Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I am at the dermatologists’ office. He has left a group practice so has a new office. It’s a little less convenient, but parking is better. My purpose is to try to get as many medical procedures done as possible before the good health insurance runs out at the end of the month. To that end, here I sit.

There are old magazines; a few I haven’t read. A book lays on the glass table: “Life’s Little Instruction Book”, by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. Now here is some prose I can possibly learn something from. The very first quote is one word, just one: “Whistle”. Now whistling…I have a history with whistling which has followed me from job to job. Putting my lips together and blowing gets me in trouble. I am just not conscious of my own whistling. If you whistle and it’s off-pitch, I notice and am liable to begin whistling ON-pitch to encourage you to change your ways. And as with most people, I am sure I always whistle on-pitch. In my final written review at my last job, there it was in black and white, “Leslie needs to present a more professional demeanor, for example, not whistling…” What? When did anyone ever bring this to my attention? I would have made a concerted effort to cease whistling if anyone had ever mentioned it to me. If the boss is that picky and unwilling to have the courage to tell me to my face before printing the comment in an official document, then I need to get out of there. Besides – some people find whistling an attractive personality trait. Whistling can be something endearing, quirky and human…an asset in most workplaces these days. Yep, that job was a bad fit.

Years ago I worked in a food laboratory with a hysterically funny guy named Joe. He and Loryn were my trainers. Being part of his work group made me safe from the cruelest of his humor; but not immune. Years later when Joe finally left the lab, Loryn brought it to my attention that Joe used to walk through the laboratory whistling a tune. He and Loryn would time it…to see how long it took me to pick up the thread of his tune and begin whistling that same tune.


  1. Ah yes you did whistle...and I was one of your admiring fans..................signed
    the food lab

  2. I love to whistle. It is a talent you know....especially if you can whistle on key!

  3. Leslie...luv the blog, and your writing. Funny enough, I'm at a local hospice and our director constantly whistles through the office...you'd be welcome here! Can't wait to read more...you are inspiring!

  4. I feel for you, there! And you DO whistle on key!
    My habit...which makes my teenage son melt, is singing while I shop! I sing to myself, but I've noticed that when people are around, I switch to whistling. :-)Said son, would just like me to be quiet.
    Speaking about "being professional". My daughter has been told that she shouldn't smile as much...it's not professional (in the military).