VOL. 6 November ISSUE YEAR 2005

Off the Beaten Track

in Vol. 6 - November Issue - Year 2005
Checks and Balances

Yet another gust of cold wind drove the rain in a horizontal blast against my office window, putting to rest any illusion that the dwindling summer season might still concede a few more days of sunshine and warmth. Yeah, right, the summer season and summer holidays. Where did they disappear? Is it possible that I had been comfortably stretched out on a beach chair only a few weeks earlier?

Summer holidays are a good time of the year for checks and balances. Not the accounting type, mind you, nor the statelier type typical of democratic governments. No, I’m thinking of the more personal, intimate type, the sort of self-examination which all of us, some more frequently than others, perform in a sometimes frustrating attempt to see if we’re on track with our personal goals and aspirations. A mental checklist to see if we’re happy with our lives. For some people it’s a matter of routine, something they seem to do subconsciously, anywhere, anytime. I really admire them. Neat, no stress, letting off the steam before it builds up. Correcting the ship’s course before getting too close to the rocks. Indeed, I envy them. Me, well, I get frightened just at the thought of looking my failures and shortcomings straight in the eye. I procrastinate, I make excuses. I tell myself I don’t have time, I’m too busy and besides, everything’s going just fine, or at least not too bad, so why worry? I quickly sweep the dust under the rug and forget about it. But the voice at the back of my mind keeps nagging. With increasing frequency I find myself tripping over these mounds which have mysteriously grown under the rug. I resist valiantly, telling myself that I need to be in the appropriate mood and in the right place. I need a conducive environment, someplace relaxing, but not too distracting, where I can finally elaborate The Great Overhaul, The Majestic Summation. I surrender to the voice’s call. I suppose that now’s as good a time as any. And I suppose this beach is as suitable a place as I could hope for. OK, so where do I start?

I guess I should start with something easy, just to get my intellectual juices flowing. How about my job situation? Am I really happy where I am or do I think I deserve better? The pole holding up my beach umbrella took the full force of my blank stare as I pondered this question. Of course I deserve better. I mean, it’s so obvious, although modesty has always kept me from saying as much to any of my colleagues or to my bosses. Begging is beneath my dignity and if they don’t realize what a valuable human resource they have, well then, too bad for them! Deep down inside I know that all it would take is to send out a few applications and watch the job offers start pouring in. Now I’m making progress! As soon as I get back from my holidays, I’ll freshen up my CV and print a dozen copies. Now, what is it that I could add to my resume that would make prospective employers jump out of their corporate chairs? Another blank stare at the pole. I shift uncomfortably on my own chair. How can anybody concentrate with all those children screaming and jumping in the water? Is there anywhere I could go on this beach to get some peace and quiet? They’re not letting me work this thing out. I’ll have to compose my short masterpiece as soon as I get back home. At least I tried.

How about taking a good, hard look at my love life? Isn’t it about time I finally told her what’s wrong with our relationship? For a moment I thought I saw the pole sway slightly in the sand. Can’t be the wind. Boy, it’s starting to get really hot on this beach. Suddenly the umbrella doesn’t seem to be doing its job and I break out in a sweat. Oh, well, at least I thought about it.
The storm had worsened just as I was about to leave the office and it looked like I was in for a drenching. My summer holidays seemed ancient history. Some sort of conspiracy had kept me from facing up to some very important matters in my life which need to be taken care of. Good thing my winter holidays are only a few months away. This time, nothing will stop me.

By Giovanni Gregorat, Contributing Editor MFN  & Sales Manager, Pometon S.p.A.

Author: Giovanni Gregorat