EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Don’t be lazy

In a sense, a sailboat isn’t a complicated machine. Compared with other means of transportation such as cars or planes, there really isn’t much to a sailboat. Sails are pretty simple, and if you are like me, you don’t use the motor if you can avoid it. (We only burned about 50 gallons of diesel this summer, including our vacation. How much wear and tear could a motor get being used that little?)

And, laziness tends to go right along with the summer, doesn’t it? And after a long day in the hot sun, it is easy to forget that this “thing” on which your life depends may need some attention when you would much rather head off for a nice hot shower or for a frozen drink at the marina pool. BAD idea!

Getting lazy when boating can spell disaster. Getting everything “ship shape” before you do take time off is vitally important to your ability to really relax.

Properly putting everything away, checking the oil and seeing what things that might have accumulated under the motor on a daily basis can save you grief later. (Unlike a car, that which drips off the motor in a boat goes into a pan.) Where did that water, antifreeze, or diesel fuel come from? Good question, and one for which you better find an answer. Unlike life on land, Mighty Mouse isn’t going to come to your rescue out on the water. Depending on the conditions it can be anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours before anyone finds you, more than enough time to come to an untimely end.

Getting everything put in its proper place and turning off those things that should be off and turning things on that should be on are part of my routine when out on vacation or when coming back from a day of sailing. And, is the rubber dingy safe? Is it rubbing against the dock or in anyone’s way? Good question, and again, one you better answer or you will be very unhappy later on.

I am frequently aghast at the presumed casualness of others, whether we are talking about boats or job search. I still can’t believe that there is even one member of The FENG who hasn’t figured out how to create an outgoing signature, and yet it seems about 75% of our members haven’t. It is also hard to believe that many members don’t have enough common sense to rename files they send with their name – MatthewRBud.doc and not resume.doc, or the ever popular resumeRev57.doc. (Now he really worked on that one.)

Like being out on the water, job search is a time when you are cast adrift from your usual land based securities. There is frequently no safety net of an administrative assistant to correct your spelling and check your grammar. No, all of the details are now in your hands.

So, don’t get lazy on yourself. Your fate is in your hands, and EVERYTHING that comes off your desk is assumed to come from you. If you have failed to take the time to write “Dear Matt” or “Dear Mr. Bud,” shame on you. “Current occupant” or “Dear Sir or Madam,” when you should know the difference, doesn’t reflect well on you or your candidacy.

If you haven’t taken a few short moments to customize your cover letter, the recipient isn’t the one who is going to lose out, it is you.

Mental laziness or being “thrifty” isn’t going to get you where you need to be.

You need to be on the top of everyone’s list. Taking short cuts that “save you time” requires that you consider how these time savers affect how the world perceives you.

Let’s hope it is one of precision and thoughtfulness and not one of laziness. If it is, I just may not want you as one of my shipmates.

Regards, Matt

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