Now what

My parents carried cash for everything, cash and checks. When I was in middle school my uncle went o and on about an ATM machine and explained how an ATM card was not a credit card to my parents. Now you are hard pressed to find a person with more than $100 in cash on their person. Money has pretty much been automated.

Restaurants, hotels and health care have taken the reigns as the most labor intensive jobs in the United States. Think about that these jobs are service oriented and produce no physical products. Factory work is far less labor intensive now.

What does it all mean? Well, I think we are currently living at the start of a post scarcity economy. Products and food are in abundance, the need to scrap by or fight for everything we get is now truly a manufactured need and not a real one.

Living in a post scarcity economy means that there should be a shift to better resource management instead there is a shift to service jobs. The lower class is serving the upper class (please bear in mind that the upper class is usually in this position because of birth right).

There is some hope though… I have watched a whole generation resign when covid came and went (sort of people are still struggling with covid but it seems it may be starting to become endemic). After the “great resignation” I watched a whole nation participate in quiet quitting (this is where you simply perform the bare minimum at your position). The transformation from resigning to quitting should change again to setting up a work life balance.

As this article states work life balance is a myth, and what is happening is more of a career or job that is not for money but satisfaction. Within the next generation I predict the end of money and the start of work that is for the purpose of work only.

So now what? I plan on spending more time at home and work doing things that make me feel accomplished than simply paying me money. I plan on doing more work to help others instead of helping myself to the over abundant supply of stuff and I think the world would be much happier if we all did the same thing.

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Only God

I remember growing up and seeing a key chain. The key chain belonged to my maternal grandmother and I think it said something like “only God can make a Tomato”. I think I am really not sure what the vegetable was, I know it had to do with the sovereignty of god and faith. My grandmother and mom were huge proselytizers for the Christian faith, my mother still is.

I remember hating tomato’s growing up I have come around to tomato’s and enjoy salsa and tacos however you will not catch me eating a BLT.

Last weekend was a holiday weekend here in the United States and my wife, 2 dogs and three kids all left the city and spent time in our camper near the river. While swimming in the river and walking the dog I thought about how foolish we humans are and I thought about that keychain. Humans have been given almost everything they need to survive and thrive from God, nature, mother earth or providence depending on your belief system and humans have paved it over.

The tomato key chain and our weekend enjoying the natural world also makes me think about the poem trees by Joyce Kilmer

Trees

BY JOYCE KILMER

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

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Don’t get me wrong humans are capable of many amazing things even creation, but all of humanity’s acts of creation pale in comparison to what has already been created and perhaps the best thing humanity can do is participate not in destructive creation but disruptive innovation and environmental conservationism.

Disruptive innovation and environmental conservationism focus on being a responsible citizen of the earth and understanding that we were given everything we need to not only survive but thrive.

What did you do???

My wife was helping my step daughter write a resume. A good resume will show your education, experience and what you have been able to provide to the companies you have worked for as far as value.

Basically the resume will show what you have done. Let’s say that you implemented a new training program and that program has been used by all trainees you would put something like; “Created and implemented training program responsible for 80 + new managers and supervisors”.

Work and life can become a sort of hamster wheel. We wake up and go through the motions nothing seems to change and we seem to be in the same place we where yesterday. Building or updating resumes gives us a chance to take stock of what we have done professionally and that is important because, even if we do not see it we have done some things.

It is important that you know that your work matters and makes a difference.

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No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence

Martin Luther King Jr.

All work should help others, the only work that would not matter then would be work that hurts other. Let us call work that hurts others bad work. So it is good works that matter and if you do good work you will make a difference for others.

Never stop doing the good work you are doing. Godspeed and good luck

It is a treat in itself

There is a quote that seems to make the rounds on the internet about this time of the year. The quote is by J.D. Roberts and it reads

When there is no consequence for poor work ethic, and no reward for good work ethic, there is no motivation.

JD Roberts

I assume the reason for this quote at this time of year is that hard workers in organizations begin to experience burnout. Part of the burnout may involve some sour grapes type of thinking. Jim works hard is always on time and stays late it is August because of his late nights he is tired Bob sits one cubicle over and is late leaves early and doesn’t seem to be tired. While doom scrolling Jim sees this JD Roberts quote on insta and likes it shares it on Facebook and now he is angry at Bob their manager and the entire corporation.

I feel like, the moment we begin to compare our lives to others is the moment we start to go to dark places that no one should be in. There is a scripture in the Old testament and Torah it reads

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s

Exodous 20:17

I always assumed covet meant steal but I think on deeper inspection covet can me long for. When we compare ourselves with others covet is quickly behind. “I wish I could be like Bob and have 0 cares in the world concerning work and 0 consequences for my poor work ethic. The scripture calls covet a sin. A sin is a big deal in the spiritual world and coveting can do some serious damage to morale and mental well being.

