“What? You haven’t even looked at your cards!”
This is not an atypical midnight conversation at Duffy’s Double Down Emporium (serving your Texas Hold’Em needs since 2010). It’s getting late, we’re getting old, somebody’s wife sends a text asking “Where ARE you?”, so the natural response is to start playing loose as a goose by pushing your chips in on every hand.
Instead of sneaking a look at the hole card, determining pot odds, calculating the number of “outs” available, etc., they just lean back and push in. To the rest of us, it’s a blank slate. Nothing to read. Nothing to bluff, bully, or chip-whip. The short-timer just grins his tired grin & checks his Twitter feed. And inevitably…he starts to rake a few pots.
And it’s brilliantly effective, at least in the short-term. Why? Because now they aren’t playing the game, they are just letting events take their course without fearing loss. You see, somewhere around hour 5 of the evening, the reality sets in – it’s just money; the Sun will still rise tomorrow morning.
Have you ever been close to someone at the office who is short-timing their current job? Happy, carefree, amiable, seemingly at peace with the world. Maybe they have an offer from another company. Maybe they decided to go back to school. Maybe they hit the lottery. It’s all the same though; they stopped playing the game, and the scent of freedom is all over them.
And it’s also brilliantly effective, at least in the short-term. Suddenly you hear real opinions and feedback, instead of the highly curated version of corp-speak or gossip. You see smiles and relaxed laughter instead of angst and politicking. For a brief respite, clarity sets in ~ It’s just a job; the Sun will still rise in the morning.
Basically, you get a real view of what this person may actually be like when they’re happy. And happy people are productive people. Obviously, you can’t keep playing blind for too long, that’s just nuts – at some point you need to look at your cards again. But when you do, try to keep the same perspective – you may very well lose this hand, but there’s another deck being shuffled; a new hand is coming.
It’s a simple concept we often forget in our workplace. Be happy – don’t wait for midnight.