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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

If It’s All-Star Broke, Fix It

This week, Major League baseball pauses their season for a thing they call the “All-Star break”. This is where all the teams stop playing for three days, save for a handful of high-performing individuals, who get together to schmooze and strut and play an exhibition.

This is because baseball is a game, and the reward for playing a game well is playing an extra game in front of an awful lot of rich, drunk people. And good for them, I guess.

The players, not the rich people.

Well, okay. Not the rich people in the stands. The other rich people.

Anyway. This All-Star break got me thinking: why don’t we do something like it for regular jobs? Why not have an All-Star break at the office? Except, make it almost entirely the complete opposite.

My humble proposal for a corporate All-Star extravaganza:

Step One: Decide who the All-Stars are.

In baseball, this is accomplished by asking regular fans — generally less rich, but at least as drunk as All-Star fans — who they think is best. In baseball, that’s a terrible idea; most fans think only their team’s players are good, and the rest only know who they saw on the cover of Madden.

“The rest aren’t very bright, frankly.”

That’s right, the rest don’t know the difference between baseball and football. The rest aren’t very bright, frankly.

For business All-Stars, though, it’s a great idea. Don’t ask the bosses. A lot of bosses think the people doing the best work are a lot of bosses. You need to dig down to find the real scoop. Ask the mailroom clerks. The cubicle jockeys. The elevator button polishers.

Yes, a lot of them will vote for themselves, too. But some won’t, so you take whoever else they pick. Does it matter, really? Are we reinventing democracy here, or what? No. Move on.

Step Two: Schedule an All-Star break.

Baseball has this bit all wrong — the middle of July is an awful time to throw a celebration. If you do it inside, everybody will see the sun shining and want to be outside. If it’s outside, everyone’s sunburned foreheads and pools of ass sweat will make them remember why humans invented inside in the first place. You can’t win.

Also, you don’t want to schedule over winter holidays, because people seem pretty attached to those, and anyway there might be three feet of snow on the ground in December, and that’s no good.

Fall’s okay, but it’s back to school season, so the office workers with kids will be celebrating getting the squirts out of the house for eight hours a day, and your precious little “All-Star” nonsense will pale in comparison.

Ergo, the perfect time for an office All-Star break is mid-March, specifically the three weekdays immediately following St. Patrick’s Day. Why does that matter? Because of:

Step Three: Reward your All-Stars.

Work is no game. So you don’t make your All-Stars do more of it, while everyone else sits on their asses to watch. Instead, you do the opposite.

Meaning, those three days in March are regular work days for everyone besides the All-Star crew. The schlubs who don’t make the grade have to schlep themselves in like usual, clock in, cry under their desk for eight hours and clock out. Same as always.

So what do the All-Stars do?

Whatever the hell they want. Could they come to the office, get drunk and watch everybody else doing their work? Sure, if they’re deranged. But they’re All-Stars, so they’re probably not. Instead, they’ll probably sleep late. Drag St. Paddy’s Day into a full week of fun. Write a book. Cook paella. I’m probably a schlub; how the hell would I know what these people want to do?

The point is, they can spend their All-Star break however they like. Maybe, if everyone adopts this totally reasonable, practical and handsome plan, they can even hang out together. All the world’s corporate All-Stars, partying in the streets, while the rest of the world drudges through half a week of work. It’s beautiful.

Is it better than baseball’s? Absolutely. Is it a good incentive? You betcha. Would most people be motivated to work harder for fifty-one weeks during the year for a shot at partying the hell down in the fifty-second? Yes.

No, I know. The math doesn’t make sense. But some of these are still the people who think Odell Beckham Jr. plays third base for the Orioles. Don’t overthink this. They sure as hell won’t.

Personally, I’m a big fan. My only beef with this outstanding plan — other than no one adopting it, discussing it or even reading this far along to learn about it — is that March is still eight months away right now.

And also, I probably wouldn’t be an All-Star. And now I really want to play the new Madden.

Anyway, enjoy the baseball hiatus thingy next week. It’s not the All-Star break we deserve. But it appears to be the only All-Star break anyone particularly wants.

Maybe I can work a home run derby into the office thing. Would that help? Anyone?

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