By Corey Metz
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Beware, everyone. An epidemic lurks. Please don’t call the clinic. No vaccination exists for this chronic disease. It attacks indiscriminately, enticing the mind to wander, sometimes for days. It lures the body into embarrassing situations, slows productivity to a crawl and may cause entire departments to shut down. Yet, it’s harmless. So what is this affliction called? Spring Fever.
No ton of bricks announces its arrival either. Recently, it eased itself into my Monday morning shortly after I arrived for work. Moodiness, a telltale symptom, convinced me that I didn’t want to do any real work today. For obvious reasons, I had to look busy. No problem. But looking official would be a challenge. I took it.
Gazing at the pile of papers on my desk, I grabbed a handful, shuffled and reshuffled them and placed them neatly back in my “In” box. Curiosity, another symptom, caused me to pick up my electric desk calendar and test all the functions of this little gadget. Satisfied that they all worked, I moved on to another area of non-productivity. Using a large rubber band as a slingshot, I started flinging paperclips across the room at no particular target. Next, I refilled my stapler and tape dispenser. Still bored, I noticed a huge, colorful cup on my desk brimming with assorted pens. “Hey, this could be a fun project.” I grouped them by color and placed them neatly in my center desk drawer. I even took time to sharpen all my pencils. Time: 8:15. “Now what?” I mused.
I swiveled my chair around to face the window. The warm sunshine beckoned me, “Come on out and play.” I tried to resist, but it was useless. This disease moves fast. I started staring out the window, daydreaming and feeling like a kid on a Saturday morning punishment. I needed treatment. Only one thing would suffice: more goofing off. I wanted to go outside and play. I wanted to take my shoes off and run barefoot through the grass. I wanted to …. RRRIIIINNNGGGG! Annoyed,
I picked it up and disguised my voice, “Sorry, she’s not here at the moment.” Actually, I felt bad about that. Two seconds later, I waved that guilt away. Still feeling lazy, I got up, stretched and made a trip to the copier to check the toner and paper supply. Returning to my desk, I continued with my self-imposed project of vegetating. In between all this “unofficial activity,” I drank three cups of coffee and two cups of tea. Time: 9:05. After a few trips to the ladies’ room, I felt the need to sham even more. I dug out an old brown clipboard and positioned some papers underneath the fastener.
With pencil in hand, I left my office to roam the halls. Naturally, I found myself outside. The weather was beautiful. Sunshine, blue skies, and cool breezes welcomed me. I circled the building, trying to look like a bona-fide building inspector. “I can’t believe people actually get paid for this.” Ahhh….and there I was….ankle deep in cool grass. Time: Now or never. I threw the clipboard down and slipped off my shoes, planning to run the length of the building and back, a decent distance to recapture that childhood euphoria which always seemed to rejuvenate me. Checking to make sure the coast was clear, I took off at a leisurely pace, letting it all hang out by skipping and swinging my arms a few times.
About halfway through my therapy run, I experienced an awakening. Some might even call it a significant emotional event. A large rock partially buried in the grass met my foot in a head-on collision. I crumbled to the ground in a heap, wailing like I’d just stubbed my toe on a piece of furniture in the dark. Some coworkers poked their heads out their windows. A few came running form the building to help me. I offered no explanation, and no one asked. I’m positive they all knew I’d had a bout of Spring Fever. They helped me up and carried me to a nearby bench. Someone volunteered to drive me to the clinic. I got x-rays and a soft cast on my foot, which had swollen to the size of a loaf of bread.
After getting my prescription filled. I left the clinic with a smile on my face despite the pain. Though I had lost my battle with Spring Fever, I had rightfully earned my medals: two days of bed rest. And if this beautiful weather keeps up, I’m expecting a relapse.