Be Beautiful and Practical

Bruce read that leaving the curtains open increased electricity costs.  He wants the houseplants to survive, so he compromises.

Keeping the plants nourished

Keeping the plants nourished

Let the sunshine in

Let the sunshine in



Unknown author

Unknown author

For the first time since I started this blog, I am materially aware that I have an audience.  It has stopped me from writing.  I have been through a painful experience which made me leave my job.  I have been grappling with such issues as self control, my ability to modify my environment and the effects that another person can have on me.  In some ways my experience has been at odds with my belief system, which has caused a cognitive dissonance.  As you can imagine, I have been struggling.  This does not cause me to write less.  Indeed if you know me, it actually causes me to write more.

What has caused me to write less, is this awareness of my audience and the fear that my life would be negatively effected by my work here on the blog.  There is nothing more anxiety producing than losing one’s income.  I am not willing to be a starving artist, I have too much going on in my life to stop the train for the sake of my own written word.  Trust me, I have saved the words.

Some things that have caused me concern is the idea that my old boss, who is vindictive and mean spirited, would work hard to block my efforts to find new employment.  Another concern is that, a person interviewing me (with hiring authority) would turn out to be a Trump lover.  Based on experience, I know that these things can be real and I want to avoid the effect of someone’s negative feelings on my future.

Today, I read some research about why we want to believe that the universe is just and that things happen to people because they deserve it.  It’s far easier for us to believe that the universe will treat us right if we act right.  We can then believe that we have some control over life.  We can believe that people get what they deserve, even when there is an injustice.  I have known that this is not true for many years.  The universe is full of injustice and apathy and even evil.  We humans do not have control over the universe.  We are subject to life.

Which is why, in order to thrive, we must sometimes resort to dishonesty.  I have dishonestly withheld my truth from this blog, in order to create a transition as painless as possible.  My feelings had endured enough pain and I would not be my own perpetrator.

I have been dishonest with my blog, and I hope you will forgive the lapse.  It was intentional and it is over.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading.



Some Things I Have Learned

No matter how much I cover myself, if others want to blame me, I will be blamed.   No matter how much I cover my ass with documentation, if someone doesn’t like me, I will be wrong.

It’s important to NOT give up.  (I have not given up.)  Renew and refresh goals for the future.  My body deserves continued commitment to health…so does my mind and my pocketbook.

Preternaturally calm means “beyond what is normal or natural” calm.

Trust your instinct: you don’t have to go with the plan every time.  You just have to have a plan so that you are prepared.

Notes to Self:

Failure to support: don’t be that.

Keeping distance: sometimes you have to.

And finally ~ Abundance and Prosperity in all things.



Insubordinate, Incompetent or Incapable

Insubordinate, Incompetent or Incapable in the Workplace

For many years I have taught that there are only two issues that cause managers to terminate employment of staff members: insubordination and incompetence.

I have learned something new today: incapability ~ not having the necessary ability, qualification, or strength to perform a specified act or function.

Incompetent ~ lacking qualification or ability, noun; a mentally deficient person

So, even though incompetent and incapability can be synonymous, I would make a distinction.  My own brain and some dictionaries say that incompetence has to do with mental ability, whether it be IQ or emotional state, something about the person means that they cannot perform the task.  Incapability is almost the same, but the status of the inability may not be mental, it can be physical, or one of energy.  In other words, given the right level of energy and time, the task can be done intellectually, but is not, in fact, done because of an inability to create the correct circumstance to get the task done.

I think this distinction is important because, the incompetence definition implies a less than average IQ.  Incapability is not about intelligence, however, the result is the same.  The task is left undone.

When I am working with a staff member to assist with performance levels, I can (almost always) predict the outcome based on these definitions.

Insubordination – the staff member does not want to do the work.  Mistakenly, they may believe that their supervisor is powerless to affect their activities, or they have decided that the supervisor is wrong in some way:   Insubordination – “is the act of willfully disobeying one’s superior. Refusing to perform an action that is unethical or illegal is not insubordination; neither is refusing to perform an action that is not within the scope of authority of the person issuing the order.”  Wikipedia

Incompetence – try as they might, this staff member cannot get the job done.  They lack the critical thinking skills to understand the process and so they make the same mistakes over and over again.  These mistakes interfere with others work and this team member may be unintentionally disruptive for the rest of the team.  Additionally, all training attempts yield no or very little results, so corrective action is not effective with this team member.

Incapacity – this team member may not even try to get the job done, they are not able to plan or organize and therefore cannot ever create the correct circumstances to get their job done.  Their intelligence is not compromised in any way and they do not openly deny a supervisor’s instruction, they simply have a never ending supply of good reasons for not getting the job done.  This sometimes appears to be insubordination and even incompetence, but because the staff member is capable and appears to follow instructions, it is unclear what keeps them from getting their job done.

In any of these situations, I know that the outcome will always be the same: the job will NOT get done.  The staff outcome should always be the same and that is to terminate employment.  The truth is, that it doesn’t matter why staff members do not do their job.  If you, as a supervisor, have diligently trained and worked with the staff member to improve performance and you have given that person lots of time to succeed, then termination is the only end point for non-performance of essential staff functions.  In that light, insubordination is almost always the easiest staffing issue, because it is so straightforward.


