A few weeks ago I was over at my friend Ellen's house and I remarked that she seemed to be buying premium cat litter for her two cats. She looked me straight in the eyes and said "Never. Skimp. On. Cat. Litter." We laughed and then she said "In fact that's Ellen's Law number five." I had forgotten that Ellen had laws, even though she has had them as long as I have known her (although she can never remember what all of them are).
I decided it would be interesting to write Cantabridgienne's Laws. In a way they were already written, since there are several rules I try to live by-I just needed to put them down on "paper?" in HTML? I call them Laws although it would be more appropriate to take a Pastafarian view and call them "I'd prefer it if you did's."
So here are my laws, although they're more guidelines than statements-there's nothing in them about how a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
1) What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Consider this question repeatedly throughout whatever project you are working on.
2) Find useful partners. You will never work as well on your own as you will with someone else to check your work.
3) Have snacks available. Eat them *before* you are starving.
4) Grunt Step Grunt Step gets you over the top. (This one is actually one of Dad’s Laws.)
5) All questions are allowed If and Only If all answers are allowed. Alternatively, don’t ask the question if you are not okay with all possible answers. (This one is also an adaptation of one of Dad’s Laws.)
6) Wherever possible, tell the truth. Try to state your actual concerns or interests instead of making up a story that you think will “play better.” It makes things easier.
a. Try to use “I am concerned” or “I feel” paired with “does this make sense?” or “do you understand why I might feel that way?”
7) Find the rule set that is applicable. Read the documentation or the regulation or the syllabus. Do this before you start the project.
8) Save the packaging.
9) Do your homework up front. If you have done a good job of planning you can reuse your good efforts later on. This works for everything from school work to SEC audits.
10) “There is no ‘Try.’ Do or do not.” Judge yourself and others by what you or they have actually done. Do not be guilty of Mauvais Foi. (Yoda and Jean Paul Sartre).
11) If you want to make something happen-make a plan, even if your plan is to tell your friends or your calendar to remind you to think about the project again in three months.
12) When you are on stage stay in character.
13) Carry a pair of comfortable shoes.
14) Do try to see the humor in the situation. It's not funny now, but maybe it will be in a few hours/drinks. They call it the Human Comedy-not the Human Tragedy for a reason.