Home News Recipes Opinion | GARY SMITH: A new recipe for workplace success—just add water

Opinion | GARY SMITH: A new recipe for workplace success—just add water

Opinion |  GARY SMITH: A new recipe for workplace success—just add water

First off, I want to say for the record that I am very much a fan of water.

All of my favorite (and even my least favorite) oceans, lakes, rivers and streams are made of it. If it weren’t for water, it wouldn’t rain, which would mean I had fewer excuses not to leave the house.

If it weren’t for water, 71 percent of the Earth would be naked. I mean, the land mass. Not going there with all the people. If it weren’t for water or at least the act of looking for it, we wouldn’t have any reason to be poking around Mars, since it’s obviously not a place where anyone in their right mind should be interested in living.

Water makes absolutely the best ice. To install Hands down. I am typically extremely excited about it when it follows the word “and”. As in “Scotch/Bourbon/whiskey/Scotch/whatever and water.” I say typically because sometimes you just want to cut out the middleman and go straight for the “Scotch/Bourbon/whiskey/Scotch” but it’s nice to know there are options. Since I’m still likely going for ice with that, water still gets to play a role.

And you may have noticed I wrote “Scotch” twice. Because… yeah.

I like water because it makes golf courses green. And I’m willing to overlook the presence of bodies of water on golf courses, because, if you’ve seen me play, you know it’s really not the water’s fault. Or the trees. Or the sand traps. Or the houses or anything else near the right side of the fairway. All kinds of innocent bystanders are affected by the train wreck that is my swing. As for the animals, whatever happens as a result of my swing is all on them. They can move fast enough, so they have choices. And the snakes, they definitely could have moved.

I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of actually drinking water, mostly because, well, it doesn’t really taste like anything. I mean, that’s more of a feature than a bug, but, still, given the choices, I’ll likely take something else on the menu. And I will do it acknowledging that I should, in fact, drink more water. Which means I have not gotten to the same place as the comedian WC Fields who observed he never drank water because that’s what rusts pipes.

For me, drinking water is something of a “have to” instead of a “want to.” Which is fine, since I can’t really think of a lot of things that fall into both categories. But increasingly, I have noticed at my day job that isn’t the case for everyone.

I say “noticed” because, thanks to both modern technology and apparently modern marketing, it’s hard not to observe people seem to drink a lot of water. Or at least give themselves access to do so.

It’s important to note here I said “observe. Observation is not criticism. OK, in some cases, it might be.

No, this benign and well-intentioned observation stems from the fact that younger people in my organization (of which there a lot more than there used to be, which likely says more about me than them), have for some time now taken to carrying massive containers of water around.

I mean, these things are big. Bigger than your head. You could comfortably carry small woodland creatures in these. Why would be entirely up to you, but it’s possible.

And since we live to accessorize (or, so clever salespeople would have us believe), these massive containers now come with things like straws and lids and handles. I, for one think they ought to come with a dolly or a porter to transport them, but that could just be my observation.

Envision, if you will, packs of earnest-looking young people marching off to meetings, carrying these massive water jugs like they’re all going camping and forgot the tent. Just a day in the corporate life.

Again, observing, not criticizing. And remembering that, very, very early in my professional career, it was all right to smoke at your desk and those with offices often had a fully stocked bar cart in there. Times, as they say, have changed. And if you want to carry around a two-gallon jug of water, well, fine with me. I’ve certainly seen worse.

That does, however, seem to have spelled the end of that once-sacred office tradition of hanging around the water cooler. Now folks are apparently taking the cooler with them. But that seems to have robbed folks of a primary location for trading gossip and somewhat poorly-formed opinions.

Oh well. I guess that’s what social media is for.


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