instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

ironiya • this career-oriented blog—published on biweekly Wednesdays—looks at the positive and sometimes ironic sides of a kaleidoscopic range of workplace and life issues, from education and employment to discipline and discord •

being held up: mug shots

The 8:30 a.m. conference at your downtown office will emphatically not wait for being held up in rush-hour traffic, for getting the kids ready for school in time for the bus, for finishing your preparation for the pending presentation, for putting gas in the car, for stopping at the ATM, for… for… for. If only you could have something to hold you up amidst the stress and lack of sleep that seem to purposely invade each week. Add waiting in line at Starbucks for that shot of espresso that briefly jolts the brain and body.

Why do we put ourselves in such a position? Must we stay up so late answering that enveloping stream of emails, watching and/or reading the end-of-day news, overextending to spouse and children? Well sure, this is contemporary life, when wanting it all comes with an inflationary price that only the weak decline to pay. Let the morning mugs of Colombian coffee be drained, let them be damned, but let them work! Read More 

moving forward: reading & righting

The text you type here will appear directly below the image

Arguments. Disagreements. Disputes.

Or perhaps with a bit of floor polish: contretemps.

They have happened every day among friends, lovers, relatives, spouses and business associates since the beginning of time. Must this state of affairs continue unabridged, accepted as the cost of getting up in the morning, as inevitable as stale bread? Or can people learn to read problems in light of the bigger picture by considering the brevity of life and how genuinely good it feels to be generous, to be forgiving, to be proactive in righting the mistakes that each of us inevitably make? Does the ego really need to hold sway as some sort of unchecked emotional dictatorship? Read More 

the meter of daily life: electric company

The text you type here will appear directly below the image

The refrigerator and stove. ATM and auto-pay. Self-service checkout.

ElectricCompanyThe computer, smartphone and iEverything. Facebook and Twitter. Google and untold others.

Drive-up, drive-through, drop-off everything.

These and all the other accoutrements of daily living can be accomplished with little or no human interaction. But what do our hours mean without meaningful or even passing companionship? In the drive for technological supremacy and efficiency, many tasks can now be accomplished at any hour of day or night, with just a few keystrokes or drops of gas.

But put two or more motivated people in a room together on a compelling project and watch the reciprocity, the dynamics, the results. The meter of daily life rolls by so much more genuinely with #work and challenges, with love and laughter. Read More 

the result of indecision: bad whether

The text you type here will appear directly below the image

In Measure for Measure, Shakespeare makes clear that "our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt." Over four hundred years later, these measured words are as relevant as ever. Must indecision continue to rule the centuries like some perverse King Henry loop?

The current refugee crisis gripping Europe offers life-and-death lessons about decisive action. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said this week that “political indecision among European Union member states may lead to more refugees drowning in the Mediterranean” and called for agreement and “responsibility-sharing.” (http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/09/15/world/europe/15reuters-europe-migrants-casualties.html) Read More 

a lack of transparency: stained glass

The text you type here will appear directly below the image

Why is transparency within the realm of all types of communication—friend-friend, parent-child, husband-wife, manager-employee—so consistently elusive? Why must the ego so quickly approach the greasy fast-fed drive-thru that values expediency and quick profit over healthy dialogue? Why do so many start with perfection as the baseline, from which there is no room to breathe?

Imagine almost any type of scenario. You’ve borrowed a friend’s or parent’s car and have had an accident that was your fault; does the car’s owner not far more appreciate an immediate admission and pledge to do whatever it takes to right the situation, rather than an elusive answer and possible insurance or courtroom fight? You’ve missed a Friday deadline at work to the detriment of a client relationship; does the client not far more appreciate an immediate call and pledge to work through the entire weekend to right the situation, rather than an elusive excuse and possible contractual fight?  Read More 

the brain-body connection: flat tired

The text you type here will appear directly below the image

The alarm clock rings or buzzes. It could scream for all that matter, as the last thing you want to do is heed its call. Is it because of a lack of sleep or the insurmountable day that promises to stare right back as soon as you confront it?

You’re in a meeting or have gone to give a presentation or are taking a test or have an upcoming interview... or an entire rowboat of possible ors. It’s just not happening. Your energy level is low. You feel ambivalent. You’re just plain flat. Is it because you’re tired, or does it betray a lack of excitement for the task at hand? Read More 

complacency as the rival of fulfillment: dashbored

No job is filled with creativity and stimulation 100% of the time. And yet we’re all born with passions that should be fully explored in the search for fulfilling careers. They’re out there; are you rushing to find them? Do you squeeze the most juice from each day? Maybe you love the outdoors; choose one of countless jobs that has you experiencing sunlight over fluorescent lights, breathing natural air rather than that from filtered air conditioning. Maybe you love food; choose one of equally countless jobs that has you preparing, cooking, creating, serving, owning. Do you get the idea? Choose! Read More 

storing and accessing mistakes: i cloud

Making mistakes can be a source of true peace.

What a ridiculous statement, no? How could it be so, and why does it never feel that way at the moment?

For those determined to move ahead tangibly—both personally and professionally—and not just to aspire, the follow-up question, “What can be gleaned from this?” is key. None of us can know at all times where to step and where to avoid, what to do and what to avoid, how to embrace and how to avoid; such a valuable avoidance instinct can only be built up over time, over problems solved, over situations lived through. Read More 

at a minimum: cardboard & character

Photo credit: Designmilk

How easy to take for granted…

…the hundreds of thousands of people—men and women with lives, loves and labors—who are responsible for that cardboard carton carrying everything from beer and books to papers and paraphernalia.

The factory workers, the salespeople, the layers of middle and upper management, the stockholders who provide capital for payroll and expansion, the drivers who long-haul these yet-to-be-filled and already-filled boxes, the cities and states that depend upon the accompanying toll revenues, the highway workers who in turn pave and upkeep those very well-traveled roads, the bricks-and-mortar and online workers who stock, pack and send the boxes, the lawyers and doctors who stack them rafter-high, the paper recyclers alert to these soon-to-be discarded cartons… All of them spend their earned income on themselves, and their families and friends, which in turn creates sustenance for so many more. Read More 

making the most of meaningful opportunity: flew shot

How many times are you confronted with meaningful opportunity—in a day, a week, a month? Are you receptive to the signs, willing to pursue them, eager to take your best shot? Doing so may take you out of your comfort zone, may involve some risk, may expose you to criticism and/or failure, may initially sting.

But weigh the consequences of inaction, and you may well be confronted by mediocre work, by unsatisfying relationships, by an unforgiving calendar, by less money, by… by… by. Read More