I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 16 - WelKome Home, Me!

I was sitting on the bleachers watching a college lacrosse game when a wee small voice whispered somewhere about two inches left of my right ear. "Brain, what do you want?" I replied. The whisper again. By sitting very quietly and being exactly where I was when I was, I heard the song again in the breeze, in the gathering nightfall, in the crisp contact of the aluminum bleacher against my skin. I think I am me again and I might actually be a little bit happy.

A few years ago I had a coworker who quit to take a job closer to home to relieve his lengthy commute. He had been gradually upgrading the quality of his life by moving to a lovely home overlooking the water in a quaint and historic small river town. Most of the houses there look like bed-and-breakfasts and it seems like half of them actually are. I liked him because he was bright, authentic and had a dry but wicked sense of humor. These traits took center stage and he became almost boisterous in the week before his last day. Where in the past he would take three sentences with strategic word choices in responding to any request, during the last week he would lightly state the unvarnished but never unkind truth. It was remarkably efficient and invigorating. I kidded him that his "short-timer's" status showed. He said, "I feel like I'm myself again and I never, ever want to go back to what I've been while I was here." I always hoped that he maintained what he recaptured.

And now I understand.

I carry my camera and a notebook with me almost everywhere. Remember when you were sixteen and in love and every song had a secret meaning made only for you? The world is filled with things worth taking pictures of and making and writing about. There are colors and sounds and possibilities.

I volunteered today to prepare the facilities for the Little League season that starts next week. I was scrubbing the refreshment stand with a man who is polymer scientist. He told me about a co-worker who had a heart attack while leaving his office. In his workplace, there are posters with pictures of the members of their emergency response team and contact stations. Yet, the other employees walked past this man obliviously. When people did notice, they had no idea what to do despite having the information at their fingertips. There were posters and defibrillators that literally have audio outputs to tell you what to do. Still, no one made an emergency call until after nine minutes. The man died. These were not evil or stupid people -- they had been drained of their natural ability to take decisive and independent action like those proverbial frogs in the pot of hot water. Two bits says Hannah Arendt didn't work in a cubicle.

<-- This is your brain under the sedation of a toxic environment.

<-- This is your brain generating the fireworks of being aware that you are alive.

Here are some pictures of random and weird beauty:

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