Every year, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament rolls around. And every year, the stodgy coots at Challenger Gray and Christmas, the nation’s oldest consulting firm, insist on reminding us how much the tournament costs America in lost workplace productivity. This year, they’re claiming the figure is $1.8 billion.
This annual prediction is a bit dubious and smacks of bitterness. Redhook suspects the sticks-in-the-mud at CG&C were rarely invited to parties in high school and silently seethe while everyone else in the room is laughing. They’re right about one thing, though: the broad reach of the Tournament across all age groups and interest levels. Just the other day, in fact, Redhook overheard Bernice in Accounting muttering something like, “Watch out for those 5-12 matchups. They always bite me in the ass.” Thanks, Bernice. Good advice.
Redhook prefers to see the positive side of March Madness in the workplace. Employee bonding, for one thing. Discovering hidden skill sets, for another. Take Redhook’s friend Tom. He’s reasonably good at his job. But he is BETTER THAN ANYONE ON THE PLANET at organizing March Madness pools and college football bowl game tournaments. If Tom could take the energy he puts into college sport pools and apply it to curing cancer, developing hydrogen fuel cells or finding peace in the Middle East, we’d all be saved. Instead, he focuses on making sure people get their $25 in on time. Yes, he takes Pay Pal.
Redhook is particularly excited that his hometown University of Washington Huskies made the field. We wish them luck against a tough Marquette team this Thursday in San Jose. The game is scheduled to start at 4:20 Pacific, so Redhook thinks he may be leaving the office early for a “meeting” that day.
When it’s all said and done, Redhook suspects it’ll be Kansas versus Kentucky in the final. We’ll see how that prediction holds up after the first two weekends. Good luck in your brackets.