Imagine you own a restaurant. It’s a small, cozy place that caters to families and has a great reputation not only for the food but also for the atmosphere. One evening, a customer comes in and orders that night’s special. When his entrée arrives, he takes issue first with the temperature and then with the taste of the dish. Having already served it to dozens of other patrons already this evening, your staff is both surprised and skeptical. After they apologize and offer his dinner for free, the customer continues to complain loudly, becoming the focal point of the entire restaurant.
Early in my publishing career, I took the “assist” part of my editorial assistant job quite literally, and I would volunteer for nearly every task lobbed at my team by our publisher. After one meeting in which I offered to take on a particularly tedious project, a senior colleague stopped by my cube to offer advice. “You need to stop volunteering for things,” she urged. “You’ll burn out, and then you’ll regret offering to help so much.”
by Dan Oswald
C’mon, guys. We’re better than this!
The recent string of incidents regarding sexual harassment and discrimination is disturbing and sad, and it should be embarrassing to all men. It’s the alleged bad behavior of men in the workplace—at the expense of women—that’s at the center of the stories.
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a former senior executive at Uber describe being propositioned by her male manager on her first day on the job—in writing on the company’s chat system, no less. We have also seen a female engineer at Tesla come forward with claims of discrimination and harassment against the automaker. Then there’s the story about a group of male Marines who had a private Facebook page with pictures of naked female Marines.
Early last year, Yesenia Diosdado, just 11 years old, got off her school bus near her home in Lexena, Kansas. As the bus pulled away, Yesenia noticed that a three-car accident had occurred at a busy nearby intersection. Police and emergency workers were on the scene attending to the victims. Yesenia wandered over to join a small crowd of onlookers.
I guess we’re all afraid of something. When we were kids, we might have been afraid of the dark or monsters under the bed. As adults, those fears often seem bigger or more real. We may have a fear of heights, the outdoors, or even failure.
The road to the 2016 U.S. presidential election officially begins today with the Iowa caucuses. Having grown up in Iowa, I have experienced the caucus process first-hand. It’s an interesting process that has a real grassroots feel to it, and it can produce some very interesting results that are often difficult to predict.
If you’re like me, you’re having a tough time figuring out the candidates and what they stand for. Maybe it’s because there are so many, at least on the Republican side. I actually had a difficult time recognizing some of the Republican candidates who participated in the “undercard” debate last week. On the other hand, the Democrats have it down to a manageable number, mostly because everyone thought Hillary Clinton was going to run away with the nomination. She might still do that, but she’s had a bit more of a fight than she expected from Bernie Sanders.
The other day, I brought in a couple dozen donuts for a meeting we were having at the office. Since it was the first week back to work in the new year, I must admit I was curious about how many of those donuts would get eaten. How resolute would my colleagues be about their New Year’s resolutions?
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
For each of us, our career is a journey. It can take us many places. We may change locations, employers, or even professions. And each experience we have along the way provides us with knowledge we can use at some point in the future—what to do differently or what not to do. Every experience gives us something we can use if we pay attention and really want to learn.
In the 2000 movie Pay It Forward, a seventh grade social studies teacher gives his students an assignment to create and put into action a plan that will change the world for the better. Young Trevor McKinney, played by Haley Joel Osment, comes up with a plan in which the recipient of a good deed performs a good deed for three other people rather than for the person who did the original good deed. The plan, which was seen as overly ambitious and probably a bit naive, begins to work as Trevor commits himself to doing three good deeds and telling the people he has helped to “pay it forward.”