advertisement
advertisement

Work/Life: Please Don’t Squeeze The Priorities

Things slowed down a little over Thanksgiving, which of course only makes me aware of how difficult it can be when the phone isn’t ringing, and no life-or-death business situations of my own devising are occupying my time. Well, if all of my sensible clients are going to put a moratorium on calls, e-mails and texting for four days, I am darn sure going to….have to find other ways to make sure I give my brain the illusion that it’s working.

Things slowed down a little over Thanksgiving, which of course only makes me aware of how difficult it can be when the phone isn’t ringing, and no life-or-death business situations of my own devising are occupying my time. Well, if all of my sensible clients are going to put a moratorium on calls, e-mails and texting for four days, I am darn sure going to….have to find other ways to make sure I give my brain the illusion that it’s working.

advertisement

Hence, my post-Thanksgiving meal (post-unbuttoning my top button and laying back in my Dad’s reclining chair to watch football, post-marveling at how there’s nothing like Thanksgiving to make you realize what a bunch of wackos your family are) round of Internet surfing. During which I discovered this get-a-life gem:

It seems that two advertising men in their 70’s are still arguing about who wrote the tag line “Please Don’t Squeeze The Charmin.” Even more ironically, it was the death of Dick Wilson, the actor who played Mr. Whipple in the commercials, that returned the issue to the front burner. You can almost picture the scene from the black comedy movie, wherein the two septuagenarians stand over the casket of the late actor, begin to argue about who was responsible for the Charmin catch phrase. A shoving match ensues, and it all culminates in the coffin being tipped over onto them while a roomful of aghast mourners try not to look.

What is it about we humans that can make us spend a lifetime hanging on to a credit-where-credit-is-due issue? In this case, there is no paper trail to prove which of the two men came up with the famous line. Of course it is wrong for someone else to get the glory for something we have done, but there comes a time when one has to suck it up, appear on Oprah, weep in front of millions and let it go. Obsessing over something you think is rightfully yours takes a lot of energy, just ask anyone who ended up losing that dog they loved when their relationship ended.

But if that injustice becomes something you carry with you to your grave, your whole life becomes a rush to get there, just so you can have a little peace of mind. And as we all know, your mind is rarely as peaceful as it is when you are dead. Meanwhile, you run the risk of discounting all the other things that have made your life a pretty interesting journey. Loved ones. Travel. Old friends. Family Thanksgivings. (They may be an infuriating bundle of neuroses and hot-button issues, but they’re YOUR infuriating bundle of neuroses and hot-button issues.)

People got a little joy out of the fictional idea that it was nearly impossible to resist squeezing a package of toilet paper. In fact, during the height of the campaign, thousands of people probably gave into the temptation in full view of everyone at the supermarket. It must have been an interesting time to be a manager at the Piggly Wiggly, that’s for sure. So at that point, pop culture has laid its claim to the idea, whomever it was that wrote it. And since each man claims to have, let each one be content with knowing they gave folks a dose of enjoyment for a while.

Hey, look, about twenty years ago I came up with an incredible office management idea that nearly doubled efficiency levels in my workplace of the time. In the rush to implement the plan, my contribution to its founding was somehow overlooked, but the benefits to the office were what was most important. Am I still bitter about it? Something that happened at exactly 3:16 pm on an overcast but mild September 30th in 1989 when the boss was wearing a blue shirt and red-striped tie when he announced the new plan at the morning meeting? Of course not. I can barely remember it.

advertisement