Careers as Pirate Ships for Pillaging Companies

The old joke about gentle compromise of an unsatisfying relations goes: My boss pretends to pay me, and I pretend to work. Jobs not only oppressively dominate where someone lives, the hours they sleep and rise, and the entire structure of their days, but then workers take the stress of their jobs home for no…

Illegal Alien Labor

Right now, there are illegal aliens in my house. They’re painting as subcontractors to an American business, displacing native workers as a cheaper alternative because they don’t have to pay taxes. In the aggregate, this hollows out labor from the inside and burdens the middle class to pay for the free riders. The scheme takes…

Education Cannibalism

When I went to university, I noticed the new continuous education program that sought to enroll students in perpetuity, inculcating them with the notion that they were forever stunted in knowledge and skills and needed to be filled up with a barrage of superficial courses that would never achieve its objective of informing them about…

Risk Management

Many choices are unconcerned with risk. There’s not enough information to assess it properly, so its consideration only paralyses — like vociferous warnings about unspecific threats. In other cases, there’s nothing worth conserving, so high risk is acceptable. Sometimes it’s better to have nothing than being stuck with something you don’t want. This latter situation…

Unacceptable is Acceptable

My boss called me to sternly express that I had not done what was expected and that my actions were unacceptable. I thought I knew what this word meant, and expected a formal statement that I was fired for doing what could never in any way be tolerated of anyone. Instead we reasonably discussed expectations,…

Quitting Feels Like Death

When you first hear news of a co-worker resigning, it feels like a small death. Everything you’ve come to appreciate about them for so long will no longer be yours to enjoy, and they will be gone forever. Even though they gave two weeks notice, each day you are staring at a ghost. Their impending…

Summer Six Pack

A young guy a few cubes over who is about 10 pounds overweight despite playing in sports leagues announced his current goal was to have six pack abs by summer, presumably as an indicator of his desired level of fitness. One of the older guys who used to be a wrestler tried to give him…

Dysfunctional Offices

Do you really want to be somewhere organized and effective? This question sounds crazy at first because so many people complain about their insane work environments. It’s far easier to endure a chaotic work environments where projects are regularly late and fail than to endure crazy bosses, rigid rules that serve no purpose, and an…

Preparing for a Job Performance Evaluation

When we don’t know what to do, we fall back on rituals. We try to find the closest ready-made approximations and jam it in as a fix. By conveniently assuming dissimilar things are identical, we can treat them the same. Most people have no capability to evaluate, so apply frameworks conceived by others and assume…

Measuring hours instead of completion cheats everyone

I try not to watch others too closely. I’m not the NSA or CIA. The two professional workmen had a long list of tasks for getting my newly purchased house in order, and they had decided to milk it for a one time gain since we had initially agreed to a daily rate. They’d make…