Nonsense At Work

#107: May 2016 MindShift

Nonsense just is,
but sense must be uncovered, grasped and held tight.The NonsenseAtWork Monthly MindShift

May 2016

Bright Flowers To Fuel Work

Maybe, possibly, bright is not the same as wise

bright-wiseI am constantly surprised by the number of bright people and by how many of them are in high office. I remain surprised until I remind myself that bright is not the same as wise.

Bright people are bright because they blind you with their unwavering sense of rightness. They see absolute truths where simpletons like me are dazed and confused by what-ifs. They see certainties where I see maybes; they have the one answer when I have many; they see black and white while I am stuck in gray.

And the grayer I become, the more I realize that the only one right answer is that there is never only one right answer.

Surely, too much bright and we lose the shadows. Where do possibilities hide? In the shadows.

If only life is as clear-cut as they believe it. Indeed, bright is not the same as wise.

When mothers’ nonsense wilts flowers

mothersdayHere’s a warning to all mothers.  Nonsense created in jest can cost you flowers for years.

When I was eleven years old, I won a little radio in an art competition.  About the same time my mother teased me that, as I am so different from the rest of her pack, I must have been adopted.  With hindsight, I know that my mother was secretly proud of me.  But back then I was going through the typical pre-teen ‘nobody loves me, everybody hates me’ phase.

Late one night, naughtily listening to my radio under the bed sheets, I heard that every third child born was Chinese.  I was stunned.  I was the third child in the family, apparently adopted and thus obviously Chinese.

I carried my dark secret for years until I found the silver lining.  Whenever I forget Mother’s Day, I have a ready excuse.  I have no idea who or where my mother is.

Think on these things to stay true

my father expertThinking about my mother without flowers reminds me of the compulsory family dinner time we endured as kids. Dinner always ended in time for the 7 o’clock radio news. Before the news there was a brief segment called “Think On These Things.” I think it was meant to boost our moral fiber.

Decades later social scientists showed that allowing a person some time to reflect before responding or acting is likely to make him more honest.

Early in my career I was taught to never, ever surprise the boss. Yet, it seems that bosses like springing surprises on subordinates.

Dear Boss, if you want the truth, be patient. Give your subordinates time to prepare for a performance review, a project debriefing, a disciplinary hearing, or whatever. No, not to allow them time to prepare their defense. You are giving them time to reflect, to think on these things, so that they can have the moral fiber to stay true.

Take away the fuel that feeds the fight

TeasingI wish my daughter would take some time to reflect. Or maybe my son should be the one who should reflect. You decide.

My son loves to tease his sister. Why? Because she reacts, every time. No matter how many times I tell her to ignore him, to let his comments bounce off her, as in ‘words will never hurt me’.

Whenever he casts a cheeky line in her direction, she takes the bait. Every angry response she makes to his teasing motivates him to tease again. She has yet to learn that her reaction feeds his little devil.

Hopefully she will learn soon, before she enters the so-called grown-up world, where too many so-called adults have not yet learned this same lesson and persist in lobbing barbs.

Why do we react without thinking to gossip in groups and catty comments from colleagues?

Because we don’t apply the Law of Two Feet – we don’t walk away. We forget that by walking away we stop participating. And by doing so we take away the fuel that feeds the fight.

According to basic science, it is impossible to work from home

WorkFromHomeOf course, the easiest way to avoid gossip groups and catty comments is to work from home. But can you? Work from home, I mean.

Some people believe that working from home improves performance. Nonsense! According to basic science, it is impossible to work from home, so how can it increase performance?

A basic law of physics is that work equals force times distance. Now, if you work from home, then distance becomes zero. We all know that if you multiply with zero you get zero. Therefore, working from home means that force times no distance equals zero work.

In other words, it does not matter how much you force yourself to get work done at home, you will get no work done unless some travel is involved.

Now you know why so many people treat the local coffee shop as a workstation even as the boss at work thinks they are working from home.

Want to show me how bright you are?

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