my phone calls with all the warmth of a root canal sans Novocain.
And it will also mark the arrival of Robert Half’s annual guide to compensation in the accounting and financial fields. This is the time when those at various director/manager levels in the tax and audit fields discover whether they’re under or overpaid and either work harder, begin to network elsewhere for employment, or storm into their superior’s office and threaten cranial surgery with a paper weight.
In the Marx Brothers’ classic “Night at the Opera,” Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho) is negotiating the contract of a sought-after tenor with the singer’s slow-witted manager, Fiorello (Chico), when the subject of taxes comes up.
With filing season and the next congressional fight – this one over the debt ceiling – just a few short weeks away, it’s usually this “tween” time of the year that I read about some of the more outrageous abuses on company expense reports.
The final week in December traditionally sees a flurry of companies attempting to reconcile before year end and thus some of the more, shall we say, “creative” entries usually come to light.
When we said our goodbyes to 2012, I put forth my unsolicited predictions for 2013.
Now, just four days into the New Year, I will piggyback on those prognostications with my unsolicited resolutions for the next 360 days or so.
My track record for these annual pledges more closely resembles my tests scores in high school physics than determination to improve my quality of life, yet like the person who swears to drop 10 pounds by the summer and instead manages only to prop up the share price of McDonald’s, I continue to be resolute on at least making an attempt to reach these goals.
So here goes:
I will no longer let people who talk on cellphones while using the exercise equipment at my gym bother me. Traditionally, I needed at least two antacid tablets to calm my stomach down when I found myself next to someone on the treadmill who appeared to be conducting a conference call or counseling an unhappy marriage. So yak away!
I will learn to keep better electronic records of my business dealings instead of amassing a scribbled stockpile of yellow legal pads that the entire partnership at Skadden Arps would have trouble filling.
I will wash my car at least once a month. There are only so many times I can ignore someone finger-writing “clean me” in the grime of the winter salt and accumulated road particles.
I will not be surprised or angry when, yet again, several of my relatives predictably claim they do not have the money to repay me for loans I tendered back in 2002.
I will remain silent and most of all calm when my long-time tennis partner – an avowed Democrat – crows about Barack Obama’s impressive list of accomplishments since taking office. Seriously.
I will resist using some of the more annoying buzzwords and phrases frequently heard in 2012, such as “bucket list,” “kicking the can down the road,” and the always fingernails -on-the-proverbial blackboard“whatever.”
I will limit the episodes of “Real Housewives of New York, /New Jersey /Miami/Beverly Hills/Atlanta/Orange County…)” and/or “Keeping up with the Kardashians” that my daughters will be allowed to watch.
I will take down the holiday decorations before Valentine’s Day.
I may be optimistic, but that one I actually have a shot at keeping!