Showing posts from 2020

152. Faking It

I am not a fan of  “Fake it till you make it.” It implies a lot of things that are against my credo. It is inauthentic, it creates an unsafe environment and it hides gaps in knowledge. By this point in my blog post, I know I come off as a total party pooper so I am going to do what I do best: double down.

It is inauthentic to act like you know something you don’t. I am certain that being a faker mcfakerson will wear down your soul. The true way to learn how to do something is to fail, and fail a lot. And to ask lots of questions. I have a feeling that focusing on “Fake it till you make it” ends with  people getting the imposter syndrome. Think about it, con-men and employees use the same phrase. Do you really want to have the same philosophy as Bernie Madoff?

If you are prompted to “Fake it till you make it” in your workplace, your workplace may have an unsafe environment. A safe environment is one in which you can admit you know nothing and get the help you need to gain skills and k…

151. Plagued

Generations before us had widespread worldly wars, warm and cold.  Today feels like the anxious times we were told we were fortunate not to have. And there is some beauty to it.

My friends and family are losing their jobs. My job has become incredibly stressful and demanding (I work in healthcare).  Our parents and grandparents are at risk. This is some scary stuff. So it feels bad to make light of this situation. I am going to, but only because I am an idiot who doesn’t know how to cope with things.

There is something about this current ambiance that I am responding well to. There’s something to knowing everyone is going through anxiety together that I find comfortable. I always feel guilty for feeling anxious with such a privileged life. I have met the love of my life, I’ve achieved some economic success, and I get to do the things I enjoy. Guilt about anxiety, begets anxiety, begets guilt, begets anxiety. Today, though, I can feel that we are all vibing similarly. And we are hooki…

150. Waiting for you

Isn’t it weird how there’s always someone waiting at the bottom of the pit?  I know this is a snarky, cynical look at recovery but... I  don’t actually have a but, I’m just an a-hole sometimes. I don’t really care that people need culty things to help them get out of rock bottom, it’s that they become super annoying about it. Every person’s path is so completely different, what one person is lacking is not comparable to what most other fellow humans are lacking. And yet, you always get that guy that “Bro, do you even lift”’s you. Or that person that assures you, their church is different, their church is the true path. Or that guy that assures you that focusing solely on work took him out of his despair.

No Chad, I don’t think going to the gym 6 times a week is going to solve this ennui that I feel right now. This transitory feeling that life is just an experiment conducted by an AI simulation and I am in the control group, yeah I don’t think I can just church that one out, Nancy. Th…

149. Victim Blaming

It’s very easy to blame an employee for not knowing what to do. If you think about it though, isn’t it kind of the leader’s job to make sure that employees know what to do? 
Clarity is one of the best gifts a manager can give to an employee, absolute certainty about what “good” looks like. For some reason, it’s rare to find a leader who has internalized this. 
 More often than not, I see leaders that fail to see their role in the confusion of an employee. Saying things like “They should know better” or “It’s common sense” does nothing to grow and develop employees. Many times, leaders create a culture in which people are afraid to speak up. I’ve seen this, and it’s not pretty. 
 When there is a “Policy”, it is frequently  an overlong document that hides in file folders. If a manager is lucky, employees read it once when they get hired. Often, it is written by what looks like english lit majors. You don’t need a plethora of multisyllabic words (like plethora) to show people how to use…

148. Leavers

People leave. People stay. People come back. I respect their decision. Well, not every decision. There’s a few who seem to want to get away from themselves. Like a 90’s movie hacker they want to change their location rapidly so they are not traced. But they’re their own FBI. 
The thing is, as many axioms proclaim, you can’t outrun your own dumb ass. If you are not happy where you currently have a social network, what makes you think you will find happiness in a new place? I only truly have faith in people who are content with themselves when making the choice to leave. Then it is about an adventure, not about placing your salvation into the not-within-you.
In my life, of the people I know who said they wanted to leave:

3 out of 5 never left, but kept complaining.
1 out of 5 left and come back, with lessons learned.
1 out of 5 succeeded in finding a better life elsewhere.

Unless you are a Venezuelan, in which case 4 out of 5 of us successfully left that decaying soil; out of sheer necessity.…

147. Signs

My job is hard to explain. Some days I am a leadership coach. Some days I am a project manager. Some days I am a business analyst. And all of those things require additional explanation and modulation. I often cherish the simplicity of people who can say they are dentists, janitors, or cops. A few syllables is all it takes for them!

Additionally, I don’t like talking about work when I am not at work.  What’s the point of my meticulously separated buckets if I allow people to pierce through them with the World’s most popular small talk question? We are what we do, but sometimes our work isn’t even a third of what we do, contrary to what the clock may say.

So I am particularly dodgy about that question. I like to think it adds a sense of mystery, but it also gives me space.

Extra Panel:

Another point of view

Also, I’ve made some magnets so you can make your own crazy scene in the fridge! Get them here! 

