A week or so ago, I think somebody at a Romney event suggested amending the Constitution to include business experience as a requirement to be President. It will go nowhere, (and I think requiring military service would make more sense, but I’m not sure how I feel about that) but it was something that – like countless other seemingly worthless bits of information – ended up floating around in my head. A couple of hours ago it collided with an observation I made years ago. In all the places I’ve worked, I’ve always been at the bottom or maybe an inch up; you know, down where all the work is done. Anyway, the observation I made was that it seems that the higher up the corporate ladder someone is, the more clueless they are. We at the bottom would be working and some corporate schmuck would send out some new policy. When it got to us down at the bottom, we’d take a look at it and say, “That’s fucking stupid.” About half the time we would just continuing doing what we had been doing – because it worked – and would forget about this new policy. But if we were stuck with the new policy, we would work around it to make sure stuff got done. Now, these may just have been my experiences, but I’d bet most of you think the people up the corporate ladder are idiots. Getting back to the business experience Constitutional amendment, Washington is already full of out-of-touch idiots, why would we want to send more there?
Archive for the Work Category
Insomnia isn’t that big a deal. There were times when I was working where I would go to bed, not because I was tired, but because I had to be at work in a few hours. I would lay there and my mind would wander. And when my mind wanders, I often come up with story ideas or ways to get myself out of jam I had written myself into. I should get up and write, part of me would think. But I need to be at work in a few hours, another part of me would counter. So instead of doing either, I’d lay there debating with myself. But now if I can’t sleep and I have an idea, why shouldn’t I just get up and write it? So I’ll get up at noon instead of ten, it’s no big deal.
I believe it is mandatory for me to play this song today:
Off and on over the years, I’ve wanted to sit down and try to write out my thought processes. I think it would be a great idea to give people a peek inside my skull. Unfortunately, something else usually comes up and I move on to it. But I had an interesting train of thoughts the other day and I figured I should write it up. So here goes.
The other day at work, one of my coworkers and I had a brief conversation. It was brief for two reasons. One, it was the end of the day and I wanted to leave, and two, I could tell we had a difference of opinion and talking about it right there wouldn’t change that. Basically, he made a statement about a program that I agreed with, in part. I would say the program failed one out of a hundred times, but he seemed to think it was more like ninety out of a hundred times. Therefore, we drew different conclusions about the effectiveness of this program, but neither one of us had the hard facts to confirm our point. So I just said, “See ya,” and left for the day.
I went to the local coffee shop, bought a cup of Earl Grey and a cookie, and sat with my writing notebook. There were a few things I needed to work on, so I tried to organize my thoughts, but I didn’t have much success. Instead, I just started jotting down any odd thing I could think of. For example, the first note I made was, “The rich will have robotic butlers.” This came from a couple days earlier when I thought of how years ago the rich had butlers, and housekeepers, and gardeners, and cooks to maintain their house. Of course now, the not so rich can still have maids, and landscapers, and they can have their food delivered to them. And while the not so rich can have a robotic vacuum cleaner, in a decade or two, the rich may well have android butlers. At first, they’ll be the only ones who can afford them. And I just wondered what societal changes will come of that. It’s an interesting idea, but I couldn’t really focus on it, so I moved on to other things.
The next thing I glanced at was trying to come up with some article ideas for my King of Prussia Writing Examiner column. Perhaps the android butlers carried over, but I remembered how one of the first stories I posted on my Ficly profile to get notice was “Death by Sexbot.” I believe at the time I wanted to write a blog post about how just putting sexbot in your title gets attention. Titles that increase traffic, that could work as an article. Of course, I’m not entirely sure how Examiner.com would take an article where I mention sexbots. There would be no graphic details, but some places can be a little tricky with their morality.
I then wrote down several things I needed to do, and comment how I had too many ideas in my head. That would be a great idea for a story, except I’ve already written several: “Curse,” “Cursed,” “Do I Have an Idea for You,” “Not Another One,” “Overwhelmed,” and “So Little Time.”
After a few more scribbled notes, I set my pen down and just stared out the window at the early spring afternoon. Eventually, my train of thought came back to my coworker. If the two of us spent the time to fully explore the details of the program, I’m sure we could agree on the truth, whether it was closer to what he believe, or what I believed, or as is most likely, somewhere in between. While I’m sure that is true with him, it’s not true with other people. Almost jokingly, I wrote “Reality” on one side of the page and “Most people” on the other side. I even came up with a quote, “You are a part of reality, even if you don’t accept it.”
As I sat smiling at my wit, a guy at the next table said something about a cell phone. At the mention of this device people can’t live without that makes them all interconnected, the recurring thought of humanity developing into a hive mind returned to me. And I wondered if the differences of opinion people have would be washed out in the hive mind. But then I realized that if you look at the internet, almost the opposite has happened. So I wondered if instead of one hive mind, there would be many. As a basic example, a Democratic Hive Mind vs. a Republican Hive Mind. Of course, not everyone will automatically join a hive mind, which will slowly grow as they absorb individuals. And I wondered if enough radical individuals joined a hive mind, could they swing the consensus view of it? Would that just be politics as usual, or a form of terrorism? All the while I wondered what story I could make of this.
At this point, I had finished my tea and was starting to give myself a headache. So I closed my notebook, and went to buy some groceries. But that’s a brief overview of about an hour inside my head.
I’m currently in a personnel shuffle at work. I won’t try to explain it, I’m not sure if the people “in the know” know what the hell is going on, but it is a process that will take one to three months (best estimate.) So, in the first step of the process, on Thursday I took my box of stuff to a different lab. That’s not my final destination, so I’m pretty much leaving everything in the box. Which is good, because my new desk is basically a filing cabinet for the department I’m in now.
Today I had a few minutes to kill, so I was looking through the drawers seeing if there was anything interesting. There were folders labeled with things like, “International Shipping,” “Training Logs,” and “Equipment Checklists.” Then there was a folder marked “Goals and Achievements.” Curious, I opened it to find it empty.
A friend of mine recently told me something that on one hand makes sense, but on the other is completely insane. His boss (we’ll call him A) told him not to work so hard. A manages a couple people and they have a pretty steady work load. But recently – as occasionally happens – their output exceeded their input and for a couple days they just had busy work. A seemed worried that if his boss found out his team had downtime, some would be moved to other, overworked departments. (My friend’s company isn’t hiring so they use internal shuffling to handle the workload.)
So, for A to keep control of his mini-empire, his employees need to be less productive. As I said, on one hand it makes sense …
Today I took the afternoon off from work so I could have lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in three years or so. We spent over an hour talking about writing, the classes she’s taking, humorous/horrific stories from when we worked together, etc. Afterward, I spent almost two hours in a coffee shop critiquing stories for one of my writing groups and revising one of my stories. I then wandered in a book store for an hour. All in all, it was a very pleasant and enjoyable day. I enjoyed it MUCH more than, say, Monday afternoon when I was at work. Isn’t there an old saying about finding something you love doing and then figure out a way to get paid for it? I don’t know if I could have lunch with friends, write in coffee shops, and wander bookstores everyday, but If I could get paid to do that, I would be a happy man.