Friday, March 23, 2018

If you're not happy with where you are being slotted then reinvent yourself

Quite often the limitations that we have are ones that we have allowed other people to foist upon us.

If we aren't happy being slotted as a production line worker, a barista, a librarian, or "an easy option if all else fails" then we should move ourselves to a space where those descriptions don't apply.

Sure, that means leaving the comfort of the familiar and it involves risk, but "if it's to be then it's up to me". And when the people who have risen to the top of their little ladder realise that you are simply not playing in their domain then you receive the quiet satisfaction of simply having moved on.

If "the best revenge is living well" then watching the past recede in the rear vision mirror must be one of life's simple pleasures.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Memories of a job I didn't take

I remember when I had a friend that asked me to become involved in a research project with state government.

I went and priest up the project and it's got quite a bit noisy. I could smell vested interests coming from any direction I care to choose.

It was at this coffee shop at my friend asked me to come out and have a chat. And she told me that I must avoid taking the job because it would be a disaster for me.

I had sort of works that one out, and was looking to find a way to extract myself from the job without causing her pain. So it all worked out pretty darn well.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Winners and Losers: Life is not a competition, but it's a game

A person was saying yesterday that life is not a competition. I think I agree with that but I think they didn't have a complete understanding of the situation.

One of my young friends said "you know I found the only people who say that life is not a competition are the ones who aren't winning at it". Perhaps a little harsh. [Shoutout buddy - a little poetic licence.]

Because there are winners and losers. But life's not a competition, it's a game. And the beauty of the game is that the players get to choose what they wish to be scored on.

The beauty there, is that everybody can be a winner in the game of life. If you choose your scoreboard to be a happy family life and fantastic grandchildren and achieve it, then you're a winner. If you choose your scoreboard to be simply how many dollars you have in the bank when you die, and finish with a large balance, then you're a winner. Who am I to critique your choice of scoreboard?

So life is not a competition, it's a game. And we can all be winners. So if you don't feel like you are winning, then pick another scoreboard.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Why bad people leave a place with good references

To me, it's no great mystery. I have watched workplaces for 35 years and I have come to understand the mechanism whereby some of the very worst people end up getting glowing reports from previous employers. Here are my thoughts:

  • They manage upwards. Often the people who are giving these references have been schmoozed to the maximum level. From where the boss sits, it all looks fine.
  • The full extent of the damage has not become apparent. The malignant narcissist can keep a lid on the crap while they are still around. It's only after they have left that the remaining people begin to see a pattern and put the pieces together.
  • They look good on paper. Often these most obnoxious people tend to get results according to somebody's key performance indicators. Whether the bosses are deliberately turning a blind eye or just perfectly hoodwinked, the malignant narcissist can appear to be a star.
  • They discredit any critiques. There are dozens of people who know the real story about the malignant narcissist however those stories do not get heard. A complex pattern of marginalising their rivals creates a conspiracy of silence.
  • They talk a good game. To anybody watching from a distance these people are often engaging and positive. It is really easy to do that when you are standing in front of a meeting or just back-slapping in the hallway.
  • Some people remain to fight the rearguard. Whether the rearguard is made up of previous favourites or people who are still scared - there is often somebody left to act as a mole. The conspiracy of silence continues.
  • People are happy to see them go. Finally, sometimes the bosses just want the malignant narcissist out of there. They have been a problem for years - a problem they just didn't seem to have a solution. And now here is this same person requesting a reference; a perfect answer. "They are fantastic - their record speaks for itself".

Except "the record" doesn't even begin to tell the story. Still, by that time the malignant narcissist is somebody else's problem.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The "holier than thou" two for one deal

I've recently noticed an interesting trait in human behaviour. It's the tendency to take what I call the 2 for 1 deal about moral behaviour. My dead Mum made the obervation a long time ago about vegetarians.

I've recently seen similar behaviour in myself around body weight, and I have noticed it in non smokers for a long time. This two for one deal comes when a person makes a decision for their own reasons and then a little later on realises that there is also an ethical dimension do that decision that they hadn't noticed.

So I have decided to go off alcohol in the lead up to a sporting event, which has caused me to lose a few kilos. That's very nice for me, however I get this tiny flicker when I see somebody who is out of shape it has me think "how can a person let themselves get that way?". Of course the answers are complex, and who the fuck am I to judge? That's why I call the holier-than-thou two for one deal.

Mum had noticed this when people gave up eating meat - mostly because they just didn't like it, or could take it or leave it. Soon after, however, Mum would hear these people counting the virtues of vegetarianism and veganism because of animal ethics and impact on the planet, amongst other things. The two for one deal.

Strange people, us humans.

Why do young Army guys seem to be so unreliable?

This is just an observation of mine and more just a feeling I have the than any hard data. I work with people from many different walks of life and I would have sought that people from the army were reliable. I have certainly found that the older army guys are like clockwork. They say what they're going to do and then they do what they say they're going to do. Not so much the young Army guys. A number of times I have had them simply not turn up. I don't include a young guy from one of my teams in that mix because in that case it has been the army making demands on him. But in terms of just turning up when you say you are going to turn up I had a bunch of army guys just not do so. A couple of times. I can only put it down to the fact that there is such a strong external discipline. So when these guys are young they end up being told what to do and screamed at if they don't do it. If they are not being screamed at and threatened with being put on report comma perhaps they just go a little slack. But the fact that the older guys are such good operators gives me hope. Perhaps it is just as simple as the external discipline rubs off over time and it becomes a sense of order and internal discipline. Who knows?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My are men avoiding marriage?

1. He'll lose respect
2. He'll lose out on sex
3. He'll lose his friends
4. He'll lose his space
5. He could lose his kids and his money: And they may not even be his kids! 
6. He'll lose in court
7. He could lose his freedom
8. Single life is better than ever

Population trends only. I'm not talking about my (or your) marriage.

Her: "You don't believe that, do you?"
Him: [deer in headlights] _mutter_ "fuck you, Cullen"