As the heat kicks in, most of us slide into the summer slump — the dread induced by the thought of leaving a cool bedroom in the morning, that bone-deep laziness that kicks in after lunch.
So with one eye on the weather and another on workplace anxieties, here are some easy-to-digest ‘musts’ that’ll revive you.
Read: The Art of War for Women by Chin-Ning Chu
This book is sure to rouse you from your summer stupor and prepare you for this year’s round of assessments and evaluations at work.
The book, which is geared specifically towards women, adapts ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu’s teachings for use in the modern workplace.
In her preface, Chu promises the book will help you win without confrontation, master strategic thinking, and become more innovative, adaptive and creative.
All good ideas for the summer months since they hinge on mental calisthenics rather than sweat-inducing physical stuff! In all seriousness, though, the book is filled with insightful anecdotes related by real women who share their frustrations and misgivings about professional life.
See: ‘Mad Men’s’ first season, ninth episode
This critically acclaimed TV series has been lauded for its unapologetic depiction of the rampant sexism that working women had to face in the 1950s and 1960s.
When I say unapologetic, I mean the show isn’t preachy or overly moralistic. It just tells it like it is (or, more accurately, like it used to be).
Which is why, in this particular episode, I was saddened when Joan, the unabashedly sexy but pragmatic secretary at advertising firm Stanley Cooper Draper Price, has to decide whether furthering her career through less-than-kosher methods is worth it.
It’s a terrible thing to see this beautiful woman being used as a pawn in the cutthroat, male-dominated world of advertising, but it’s even more unsettling to know that she may never get what she wants unless she plays along.
Attention must also be paid to lead character Don’s wife Megan, who is finally coming into her own.
After watching this episode, you’ll hopefully realise, as I did, that no amount of physical and material comfort can match the visceral thrill of challenging oneself intellectually and professionally — so go after that bonus or promotion, even if it means putting in longer hours now!
If you’re looking for an expert opinion on the matter, Chin-ning Chu puts it rather well: “The next time you start thinking how nice it would be to quit your job and find a wealthy husband to support you, think again. Ask yourself whether the material gains are really worth giving up your dignity.”
Know: If you’re stuck for conversation, here are a few tidbits that could kick-start an evening
Gamma’s gone wild:
Ever since a hilarious YouTube video of three grandmothers watching Kim Kardashian’s foray into the world of adult entertainment went viral, the browsing habits of retirees has been a hot topic of discussion of late. There’s a good lesson in there — grandmas have to delete their browser history too!
The accidental genius:
Did you know that a head injury could create a genius? According to an article that recently appeared in The Atlantic, it’s true. This is a tantalising idea and is sure to provoke much debate — and a spike in the number of cases of self-inflicted head trauma, I’m sure!
If all else fails, your dinner companions are sure to be roused when you ask them whether male sex offenders should be given a harsher sentence than female sex offenders.
This is a topic you should definitely stay abreast of ever since middle school teacher’s aide Gabriella Compton was sentenced to probation rather than prison time for her involvement with two male high school students.
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, June 24th, 2012.
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