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No smokes, no sex ... be productive
Here's a policy to get costs down and worker energy up, for sure.
January 27, 2005: 12:05 PM EST

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Dear Staff,

You no doubt saw the recent coverage of the no-smoking company? You know, the Michigan one that told its workers to take a test proving they didn't smoke or leave the company.

Well, I'm always on the prowl for cutting-edge management ideas and I think that company has one. Smoking, obviously, adds to the cost of health benefits and cuts into productivity. Therefore we, too, will adopt a strong anti-smoking position in the CNN/Money newsroom. As soon as I can order up some kits, we'll start testing. (Now don't grumble. I, too, will be making a sacrifice. I'll have to give up my annual birthday cigar.)

In accordance with this new policy, I'm going to have to ask you to start using the back entrance. Many smokers -- ones who don't report to me, yet -- congregate at the front entrance to this non-smoking building to engage in their addiction. The dangers of second-hand smoke are well documented. Therefore you have to avoid that and similar areas.

Yes, the back entrance means you have to take the stairs. But that's a good thing, since the new policy also requires you to exercise. And eat right. We will schedule once-a-week weigh-ins. Salt shakers have been removed from the cafeteria. Anyone caught at the McDonald's down the street will be subject to immediate dismissal. No "just salad" exceptions.

Now remember, good health is not just about the physical. It's about the mental too. To that end, the new policy requires you to reduce activities that may add to your stress or anxiety level. So ...

-- No hard rock or metal music, here or at home. Classical or easy listening music only. (Jazz is acceptable as long as there is no fusion or acid elements.)

-- Only G-rated or company-approved movies. These films have been screened for troubling or overly emotional issues that may disturb viewers. None of this year's Oscar nominees are approved ... since the Academy tragically ignored "The Chronicles of Riddick," justifiably so. (See the company intranet site for the full list.)

-- No sex.

-- Healthy habits and attitudes are often dictated by those with whom you associate. Please submit a list of your friends to the HR office. It will be vetted.

-- No pets. The whole avian flu and mad cow thing is kind of freaking us out. This is the perfect chance for prevention.

This new policy will undoubtedly boost our health and, as a consequence, our productivity. I hope you are as excited about it as I am.

______________________________

Allen Wastler is Managing Editor of CNN/Money and appears on CNN's "In the Money." He can be e-mailed at wastlerswanderings@cnn.com  Top of page

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