Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Summertime Blues Or The Winter Of Our Discontent

It’s Summer: Isn’t Anyone at Work by Lisa Belkin (NYT - August 9th) chronicles the author’s struggles to interview people and to write an article about the lack of motivation to do any work during the sweltering summer heat. During the summer more people seek diversions through online games or they call in sick on hot days. Another obstacle to getting anything done is that the youngsters are on summer break and the adults have to spend more time in tending to them and organizing activities for them.

But do you think people would take longer breaks or vacations? No way. They’re afraid to take anything too long because their boss might realize that they are not indispensable, or they might miss something important. So people are at the office more, and they might pretend to be busy, but they actually do less work.

It’s either a juggling act or a melt down. We’ve been juggling like there’s no tomorrow and our limbs are getting weak and we’ll soon conk out like some old junker that’s been on the road much too long. Actually, in the article, there’s an illustration of a guy with an ice cream cone as a dunce cap and it looks like his face (or his entire being) is slowly melting, forming a puddle on the floor. Is this the new everyman? People are just stressed to the max. I keep hearing that people want to retire early, that they can’t take it much longer. As a matter of fact, I'm hoping I can finish this piece before I melt away myself. But it’s no use. They say there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.

“The nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.” Bhagavad Gita 2:14