• Working Tuesday through Saturday: Pros and Cons.

    Working Tuesday through Saturday could leave you free as a bird at the beach!

    In my last job, I worked Tuesday through Saturday. I really liked this schedule  – but there were certainly drawbacks. I did not appreciate hearing “TGIF” when I had another day left in my work week. Still, I got back at them by exclaiming. “I love Mondays!”, while everyone else drudged back to the working week. All in all, if I can choose a schedule for my next job, I will gladly work Tuesday through Saturday, however, I have different tastes than others. Maybe you’re considering a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. More and more Americans are opting to work on Saturday or Sunday and dropping a weekday from their schedule.  If you want to weigh the pros and cons, I’ve put together a list of my personal experiences.

    You get a lot done on Mondays if you don’t have to work.

    Do you ever find yourself running errands on your lunch break? Perhaps the bank isn’t open when you’re off work. Maybe the pharmacy isn’t open on weekends. Maybe you have to take PTO for a doctor’s appointment or a teacher-parent conference. Whatever the errand, when you work Tuesday through Saturday, this becomes less of a problem. Just make an appointment on a Monday, and all is well. Go to the bank and the pharmacy at your leisure on Monday, and enjoy your lunch break during the rest of the week. You don’t even have to use PTO to get that root canal!

    Three Day Weekends are a bit tricky.

    Almost all three-day weekends involve a Monday. So what happens when someone’s usual weekend involves a Monday? At my former work, I either got a different day off, or I got an extra eight-hour’s pay. I always felt it was a fair arrangement.  I usually opted for the three day weekend unless I really needed the money. Having said that, a three-day weekend meant no-one in my department for two days. If your job has work that has to be done despite the three day weekend, that probably means the person who works Saturday has to do more than their normal Saturday work load.

    There’s also the fact that by the time I got off on Saturday, everyone else has been off for a full 24 hours. If there’s a weekend getaway, your friends and/or family will have left on Friday night or Saturday morning. They’ll also want to come home on Monday, and if your schedule allows you to take Tuesday off – this means that you get less time with your loved ones. Depending on your work arrangement, you might be able to finagle getting Saturday off during a three day weekend.

    Everyone is off on Saturdays.

    I just mentioned that when I got off work on Saturday, everyone has already been off work for a full 24 hours. This meant everyone thought I’m free on Saturday during the day. Friends would call me and say “Hey want to do this or that on Saturday afternoon” I’m like – you mean when I’m working? I actually left a church partly because every time they would schedule something social, it would be Saturday afternoon. So – there’s a con right there. If you’re highly involved in a church, or other groups that have weekend events, you might want to forgo working Tuesday through Saturday.

    Your Saturday is everyone else’s Sunday:

    If you’re a night owl like me, what do you like to do on Saturday mornings? Chances are, you just want to laze about – maybe not even get out of bed before 11 or 12. What about Sundays? If you go to church, Sunday is probably the day you go. This is another reason I stopped going to church – I was too tired. It was my Saturday, and I just didn’t have it in me to be social. I wanted to, maybe even needed to sleep in on Sundays.

    Of course, by afternoon, I want to get out and do something – but everyone is busy running errands, grocery shopping, et al. Sunday evenings usually found most of my Monday through Friday working friends tucked in, getting ready for the working week. Staying up late just wasn’t an option for them.

    Simple supply and demand means restaurants close early on Sundays. Any weekend events – brew fests, street fairs, ethnic festivals, and what not -they’ll certainly be done by 5. If there’s anything happening it will end by 5 PM. However – my girlfriend and I did find a theater or two that offers cheap movies on Sunday. Saturday night movies are expensive, so this is an amazing perk. The theaters are relatively empty too – I’ve never tried to go to a Sunday night movie, only to find it sold out.

    Mondays are pretty much void of people.

    Again – if something happens on a Sunday, it closes at 5 PM. But nothing happens on Mondays. When was the last time you went to a chili cook off in the park on a Monday afternoon?  Having said that – with no one around on Mondays, the world is your oyster! Eat at any restaurant you wish without a long wait. Go to a movie with no line, even if a concert happens on a Monday, it’ll be less full than on a Friday or a Saturday. People are at work during the day, and really tired Monday night. Talk about an introvert’s dream.

