Happy New Year!

Ahhh, it is the middle of summer….time to enjoy the long days, experience the outdoors and spend time with our families. Albert Einstein discussed the relativity of time in his General Theory of Relativity. This work describes the perception of time as relative to the situation in which the time is observed. First hand experience with this phenomenon occurs when one must wait in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, time slows to a crawl. Contrast this with a busy day at the office, when the day is over long before our to-do list has even been dented. Another way to witness what Einstein refers to as “time dilation” is to observe the effect of aging. Einstein and other physicists use what are called “thought experiments” to describe abstract events. A thought experiment would be something like this: Two people of the same age begin work on the same day. One remains an engineer, while the other climbs the corporate ladder. After the twenty years, the two reunite. The engineer has aged about 20 years. The one who climbed the corporate ladder has aged about 40 years, lost his family, has achieved lifetime frequent flyer status, has lots of stock options, missed his kids' graduation, works Saturdays, and is busy bucking for that next rung…cool. Since executives have little control of their lives outside of work, they like to control everything at work. Once word got out that time is relative, they flexed their corporate muscle to redefine the calendar. No longer is January the beginning of the year, “we want …ummm…July to be the beginning of the year!” “All those in favor say ’aye’ … those opposed ‘nay’… it is passed”. And so it is. A declaration to the peasant employees follows: “Hear Ye, Hear Ye…We now declare, that from this day forward, that the year shall begin on the first day of July and shall come to a close on the last day of June... and, this shall be referred to as the Fiscal Year.”… (You always wondered what goes on in those board meetings. I understand they are working on their own currency next.) Of course, when we communicate outside the kingdom to our customers we must still use the normal or “Calendar Year”. To facilitate the communication of this information, some neat abbreviations have been devised. Any year information is now preceded by an F for Fiscal or a C for Calendar. So we have FY08 for Fiscal year 2008, 1HFY08 for first half of Fiscal year 2008, and Q3FY08 for third quarter Fiscal year 2008. Of course one must understand the transfer function to convert Fiscal to Calendar in order to communicate to your customer (Q2FY08 = Q4CY07 for example). Perhaps we should consider extending this to months so that FJan = CJuly. And really, since work begins on Monday, we should redefine Fiscal Sunday to be Calendar Monday. Come to think of it, the work day starts at 8:00, so maybe Fiscal 12:00 a.m. should be Calendar 8:00 a. m. Thanks to the insight of the upper echelons and the introduction of the Fiscal calendar, the clarity of the marketing material has greatly improved. Hopefully, if the currency thing works out, it will take care of those boring financial slides next. You know, work is just too easy without keeping track of this kind of stuff. Hey, I’ll meet you for lunch, how about Fiscal 4:00a.m.on Calendar Wednesday?