It's about life - not "lifestyle"
There was an absolutely goofy "educational" article on the front page of the want-ad section of my local paper last Sunday. It was written by one James E. Challenger, president of Challenger, Gray, & Christmas. I always wondered who ran Christmas.

In his bio note it says Mr. Challenger "pioneered outplacement as an employer-paid benefit". Between the bizarre company name and that little nugget of cat crap it's no wonder the actual article was such a hoot. Following are some quotes and comments.

"Do you want to really enjoy your summer vacation? Then keep your cell phone handy and stay on top of those e-mails."


"Arrange with your hotel to have a fax machine installed in your room. Chain hotels favored by business guests already have done so."

Beats the crap out of an alarm clock...and I'm sure the family would appreciate it too!

"Check voicemails throughout the day."

Put the bong down...

"Bring an extra battery for the cell phone and the laptop, and don't forget your chargers. Having your laptop go out on a flight longer than two hours, or your cell phone go out in the middle of a conversation, makes it difficult to get your work done during the 'to and fro' times when you couldn't be out playing golf or visiting the nearest tourist attraction."

You know, bugger this asshole to death. Would you want to sit next to the ultimate rat bastard who spent an entire plane flight making business calls on the cell phone and doing  "important work" on his laptop? Not to mention standing in line behind him while he tries to get all his crap through the security checks? Or how about if he drops the bag with all his chargers and the whole airport gets evacuated for 16 hours in DFW in the middle of August?

"For entertainment, bring your favorite CDs and DVDs."

You know what? If you have to do that to be entertained on vacation you aren't drinking enough. They say drugs are bad, but being a strung-out crystal meth addict would be better than working for the pricks who think these ideas are good for an employee or business.

And last, but certainly not least:

"Get plenty of rest and have fun!"

Mr. Challenger has a lot of gall with that one. Get rest, so we can break your back when you return to work. His theory is that if you take a "vacation" and continue to "be there" 24/7, you'll be less likely to be downsized down the road. This is, of course, partly true - and partly a lie. The man is a freaking agent of white collar slavery and an obvious substance abuser - either that or a goddamn liar.

10,000 flies can't be wrong, Mr. Challenger. Eat shit!

Taking Challenger's vacation advice would pretty much set a person right back at work, except with personally funded logistical nightmares. Yeah, I'd live in mortal fear of losing whatever life-killing job requires following the advice of Mr. Challenger. Oh, wait - no I wouldn't. has some real vacation advice. leave your cell phone and pager home. Leave the laptop, CDs, and DVDs home too. If you really have to check in where you work, make arrangements before you leave to call in once or twice a week at a preset time. That way questions and answers can be run through a secretary if need be, and give you the time you've earned. Independence Day can mean many things.

Order a cold drink and speak this toast: "Screw all the James Challengers out there!"
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