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Everybody will experience burn out when this happens we should avoid looking out side ourselves and look internally. How did you let work do this to you? How can you stop this from happening? Set a schedule for work and stick to it. Do not spread yourself to thin and say no sometimes.

If you are a manager and you are contemplating giving out consequences for poor work ethic consider another quote first…

Hard work IS its own reward. Integrity IS priceless. Art DOES feed the soul.

Marcus Samuelsson

Are you properly motivating your work force? Do you have the proper workforce? Ideally your employees would be passionate about their work so much so that they feel like their work is more of an art form than just a job.

The jobs that are being staffed are they BS jobs? There is this great book about these types of jobs.

One of the most important things

I have had many different positions in my short career one of these positions was a manager for a development team. The team was a rather large group of computer programmers all of them were quite young too. I think the average age of my teams was 24 years old. The developers were pretty smart and had a good grasp on the programming tools and languages we used however they lacked some of the skills involved in effectively interacting with colleagues’. After realizing this I took time every Monday to motivate the teams with a meeting that involved going over one life skill. I still remember one meeting in particular in which I told the team that no matter what job and where they worked the most important skill they could posses and use was going to always be a positive attitude. That was true then and is still true today. With a positive attitude nearly anything is possible. The inverse is also true a negative attitude will make the smallest task a chore and bring progress to a staggering halt. The only attitude we can ever control is our own so I encourage you to accentuate the positive today>

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“You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

That’s not a good thing

Yesterday I emptied out my inbox. I had 1124 unread emails that I spent about 45 minutes looking through deleting or addressing. This is not good. According to the Inbox Zero Method. Inboxes that are not kept at 0 become distracting and eat into an employees productivity.

For me the unread emails loomed over me like a piano in a cartoon. I was sure that one of the emails would have been time sensitive and a career make or break issue (spoiler alert none of them were).

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Keeping our inboxes at 0 is more than just something for email it is something to consider for our lives. I can and often do get involved in to many things and find that I am never just getting to unplug and enjoy accomplishments. As soon as one project is over I am being moved to the next one.

There is nothing wrong with being busy however we must make our best efforts to bring our projects at work and home to fruition. Are you involved in a home remodel that has been taking place since you bought the house? Are you going to get that grad degree as soon as work slows down?

When we do not actually accomplish things we run the risk of experiencing the Zeigarnik Effect, and we are literally haunted by the tasks that we cannot finish or forget. Lets work together in finishing projects today, starting with the inbox. Go ahead get that bad boy down to 0 and feel good!

What are we?

As we get older we find ourselves dealing with people who seem to be getting younger. I have on more than one occasion worked with people that are the same age as my adult children. We navigate our social interactions at work differently when we work with the younger associates and at the end of the day we call our friends that our own age and commiserate about the surreal events.

One word that comes up in the commiseration is entitled. It is a buzz word and an easy excuse for why the younger generation, shows up late, does not complete projects, when they do complete projects they are not on time or of the correct quality and complain about the criticism given to them or the lack of job growth they are given. Originally I was able to get behind this buzz word and tried to give it some traction. However when I began to think, I mean really think about it, the power of the buzz word, like all the others, fell apart and lost steam.

Entitled means that we are deserving of privileges just because we are here and in certain cases this is correct. I truly believe that there are rights that living beings possess simply through being born. When beings have these rights taken away from them we are living in a society that is broken.

The more I live the more I think that people at all ages are truly products of the society they live in and if I want to see change. If I want to see progress I will have to work towards changing society so that at the very least all people get what they are entitled too.

What are we entitled to? At the very minimum we are all entitled to respect. Respect is and should be given even if we do not feel that someone has earned it. We should respect and care for everyone no matter how awful we believe they are. They idea that respect should be earned is toxic and is creating a society in which our coworkers cannot thrive and live their best lives.

At the end of the day we would do well to respect everyone.

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When everyday is that day

Happy Friday everyone or whatever day it is that you are reading this post. I am typing these words on a Friday and I feel like the song by the O’Jays titled “Living for the Weekend”. I plan on having a really good time downtown after work today I really do.