    Your coworkers assume you can work on Mondays:

    One day during an informal meeting that wasn’t getting anywhere, someone suggested that we reconvene. This same person suggested Monday. I sat back in my seat, set out a sigh, and hoped to God that everyone else could meet a different day. This kind of situation happened all the time. It was pretty common to get asked “Hey, can you do this task on Monday?” or “Can we meet Monday afternoon?”

    About 95 percent of the time, I was able to pass whatever tasks onto the guy who worked in my department on Monday. Occasionally though, there were tasks or meetings that required my presence. Even if this involved a conference call from home,  that still cut into my day off. I remember a time when my boss called me while I was having lunch with my girlfriend, asking when I was going to get something done! That was not a good experience.

    Granted – this isn’t the fault any of my former (or your possible future) coworkers (including my former boss). They can’t memorize your schedule, just as you can’t memorize their schedule. This is just one of the hazards of working Tuesday through Saturday.

    You have less time to collaborate with your coworkers:

    Sure, Tuesday through Friday, you are in the normal groove of the workforce, but what happens when another co-worker works from home one day a week? What about a co-worker who works Sunday through Monday? Maybe Wednesday through Sunday? How about when a coworkers calls in sick? I faced every one of these situations – and it was frustrating. My workplace tried to solve this by trying to get everyone in the building on Thursdays. This helped, but that often made a tiresome Thursday. At least once a month, I would have three meetings back to back. By the end of the third meeting, I felt like a zombie. My brain had totally lost all cognitive thought, and I was just ready to go to sleep. Oh, and when you have so many meetings on one day, noting else gets done.

    You do get a lot done on Saturdays – and Fridays.

    I could get a lot more done on a Saturday than any other day of the week. Why? Because I was not distracted by emails, slack messages, coworkers waking in, etcetera. There were no spontaneous and/or looming projects that had to be done immediately. This also helped my stress levels, because I knew what to expect when I walked into work on Saturdays. Oh – and if you’re the only one at the office, you can play your music as loud as you want!

    There an added bonus to your co-workers starting their weekend earlier; no one wants to start a big project on Friday. No one wants to start a project and then go home for two days. They’ll be thinking of the project their entire weekend. So, since there were no big projects coming down the pipeline on Fridays, I also got a lot done that day.

    Conclusion: Is working Tuesday through Saturday right for you?

    Honestly, this schedule isn’t for everyone. There certainly seems to be more cons than pros listed. Having said that, the biggest advantage, or disadvantage, rests on your social life. Do you value a lot of interactions with your family and friends? If the answer is yes, you should probably stick with a Monday through Friday schedule. However, if you’re not as sociable, a Tuesday through Saturday schedule might be ideal for you.

    The other con set has to do with your actual work environment. Will working Tuesday through Saturday affect your work performance? Can you handle getting phone calls from you boss on what is essentially your Sunday? If you don’t mind this, then certainly working Tuesday through Saturday can benefit you. If, however, it throws you and/or your coworkers into a state of disarray, you should probably stick to a Monday through Friday Schedule. 


  • Should I watch this Shark movie?

    Shark movies - bringing the terror of the deep sea to your living room!If you know me, you know I love sharks. One of my favorite things about summer – almost every year there seems to be at least one good shark movie. This year’s movie, Meg, looks particularly exciting. Every scientific fact I know says the premise could never be. Still – I kind of hope we find that Megalodon exists somewhere. I know that we don’t really want it circling our beaches. Even though sharks don’t actually like eating humans, they sometimes get confused. No if  Megalodon exists – probably best that it exists in a deep cove in the middle of the ocean. But I digress. The point of this article – there are a lot of shark movies! Some of them are good, some of them are – not so good. So, as a community service, I shall give my opinion of several shark movies. That way you will know which movies are worth watching, and which movies you should just skip over.

     

    Jaws

    We all know Jaws – it may have been the very first blockbuster. It gave Steven Spielberg a blank check to pretty much do whatever he wants, and that alone makes me think that Jaws might be the king of the shark movies. I watched Jaws a few years back, thinking this movie will have aged. However – while Jaws certainly does not have the best special effects, the writing is still solid. Besides, who could forget the line…we’re going to need a bigger boat?

