Mercury Retrograde ends on March 17, and it certainly is going out with a bang this week: 5 coworkers were laid off on Tuesday, one of them in spectacular fashion. While I had worked with most of them for many years, I was particularly close to one of them. We started at this organization one day apart, and we joked that he was like the 14-year-old brother I never had. You might recall that my boss left unexpectedly 2 weeks ago. It really has been a shitty few weeks.
I know I talk a lot about Mercury Retrograde, but rest assured that I don’t really believe in it or astrology. Not a lot anyway. It’s simply nice to have something to blame or identify a cause or reason instead of the indifferent universe when something shitty happens. I find it a bit ironic that I am currently reading Lean In when after the recent events, I want to lean back so far that I’m out of the picture. But I have to keep it together for my team so that they won’t run screaming from the building.
Yesterday in Performance Leadership, we learned about different generations in the workplace. I’m Gen X (bitter, jaded and cynical naturally), but I’m on the cusp of being Gen Y. Gen Y wants to do meaningful work or find meaning in their work. The Xer in me wants to roll my eyes and tell them to get over it because there’s a reason why it’s called “work” and not “fun.” “Meaningful” for Gen Y is often interpreted derisively as a job that contributes to saving the planet or protesting for Tibetan freedom or something. Meaningful work is relative to the worker, though. For one employee, it might be work that compensates them fairly and allows them to live how they wish. For another it might be an ethical workplace.
As a Gen X/Y cusper, I understand that quest to do work that is meaningful. I am passionate and very proud of the work my organization does to help NC industry and how my efforts support that. I’ve always been able to find meaning. No matter how boring a class, I was always able to find something interesting or redeemable about it. Something that elevated it past mere drudgery. It’s a very useful mindset. My team consists of two young Gen Yers, so I’m trying to focus on the importance of our work during this chaotic time. It’s hard, though, because what do you do when your Gen X clashes with your Gen Y? What happens when you are still able to find Gen Y meaning in what you do but that ol’ Gen X distrust rears its ugly head? When the bitterness outweighs the optimism?
Last night on Twitter I had a nice conversation with Schmutzie and Bon about Get Off My Internets (GOMI). I read GOMI. I admit it. If you want to stop following or shun me because of it, so be it. I understand the criticism of GOMI, and I acknowledge that threads can deteriorate quickly into personal attacks instead of criticizing the behavior. I also acknowledge that some of the members can be mean bitches with axes to grind. I like the snark, but I’m really interested in the function GOMI serves as a counterweight to the blogosphere. I admit that it’s weird because bloggers are actual humans (most of them anyway), and it’s sort of weird to talk about them as if they are in the public domain like a celebrity. But in a way they are. And there’s some stupid shit that goes on in the blogosphere. My bottom line is this: if you delete comments that are mildly critical or questioning something you’ve posted about; if you allow only sycophantic fans to post glowing comments; if you do stupid shit; if you endanger your child; if you…ah screw it. I guess it comes back to what I wrote in my post on criticism: you do not exist in a vacuum. If you blog publicly, you put yourself out there and people will notice you. Not everyone will like you. People will judge your choices and opinions. And that’s OK. Because we’re human, and that’s what humans do. Surely there is room for a happy medium between “OMG U R the best” and “you’re a fat, jealous hater.” Am I being ridiculous? I’m comfortable among the gray instead of living in black or white.
Listen to Your Mother
Things are moving along quite nicely. Marty and I held auditions on three nights last week and heard 40 amazing readers. Today we think we finalized our cast list. We have also revealed our charity partner and have scored three sponsorships. In short, there’s a lot going on, and I urge to subscribe to our LTYM site to stay in the loop! May 8 doesn’t sound nearly as far away as it did only a few weeks ago!
So long, Google Reader. I shouldn’t be surprised that Google has made another decision that is so astonishingly bad it defies belief. Do they understand who their users are? Do they understand that not only do people still blog but also still read blogs? Fine, Google. Continue to put all of your resources and spend your social capital on Google Plus, something no one uses, instead of promoting and supporting the services a lot of people use. We’ll see how that plays out in a few years. I’ve updated my rant about Google from last Fall to include an update on the demise of Reader.
So that’s my week. I’m bummed and numb and down. I haven’t been sleeping well thanks to the time change, and I cried three times yesterday. I’m reading and following along but seldom able to comment.
I hope you’ve had a better week.