Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Talking to yourself

An online friend recently mentioned in blog that she was particularly regretful of saying something. What it was, we don't know, and it's not important. What is important is the fact that we all do it. Unfortunately, some of us do it more than others. I have been endowed by my creator along with some help from the genetic co-mingling of my parents with a reasonable speaking voice as well as the gift/curse of gab. This is a gift in the truest sense in that I did nothing to get it and very little to refine it, it is just there. Perhaps if I did more to refine/improve this gift maybe I wouldn't do so many stupid things with it.

Bottom Line, when you talk, a percentage of those things you say will be stupid. it's unavoidable. Therefore, if you talk a lot, you will say by percentage, a lot more stupid things. I've recently sent in 2 auditions into a radio station to be considered for a temporary morning DJ. I won't get it. In fact, I won't even be considered. One of the problems with the gift of gab is that you require an audience. If you speak into the void of a microphone with no more material than a strippers pasties, you won't have much to talk about.

I'm actually relieved that i'm giving up on that thing. The holiday season is coming up and I'm doing a reading for a book on CD. Those things by themselves will be enough of a drag on my holiday free time.

What do you do when you have said something stupid and you are regrettably smart enough to recognize it? See it for what it is, and MOVE ON. It's at this point that I would like to emphasize: Just because you are a hypocrite, doesn't mean you aren't telling the truth. Nearly every day, I spend some time beating myself up for being stupid. It serves no purpose and I should stop immediately. Unfortunately my brain seems to have a different agenda. It simultaneously offers up a lively track of the dumbest things I have said as well as the dumbest actions from the archive of my mind all the way back to grade school. Don't fall into my trap. When you're brain conspires to sabotage you, fight back and occupy yourself with some constructive activity. Maybe even blogging ;)

Remember; your brain is your tool, not the other way around.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ok, so I won't repost my blogs.

I was looking at my blogs and I've decided that even though there are some of them that are still timely, most of them are mired in the details of my life at the time. As a result, reposting them here for public viewing would be a waste of time. If you're that interested, look up the Macotar name in Myspace and look at my old thoughts. Many of which I still agree with.

On that thought I will launch my thoughts on 'Private' Myspace pages. This is an interesting thing to me. Posting your thoughts on Myspace kind of assumes that you are putting them up for public consumption. People that put their thoughts on but don't want everyone to have access to them should think about doing it a different way. It's called a DIARY. Lets be serious, there is no reason at all to publish your innermost thoughts only to hide them from SOME people especially since there is no guarantee at all that your private thoughts will remain private at all. Everyone knows that the best way to keep a secret is to not tell anyone at all.

Now, all that having been said, I'll go on the other side. Mothers, hide your daughters!!! Fathers warn your sons!!! The boogeyman is out there in the form of BIG BROTHER. That's right. People that are only interested in their own ends and have no real interest in you at all may be scanning your blog. This big brother is of course your employer. Some employers are scouting Myspace and other blogs to see if their children, whoops! I mean employees, are doing things they don't approve of.

If you are publishing things like marketing strategy or product specs or other company sensitive documentation, then I have no sympathy for you and you should probably be a little smarter about what you publish, because corporate lawyers are pretty bored most of the time and do very little to earn their keep. So when they have a chance for a slam dunk like shutting down a Myspace page that is spewing company secrets, they will take it faster than a free donut from a blind street vendor (I actually saw this so it's not slander. The lawyer actually stole a pastry from a disabled vendor, a real credit to the profession.).

But I digress. Like so many things that start out as protecting the best interests of...you name it...church, state, you, they start off with something legitimate and then justify their way to invading your 'privacy'. The reason privacy is in quotes because of what I stated above. It really isn't private if you're putting it on-line right? Anyway, if your company is starting to police your myspace page because it doesn't align with how they think you should behave in your life away from work, then you should protect yourself. You COULD password your blogspace, which I would recommend, the other thing you can do is put yourself out under an alias and make no reference to proper names. This would effectively annonymize you. This of course assumes that they are not interested in what you have to say enough to track which computer posted the content.

Man I hate nosey companies that think they own you 24/7, is the US a company?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Why managers are all asses

When I say that managers are all asses, what I really mean to say is that eventually they will all become asses. New, fresh faced, naive managers of course do not count. This is were I fit in for a while. I post this blog because of my opinions on a prior blog written by my friend and cousin Joseph Dewey (we are distantly related through my Grandmother also named Dewey).

This is the Blog: All managers are jerks <-- This isn't what it's really titled, but I've decided to keep my swearing down to a minimum and it's companion piece: All managers are jerks part II .

Here is the problem. Managers are jerks for the same reason that people talking on behalf of God are jerks. No matter how cool they are, eventually they are going to tell you to do something that you don't want to hear and tell you to do something that you don't want to do, and you will take it and do it, but you won't like it. That's when the manager turns from 'he's ok' to the butt of all authority based jokes.

I have been a manager for about 9 months. In this period of time I've decided that I've learned everything I need to know about managing people. Because of that I've decided that there is a definite reason that all managers are jerks or going to be jerks.


Yep, that's the reason. Nothing more. In my stint as a failed manager, I will say that I went into the position with one extraordinarily misplaced assumption; If you treat people decently then they in turn will be decent to you This is a credo that I've tried to live by my entire life. Much of the time this requires TACT. Unfortunately as a manager I've come to realize that this is not at all true. Many people will in fact return your kindness with a knife in the back. More about that at a different time, or maybe never.

Tact is an interesting skill that I've developed over time. It's the conversational art of getting a difficult point across while simultaneously not making the target feel bad. If you are good at it, you never have to lie. If you are bad at it, you lie all the time. For example:

Aunt Edna has a hideous hat that makes her look like a totem pole. She has worn this hat to the symphony much to everyones amusement.
Bad tact: Edna that hat looks so good on you! It's wonderful!
Good Tact: Edna, you're choice in hats is second to none.

Bad tact was that it was a lie. You didn't believe it and neither did she. Good tact allowed her to think the best of what you were saying but leaving room for misunderstanding that you will leave at that.

The problem is that in either case you haven't solved the problem of Edna's hat. In management, it's different. You have to tell someone that they reek of body oder and that they need to shower on a DAILY basis. If you go the tactful route, it will take you about 1/2 hour to deliver this message, and they will feel bad, but they may not dislike you as a result. If you go the direct route "Hey Frank, listen, everyone has been complaining that you stink and you need to get bathed EVERY day". Frank's feelings will be hurt and he will think you are a jerk for saying it like that. HOWEVER you have saved 25 minutes and more importantly you got your point across in no uncertain terms.

Time is money, especially in management. So eventually, managers will tend towards the abrupt and rude methodology not because it's a power trip, but because it saves them precious time. The problem of course is that they can and often do go too far in the other direction and seem to take a sadistic pleasure in the bad news they are delivering to you. They don't have time for hurt feelings etc. If you want to work for someone nice, get a job from your mom.