Springtime Reduces Productivity

It is upon us. Officially. It has arrived. That time when young men's thoughts drift quickly away from the quarterly sales reports. That's right, it's Springtime, the time of the year that's absolutely terrible for productivity. At least in Canada.

Wait, I'm not making any sense. Let me go back and start again. I'm rather distracted lately, since it's Springtime, you see. In Northern climates, such as the one in which I live, one Canada by name, Springtime is a big deal. We've just made it through a Winter lasting approximately 9000 years and when the sun finally comes out, most of us feel like weeping for joy. But it's bad for productivity.

Now, if you're from a warm climate, you don't understand this. Sorry, but people from Northern California or Aruba just don't get how crazy everybody gets in northern countries during the Winter. Just look at Hockey (being Canadian, I feel no urge to call it Ice Hockey, incidentally). Here you have a group of large violent people, chasing around a huge sheet of ice after a little black piece of rubber and frequently beating the snot out of each other. The game of hockey, what has been famously called "a combination of ballet and murder," properly encapsulates both the total meaninglessness of life during Winter in northern countries and the desire this creates to see someone else get hit with a stick. It's like a prison riot with a referee. I don't know what they're doing in Sweden during their six month Winter. They probably just set people on fire. I'd look it up, but I don't want to.

But anyway, the first few days of Spring in Canada are hopeless for productivity. At least for men. And it's not because we want to roll in the grass or smell the flowers or go to the beach. It's because the guys haven't seen any females in sort skirts and tops in six or eight months. You people from warm climates may not think this is a big deal, but I'm here to tell you that it is.

Allow me to sketch the scenario for you. Men go through the long, cold, miserable Winter, all the time wondering why they don't live in Florida, starting to think that the Sun is a myth, that Springtime is a government conspiracy, and slowly coming to believe that all women look like the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man. So, when the warm weather finally arrives and the ladies show up in their skirts and tank tops and shorts and, God help us, bikinis, that's pretty much it for us. We can't believe they're really here. Men lose --in short order-- their higher motor functions, the majority of their cognitive abilities, and then their ability to stand upright.

There actually are few things as entertaining as staking out a good watching spot somewhere in a high traffic area the first warm day in Spring and watching men walk into things. I guess some women must start working on it a few months in advance of the big day, because they walk around looking like models while men stumble into the sunshine looking like Gollum, mumbling to themselves and periodically exclaiming, "My preeeeciouuus." (I've recently moved to Vancouver, where there's a whole class of young women who get fake-and-bake tans several times a week and wear far too much moisturizer, trying to make themselves look like they spent the Winter somewhere warm, but instead they look like somebody ran over their face with a floor buffer.) Anyway, this is enough to cause men to walk into things, trip over their own feet, and drive into parked cars. It's like grade seven again: Men loose even the most basic physical and social skills for upwards of a week. Clearly this is bad for productivity.

Not that this is a bad thing. Who gives a wet slap about the Monthly Shipping Invoices when the delegation from the Island of Insanely Hot Women has just pulled into town for a conference? So I'm calling for the government to simply declare a holiday the first few days of Spring. Let everybody simply wander into the streets, and post groups of paramedics at every street corner for when guys walk into traffic. I realize this is taking a brave stand, but I'm happy to do it. DIYPlanner.com: Leading the way in giving up on work.

Well, those are my insights this week. Until next week, keep your pen on the page and... and... sorry, my train of thought got derailed for some reason there....

Steve Sharam

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I don't know a lot about politics, but I do know a lot about....

Hockey in England is a girls game, well female. They are actually specially bred amazonians with chapped legs and pug noses.. They are large, violent and frequently beat the snot out of each other just like their Canadian counterpart. However these creatures wear only a short gym skirt, ' Fred Perry' top and canvas boots even on the coldest of days. A few wear gum shields, others still dentures. These women are truely awe inspiring. Sorry did I say inspiring? I of course mean scary as taxes. Sweden on the other hand is full of vodka and beautiful people that live in houses with warm open fires - use your imagination. Before the discovery of Vodka the Scandanavian people would spend their winters looking for warmer climes and in spring inventing agroculture - the Viking forerunner of agriculture, very productive I believe.

I suggest the Canadian government take a leaf from 'Old World Productivity' methods rather than giving the 18 - 30 set a holiday. Alternatively, and I have to say this is controversial for a Bank holiday weekend, burn more fossil fuels and rid one's country of winter forever.... :P

Oh my goodness

I most heartily appologize for my cultural insensitivity. I believe I actually ran into some of these women hockey players in London some years back. I was in Hyde park in the middle of the day and these extremely large violent looking people came up to me and started harrassing me...or so I thought. It seems clear now that these were British female hockey players hitting on me. Cross-cultural romance is never easy.

In terms of Sweden, recent studies have shown that not everyone is beautiful and nor do they all drink vodka. Actually, only 97% of Swedes are beautiful vodka drinkers. The rest look like SpongeBob Square Pants and drink lime cola and peach schnaps.

As for Global Warming, we're already there, dude. If you have a pressing need to see a polar bear, this would be a good time.

Steve Sharam

Talking about sexual politics...

There are still women that talk about a glass ceiling and the net effect of sexism in business, but I remember hearing a curious statistic a few years ago. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but on average when it comes to start ups in Canada (I can't remember if the reference was to North America) women are more like likely to be successful after their first year. There were several theories thrown about, one being that women were less likely to shy away from asking for feedback or advice. There may be other reasons: I tend to think women are more often sensitive to things like the psychology of enviroment/decor on employees and customers, but I don't think anybody cited spring as another reason...

This could be the big chance

That's interesting. Yeah, that glass ceiling's gotta go. Well, this could be the big chance to even things out. Pick your male competition out ahead of time and hire a cheerleading squad to do a car wash in front of their offices. Their operations will grind to a halt and you'll be able to surge ahead. Man, I should write a book!:)

Steve Sharam

Or get hit over the head

Or get hit over the head with one! Might I suggest Roger von Oech's "A Whack on the Side of the Head". You have to love irony, and I can enjoy an old "Carry On" film with the best of them, but don't you think Benny Hill has had his day?