Did you have a good summer? Spend lots of time doing Jell-O shots in the hotel bar and doing cannonballs in the hotel’s koi pond? Whatever you did, you probably didn’t love the idea of stopping your vacation and starting back to work.
So I ask you – why stop? Why move from the suntan lotion aisle at the drug store to the antacids? Why exchange rocking yourself to sleep at noon in a hammock for rocking yourself awake at dawn with three alarm clocks and a growler of Red Bull?
In other words, why go back to work at all?
Yes, there is that pesky issue of your salary. The object of your summer romance may not see the need to pay your rent and buy your groceries. And it’s hardly your fault that your resume did not impress the HR department at the Bongo Bongo Resort Village that you were the perfect candidate for the position of towel monkey. But just because you have to drag your body back to work, there’s no reason your mind has to come along.
And no – I’m not talking about some kind of positive-thinking claptrap about changing your attitude. It’s taken you years to develop a 100 percent toxic attitude. You don’t easily give up an accomplishment like that.
What is required to turn your work into your vacation is a trick, or five. For example:
Turn your workplace into a beach.
Go to a building supply store and buy 50 pounds of sand. Or, if you’re the thrifty type, steal 50 pounds of sand from the nearest children’s playground. The children are likely to holler, but you’re used to people with a pre-K mentality hollering at you. We call them “management.”
Every day, take one or two pounds of sand to work in your lunch box. When no one is looking, pour the sand out under your desk. That way, when you slip off your Ferragamos, you’ll feel the sand under your feet, just like vacation. If this seems like too much effort, a handful of sand in your undies will achieve approximately the same results.
Buy some teeny-tiny umbrellas.
What says vacation more than those teeny-tiny paper umbrellas that sit atop your frozen margaritas? Yes, there is the problem of getting one caught in your throat after downing margarita No. 6, but it’s a small price to pay for the festivity of being snockered at the beach. You can buy a dozen of these paper bumbershoots and put them on everything you do. Pop one into the thumb drive you use to send your expense report to accounting. They’ll be so tickled they’ll never notice that you put your entire vacation bar bill on the company tab.
Wear your bathing suit to work.
With your six-pack abs hiding behind your beer keg belly, there’s no way to better demonstrate your Aloha spirit then to show up at the board meeting in your board shorts. For those without a bikini body, wearing the hotel bathrobe you pilfered is a more modest solution. It will feel so cozy when you curl up in the supply cabinet for your midmorning nap. If anyone complains, you can always buy them off with the tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner you took as souvenirs. Hopefully, you’ll be able to keep the towels, the lamps, the hair dryer and the ironing board to use as Christmas gifts.
Replace your computer with a sun lamp.
If you have to stare into something all day, make it something that will produce the golden hue of the permanent vacation. The new Apple iTan has the technology to produce a nice Boehner orange, just the kind of power tan that will impress your boss and intimidate your co-workers. Be sure to limit your time in front of the device, less you arrive at the afternoon staff meeting looking like a French fry.
Buy a parrot.
If your co-workers can bring their dogs to work, you can certainly bring a small parrot. Teach it to perch on your shoulder and squawk compliments in your ear all day long. Have the parrot say the kind of things you never hear, like, “You’re a good worker! You deserve a raise!”
Do be careful your parrot pal is not infected by the poisonous attitude that permeates your workplace. If you start hearing “Polly wants a promotion!” it’s time to give that bird its walking papers.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at firstname.lastname@example.org.