Can I Be Frank?: Christmas Candor
Billionaire Boston Businessman Jack Welch made his career, and General Electric, a phenomenal success through the implementation of a few key principles. Not a man to mince words, Welch believed in honesty and, as he describes in his book Winning, “candor” in the workplace. In a very small nutshell, Welch preached that the ultimate way to drive a thriving, growing and successful enterprise is by creating an environment whereby candor was a part of everyday management. Essentially, employees from the CEO to the custodian, knew exactly where they stood in the company’s totem pole at all times. Those that excelled were rewarded. Those in the middle of the pack were offered guidance. Those at the bottom were, well, chopped. Forever controversial in his credo, Welch built an incredible empire and his success at GE cannot be denied.
OK, enough business BS, not what I am pondering. I am bringing up the topic of candor.
Candor, by definition, is the quality of being open and honest in expression; frankness (I certainly like that last word in the definition). What I am driving at is there is simply not enough candor in the world – not only just at the workplace. With the holiday season upon us, there is no better time to start implementing effective and ‘to-the-point’ practices of being candid with the people we run in to each and every day. Perhaps more than any other time of the year, we are forced to exchange pleasantries with folks all day long. Unlike other hum-drum dates on the calendar December was created for smiles and cheer; be it real or fake. I say, what a perfect time to start expressing what you really mean or at least make it entertaining. Start saying what you really feel. Start being honest. Start being candid.
Enough of the incessant “Hi, how are yous?”, “How are things?”, “What’s new?” “What are your plans for the holidays?” Enough. Let’s let everyone know how we feel at that moment in time. Why not? What’s the harm? Society would certainly become more interesting if we all embraced this practice.
But, tis the season of giving so allow me to give you some straight-talk samples so you can learn to truthfully answer all the questions that are hurled in your face; especially during this Holy and blessed time of year. OK, not truthfully… but have some fun for crying out loud…it’s the holidays!
QUESTION: Hey, How are you? Happy Holidays!
ANSWER: I’m OK. Looks like my restraining order is going to finally be lifted from my ex…so that’s a good thing. How are the kids?
A creepy look and a quick walkaway are guaranteed.
QUESTION: What are your plans for Christmas?
ANSWER: Christmas? Well, I have been a practicing Jew for the last 10 years but thanks for noticing. (awkward pause) Ha,ha,…I am SO kidding….I’m not Jewish. I’m Chinese.
Should raise an eyebrow or 3…unless you actually are Chinese. Doesn’t work if you are.
QUESTION: So, what are you getting Jim/Judy for Christmas?
How you like them apples?
QUESTION: I am sure hoping for a white Christmas, how bout you?
ANSWER: If by “White” you mean I get “a ton of cocaine”…then yes….me too.
Suspected drug use is always a holiday classic.
QUESTION: Have you gotten your tree yet?
ANSWER: We did! We got a Bonsai. So excited. Decorating it tomorrow night with Mr Miagi.
Karate Kid jokes never, ever fail.
QUESTION: Hope you are on Santa’s NICE list?
ANSWER: Except for that alleged abduction, I can’t imagine why I wouldn't be. Chilly out, huh?
Again, keep the asker on their toes.
QUESTION: Any mistletoe hanging in your house?
ANSWER: We’re not big mistletoe believers in our house but there is a tradition of the ‘Ether Bunny’ we celebrate year round.
Intentionally drugging of a loved one is like Christmas morning any day of year.
QUESTION: How you doing with your holiday shopping?
ANSWER: Not bad. You wouldn't believe how easy it is to sneak crap out of the Dollar Store.
The trick to this one is double check your pockets/purse as you respond.
QUESTION: What are your New Year’s resolutions?
ANSWER: Kept it simple this year. Staying off the meth while driving the kids around. You can never be too safe, right? Oh, and I am definitely joining a gym.
I am not sure this is candor or just cruel and sarcastic answers to commonly asked questions during the holidays. Take it or leave it.
As Cousin Eddie so eloquently stated in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation….
’Merry Christmas, S#!++er is FULL!”
And to all a good night…..