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So God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, saying “You ripped it, kids. From now on you must earn your way by the sweat of your brow.”

At least that's the way I heard it. Ever since then, most people have had to work for a living. However, a few weeks ago the rules changed. Now millions of fired/furloughed workers are at home wishing they were back on the job. I hope that before long they will be.

In any event, it always helps if you know the rules of the workplace. Following are a few. Some of them won't fit your own experience. Some of them will.

1. If you work hard eight hours a day for 15 years, you may become a boss and work 15 hours a day.

2. There's always plenty of work when you can't, and never enough when you can.

3. It's easier to solve problems than to solve crises.

4. Hard work never hurt anyone, but neither did loafing.

5. When the federal cow wanders into the barn, somebody's going to milk it.

6. If employers pay peanuts, they get monkeys.

7. Never divorce the boss’s daughter (or son).

8. They told him the job couldn't be done. He rolled up his sleeves and went to it. He tackled the job that couldn't be done — and he couldn't do it.

9. If you have a choice of sinning against God or the bureaucracy, sin against God, because He will forgive you. The bureaucrats won't.

10. The past can hurt. But you can either run from it or learn from it. But sometimes it doesn't make much difference what you do.

11. You are free to choose. But you're not free from the consequences of your choice.

12. The less important you are on the table of organization, the more you'll be missed if you don't show up for work.

13. When you've run as fast as you can up the highest mountain you can find, you will find somebody waiting at the top to deflate you. Such as your boss's favorite nephew.

14. Everybody works for the sales department.

15. Don't worry too much about “the bottom line.” There will probably be a new one tomorrow.

16. An expert is like a eunuch in a harem — someone who knows all about it but can't do anything about it.

17. In a time of grave national crisis, the spirit of public service will rise and the bureaucracy will multiply itself much faster.

POSTSCRIPT: As I assembled the above hodge-podge of semi-wisdom and observation, I found myself hoping that some of the entries will bring a smile to readers' faces. Especially those quotes pertaining to actual jobs — the finding of them, holding on to them, losing them and wondering “What next, dear Lord?" Because as workers around the globe look down the trail ahead, there doesn't seem to be a lot of laughter waiting for most of us.

The pundits I'm following today seem to share a common outlook: "It's a new showtime, folks. The old scripts are no longer working. And the people in charge (today that expression seems laughable) don't seem ready or able to agree on a new one." End of quote.

My suggestions? Write down a few ideas that appeal to you, and tattoo them to your brain. I'm an oldie, and I lean toward the goldies: Be kind. Hang on, Sloopy. We ain't done yet. Hope springs eternal. Hear those hoof-beats? Is it the cavalry coming? Could be.

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