Category Archives: Stuff I Think About

Miserable Job

It’s annual performance review time at our company, and hopefully this annual exercise is as much about looking forward to the coming year as it is about looking back at the past. As you think about your annual review, it is a good time to consider job misery. If you are a manager, I hope you know when one of your team members is miserable in their job. If you are the individual who is miserable in your job, it may be useful to ask why..

In the book “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job”, author Patrick Lencioni offers a model that describes reasons for job misery:

1. Anonymity – Are you ‘known’ in your job? “People who see themselves as invisible, generic or anonymous cannot love their jobs, no matter what they are doing.”

2. Irrelevance – Does your work matter to someone? “Without seeing a connection between the work and the satisfaction of another person or group of people, an employee simply cannot find lasting fulfillment.”

3. Immeasurement – Can you measure your own progress? This one was the most intriguing to me. “Without tangible means of assessing success or failure, motivation eventually deteriorates as people see themselves as unable to control their own fate.”

If you are miserable in your job, do any of these ring true as the possible cause? If so, work with your manager to become known, connect your work to the satisfaction of others, and establish a means of measuring progress.

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Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud – Part 1

This book is deep water. I expected a discussion on how honest and forthright behavior contributes to success in life and business. I’m getting so much more. Here are a couple of example quotes:

“When you empathize, you feel for the other person, but still know that its not your experience. In that way, you can be a bridge to a new and different experience from the one that they are having… such as hope.”

“True listening and understanding occurs only when this happens… The other person understands that you understand. And that only happens when your character is connecting enough to get you out of your own experience, and into the experience of the other. To do that requires a makeup that is not detached, or self-focused.”

Dr. Henry Cloud in Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality

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Lyrics – Part 2

This is the 2nd installment in my argument that contemporary Christian music, like hymns, can contain some serious theology. This one is from the song “So Long Self” by MercyMe (Coming Up To Breathe Album).

Believe it or not but life is not apparently
about me anyways…
But I have met the One who really is worthy
So let me say

So long, self
Well it’s been fun, but I have found somebody else
So long self
There’s just no room for two
So you are gonna have to move
So long self
Don’t take this wrong but you are wrong for me farewell
Oh well, Goodbye, don’t cry
So Long Self

I love this phrase: “believe it or not but life is not apparently about me anyways…”. What if I had learned that when I was 20 years old? I also like the quirky way the phrase is put together (for some reason).

Life is not about me anyways. This is on the short list of ‘things I hope I know now, and wish I had known when I was young’.

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Lryics – Part 1

I’ve heard more than one person say that the old hymns contain some serious doctrine if you listen to them closely. I can’t and won’t argue with this. I have noticed recently, however, that some contemporary Christian music also contains some profound messages, assuming you are willing to listen closely.

Case in point: “Lose My Soul” by tobyMac (portable sounds album). What makes this song even more amazing is that it is what we in the over 45 crowd would call “Rap Music”. Normally I can’t turn it off quickly enough, but this song has me hooked.

Anyway, back to my point. “Lose My Soul” has some deep water in it, such as:

Man I wanna tell you all something, Man.
Man I’m not gonna let these material things, get in my way, you all.
I’m trying to get somewhere.
I’m trying to get somewhere,
That’s real and pure and true and eternal.

Amen to that. And another example from the same song:

Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world,
That fight for our love, and our passion,
As our eyes are open wide and on You.
Grant us the privilege of Your world view,
And may Your kingdom be, what wakes us up, and lays us down.

Grant us the privilege of Your world view. Yes…. please do.

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The 10 "Cannots"

The 10 Cannots
By William J. H. Boetcker

  • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  • You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
  • You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  • You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  • You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  • You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  • You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  • You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
  • And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

This kind of thinking is conspicuous in its contrast to the popular culture of America today. I long for a day when this philosophy is prevalent in our country again.

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Y2K at the pump?

I’ve asked this question at several gas stations over the last several weeks, and mostly have just received a confused look as a response. I’ve asked every station where I have stopped to refuel whether they have tried to set the gas price at $10.00/gal, just to see if it is possible. Am I the only one who remembers when gas went above $.99 for the first time? The gas stations all had to cut a hole in the metal to the left of the ‘price per gallon’ numbers in order to add an additional digit to price gas at $1.00 for the first time. Shortly thereafter we started to see digital gas pumps.
Now I am wondering, did the manufacturers of the newer pumps allow for enough digits in the price to support $10.00/gal? It seems on the surface that it should be no problem because of the digital display, but the software/firmware may not be programmed to allow for this number of digits.

I must be the only one on the planet wondering about such things. The 2 common responses I get to this question are:
1. Huh?
2. Oh, I don’t think it would ever get that high.


Photo 1 courtesy of KB35, used under the Creative Commons License.
Photo 2 courtesy of
Afroswede, used under the Creative Commons License.

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