Friday, September 26, 2008

Squirrelling Summer Away

A short, squirrelly piece was published in Newsbytes today. Some days I actually feel like a writer.

If the link above does not work, hit the title of this piece. For some reason, the links in the enclosure are acting, well, squirrelly. (couldn't resist. yes, well, of course, I could...but I didn't want to today.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Exit Exams

A comrade of ours, leaving our workplace for bigger and better things, was asked to take an audiogram as part of her exit interview. This was, we assumed, to determine that she suffered no hearing loss during the course of her employment. Why not a vision test, I wondered, since so many of us use computers all day long and we all know what that can do to even a pristine set of eyeballs. What about a height test? ...just to be sure we haven't been squashed shorter by the burdens of our job. I'm thinking there might be a few other qualities that should be evaluated.

1) Bitterness (rated on a scale from everything's-keen peachy to burned-coffee black).
How does the employee feel about their work experience here? Did it live up to, exceed or fall short of their expectations? Were their projects accomplished without undue resistance from other departments, divisions, personnel? Were they repeatedly blamed for failures that occurred under circumstances beyond their control? Were they ever thanked for the times they worked above and beyond the call of duty, even if it was just a teensy bit beyond or merely a meager, "hey, thanks"? Were their efforts sidelined, forgotten, delayed until useless? And then asked, where the hell were those widget designs when we needed them?

2) Illusionment, dis- or otherwise (rated on a scale from rainbow-hued fantasy to bleak).
Has the employee come to accept the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same..or become even worse? Have they realized that every new form that is created in the name of efficiency always needs even more signatures than before? Had they begun to suspect (rightly) that all the previous people (male) in their position had been paid 20 % more than what they (female) were getting? Were they required to be in more than one meeting a day...and still get their work done?

3) Morale (rated on a scale from rah-rah-rah to kill-me-now).
Are they thoroughly demoralized? If so, then they are good to go. If not, maybe they should be required to stay on an extra month to train their replacement--for half-pay; after all, there would be two of them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DFW -9/12/2008

David Foster Wallace--what to say beyond the sorrow, the loss. Anyone who's witnessed this depth of depression, either themselves or in a loved one, can only bow their heads in respect for his struggles. It shows us that, in a way, we are victims (if not prisoners) of our own minds. My thoughts go out to his family, in this darkest of times.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


It gave me great comfort the other day to hear on NPR that the definition of "maverick" is unbranded cow. Unbranded in this sense meaning not a part of society and so out of touch with reality. Able, for example, to deny saying what in recorded fact they have said; able to support a Bridge to Nowhere (too apt to be even funny), then switch positions a few months later ; able to think that an income of $200,000 defines the middle class (of course it might look like that when you own 7 houses; after all who can afford 1 house on $200,000 in the Bay Area?); able to insist one is proposing a whole new platform when it is identical to the previous Administration's, i.e. a cow following the herd after all.