Have to be on a conference call with some really well-trained marksmen in the Middle East at 2030 hours, but the subject matter only requires you to weigh in occasionally? That’s what the “mute” button is for:
Look, I may have put more lead down range than these young fellows, given I’m retired from the service, but I was never an elite shooter as they are – No sniper school, just fired “expert” for record on maybe 17 different ranges (the toughest one being Bridges long distance at Benning). I can hit a gnat’s a** at 300 meters even today, but these men can hit three or four gnat’s a**** at 600 meters with one gentle pull of the trigger – Even if the gnats aren’t precisely lined up.
So I listen and take notes on “mute” a h*** of a lot more than I open my pie hole. That, as a matter of fact, is my general rule for conference calls, unless I’m the call organizer, and even then I am mainly collecting data and enforcing Robert’s Rules (not Roger’s Rules, which are a useful, but entirely different thing).
Some other things you may expect if you are a young man anticipating the point in life I’ve reached, regardless of your occupation:
1. You’re going to have to own nose and ear hair shavers. You’ll employ them frequently, I promise you.
2. You won’t sleep well, even when life is good…You’ll have a mortgage, sometimes two or three of them. Go to bed early.
3. You’ll have to overcome bad habits. Frequently. Discipline yourself to do so, and nip them in the bud, the longer you engage in them, the harder they will be to shed.
4. Exercise. Start now, and don’t stop. If you haven’t been shot or blown up, there’s no excuse to be stoved up in your 50’s.
5. Leave your personality at the door of the workplace when you arrive. It will still be there when you leave for the day, and being a “character” at work, especially in this day and age, will put you in the unemployment line.
I have a lot more, but the numeral five has a special meaning for me, so I’ll dole them out in that number when I feel like pontificating. Until tomorrow, then, out here.