A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 07, 2009
“No one on their deathbed ever says they wish they had spent more time at the office”

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikiquote
Paul Tsongas (14 February 1941 – 18 January 1997) was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the United States Democratic Party.
(...)
Unsourced
. Nobody on his deathbed ever said, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”

Google Books
The Quote Verifier:
Who said what, where, and when

By Ralph Keyes
New York, NY: Macmillan
2006
Pg. 42:
“No one on his DEATHBED ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business.’”
In the early 1980s, a Massachusetts lawyer named Arnold Zack made this observation to his friend Paul Tsongas. Tsongas, then a U.S. senator, was suffering from the lymphoma that eventually killed him. Zack believes the thought was original to him. Tsongas repeated his friend’s observation in a 1984 book. Although reviewers of this book often noted Zack’s words, few mentioned his name. Tsongas himself sometimes got credit for the saying. Today this popular maxim, usually ending “more time at the office,” is sometimes simply called “an old saying,” “an old joke,” or is introduced with the phrase “as they say...”
(...)
Verdict: Credit Arnold Zack.

Google Books
Heading Home
By Paul Tsongas
New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf
1984
Pg. 160:
“...an old friend, Arnold Zack, wrote to me in a letter, “No one on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business.’”

8 April 1985, Elyria (OH) Chronicle-Telegram, “Don’t put work ahead of children” by Charley Reese, pg. D10, col. 3:
If you want to think about what’s important in life, think about death. As some wise soul once noted, nobody on their deathbed ever said, “Gee, I wish I had spent more time at the office” or “Gee, I wish I had won another award.”

15 April 1985, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “News through rose-colored glasses: Host of CBS’s ‘Nightwatch’ loves being a workaholic” by Ed Bark:
“He said, ‘I began to think about my death, and I realized that nobody on their death bed ever says I wish I’d spent more time at the office.’”

16 April 1985, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, pg. D1:
“I remember reading somewhere that nobody ever said on his deathbed, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.’”

Google News Archive
8 May 1985, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “The Vanished Celebrity” by Lance Morrow, pg. 23A, col. 6:
In October 1984 Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas, 53 (43 is correct—ed.), one of the bright hopes of the Democratic party, learned that he had a mild form of cancer. At first, he decided to plow ahead with his re-election campaign. THen he thought better of it. As a friend told him, “Nobody on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business.’” Tsongas gave up his political career to spend his time with his family. He vanished to the public in order to materialize for his family. 

Google Books
A Hero is More Than Just a Sandwich:
How to Give Up Junk Food Love and Find a Naturally Sweet Man

By Sonya Friedman
New York, NY: Putnam
1986
Pg. 222:
No one lies on his or her deathbed wishing he or she had spent more time at the office.

Google Books
Running Things:
The art of making things happen

By Philip B. Crosby
Published by McGraw-Hill
1986
Pg. 206:
I remember once hearing a doctor say that no one ever said on the deathbed, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”

Google Books
A World of Ideas:
Conversations with thoughtful men and women about American life today and the ideas shaping our future

By Bill D. Moyers
Published by Doubleday
1989
Pg. 20:
But we know that nobody on a deathbed says, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”

Google Books
28 March 1989, , pg. 6, col. 5:
“No one on their deathbed ever says they wish they had spent more time at the office.”

Google Books
Understanding School System Administration
Edited by Kenneth A. Leithwood and Donald F. Musella
Published by Taylor & Francis, Inc.
1991
Pg. 175:
On their deathbed, nobody ever says, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”
(anon)

Google Books
Beating the Street:
The best-selling author of One up on Wall Street shows you how to pick winning stocks and develop a strategy for mutual funds

By Peter S. Lynch with John Rothchild
Edition: revised, illustrated
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1993
Pg. 5:
You remind yourself that nobody on his deathbed ever said: “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”

Google Books
Don’t Miss Your Kids!
By Charlene Ann Baumbich
Published by InterVarsity Press
1994
Pg. 22: 
I once heard someone say, “Nobody on a deathbed ever wished they had spent more
time at the office.”

Ezine Articles (February 23, 2008)
I Should Have Spent More Time at The Office!
By Dr. Gary S. Goodman
(...)
In much of the wildly optimistic, goofball, New Age literature, you still see the once funny saying that on your deathbed, the last words you’ll utter will NOT be:

“Gee, I wish I spent more time at the office!”

Tell that to the distressed Midwestern homeowner I mentioned earlier, and to millions of her contemporaries, who are facing the prospect of fighting to stay in, or to get back into the workplace.

Somehow I’m sensing that not staying employed long enough is precisely what many will be lamenting.

U.S. News & World Report
I Wish I’d Spent More Time at the Office
August 14, 2008 01:06 PM ET | Liz Wolgemuth
We’ve all repeated the phrase: “No one ever said on their deathbed, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office,’” but do we really agree with it?

Lucy Kellaway called it “sentimental pap” recently in her Financial Times column, and I’m tempted to agree with her.

After all, don’t you want to take out the BlackBerry and check E-mail during the subway ride home? We could spend the time reading Hemingway or composing sonnets—but we’d rather check in to see if there was any response to an afternoon presentation, or if a client responded to that recent E-mail. It’s desire, not drudgery, that drives us.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Sunday, June 07, 2009 • Permalink