January     ►
Archive RSS
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/525587-
Rated: 13+ · Book · Community · #1031057
My thoughts on everything from albacore tuna to zebras
#525587 added August 3, 2007 at 10:28am
Restrictions: None
Spread out!

One grenade will get you all!”

The words formed on my lips automatically. They’ve done that for a number of years. I speak them now without even really thinking, whenever I see a group of people standing together in close proximity to one another and especially when that group is standing in my way. I first heard the phrase from my dad and I’m sure he first heard it from his Sergeant. When I use it today, people chuckle politely, move out of the way and resume their conversation when I’ve passed. The looks on their faces tell me they have no idea what it means.

When my dad heard it, it was a matter of life or death. They were talking actual hand grenades. And if you were bunched too closely together when the enemy lobbed one in your direction…well…you get the idea.

Self-preservation is the greatest motivational speaker I know.

It’s funny, the different sayings we learn as we grow up and continue to use. When “Spread out!” forms on my lips it is more often than not directed at a group of employees standing around a water cooler having a leisurely conversation, and the “hand grenade’ in question is the first member of management that stumbles upon them…hey, that’s me!

I’ve learned a lot of sayings over the years from my dad.

“Never come out of the woods the same way you go in.”

I suspect this also had its origin in the military. Using the same path twice could be an invitation to an untimely demise. My dad’s explanation? If you come out the same way you went in, you’ll never learn anything new. My dad’s a big proponent (thankfully) of learning new things.

“Don’t quit the job you have, until you have another job.”

Seems like common sense, doesn’t it? After all, you do have to eat. No job equates to no money. No money equates to no food and no roof over your head. You’d be surprised at the number of times I’ve seen this particular piece of advice not followed. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

“ If you can’t get up in the morning and get to work, it’s time to start looking for another job.”

At first glance you’re thinking, “Yeah, cause you’re going to get your butt fired for not showing up at work.” But, it goes deeper than that. Example: I drove six hours last night as part of work. Got into my house at 11PM, dog tired (My day started at 6AM). I told myself it would be okay to sleep in a little this morning before I go to the office. (There would be nobody the wiser, except me.) Nope, couldn’t do it. Up, ready to go, arrived on time, eager to get to work. If you can’t do that, maybe the job you have isn’t right for you. That’s what my dad’s saying.

“Always leave the other guy owing you.”

Simple. If you’re doing a job for someone, give them more than what they paid for. Go the extra mile. Give them 110 percent. Works well in your personal life, too.

I’ve added a few sayings of my own over the years.

My personal favorite has to do with work.

“Erosion is a natural process. But then again, so is death. It is not in your best interest to accelerate either.”

For those, non-soil, non-erosion, oriented people out there, accelerated erosion is a no-no.

“When faced with a situation that requires you to make a decision, the absolute worst decision you can make is no decision at all.”

Seems self-explanatory to me.

At the moment those are all (almost) the sayings that I can think of. I’m sure after I post this I’ll remember some more, but these will suffice for now.

There is one more saying my dad handed down to me. It’s one that he and I have uttered together on more occasions then I care to admit, and one that I’ve used often on my own. It has to do with screwing up, not seeing the obvious, having it become abundantly clear that in the situation you’re in you may not be the brightest bulb in the pack. When that happens, just do what my dad and I do. Shrug your shoulders, smile and say,

“No sense in being stupid if you don’t show it.”

Think about it.

© Copyright 2007 Rasputin (UN: joeumholtz at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Rasputin has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/525587-