How to Stop Being a Hoodlum in Six Easy Steps

Stop seeing people as a means to an end

Stop looking at everything as if you must identify a financial gain

Acknowledge that other people do not exist for your use

Listen to feedback without dismissing it, you may find out that you are not perceived well

Stop imagining that you have been victimized, you have not, or if you have, it no longer matters

Accept consequences, yes, you do deserve them.


Knowing and Thinking isn’t Learning

It’s not about the thinking and the knowing, it’s about the behavior that follows the thinking and the knowing.

For many years I have thought that if I know something, it does me no good to redundantly read the same information over and over again.  For example, budgeting and saving money, they are both very simple concepts, with only a few constructs to them.  There is not a huge variation of ways and means to live by a budget and to save money.  I never saw any reason to keep learning the same thing over and over again.

It turns out that I was incorrect in my thinking.  In the sense that I am seeking the instruction about budgeting and saving so that I can change my behavior, learning and knowing is not enough to change my behavior.  I have to do more.

One of the ways that behavior change can be successful is if the desired behavior is reinforced over and over again.  This is where the redundant learning becomes desirable.  Yes I know HOW to save money and yet I do not, now I need to change my spending behavior and actually save the money.  To this end re-reading and re-learning will help me change my behavior.  It may be redundant, but this isn’t about what I know, or how smart I am.  This is about changing behavior and that takes commitment and redundant reminders.


Some Truth for the New Year

Accept yearning in your life, you do NOT have to fulfill every desire.

Everything WILL change, you can’t stop it.

Will this matter in two years?  Study it, look at it, decide it: if it will not matter in two years, save your energy.  Don’t give energy to the unnecessary.

Don’t imagine that anyone is better than you, they are not.  Much of life is luck, you nor they control circumstance.  Some people will have better circumstances, some people will have terrible circumstances.  This is true.

Memories are nice, but they are not now.

Remember that big companies have proven that they do not want to “save you money” and remember that advertising is highly successful because it “makes you think…”  Consequently, beware, if you “buy into” the concepts that Coca Cola is about love and McDonalds is about home and hearth, then you have been fooled and you will buy products that do harm to your body.  The same is true for the “new” big companies including the “Whole Foods Grocery” stores.  It is up to you to take responsibility for researching reality.

Other people’s thoughts and actions are not within your purview, you cannot control other people.  Accept this idea and make decisions from this knowledge.

Doing hurtful things to others is NEVER okay or correct.  Those who do harm must be restrained.


New Years Day

Yes, it’s here, another one.  We put this line in the sand to give ourselves a moment to pause.  Some will use this opportunity well, giving time and space to reflection.  Others will not consider it and others cannot consider the past year in any meaningful way.

I think it is a very good thing to consider where you are and where you want to be.  We cannot move In any direction purposefully, unless we know where we are going.  We can move, of course, we just do not go towards anything when we move without aim.

It is a good feeling to know that an effort given has produced a desired result and reflection given can embed the success into permanence.  It reminds me of an old saying “Reinvent your childhood at any time.”  Memories are powerful, use them.  Construct your life from the bottom up, why not?  It can give direction and purpose to your reflection.


Beware the Message, Because of the Messenger

In my ignorance, I believed that everyone was aware that they have a point of view and that the point of view is uniquely their own and not necessarily reality. I know that humans love being right and correct in all things, yet I believed that we are all, at least aware, that our point of view is skewed by our own background and our emotions.
Doesn’t everyone understand that motivations are very personal? I mean one reason why we do not “trust” salesmen is because the motivation is counter to our own motivation which is to keep our money, while the salesman wishes us to part with our money. So inherently, we all know that motivation is personal.

I am surprised when people don’t recognize that actions have motivations behind them. For all supervisors and management staff, indeed for anyone who has a senior decision making role in any position in life, one must consider the motivation for all incoming communication and feedback. Only by understanding that all behavior is motivated and that motivations are strictly personal in nature, can we truly evaluate the point of the conversation.

Many will come to you to attempt to bend your opinions and actions to their own personal point of view, this is called lobbying, and everyone engages in it. We fall into relationships that require trust and sometimes that will lull us into not thinking, because, clearly, if we thought about it, we would know when malfeasance was coming our way.
What is coming your way?


It is Not Always Correct to be Polite

I am sitting in a dentist’s chair with a cute little intern leaning over me, pressing hard on the metal mold. I growled. I won’t sit still for pain, I can deal with it, but you gotta tell me why and for how long. You can’t just place metal in my mouth and smother me with goop and expect me to be polite and deal with it.
The dental assistant is shocked that I would actually speak up for myself. I don’t get mad, I am not angry or upset, but I have been told many times that this process will only take five minutes. I waited in the lobby for half an hour and then sat in the dental chair for twenty minutes and all of this for a five minute procedure. So while the staff looks at me with consternation; I am quietly wondering if the whole world has gone mad. When did our society get to the point of politeness overwhelming common sense?
I am saying that we should be giving people feedback, otherwise how will people know that they are performing inefficiently or worse haphazardly? Since when has speaking up become impoliteness?
It is nonsensical for doctors, dentists or any other professionals to schedule other people’s time in such a way that the time is lost. If I make an agreement with you and promise to pay you for whatever your procedure is, why can’t I deduct from my payment to you equivalent to my time you have wasted?
And when I speak up, why, why are you shocked?
I am not mad, I am not mean. I just want to give you some feedback. In my world, F is for feedback, not failure.