At any given time growing up, eight or more people (plus pets) lived under our roof — parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, family friends — on a major New York street. For me this was a luxury which, I imagine, some might not consider a luxury.
It was loud, inside and out, and it wasn’t until much, much later in my life I realized how meditative the sound of “many” could be.
I was in love with this controlled chaos. It informed who I was as a child, and in turn, shaped the whole of my future. …
I use my car’s blinkers everywhere I go. We live in a small, off-the-path community, and even when I enter or exit our garage with nobody around, I signal right or left. It’s something my father taught me to practice more than 20 years ago (when I began driving) and it’s one of the better habits I’ve maintained over the years.
In no small way, I believe good behaviors can permeate all aspects of our lives. …
As I sat to write this, I had spent six (of nine) working hours on Zoom meetings — the kind you can’t simply join, but where you are an active, verbal participant. I’m famous for talking more than I should in these virtual visits (I’m working on this), so by the end of the day, my ‘words box’ was spent.
This is becoming more common for me, and I’m not alone in this experience. Not since my days as an undergrad studying vocal performance have I dealt with this much strain on the throat. Comparing my calendars from January 2021…
Seasoned executive with 13 months of experience living at work in response to a global health crisis. Looking for new and exciting opportunities that require semi-regular showers, pants without stretch-waists, and no screaming children doing virtual learning in the background.
Director of Procrastination & Self-Entertainment
March 2020 - Present
I thought standing behind these other people waiting in this line to order coffee with my wallet in-hand would have made it obvious.
But, what even is obvious these days? What is a line? What is an order?
What am I?
Am I real? Is this real? Is any of it real?
This coffee I’m about to order, real? The ground on which I stand, real? The painstaking, persistent, looming existential dread brewing from within, real?
Okay, yes, that last part may in fact be real.
So, am I waiting in line to order? Well, it’s a complicated question, with…
Would it be the worst thing in the world if this red, bottle-top rubber band just vanished into the trash — and along with it, the ridiculous gingham micro-bandanna it keeps in place?
Don’t get me wrong. When we purchased the 514-ounce bottle of vanilla 26 years ago at Big Box Store, I didn’t mind. Really, I didn’t. I was young and naive, and told my wife, “Sure, go for it, I’m sure we’ll totally bake a bunch of great stuff with it. Definitely”
Bullshit. Pure, unadulterated bullshit.
Who needs this much vanilla?
It was reminiscent of the 1,000-pound bag…
Thanks so much for being here!
Calling all corporate staffers, coaches, consultants, nonprofiteers, HR professionals, leaders, managers, first-time employees, long-time employees, and anyone else who ponders the professional realm.
Here we love exploring organizational life. How-tos are good. How-not-tos are sometimes better. And, of course, experience and research are always welcome.
So if you have stories about work, we hope you’ll consider Other Duties Assigned as a home for those stories.
Work. After religion, it may be one of the biggest topics under the sun. That makes it daunting, and it also makes it exciting.
ODA is a…
I love The Riff. I love its readers and writers, and especially over this past year, it’s kept me connected to an absent world.
So of course I jumped at the chance to answer their call about the most memorable live show I’ve seen. But, I’m going to take this prompt in a slightly odd direction. Because after nearly 40 revolutions around the sun, it’s quite possible that the most memorable live show I’ve ever seen… hasn’t yet happened.
Bear with me, and come with me back in time 14 months.
I straddle two distinct-yet-interconnected functions in my work. On paper, I am a nonprofit fundraiser, and I also (informally) liaise for our department with human resources.
Thanks to a phenomenal HR team, I’ve become familiar with one of their practices called stay interviews. Having those interviews with my work teams has been transformative, and I’ve begun talking with financial investors through that lens.
What I’ve learned — and how I’ve grown from doing so — has been wildly interesting, and worth sharing.
I come at this through the nonprofit lens, but the application extends across any sector with financial exchanges…
Listen. I think you’re totally, completely special. And I’ve never said that before, not to a cardboard box. We don’t even have the toaster you housed anymore, but we have you.
You’ve meant the world to us for… I don’t even know how long? Five years? Seven years? More?
It’s been a pretty wild ride, too. You saw us through two apartments, this house, a hurricane, the “great smell” of 2019, even a pandemic.
We’ve kept other things in you. Other appliances, mail, some tools. Gosh, you were even little Baby Jay’s crib for a few days back in 2017.
Small southpaw writing about kindness, creativity, and organizational life.