Wednesday, March 23, 2011

work-life balance

I thought this was funny at first, but then that passed.  Is this still funny? 

My company used to show a slide about "Work-Life Balance" during its quarterly meetings.  Every 3 months, this exec would take a moment to say how they're working to improve our work-life balance with tele-work programs.  It never came up that what we wanted was to take time off without burning out our last remaining teammate(s) and coming back to a 60-hr week.  It turned out that the same systems that allowed Asian contractors to do our jobs during our nights and weekends also enabled American staffers to work nights and weekends.  I never really understood that slide, but I was reading into it something like "Shifting Your Work-Life Balance Toward Getting Your Life Back".  Their version was more just a bullet point.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

You've caught me at a very strange time in my life

Middle-school boys in Tacoma, WA have started their very own after-school program, a "Fight Club" in a school bathroom.  One of the broke the first rule of Fight Club as shown here.  Check that story first, I'll wait.  I am not a parent, but I'm an uncle and former high school teacher.  I'm bothered by the fighting in a tiny measure, but I'm shocked and disappointed by the school's response.  This struck an immediate impression in me that may disappoint some people who've "known me all my life".  All I can say is, "all your life" usually means "while you were a child", and that was a long time ago.

"Fight Club" is one of my 2 or 3 favorite movies of all time.  There, I said that.  The original version is not family-friendly (to an extreme), but it's how a lot of people relate to their world and I acknowledge that on artistic merit.  The cable edit is still good enough that I'll watch it a couple times when it rotates through the channels.  When Tyler and the narrator start their first fight...

"How much can you know about yourself, you've never been in a fight? I don't wanna die without any scars."

The fight concludes with a tap-out and a handshake and a smile.  After a few weeks, they were carved out of wood.  There was respect; more importantly, there was self respect.  Back to that point later.