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October 5th, 2010

Ode to October

Here we are, in the one of two months where we are actually supposed to work. Funny, right?

No, not really. This is the true month of our discontent. We have nothing getting in the way of us accomplishing all the goals we have set.

Think about it: All the other months (except June, strangely) have something that gets in the way of getting something done. You have a holiday here (January, February, March, April, May…), a slowdown here (July, late November to January 1) an urgently “deserved” week away (August) and then the malaise of September when Labor Day seems to be an excuse to wonder whether labor makes sense at all. We used to call that daydreaming.

But October, ah the sweet smell of October. That is sweat! It’s what happens when “workers” (that means me and you) start to buckle down… Hey, who came up with that buckle down saying? What an ass! But I can’t digress because I actually have some work to do and this essay is getting in the way.

Remember to accomplish a ton during these 31 days because after all there are no reasons for us to be anything but working, all the time, every single day, with all our might and with no excuse to stop, no whining, no away days, not a single solitary day of the week that will get in our way.

While I have your attention can we talk about inherent laziness for a sec?

Laziness is not only when you don’t show up for work and hang on the couch. It’s also found in the language (“sounds good” is stupid). And after nearly 20 years of cell phone tech I am bewildered by those people who use speakerphones to have complete and information-filled conversations while standing in line at Coffee Beans, Peets or Starbucks. Is a headset that expensive? Or are these all exhibitionists?

Anyway, remember that you have six and a half glorious weeks until the next four-day weekend! Let’s get to work now. Have you noticed just how much people do little (yes, that’s bad grammar) when what looks like a vacation rears its fabulous head?

I want to take this opportunity to remind those of us who work for a living that there is no time like the present to stop volleying the emails back and forth—yes you are popular, fine—and live your life in the style of Comcast NBC Universal’s Brian Roberts.

Here’s a conversation he had with a confused friend of mine.

Friend: “How are you so successful?”

Roberts: “Ah. My secret? On those days when I am not into work, and I could just respond to emails all day, that’s when I make myself get on the phone.”

Lovely.

We do a lot of emailing that accomplishes nothing and a ton of IM-ing that doesn’t say anything that we really care about. Don’t start with the texting—that’s a world of crap I won’t jump into. Life is about ATD. Attention to detail is the only way to make it in the gibberish-filled marketing industries. That’s why October is so crucial! You get a whole month to actually complete a task.

Surely someone once told you what my Dad said to me as a whiny kid: “You are where the work ends. Don’t believe anyone will take the time to cover up your mistakes or make it better for you.”

Meaning, the work has to be yours and that’s why October is great. You get to spend a full month completing tasks, not depending on the beauty of grammar check or a supervisor or the guy in the next cube who is nice enough to not tell you how you are making the same mistake over and over.

This is October. So get it done.

Wait, wait. Hold on. I just realized something!

Monday is Columbus Day—and didn’t he “discover” the new world you’re sitting in?

I’m taking the day off. Maybe Friday too! I’m exhausted now; I need a rest.

So have a good time working.

Suckers!

Richard Laermer is the former workaholic CEO of RLM PR. You can observe his toils at @laermer.

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