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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 6, 2007 / 22 Menachem-Av, 5767

The month that was made for slacking off

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I made the silly mistake of trying to reach somebody in his office the other day. He wasn't there. His assistant wasn't there. At first I wondered if something had happened.


Then I looked at the calendar.


August.


Friday.


Bye-bye.


Welcome to the month of "wait until next month." Welcome to the month of automatic e-mail responses and voicemails that go, "Hi, this is Phil, I'll be out of the office until September 1, but if this is an emergency, you can press pound and dial seven for my secretary, Marlene, who will be out of the office until August 31."


Years ago, when I was about to graduate university, I remember lamenting how my pattern would change, the summer break I'd always loved would disappear, August would be the same as September, work, work, work.


Yet another thing they don't teach you in college.


Oh, you can work in August. Lots of people do. But they are often working for people who are not working. Or filing reports for people who are not working. Or doing the semi-work thing, leaving early on Thursdays, not coming in on Fridays, and showing up halfway through Mondays.


This seems especially acute in New York. Just try getting someone on the phone in Manhattan after lunch on a summer Friday. Fuggedaboudit. All incoming calls should connect to one gigantic phone message: "NEW YORK IS CLOSED. IT'S HOT. WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?"


Never mind that the workweek is, last I looked, five days long. Outsiders calling New York are supposed to understand that living there is such a slow, clogged nightmare, the only way to cope is a weekend in the Hamptons, and the only way to get that is to leave early on Friday so you can get out on the highway — and endure another slow, clogged nightmare.


(I don't want to say the escape from New York is bad, but I think I had a friend who left on Friday afternoon, came back Saturday afternoon, and never actually got out of the car.)


Now, a lighter load in August is hardly original. In Europe, most countries take the whole month off. That's right. The whole month. Places like France and Spain are so devoid of worker productivity, it's almost as if they were still there.


President Bush has set his own sterling August example, often baling hay and thinking deep thoughts on his Texas ranch for much of the month. Not a good idea to send him any important papers to read during this time. He makes hay when the sun shines.


Even our new buddies in the Iraqi government have decided that August is power-down time. The legislature went on vacation from last week until September 4, despite not passing any significant legislation, despite death and mayhem in their streets, despite our soldiers protecting them around the clock.


Here's an idea. Tell the Iraqi lawmakers that when they recess, we recess. All our troops come home for August. You break, we break. Let's see how that works.


Of course, it won't, because the only group dedicated to working summer hours are the insurgents. You can't get a New York accountant to stay in his air-conditioned office on a Friday, but a bomb-maker under a car in Iraq is available 24/7. Go figure.


In the end, there's no sense complaining about August. It only falls on deaf — or absent — ears. And I suppose that — the war notwithstanding — there's nothing wrong with tamping it down in the hottest month, taking time to smell the burnt grass or the humidity-soaked clothes on your wash line.


Just don't try to get a plumber in Paris, a publisher in New York or a lawmaker in Baghdad.


Or, as of tomorrow, me. I've decided to take a vacation. If you can't find 'em, join 'em.

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