    TL:DR Watch Jaws!

     

    Deep Blue Sea


    I have no idea if I watched Deep Blue Sea when it came out. Looking at the era, it certainly is possible. I saw a lot of movies in the late 90s. Still – I might have said…that looks too scary. Yeah – I was kind of a chicken when it came to even remotely scary movies. But I digress. I watched Deep Blue Sea last week, and I enjoyed the movie. However, I would not watch it again as honestly – it really wasn’t that great of a movie. Still – Deep Blue Sea has its good points. Deep Blue Sea certainly keeps you guessing who will live and who will die. This is essential to any shark movie. The writing was a bit wooden – but oh well – giant mutant sharks trap the humans underwater. Why not?

    TL:DR Watch Deep Blue Sea – but don’t expect a serious film.

     

    Sharknado

    I used to love the Asylum – then they made Sharknado. Somehow, Sharknado got a ton of buzz and everyone was like….yeah, I want to watch it. Then they made – what – twenty sequels? Each and every sequel was even more ridiculous. I don’t mind if a movie is intentionally bad, but I feel like the Asylum ran with the popularity of Sharknado to see how bad they could get. As far as the movie itself – it really is not that great of a movie – even for a bad, B movie. I kind of felt let down after watching Sharknado. The concept itself is great! But the execution just failed miserably.

    TL:DR Don’t watch Sharknado

     

    Shark Night

    A bunch of college students go to a cabin and meet a bunch of sharks. Like – ALL the sharks. There were hammerheads and bull sharks and tiger sharks and pretty much every non-extinct shark you could name. Shark Night serves a smorgasborge for all your man-eating shark movie needs! Shark Night certinaly did not take itself too seriously mind you. The tone was almost comedic, and no one expected any accolades. Shark Night was just a lot of dumb, mindless fun.

    TL:DR Watch Shark Night! Shark Night is fun!

     

    47 Meters Down

    My girlfriend loves Mandy Moore and I love shark movies – so of course we had to see 47 Meters Down. I even have a photo of myself getting “eaten” by a giant, cardboard shark advertising the movie. Did I love this movie? Meh – it was ok. I feel like 47 Meters Down felt like it tried to be too serious. The movie tried to show what a lack of oxygen in shark infested waters might do to a person. To be fair – 47 Meters Down serves a great suspense thriller – but just because the movie takes place mostly underwater, that does not mean the movie must be “deep.”

    TL:DR Meh – watch 47 Meters Down anyways.

     

    The Shallows


    Swoooon. I love this movie. I love The Shallows sooooo much that I will probably watch this movie again after I finish writing about this movie. The Shallows really shows the audience that drama and shark movies can co-habitate. The movie focuses on a surfer trapped 200 meters offshore with an angry, vicious great white pining to end her life. The surfer’s injuries bleed into the water, only feeding the shark’s rage even more. Wow. Just wow. This film might be the best Shark movie ever.

    TL:DR Watch The Shallows! Watch it twice!

     

    2-Headed Shark Attack

    A year before Sharknado, the Asylum released probably their best shark movie. A group of teens encounters an unnatural predator in a hungry, viscous, 2-Headed shark. The teens escape to a deserted atoll, only to find their island of safety is sinking and the 2-headed shark followed them. The acting is bad, the props are ridiculous, and the plot really stinks. Still 2-Headed Shark Attack shows the best of the Asylum. 2-Headed Shark shows a bad movie with a small budget that just does not take itself too seriously.

    TL:DR Watch 2-Headed shark if you like cheesy B movies. Stay clear of the two sequels though.

     

    Finding Nemo

    Wait a minute – Finding Nemo isn’t a shark movie. Finding Nemo is about a clown fish and Blue Tang fish trying to find Nemo. But wait….do you not remember some of their buddies? The Sharks sworn to the oath – fish are friends, not food? OK, ok, so Finding Nemo as a shark movie might be – nay – is a huge stretch, however, I feel as though Finding Nemo serves as a decent palette cleanser. You just witnessed a bunch of carnage at the hand, err, Jaws, of some of nature’s most vicious killing machines. You need this! Besides – sharks really are friends. Most sharks attack humans not out of hunger or even malice (bull sharks being an exception). Most sharks attack humans out of – well – accident. They think you’re food, yes, but they don’t think you’re human. They actually don’t like the way we taste.

