Sunday, February 17, 2019

Road Apples, #177

Indeed is a drug...Indeed, as in the Indeed job search site.  Once you start receiving the feed in your inbox, well, it indeed becomes something of an addiction.  It makes me wonder if I'll now perpetually be in a job search mode.

I held a baby and put him to sleep...rocking in my arms on Saturday.  As I noted in a somewhat private Facebook posting, there are few things more perfect in all of the world than a sleeping baby.  The experience brought back so many memories when my daughters were infants.  That was, by the way, a long time ago. 

Also in the baby department...I received a text message from my youngest daughter telling me that I am going to be a grandfather...as in she got a new puppy.  He's a lively 5-month old that reminds me of Scrappy-Doo.  As I've said many times before, most dogs are, for the most part, better than most people.

Magnesium L-Threonate...is kind of tough to spell and I don't even try to pronounce it.  What I can say with some authority is that, as a supplement, it does that rare kind of thing:  It actually works.  I've been taking it since late December and I do find that it both helps me sleep and seems to give me something of a boost in the cognition department.  You can read more about it HERE.

Second posting...I actually hadn't planned on writing this posting, let alone publishing it.  In fact, I worked on a posting over the past few days that is 99% ready to go.  The trouble with it is two-fold though:  1) It's on a serious topic, and I'm too tired to edit a serious posting 2) I'm convinced that it's either really good or incredibly stupid.  One or the other.

A brief conversation with my sister-in-law...over the weekend centered around this idea that, when I was younger, I figured that by the time I was in my 50's, I'd have the career thing figured out.  Things would be stable.  It's been my experience, and sadly the experience of a few others I know, that not everyone gets that gift.  See the first entry in this posting.

Books...Every so often I feel this compulsion to re-organize the many books I own.  Just such a compulsion has been in effect lately, brought on in part by the fact that I've been bringing home some of the books that I had at work (1-year rule applies:  If you don't reference it in a year, well, you don't need it there).  Anyway, I have four shelves organized, inclusive of these...

 
There's much more to do, but so far I'm happy with the results so far.  I also have two stacks of books to either donate or add to a future yard sale. 

Corporate welfare and automation...is the underlying thesis of a terrific article I recently read.  You can find it HERE.  There are times when I actually do think our society is on the brink of an awakening of the likes none of us have ever experienced before. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Your Career: 2 out of 3 Ain't Bad

(from THIS site)

I've become convinced of something lately:  In order to be happy (or at least content) at work, you need two of three things to occur.  What are the three things?

Well before I go any further, I'm going to apply Daniel Pink's axiom about compensation, namely that you are getting paid enough such that compensation isn't a front and center issue for you.  This noted, here are the variables.

1.  Your Job.
This is about loving what you do, or for the most part, enjoying much of what you do for a living.

2.  Your Manager.
This isn't the literal title of manager, but rather it's the person you directly report to in the organization.

3.  Your Employer.
This is the organization you work for...what it does, what it stands for, how impacts the community and the world.  Would you be proud to tell others you worked for this organization?

Again, I think the key here is that you need at least two of the three variables to be positive in order to be happy at work.  A few examples.

(+Job)(+Manager)(-Employer)
You love what you do and you have a very supportive manager.  Your employer?  Maybe not so good, but your manager insulates you from the worst of it all, and besides, the day-in/day-out of what you actually do "puts gas in your tank".

(+Job)(-Manager)(+Employer)
This is probably the toughest "stay" scenario, but hear me out:  You love your job, but your manager is an un-supportive pain in the rear-end.  Your organization is wonderful though, and you take pride in telling others where you work.  In this scenario, you can simply let natural attrition take care of Attila the Boss.

(-Job)(+Manager)(+Employer)
You hate your job but work for a great boss in an organization that suits you well and makes you proud to be a part of the team.  In this case, you decide that a new job in the organization is only a matter of time anyway, as your manager is supportive of your desire for career movement.

Of course, there are other scenarios.

(-Job)(+Manager)(-Employer)
You hate your job and your employer basically makes the world a worse place.  However, your manager tries very hard to motivate and assist you.  In this case, it's only a matter of time before you leave, either on your own or through some other means.

(+Job)(-Manager)(-Employer)
Your enjoyment for the work is the only thing keeping you employed.  At some point, the lack of support from your manager and the shame you feel at working for an organization that routinely treats its employees like test dummies will drive you to leave.

(-Job)(-Manager)(+Employer)
This is the toughest of the "2 out of 3" scenarios.  Why?  Because in part, humans have an inherent need for community.  We like to belong to a tribe.  Working for an admired organization that helps make the world a better place represents a mighty attractive tribe to belong to, even when the other variables paint a more dismal picture.

Lastly, we do have the opposite ends of the spectrum.

(-Job)(-Manager)(-Employer)
It goes without saying, but don't stay.  Instead, be of the opinion that your current employer is effectively paying you to find a new job.  That may be the best thing they can do for you.

(+Job)(+Manager)(+Employer)
You've found your home.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

What I Learned from Watching Over 2 Hours of Old Cigarette Commercials


Watching these commercials was actually fascinating, in a terrible sort of way.  When I was younger, well, smoking just seemed so normal.  The commercials only reinforced that fact.  Maybe that was the point of the commercials in the first place.  It also speaks to the influence mass media marketing has had (and continues to have) in our country.  It's as if we're on a quest, on the cheap mind you, to somehow be glamorous, cool, and popular, listening to anyone who can seemingly show us the way.  


In retrospect, it's as if an entire country was caught up in a collective cognitive dissonance, somehow believing that they could inhale burning vegetable matter without any consequences.  It actually goes beyond that when some of the commercials proclaim the number of doctors that use their particular product.  Now it seems naive and stupid, but that conveniently ignores the fact that, in spite of falling numbers...


...we still have a significant number of folks in this country who do smoke.  Just stop into just about local convenience store to get a practical demonstration of this fact. 

Again, I do find the commercials fascinating, but maybe it's the same kind of fascination that sometimes comes with roadkill.  Or a Nickelback video.  In any event, and to be a bit more serious for a moment, I really wish the smoking rate was zero.  None.  Nada.  Zilch.  There are no redeeming qualities associated with smoking, only the very strong possibility of a horrible death.  Granted that we are all going to die one day, but my hope is that it doesn't have to be from literally drowning in your own bodily fluids.

"Hugely difficult thing to post about my mum died 9 weeks ago from lung cancer/copd don’t really know she went in with chest infection was sent home with oxygen and antibiotics found unconscious the next day and never regained proper consciousness but there were moments of clarity, I spent the next three days with her in hospital and she died she basically drowned in her own fluid in front of me and I could do nothing I am obviously very sad but also having horrible flashbacks I don’t know how to move forward..." 
[Citation HERE]

If you are reading this and you smoke, well, please try to quit.  If that doesn't work then try again.  And again.  And again until you are successful.  Life is too short, it's too fragile to throw it away on a broken Madison Avenue promise of glamour and cool.