Late last week, your humble correspondent was diligently patrolling the floors of Taskmaster Towers when I stumbled upon an employee with a most peculiar looking lever-like device.
“What in blue blazes is that ridiculous looking contraption?!” Old Taskmaster asked, looking somewhat incredulously at the odd device, which resembled a stapler or a large pair of garden shears with the blades removed.
“It’s called a hand grip,” the staff member said. ”You squeeze the blades together once or twice an hour to ward off carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s also great for stress relief. You should try one!”
“It also looks utterly ridiculous! Like a mutilated nutcracker even! And if I wanted some therapeutic benefit from cracking something open, Old Taskmaster would set up an open log fire in a quiet corner of the office with some chestnuts! Next to a pile of lobsters! Rock lobsters! Like the B-52s! See in my day, Sonny Jim Crockett, if you put in the exertions required to crack something open you’d get something to eat out of it; none of this new-fandangled post-modern gen-Y cracking things open for no edible reward business! I’m hungry!” Old Taskmaster replied, gruffly.
Needless to say, I was somewhat sceptical about the concept. Nonetheless, the following Monday morning, a box containing a genuine handgrip appeared on Old Taskmaster’s desk.
And I remained sceptical until later that day. Then accounts team had a meeting. About taxation strategy. Thankfully, pulling out the old handgrip not just relieved the stress, it gave the accounts director a less-than-subtle hint to wrap up the meeting. It actually worked!
Since then, it’s been handy in almost every stressful situation.
Rookie sales staff lose a customer? Hand grip! Regulatory compliance forms on Old Taskmaster’s desk? Hand grip! Marketshare figures suggest our competitor, Snoqualmire, has picked up ground against us over the past quarter? Hand grip! Julia Gillard comes on the TV? Hand grip!
Sure, it doesn’t make the world’s politicians honest or the taxes easy to comply with. No root causes are resolved. But it does help in getting a grip on one’s stress.
So, do you have a stress relief mechanism? Be it a stress ball, a punching bag, an exercise regime or a hand grip, having a means to alleviate the stress in a stressful situation can keep you sane in an insane business world.
Get it done – every time you feel under stress.