Random little thing about work and stuff

Write now, I’m a part-time graduate student. I’m FAR past my 40th birthday and grad. school was suppose to’ve been very much in my rear view mirror by now, but I digress. I have a stable job, and except for a brief period a good while back, my employment situation has mostly been pretty stable as an adult. Anyway, a bunch of my coursework is built around Human Resources-related topics…….and right now, we’re talking about something known as ‘Need’ theory and ‘Expectancy’ theory……..these are old, stalwart parts of the world of human resources. So, I’ve been thinking about stuff like why we work and (you guessed it) what we hope or expect to get out of work, yada-yada-yada. It’s funny how, in big parts of our lives, we hope for ‘stable’ work and/or a ‘steady’ paycheck……that is, of course, a big thing for most people. I’ve been laughing, lately though, about how shortly after I get that very thing, I tend to gripe about how bored I am. Work is just so DARNED BORING sometimes. Weirder still, I’m not sure I’d even want the stress of a so-called ‘exciting’ job! I just rarely ever feel ANYTHING that I’d describe as exciting at work. It’s just a grind…….and for what?! I wouldn’t say I’m feeling depressed right now…..just laconic, really.

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On smallness and being small

I suppose for no particular reason, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about just how small my life is. I don’t mean I have a terrible life (because I don’t…..MANY people have lives 500% worse than mine has EVER been). I guess I just mean that my life, in general is very small. My job is perfectly OK……and what I do is important, but it doesn’t have a sense of IMMEDIATE impact on the lives of hundreds of people. I have a few friends, and that’s great and I appreciate them….I really do. But, y’know……few people ever really seek out my opinion or my input.

Some years ago, I ran a medium size business (got out of it….too stressful for me)…..I sometimes remember those times, and think about how people would stop chatting with others and turn and listen to what I had to say. Now, one might argue: ‘Here’s a guy who obviously got too much emotionally from his work, or at least tried to.’ and those people might be right. I don’t know…..I’m just feeling a little mopey, I guess. I’ll snap out of it, I always do.

Life in the Now

{Although a bit stale, here is a bit from a NY times article published March 15th of last year}

 

Article’s Title: ‘The Shame Culture’ (speaking of ‘life’ via the internet these days)

“……….people are extremely anxious that their group might be condemned or denigrated. They demand instant respect and recognition for their group. They feel some moral wrong has been perpetrated when their group has been disrespected, and react with the most violent intensity.

Crouch describes how video gamers viciously went after journalists, mostly women, who had criticized the misogyny of their games. Campus controversies get so hot so fast because even a minor slight to a group is perceived as a basic identity threat.

The ultimate sin today, Crouch argues, is to criticize a group, especially on moral grounds. Talk of good and bad has to defer to talk about respect and recognition. Crouch writes, “Talk of right and wrong is troubling when it is accompanied by seeming indifference to the experience of shame that accompanies judgments of ‘immorality.’”

 

I should point out that a writer with the NY Times was touting (in a positive light) an article that was ultimately published in Christianity Today……heck, that’s worth noting alone!

I find it funny (if not bizarre) that there are no more ‘fringe’ groups anymore!  Every group/clique/cluster-of-minimally-meaningful-weirdos has now been legitimized via the digital ocean.

 

 

A notable figure

Love him or hate him, Lyndon Johnson was President of the U.S. during an important time in our country’s history. I have (quite distantly, mind you) some odd links to Johnson:

I. While serving in the Army (as a Chaplain Asst.) during 1987-1990, we took a field trip to Johnson City, Texas to visit his childhood home. Just off the front porch, there was a long bench, cut at a right angle where his mother (who taught Speech) would lecture her students. Johnson gave his first political speech while standing on that porch to a gathering of people. Reportedly, when he turned around (seeking a nod of approval from his mother), she said, ‘If your speaking doesn’t get any better than that, you’ll never go anywhere in politics.’

II. During the early 1990’s, I worked part-time at a nursing home located near the campus of Tyler Junior College. One of our patients there, a very smart elderly lady who’d worked many years as a school teacher said her sister went to college with Johnson. She told me numerous times how her sister joked that Johnson never had a pencil when he came to class, and would have to bum one from his classmates.

III. Some time after that, while working for a mental health agency in Tyler, I worked with a guy who was the Director of Operations for the Peace Corps in Micronesia during the late 60’s. Johnson was VERY DEVOTED to the Peace Corps. This guy mentioned a time when Johnson was on a huge recruitment push for them and told one of their top brass during a big meeting, ‘Over the next two days, when I walk past your office, I’d better see a phone up to your ear.’

All, this to say:  this article  rings LOUDLY with me.  We (and yes, I mean WE) talk about Donald Trump’s braggadocio and what-not, but Johnson (devout Democrat) was no wall flower!

UC Berkeley riots night: Globalist dupes on parade

UC Berkeley riots last night: Globalist dupes on parade Shutting down free speech at the home of the Free Speech Movement The speaker canceled: Milo Yiannopoulos: gay, anti-Left by Jon Rappoport Fe…

Source: UC Berkeley riots night: Globalist dupes on parade

do not agree with everything this guy writes, but this article made me stop and think for a bit.

Blasted……..

So, I’ve had a lot of things happen over the past several months. Oddly, most of the ‘bad’ things really haven’t happened to me (in my personal life)…..it’s just stuff in my professional life etc. Last week, I testified in a divorce proceeding (that was also a custody situation as well) for a long-time friend/co-worker. The whole business lasted ALL DAY. I was so exhausted when I got home……it was a beating. This, after spending quite a few-dozen-hours on the phone with said friend over the past few months (not complaining…..just takes a lot out of you)……in the lead-up to this giant event. You know, maybe I would have NEVER wanted to be an attorney…..that stuff is rough, man. It was such a sad, painful event…….but in the end, my friend ended up with custody and they’re divorced…..it’s over. He gets child support, too…….not a lot, but it’ll help.

Something small….

I read an article today (at LinkedIn) about a manager refusing to engage in ‘Stack Ranking’ of employees. It was a good article, and although I’d heard of it, I was really unaware of how the practice worked. I work for a state agency, and I’ve heard that it’s been used here (but heck, raises come so infrequently around here, period….that it rarely even comes up!)

But, it made me remember something I used to do when I worked in healthcare administration. I used to like to do the old ‘Memo’ containing ‘Supervisor’s Expectations’ with many of my employees. It wasn’t ‘negative’ per se, or really even meant to be ugly, but now, with many years of life and working under my belt, I’ll say this: I wouldn’t do that kind of crap nowadays….I just wouldn’t. If you’re a good manager, and you know how to motivate people, just through talking and chatting, your people should know what’s expected of them…..without a silly memo.

It’s demeaning and as a minimum, pedestrian, to treat your people like that.