146. Hey Listen

It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that my ear bones constrict systematically during a conversation. Medical experts have often been baffled by this phenomena, a first in its kind. They may call this condition Banal Ear in my honor. It’s true, trust me, I’m a guy on the internet.
My lack of attention is arguably a more famous aspect of my personality than my penchant for providing impromptu and improper sound effects to mundane things. Arguably. Every teacher I had gave me the spiel about how much better I’d do if… by that time my attention had ran its course so I never got to hear the “if”. 
It’s probably no picnic to my chosen one, Roxanne. It likely comes off as selfish. It likely IS selfish. 
Material possessions are not my goal, it has been replaced by becoming a better me until the day I die. I have oceans to cross, but this is one of my most important journeys. How do I become a better listener to my wife and loved ones? That’s the question I will answer as the journey unfolds. We’v…

145. Sick Day

Roxanne and I have two cats rooming with us. They are both females and they both eat though their mouths and defecate through their butts. That’s were the similarities end. 
When we use a laser pointer on them, our muted, brown tortoiseshell cat looks straight at the pointer and then straight at our souls. She knows what’s up.
The white fluffy cat, she is still waiting for the laser dot to come back in the place she saw it last. 2 weeks ago.  I am certain she will start a new religion around the phantom dot.
The brown cat, or Khaleesi, as she likes to be addressed, is a shrieking nightmare, all gnawing and all knowing. She inspires comics like these.
The white cat, or Eris, she is a needy nightmare. She is all wanting and all demanding. She inspires comics like these.
And yet, Roxanne and I are all about them. They're the best non-humans we know. 
Extra Panel: 
Eris would make a very cute Sikh, if it wasn't for her selfishness, neediness and lack of self control.

144. Gross Difference

I like fake violence. I can't stand real violence. To me it's Fake Violence >>> Dr. Pimple Popper >>>>>> Real Violence. In fact, when fake violence looks too real, it loses it's appeal. There's something to the artistry of fake blood and guts that has always appealed to me, probably since my dad traumatized me by showing me Carrie at 6 years of age. That desensitized me to gallons of movie blood real quick. Thanks, dad.

As I see it, I'm living proof that video games don't cause violence. My brain, and I expect most others, can flip the switch of 'real' vs. 'not real'. Mortal Kombat on the Genesis was my babysitter for a while and never have I ever wanted to rip someone's spine from their body. Or see it happen in real life.

My wife was switching channels and landed on Dr. Pimple Popper once, and it was one of those times when I can spot a huge rift between us. While it definitely grossed her out, I could feel a pa…

143. Beholder

I am squalor blind. Last week I was on kitchen duty. We had just etched out our 3.2 version of the kitchen checklist. I had to load the dishes, clean the counter, make smoothies and clear the traps on the sink. I would have rated myself a 10/10. In the morning, I got to see how wrong I was. There were entire kernels of corn in the traps. Somehow they are invisible to me, like oh so many vegetables and stop signs.
This makes me really think about the reality of the space that we are occupying and co-occupying. My physical reality is different than the physical reality of the person closest to me. Can you imagine how different it is from that of a Trump aficionado? 
If positivism in sociology and the sciences was based on believing in one truth, an objective truth, palpable by our ever increasing utilization of the scientific method; today seems to be marked by the realization that there is not one truth to be experienced but as many as there are people around. And I am becoming more and …

142. Topsy-turvy

Uncertainty is a way of life for me. At work, I don’t assume I know the right way to proceed. Because I don’t. All I know is what  has worked in the past, under different circumstances, with different people. That’s not enough for me to be like, “yeah, this is what needs to be done.” 
And yet, many leaders I have met exude certainty. And for some of them, it works. They sell me on their vision and their tactics and I gladly serve that higher purpose. The true test for me is when they screw up, which will happen to everyone. This will be the mark of a true leader. Will they respond to data and change course? Or will they produce a Friends spinoff feauturing Joey?
That’s why I can’t stand President Trump. He is not one to show uncertainty. He has never admitted to being wrong. He never changes course. I have no faith in his ability to learn and adapt. From the very beginning, I would not follow this guy to an open bourbon bar. 
Sometimes I envy the simplicity of knowing exactly what you ha…

141. Venezuelanisms

These are a collection of the colorful, and often savage, sayings of my people. For all I criticize my people sometimes, I have a lot of respect for their wordplay and creativity. Growing up in Venezuela was, for the most part, a great experience. The weather was nice, people were very hedonistic, and I had a very comfortable life. Perhaps a bit too comfortable, if I do say so myself. Which I just did.

The first one is "Camaron que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente. [Shrimp that sleeps, the current takes.]" It is a cautionary tale about not being on top of things. Lest you be taken by the current. Thing is, a little bit of current hopping is not bad. What else is life, just constantly fighting against the tide? Nah, can't subscribe to that magazine. By the way, "Can't subscribe to that magazine" is copyrighted by Banal Hemorrhage productions.

The second one is dark as hell. "Cria cuervos y te sacaran los ojos. [Raise crows and they'll leave you …

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