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 339 - Half Witty and Almost Famous

Daily Kup (My Life in the Rear View Mirror)
Once in a while, it all just comes together. If you've come here today from the link on Patch.com, then welcome. Sit down and have a cup.

This is a friendly place to be — often funny, usually upbeat, always honest.

Life wasn't always this way. I used to work 60, 70, sometimes 80 hours per week for a national technology company. Unless you've worked there, you've never heard of it. I like to call it Porkus as a nod to the management's guiding philosophy taken straight from the last line of Orwell's Animal Farm. Here' a a quick quiz to help you know if you've worked for a company like Porkus:

— The Marketing Department fabricates awards that the company has won.
— Education, higher or technical, is viewed with suspicion since management is fully capable of teaching you anything they decide you need to know.
— Conference calls are frequently muted to allow the opportunity to ridicule the customers.
— The technical salespeople wore blue vests at their last jobs.
— The most enduring upper management position is "Toady."

I stayed at Porkus for 11 years as a manager in Quality Assurance and Customer Service. These roles alternated depending on management whim and what was being shown in Vogue that season. The first management regime thought that the company might be more profitable if the products met customer requirements and were generally functional. The following regime thought that the products were fine and that profits would increase if someone could keep the whiny customers from complaining so much about the products. The final regime, building on the success of reducing customer whining through lowering the number of customers, reduced the number of employees to match. I hear that it's still a neck-and-neck race to the bottom as fleeing customers skip the middle man and simply take a furloughed employee with them as they leave.

On the day that I was jettisoned from the lumbering vehicle, I started this blog as soon as my carcass stopped rolling on the side of the road. For almost a year, I've experimented with what to do with more time and less money, more energy and less toxic environment, more honesty and less accommodation. Some friends came along for the ride and then some strangers showed up and now the party is really going.

The last 11 months have been fun. We've made a Barbie version of Lady Gaga dressed in pickle loaf and followed a statistically accurate sampling method to determine if most Chinese restaurant fortunes really do make sense with "in bed" added. We've read some good books and sought the area's best hamburger.

Which brings us to today. The generous Patch.com article declares the KiMK to be "almost famous" and who am I to quibble?

Still, the acclaim of being almost famous will not go to my head. I'll put my pants on just the way I always have — by searching through the pile next to my bed and shaking out a pair until it looks ironed.

What I Did On My Reality Vacation
To prepare for the interview, I had to do some soul-searching. (I found it in the back of the linen closet next to a bell pull that says UFFDAH! made by an ex-family member and near that rip in the galaxy's fabric where the single socks go.)

Have I learned anything other than that lentil soup is the cheapest meal on the planet?

● You can't fix your life quickly. You didn't mess it up quickly.
You can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself. ~Rick Nelson
● People are worth the effort.
● Everyone is a Klown sometimes, but when the Klown-to-human ratio gets too high, it's time to get out of the little car.
● Do the thing you fear most first.
● Get enough sleep.
● Life goes on until it doesn't. Live consciously in the moment whenever possible.
● The things that enrich you most are those that cost the least beyond your own effort — Community/volunteer activities, self-expression, getting your hands dirty, personal contact at any level, and gratitude.
● If you want to change who you are, change what you do.
● If you don't know what you want, at least figure out what you don't want.
● Try something new every day.
● Beyond the baseline of what is required for survival, time is as valid a form of currency as financial income. By spending less, you can have the freedom to live more.
● Invest in what gives you joy. Happiness is not a volatile tech stock; it's a Christmas club. By investing regularly over time in the little moments of life like reading, listening to music, time with a partner or children, or learning about anything that strikes your fancy, this is where the dividends are.

Comments are more than appreciated. They are adored. They are pampered. They are given a seat at the grown-up's table at Thanksgiving. What truths great and small guide your life?


Your Brother said...

I hope now that you're "almost famous", that you still have time for your pithy, sometimes Marilynesque replies. As we now enter March, and I'm still stuck on your Shakespearean theme, I can only dredge up "Beware the Ides of March" and "Et tu Philip!" as replies to me from you regarding the aforementioned subject that we have previous blogged about to and fro in an ongoing effort to communicate in a manner that has clearly revolutionized the technology based venue in which we have contact.

Your Brother said...

And did you say you're a "half wit"?

Burning Khrome said...

And not a 'whom' in sight. Thou takes me for a grammarian?

On the delicate subject of wit, the article said that the blog was 'generally' witty. The little town of Generally is somewhere on the highway between Never and Always, maybe just over the hill from Often but not all the way to Usually. Not wanting to succumb to that fatal flaw of the (almost) famous of believing one's own hype (Yeah, I'm talkin' to YOU, Charlie Sheen), I allowed myself a humble 50% on the witty-meter. So half-wit it is.

Ay, there's the rub. (Yes, Mr. Shakespeare, there it is in the cabinet right between the dandruff shampoo and a box of Band-Aids. But not near the foot cream. Don't make me talk to you about this again.)

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