Friday, August 28, 2009

Payday Inspiration (or Not)

Like most of the employees where I work, my pay is delivered to me via direct deposit – the money is transferred directly to my primary savings account. However, I still get a “pay check” every Friday telling me important things like how much was deposited in my account, how much was withheld for taxes, and how much vacation time I have accrued. Most of the time, there’s also an innocuous message. My cubicle mates and I have made a bit of a game out of ripping open our statement every Friday to discover the message. It’s like the fortune cookie you get with your bill at the Chinese buffet.

Sometimes, the message might be promoting safety (“You’re important to us!”). At other times, it might be advising us of administrative details such as the deadline for filing changes to our health benefits package. Today’s message had me scratching my head, saying to myself, “Huh?”

“Innovate or evaporate. (Jim Higgins)” That’s it. There’s a capital letter at the beginning and period at the end. It’s been a while since I had an English class (I understand they call it “Language Arts” now), but that looks like it’s supposed to be a complete sentence, and an imperative one at that. I have received the command to either innovate or evaporate. I guess the choice is up to me. Evaporating doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but if I’m not able to innovate, will evaporation be force upon me? Maybe, if I’m lucky, I won’t be the object of the evaporation, but the subject. If I boil water on the stove, is that close enough to evaporating?

I took to Google to find out who Jim Higgins is or was. There are lots of chaps named Jim Higgins out there. One of them is an Irish politician. The one that I was looking for, though, is an author of business books. These are like self-help books for business men, where they learn all the latest buzz words. Mr. Higgins apparently has written a book entitled Innovate or Evaporate, in which he encourages executives to discover their company’s IQ (Innovation Quotient).

I wish that I could say the message on my pay stub is reassuring. Unfortunately, serene confidence was not the first emotion that I felt upon receiving this week’s dose of inspiration.

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