Monday, June 27, 2016

Keep Calm, Don't Carry On

June 27, 2016

A boy fell into a gorilla enclosure at a zoo. A gorilla went to pick him up, but eventually started dragging him around, and keepers were afraid that he’d hurt the boy; so they shot him.

Naturally, people started pointing fingers: The mother was to blame, the zoo was to blame, blah, blah, blah.

Nobody thought much of my idea: That if the onlookers had controlled themselves instead of continuously yelling, the gorilla might not have gotten so agitated, and the keepers would have been able to retrieve the boy safely. It seemed to me like the gorilla started out to help the boy, but then in the ensuing mayhem, he got confused and agitated, leading to his stress reaction and the child’s danger.

So maybe I’m wrong; but maybe next time something like this happens, people could try to overcome their (perfectly natural, I admit) tendency to yell and/or jump around, which will only exacerbate the situation.

Keep calm, don’t carry on.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Why Don't We Ever See Fat Ants?

June 26, 2016

The title is pretty much the whole entry. Certain types of ants swarm to sugary foods, but they don’t get fat. Are any scientists studying how the ants metabolize the sugar so that they don't get fat? As a dyed-in-the-wool sugar lover, I think the question merits some research.

I looked it up (a little) and saw articles online about why ants don’t get killed in the microwave (does the author also pull wings off flies?), and asking why, if margarine is healthier than butter, ants won’t eat it (Good question); but not why ants don’t get fat from all the sugar.

Somebody needs to look into this.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Job Priority

June 20, 2016

An article by Vick Amsinger in the June 5, 2016 St. Louis Post Dispatch argues that the people who are concerned with the entire organization and create the capacity to take on more work are the most appreciated/promoted.

When I say “take on more work”, I don’t mean that they add more to their days. The author sensibly suggests ways to cut down on tasks (or distractions like social media) that employees don’t need to be performing, so that they can take on the new tasks and still get out of work on time.

I like her approach. I just have one caveat.

Since most of my readers are personally known to me, I know that they all give it all they’ve got on the job. They are concerned with the entire organization. And you know which ones get valued/promoted?

The best schmoozers.

Look around at any business, from retail to education to Wall Street, and you’ll find out it’s true.

When I say, “Schmooze,” I don’t mean, “Bring coffee” or “Be a Yes-Person.” I mean, find common ground. Even if your personalities are completely different, and you don’t like any of the same movies or leisure activities, you can turn that into a way to (nicely) find complementary angles on any discussion.

Don’t take it for granted that just because you are excellent at your job, you’ll be appreciated, or that you’ll be promoted over the worthless charmer. I’m sorry to say that that rarely happens. Look at it this way: If you’re going to promote somebody to your level, where you’ll have more interaction with them, you’ll want it to be somebody you’re familiar with, that you’re more comfortable with—someone that you actually know. Right? So that’s what happens.

So add one more task to your day: Schmooze.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

He Finally Got to Practice What He Preached

June 1, 2016

At the age of 96 Henry Heimlich, the inventor of the Heimlich maneuver, finally used it for the first time. A woman at the senior living center where he lives was choking, and he performed the maneuver on her.

Good news: It worked.