Almost end of week thoughts …

Who controls the relationship? 

I ask, because I honestly sometimes wonder if I know that answer. I always walk into a new meeting with a blank slate. I have no agenda. I am not trying to sell myself, or be sold … at least consciously.

My litmus test, off the cuff, is does this encounter add value, insight or knowledge? Does it make me think? Does it make me happy or sad, or joy and laughter? Is it complimentary or contradictory to my beliefs? Neither, by the way, is a right or wrong answer. Complimentary could turn me off its too much of an echo chamber. Contradiction, equally, could be unattractive to me if it feels like every conversation is a laborious challenge with no meaningful outcome. 

To that end, I feel like relationships are controlled not by me, but how others view me. My patient, inquisitive personality may allow me to endure a relationship that is long past expired, I suppose. 

I thought I had more to share on this matter. Perhaps I’ll expand on this after a bit more churning? Interested in your thoughts all the same. (Although, I realize, this solicitation will likely go unanswered).  

Millennial’s, Social Justice Warriors, Up an Coming?

There is girl I listened to. She was berating a Lyft driver because he has a Hulu girl bobblehead on his dashboard. She claimed Hawaii was a continent. Not a geography expert, but think she does not know the definition of continent. Any who, listen for yourself. 

While I would not group all of the current working generation into this category of social justice warriors, I am intrigued by this perceived perception or phenomenon of intolerance that seemingly appears so pervasive in todays newest working culture. If you listen carefully, one learns what one can and cannot say according to their version of life … and if one contrast their life against that of WWII Germany, or Stalin’s Russia, or Mao’s VietNam … I instinctively ask, what color is our arm band?

A theory I have been mulling over in my head, percolating in the french press of my brain housing as it were, makes me wonder if the change in educational culture that used to focus on facts (history always the exception) but instead how students feel is to blame?

Eight-ish years ago, I was on a customer site. A state agency. State agencies were users of our product; this gentleman I was interfacing with, trying to impart my companies knowledge, led a help desk team that fielded support calls for state agencies using our product. The dominant conversation was not of our product or offering, but of how his college/university (I forget), allowed the students to not only grade their own work, but that of the quality of their professor. I realize now I should have asked more questions, but at the time, being repulsed, changed the subject back to the purpose of my trip. I know. Rookie move. I should have expanded on it.

Since then I have seen or heard countless stories similar in nature. Care about feels vs. fact. That seemed to be prevalent tone. Its like the 1960’s mantra of “trust no one over 30” X 1 million. Except in the ’60’s, it was because we (our country) was shipping off bodies for the Vietnam slaughter by the tens of thousands. Today, its just fashionable to be contrarian for the sake of being contrarian … facts be damned. 

More on my theory. Imagine for a moment, a spell if you will, that your entire educational career was predicated and built on how you felt about x,y,z. You were graded on your feelings of x,y,z. You were prompted and encourage to share your feelings about x,y,x. Still with me?

Now, after countless years of this exposure, you are released into the “real world”. The cold world. The world that give no fucks to your feelings, but much emphasis on what you know. Its worse than ice bucket challenge, because you cannot simply shake it off, dry off, and go back to your happy place. Your happy place is now this dystopian hell. You are searching high and low for your soma fix. 

Contrast that with my upbringing. I expected a fight for every position I ever held. I expected to be abused by my superiors. I expected the shit duty. The shit shifts. I expected, and was expected, to put in my dues. To feel like I was toiling for nothing more than a brief acknowledgement of my existence. As for soma, my fix was whiskey, like so many others that came before me. 

When I finally crawled, fought, tore my way through the shit … did I rest on my laurels expecting to be treated like royalty? No fucking way. I was not going soft just because I made it. I earned this position, this place in corporate life. No way am I going to waste it.

Now perhaps, indulge me for a moment, our predecessors see this as unnecessary and can change the system … naw, who am I kidding.

Whether one believes in Darwinism or not, American business culture will always be survival of the fittest. 

On the bright side, in every historical cultural revolution, the fact based people were always the first to be exterminated. Perhaps that gives the majority solace in that knowledge?

Soma? Yes, thank you.


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