Showing posts from July, 2019

117. The Layoff Episode

Last week, my department got laid off, along with dozens of others around my organization. In my  job as an internal consultant, I made use of my talents to help the people I cared the most about: the employees (from front line to leaders). It was in the direct help to employees that I derived the most work satisfaction. I will definitely be mourning the loss of the opportunity to help my co-workers for a long time to come. I am unsure what I will pursue. At this moment, many roads seem viable that I hadn't seen before. I am both strengthened and overwhelmed at the choices. I really want to be in a position in which I can continue to help workers achieve better outcomes for their customers and themselves. Extra Panel: The Psychology of it All It had been telegraphed to us that we would lose our jobs, so I had time to build up to it emotionally. Or so I thought! The mixture of shame, disappointment and anger that comes after a moment like this is not possible to prep

116. Travelling Without Moving

Travelling is the activity my wife and I enjoy doing the most. We love everything about the process. We love perusing our Lonely Planet books before a trip, learning some basic phrases (if the destination is in a different language), and having something to look forward to. I find it funny that we frequently find ourselves in very similar places no matter where we go in the world. Dark, underground places with craft beer and cocktails. Honestly, if you wanted to abduct us in a foreign country all you need to do is advertise local craft beer in your basement. We are completely different people when we travel. She is comfortable with a lesser amount of planning (she leaves her planner at home!) and I become observant and experience every pebble of every road we take. Perhaps our Nirvana would be to achieve these states in our own backyard! Another thing that happens to us is that we become ravenous. If we do plan, we mostly plan where we are having our three meals, dessert and mi

115. Murder, She Heard

My wife took me to a live recording of  “My Favorite Murder” in Houston this year. It was a great show, but it was also very eye-opening. First of all, the crowd was 90% female. The hosts, too, are female and hilarious about this dreary subject. Not until recently had I noticed the connection between these kinds of shows and gender. It dawned on me during this show that this is about female survival. By far, the victims in the murders discussed in the show are female and the perpetrators are male. It is something that I barely register in my daily life but is probably at the top of women’s minds frequently. There was a good episode about this in Aziz Ansari's show "Master of None" in season 1. Going home alone is a completely different experience for boys and girls and it sucks a lot. "My Favorite Murder" works with that and evolves it. There’s useful tips embedded in the show, like “f#!k politeness”,  a lot of the murders happen to people that felt some

114. Facing Issues

When I am walking down my work’s hallway, I see lots of faces. Sometimes, out of the blue, my processes break and I let out a mess of a face in return. It’s like a Jim face  if Jim had diarrhea and was afraid people would notice. Where do we learn to do these faces? I sure as hell didn't plan to develop this response to another human being. I must have caught it from some other awkward nimrod. The people in my head are based slightly on Khaneman's 2 system theory . You can find out more in this earlier blog post.   Some days I love the slower, thoughtful #2 (blue) and some days you can’t but appreciate your instinctual, hurried #1 (red). The origins of these creatures can be seen in this popular post , as well. I often think about these two theoretical processes. Number one is the one who types posts in twitter and starts fights with Trump supporters and horrible people. Number 2 is the one who erases these posts before they are sent. Extra post: It’s contagio

113. Truth Bombs

Having iron-clad thoughts written in stone is not as laudable as it seems. For some reason, people seem to idolize personalities with unwavering opinions. I feel it's a dangerous thing to celebrate. We should be ready to update our opinions with the introduction of new evidence. Like most Venezuelans that escaped that socialist dystopia , I was a libertarian when I came to the United States. I believed that all people needed to do was to work really hard and they could make it in a place like the USA. I have learned a lot since then. I have learned that we are definitely not all in equal footing. I came across evidence that hiring practices were racist against black sounding names ( This is a recent  meta-analysis);   redlining has deprived many communities from prosperity and even children are disciplined differently in school . Over time, African Americans also get longer prison sentences . All this paints a picture that is particularly harrowing for black males in th