In 'Consultation'

We're not really checking up on anyone, you understand. But those of us whose job it is to have to talk with people find that around holidays they are mysteriously busy. Individuals routinely available at the push of a Touch-Tone suddenly are in uninterruptable conferences, or unreachably out of town.

Catching them is as futile as trying to bottle fog.

Let's be candid: Holidays and long weekends have a way of nibbling at the workweek. Equally important: What do important people do? Where do they go?

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Reminds us of a professional with a lakeside retreat who didn't care to admit he was long-weekending. He whimsically named his cottage ''Consultation''; that way his secretary could tell non-emergency callers with a straight face: ''I'm sorry but he's in Consultation.''

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