Ode to Spring
By Stanley Bing

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Ah! At last, you have come! Where have you been? You're late! You know I hate it when you're late!

Spring! Nice to see ya! Welcome, little tiny buds bursting forth from branch and twig! Even though here in New York City it teeters daily between sunny mildness and the brisk, rainy tweak of winter's cold hand--here's to you, season of growth and rebirth! The thrush sings its melodious tune and all of us little forest creatures peep out from our thawing holes and stretch in the warmth of the bounteous new season! It's Spring! And how in the world are we expected to work?

How about cleaning? Everybody likes to do a bit of spring cleaning. It looks a lot like work because you're shuffling around really busy-busy-busy like the titmouse in its teeny nest, but in actuality all you're doing is what housekeepers have been accomplishing from time immemorial. So let's look at that dusty old desk and see what can go. Goodness, what a cold and crusty mess the mean spirit of Winter has left behind! The weird thing, ye gods of planting and furrowing, is how many of these hoary relics seemed important at the time. Bills--sign them and put them in the red folder! Letters from angry customers--the heck with them! It's too beautiful outside to grapple with the bad vibrations frozen in yesterday's frost.

And whoops. Lookit here. A note from Brubaker about the upcoming meeting with distributors in Boca. I forgot about that thing. I don't know why I put it out of my mind, but I did. They gave me 15 minutes on the second day, and I don't have a clue what I should be talking about, because it's Spring and a young man's fancy turns to ... whatever. I'll call in Nadel and McVee and let them think about it for a couple of days. That should get it off my plate.

So here's to you, O fruitful season of sweetness and goodness me. I've got a conference call with Ned and Fred and Betty and Biff and Gregg and Steve and Edna in about five minutes, preparing for tomorrow's meeting in the upstairs conference room with Mr. Roover. What a bummer. We have to go over, let me see now ... here's the agenda in my Outlook Inbox ... 12 separate points.

I don't know about you, O Spring, but that just seems excessive to me. I mean, the bees are hopping from one succulent bud to the next, and I don't wanna talk about pricing structures in the fourth quarter! Man!

Ah, redolent breath of warmth and beauty! Here's to you, and what the hell is this thing. Maybe it's not such a good idea to clean things up in celebration of the new equinox and all that stuff. I just found a huge folder of God knows what all. Let's see. Oh, jeez. I really should have answered that one. And that one. And that one. Well, I've gotten along without doing it so far, and I guess another couple of days won't matter. You know what? Maybe none of it matters! Maybe nothing matters but the heat in the blood and the juice in the vine and the pollen in our nostrils and ah-choo!

Dat's wight. Here's a big old sdeeze to you, Spring! Because my eyes and nose are running so fast I can hardly catch them, and I have tons to do in spite of the fact that I can't see very well or breathe too good, and it feels as if I have to push against all of Nature to keep my head from detaching from my body.

So please! Leave me alone, season of rebirth and moisture and worms rising from the ground to lie around on the steamy sidewalks! Speaking of which, what am I going to do about the whole situation with Horton? The guy definitely put a hex on me with Ned. I don't know what he said, but Ned hasn't been the same toward me since the first week of April. I'm gonna have to find out what the problem is before it gets any worse.You can't allow a situation like that to grow its winding way around your career like a poisoned vine, pushing big black blooms heavy with acrid fumes into your face before you know it!

Look. Yeah, I know, here's a big fat huzzah to you, O sprites and nymphs and little green elves cavorting in the fields and streams, but the reality is that it's a steady 72 degrees here day in and out, no matter what nonsense is going on in the world 38 stories down, and I've got the usual nugatory stuff to accomplish--calls to make and clients to see and customers to beat up and coddle, and creepy assassins to watch with both eyes wide open, and you can't do any of that when you're singing and dancing a cheery bacchanal to the glories of the circadian rhythms of life.

So here's to you, Spring! I salute you! Surround me with the songs of innocence and experience, but get out of my head! Please! Before I go nuts and kiss our controller!

Stanley Bing is an executive at a FORTUNE 500 company he'd rather not name. He is the author of two recent books: The Big Bing, a collection of essays, and You Look Nice Today, a novel. He can be reached at stanleybing@aol.com.