Let me just sit down
And relax a minute
Let me tell you about it

Aha, it’s Friday
Oh ho, thank God, it’s Friday
And I just got paid

Going across town
Gonna pick up my lady
Have a little bit of fun
Just ain’t no telling
Where I might end up

You might see me on the east side
Ha, the west side
I’m even going cross the bridge
‘Cause I, ’cause I, ’cause I hear
They really get down over there

Owe it to myself
(Well, well, I)
Gonna party
(Well, well, I)
Gonna party

I owe it to myself
(Well, well, I)
Oh, party, party

I’m just living, yeah
(Living for the weekend)
Woo hoo, said I’ma
(Living for the weekend)

I said right now, I’m
(Living for the weekend)
I said this evening
(Living for the weekend)

For the next two days
(Living for the weekend)
Gonna have a real good time
(Living for the weekend)

Gonna have a real, real
Real good time
(Living for the weekend)
Gonna party hard, hard

Come on, y’all
Let’s go downtown
Come on, y’all
Let’s groove, hey, hey

Monday to Thursday
I’m dead on my feet
Most of the time too tired to eat
When I try to read the paper
I fall fast asleep

But as soon as Friday rolls around
I lay all my weekly burdens down
I put on my glad rags
And paint the town

Friday night alive
(Living for the weekend)
Said, I’m living for the weekend
(Living for the weekend)
Don’t stop when I party down

Party hard, party down
Party hard, party down

Soon as on Monday
Rolls around again
I got to put all that
Partying to an end

Got to solve that same old grind
With those five day week
Sometimes, I get frustrated
Through the day, take off early
And a cut in pay

At the time, I don’t really care
Because I done took
All that I can bear

That’s when I party down
Party hard, party down

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Those are some amazing lyrics and I really do enjoy the weekends. I am beholden to no one (sort of) on the weekends and can spend my time with family and friends.

I worked at a factory a few times and experienced rigid scheduling, that was when I truly found joy in a weekend or days off. Later in life I took jobs that were less rigid in schedule and I still love weekends but I am finding some joy in my actual work.

I think that there is nothing wrong with loving weekends but if we are “living for the weekends” what is happening on the week days?

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I have tried and continue to try to enjoy everyday and every minute week or weekend be dammed if I am breathing I am going to try to enjoy myself. I will always love that song and my weekends but I am going to also make it a point to love; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well and so should you.

Virtue in Leisure

Ok truth time the title of this post is stolen from this article on NPR explaining vacations. Specifically the article outlines the history of vacations in the United States. Summer time is right around the corner and very soon we will find our selves in prime vacation taking time and I cannot wait. I love vacations. I honestly do not hate work but I think I may cram a little much into my schedule and I put myself behind the eight ball sometimes. Vacations are a great way to relax and reset.

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When I come back from this spring vacation I plan on approaching work differently for scheduling purposes. I want to realistically schedule my time at work and fit in what I need and want to get done in the time that I have. My hope is that through better time management I can be more efficient and have a more balanced life.

Life is an amazing gift that we have all been given and I don’t want to waste any of it. I understand that things come up and I will not always be able to adhere to my schedule so I will be flexible but I really am making and trying to stick to my schedule. I am serious.

I really do plan on doing this when I get back. I bought an Legend Planner and everything! I want to account for all my time at work and home and make the most of all of it but before I do that I plan on spending a week only deciding what color shorts I want to wear to the pool / beach.

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Not it at all really

There is a quote that I saw making the rounds on the internet. The quote is often shared by people at work who, feel that the work load is unevenly distributed and the management is acquiescing or worse facilitating the inequity. Ok here is the quote…

When there is no consequence for poor work ethic, and no reward for good work ethic, there is no motivation

JD Roberts
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I am not sue if the quote is legit or apocryphal, however I have seen it and It bugs me, a lot. My immediate response is another turn of phrase or quote that is not apocryphal, I only know of its authenticity because I am a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories and the quote comes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through the greatest detective of all time.

The work is its own reward

Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume I
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I have been there and seen associates struggle to get their work done during the allotted time. I have covered shifts when life got in the way for my associates and ugly John wanted consequences to rain down on my associates however, consequences would not get the work done and I am pretty sure they would not change the work ethic of the associates. They would simply upset everyone. Now instead of simply covering a shift for my associate I must cover a shift, watch the associate bear the consequences for a poor work ethic and provide a ear in sympathy that associate as well as the manager who is looking to justify their actions.

Consequence and reward is an elementary solution to an complex problem. A good manager needs to understand why the work is not enough reward for the employee that is engaged and more than enough reward for the engaged employee. Perhaps when armed with this knowledge better hiring practices will create a workforce of engaged and happy workers.

When an employees circumstances change a good manage should notice and make adjustments. Directors of managers should first the managers focus on the people then the work results. Maybe a good place to start a conversation with a manager is “how are your employees doing? What does their mental health and morale seem like?” After getting that assessment you should be able to use that as a leading indicator for production unless you have a skills problem.

The bottom line is many problems are problems because they are complex and require more than a pithy and honestly judgmental quote. Before you decide to wish consequences on a fellow associate maybe try helping them enjoy work as much as you do. If nothing else treating others this way has to lead to good Karma right?