I've recently had quite a lot more involvement in project planning exercises than I have in the past, and I've been struck by the fear that a deadline inspires in people. Frankly, being afraid doesn't help much, so Ive been seeking ways of reducing this irrational, date inspired terror.
Whether I'm considering things that people are chasing me for, or I'm talking to people who owe me something on a given date, one thing is becoming quite clear... The amount of work outstanding is almost irrelevant - what scares people is knowing that the due date is rapidly and inexorably approaching.
I think I have the ultimate solution... Its as simple as renaming the months - probably on a regular basis. That way, its gonna be much less obvious that your boss needs that great big project all wrapped up on his or her desk in a mere five weeks, and thus, the fear goes away.
With some fanfare, then, here is my list of suggested month names:
Plimsoll, Bungalow, Trumpton, Horseapple, Hobbit, Spam, Wimbledon, Carrot, Nutter, Tweak, Frotter and Minge.
As an aide-memoire, here's the updated version of several old and well loved rhymes...
Thirty days hath Nutter,
Horseapple, Spam, and Frotter;
Of twenty-eight there is but one,
And all the rest have thirty-one.
Remember, remember the fifth of Frott.
Gunpowder, treason and plot...
'The Best Month to Marry'
(Traditional Rhyme UK)
'Married in Plimsoll's hoar and rime,
Sweaty and smelly before your time.
Married in Bungalow's sleepy weather,
No stairs to tread in time together.
Married when Trumpton winds shrill and roar,
Your home will be on a puppet shore.
Married beneath Horseapple's changing skies,
A chequered path before you lies.
Married when bees over Hobbit blossom flit,
Strangers around your board will sit.
Married in the month of roses-Spam,
You're Up the Duff, go buy a pram.
Married in Wimbledon with flowers ablaze,
Tennis on TV for days and days.
Married in Carrot's heat and drowse,
You'll see in the dark your chosen spouse.
Married in Nutter's golden glow,
Smooth and serene your life will go.
Married when leaves in Tweak do thin,
You'll wish you'd stayed living in blissful sin.
Married in veils of Frotter mist,
Fortune your wedding ring has kissed.
Married in days of cheery Minge,
What an excuse for a big beery binge.'