I hate August. Yes, I know it seems an irrational thing to do, to hate a month but really it is the most loathsome month of the year. If anyone is going to vent their feelings about a month it is usually February but I have no issues with February. It’s short, the days are getting noticeably lighter, you might actually see some proper winter weather and at least it’s not January! Good luck to it.
Now back to August. What are my main grudges with this month? Let me tell you:
1. The weather. Last year was a rare exception, it was actually half decent. That is not the norm. I just had to put on a coat I usually dig out in October, to trudge through the piddling rain to get a pint of milk from the local shop. This is the actual reality since August decided it was going to stand in as the ‘European Monsoon’ season. Come the 1st of September, the clouds will part, the sun will appear and the following weeks will be delightful mix of warmth and low humidity gorgeousness. Just in time for everyone to traipse off back to school and work.
2. Nothing gets done. Currently, at least two of our departments have come to a virtual standstill. This is not down to a lack of work, far from it they have loads on, the problem is that there is no one out there to respond to anything. That client who has been chasing you around for the last month saying everything is urgent? Well, they flew off to Malaga two days ago and didn’t tell you. Meanwhile half the legal profession are sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for the other half to come back from two weeks of being soaked in Cornwall or suffering 42 degrees of heat-stroked lunacy in Sicily, so they can then reverse places and everyone has another two weeks of zilch happening.
3. Covering everyone else’s work. Unless you have an urge to find out the intricacies of your Firm’s IT systems, or have wanted to answer the phones every 30 seconds, get involved with the personal life of a member of staff, deal with someone else’s grumpy client or be berated by the local paper shop/milkman/delivery driver over some obscure unpaid bill which someone forgot to sort out before flying off to Magaluf for their fortnights sangria and snog-fest, you want to be calling in sick for the month! No one leaves holiday notes anymore either.
4. The death of social media. You may not get the silly season any longer in the national media, though it’s arguable that the likes of Trump, Kim Jong-un and our own political leaders have made it silly season all year round, you do get it on social media. If you want to witness nothing but very obvious ‘one-upmanship’ on a massive scale, hang out on Facebook during August. Sadly for the contenders, unless you are wind-surfing off the coast of a five star resort in Cambodia or getting the usual photo of hot-dog legs over an infinity pool in Phuket, you won’t even get noticed darling! It’s not about sharing the experience, it’s about grinding your friends and neighbours noses in it… and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! I now take a sabbatical away from the whole ghastly thing for the month.
Yep, the whole wretched month of August is designed to exhaust, exasperate, depress and reduce you to a state of quasi-desperation. My advice? Turn off everything, get some decent beer and wine in and sit it all out with a good book. Bring on September! Bring it on…….
Chris Hunter – rhw Solicitors LLP August 2017 (yuck! 😉 )