I just got back from my February Essentials shopping spree.
Earlier today I was on the couch with my wife seeing James Earl Jones guest star in our favourite TV comedy. During the commercial we saw a public announcement that asked, “Did you know all children’s car seats in Canada have an expiry date?”
I was very surprised. I still do not know how they can come up with a date and set it as “it is OK to use before this day” and “not OK after this day”. Sounds sort of silly to me, but my wife told me several things have expiry dates, even our pillows.
We argued… but not for long. Fast forward a couple of hours and I bought two pillows:
The one on the top is for my wife… the one on the bottom is also for my wife. She gets to keep both because I said I don’t think pillows expire every two years, so I don’t get to replace mine. I bought them as a surprise for my wife. She was not with me this afternoon.
I am a nice guy… so I am not going to point to the fact that nowhere in any of those boxes or the user’s manual can I find the fine print saying “Expires in two years”.
February is Valentine’s month so I am going to let that one go.
I bought the pillows at Home Sense on Queensway, then crossed the plaza to a huge bookstore called Chapters. I still order most of my books online but I like going to Chapters and walk around. I am not sure it counts as a ritual but it is definitely something I really enjoy even if I don’t buy anything.
The pillows cost more than I thought. For the same amount I bought six books. I read the first chapter of Godin’s “The Icarus Deception” in store after I had already decided to buy it… great opening! He kept the tone of his closing chapter in “Linchpin”.
After watching Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, I knew I was going to get one of his books. The first one I picked up was actually on the same topic covered in the talk, “Start With Why”.
I read through really quick and some of the phrases were the same used in the lecture, word for word. I put it back, walked away but then something odd happened. I felt bad. I went back and picked up another of Simon’s books, “Leaders Eat Last”.
I am sure I am going to love Godin’s book… and not so sure about Sinek’s – maybe he said everything he had to say in “Start With Why”. At any rate, those are the last two books I am going to read in this batch.
My next uni class starts in February and it is on building/managing teams so I am going to read “The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams” and “Harvard Business Review’s Top 10 Must Reads on Teams” before the first class.
I am enrolled to take the next level of Managing People in July. I am still working on summarizing Gilbert’s Human Competence for that class, but I bought the “HBR’s Top 10 on Managing People” because there is an interesting chapter on the Set-Up-To-Fail Syndrome.
Also in my February Essentials… a little card for Valentine’s Day and a box of chocolates. Chocolates are my favourite things to get my wife… she is not a huge fan and I end up eating most of them. : )
This thing with the pillow expiry date is really bugging me. It is pretty safe to say 95% of the people you see out there own a pillow. If you account for the fact some even have two or three… and each gets replaced every two years, where are all these used pillows going? I am going to call the number on the box and ask them first thing Monday morning.
I need to get to the bottom of this mystery.
My next post will be on the fundamental similarity between Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”, “The Catcher in the Rye” and Calvin&Hobbes.