Dear CEO Ron,
Thank you for all you do daily so well for so many.
With this holiday season, I find myself remembering our professional and personal times together.
Perhaps you may recall this “gift” slipped beneath your (vacant) office door one quiet Christmas Week so long ago (2001):
A Slow-Motion Christmas
T Michael White MD
Throughout my lifetime, Christmas Day has come too fast.
In the nineteen fifties (pre-Fed Ex and UPS) it was not good to be a letter carrier at Christmas. As the holiday approached, the weather went south, twelve-hour days became the norm and days off (including Sunday) were forbidden. My Dad was a letter carrier.
It was not a good time for musicians. Demand for entertainment far exceeded the entertainer’s availability and interest. My Dad was a musician.
It was a rough stretch for the two-income household. My mother worked the evening shift as a telephone operator at Schenectady’s (“the city that lights and hauls the world”) General Electric. Along with my Dad’s two careers ours was a three-income household.
So, at the holidays, there was work, more work and money (happily) but everything else ― shopping, carols, cards, baking, church, etc. ― was a blur. As I fondly recall Santa, the tree, the model train and reindeer on the roof, I uncomfortably recall ten pounds of stuff and a five-pound bag.
As life went on, I seemed programmed to continue this flawed pattern. As a youth ― serve midnight Mass, deliver the morning papers and then serve 8 o’clock Mass. When in college ― work at the Post Office (days), the newspaper loading dock (nights) and the pharmacy (weekends). Through medical school, residency and beyond, just work.
However, this year was different. Despite all personal instincts to the contrary, Christmas came at a reasonable pace. On Friday (the 21st) morning I characteristically did not know the day or month. But, as the day progressed, it drew me in. Lunch became a holiday feast. In the afternoon, elves prowled the hallways dispensing cards, gifts, hugs and handshakes. By three, the place was quiet (as a mouse) and at sundown I was perfectly positioned for the improbable ― three days for serene holiday preparation.
Statistical analysis reveals the key to this salutary state of holiday affairs ― Christmas falling on a Tuesday. The happy consequences of a Tuesday Christmas are many:
After review, for my eyes this story holds up pretty well. It most definitely takes me back to the warm, professional culture you created for so many to enjoy, grow in and flourish in. Accolades.
As you and yours enjoy the holidays and the new year, take it slow.
December 25, 2017