    TL:DR Watch Finding Nemo as a palette cleanser.

     


    So many other shark movies.

    There are other shark movies I skipped over: Ghost Shark, the Reef, Jersey Shore Sharks, Open Water et cetera. Omission by no means says anything negative or positive about these movies. I just have not seen every shark movie. I mean, I am only one man with a finite amount of time. Maybe by next summer I’ll review a few more. I will say that if a shark movie is a sequel, a good rule of thumb: skip it. There are a few exceptions mind you – but Open Water 2, Sharknado 2, Deep Ocean 2, Deep Blue Sea 2, and the like – meh. You’ve got better use of your time.


  • Getting laid off means so many goodbyes.

    Getting laid off - so many goodbyes

    Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls –  getting laid off sucks.

    I’ve been employed in my current field for 18 years, and have worked extremely hard to get where I am at now. While there’s been ups and downs, and various levels of employment, I have not been unemployed since then. The rushing thoughts of “what now” seem to be non-stop. I’ve never been really good at job hunting, and I’ve gotten used to a certain level of living. I honestly don’t know what type of job I want, and I don’t know how to get it. Having said that, this is far from my only fear.

    I fear I’m not going to see some of my coworkers ever again.

    I’ve gotten a lot of warm responses all around. I’ve seen tears in eyes, and looks of sadness when my boss announced the layoffs. I’ve gotten hugs, handshakes, and a bevy of other gestures. I even heard a heartfelt “I’m really going to miss you,” from someone who I used to fight with quite a bit. Again – there’s been a lot of ups and downs with coworkers all across the building, but having said that – I’m going to miss every single one of them. Getting laid off means the end of some amazing professional relationships.

    I’m going to miss my clients.

    I’ve been slowly telling the ones I connect with that I won’t be around for very much longer. I’m not telling them I was laid off – that’s none of their business and puts the organization in a bad light. I try to give them a bigger and better things type of answer when they ask what I’m doing.

    Going past missing my clients as people, I’m going to miss working with them. Customer service was probably 40 percent of my job. I might even miss their anger when things go wrong. I will miss finding an amazing solution that makes them happy. I like making people happy, and I have a creative mind – so this was a real perk of my job. I fear that the clients won’t get the treatment they deserve once I’m gone. Getting laid off means I probably won’t see a lot of those people ever again.

    I’m going to miss some of my projects.

    My soon to be former department has my name all over the place. When I took over as the department head, pretty much everything was different. I diligently worked to change the things that needed to be changed. Still, there’s so much more to be done! We were going to get a new scheduling tool to replace our aging system, and this was going to free me up to do other things.  I might have been able to finally make the TV Guide work better. I might have been able to redesign all my forms so as to make them more readable and accessible. I might have been able to join – even become the point person – of the accessibility task force. Getting laid off means these projects are now not something I’ll be able to do. That really sucks!

    Granted, there are a few things I won’t miss.

    I won’t miss trying to finagle the data when report time comes. I remember last time – I told the IT guy “I know my numbers are correct, but I have no idea how I got them!” I won’t miss the commute – North Portland to East County is a long way by car and even further by train. I won’t miss the seemingly constant irritations, both minor and major, of the playback servers. I won’t miss the transit center late at night (when I’m on my way home) – there are some scary and interesting people who frequent there! My point being, there are positives to getting laid off.

    I will land on my feet.

    I don’t know how, but I do know that I have a lot to offer. The job market is surprisingly good, and I’m smart enough to figure out the logistics. In the meantime, I can focus more on my writing. I’ve had a goal of writing on this blog once a month. Maybe I can up that goal now that I’ll have a bit of free time. I also have my music blog which I am about to launch. I need to put something up there at least once a week. Who knows, if I can monetize at all, my music blog could become my new full-time gig. It’s highly unlikely, but I might as well reach for the stars. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    Again, I say – getting laid off sucks, but I do see some hope. I know this will probably not be a long unemployment streak. I also know, that my next job will probably be the best job I’ve ever had. Optimism – it’s how I’m going to get by. The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades!


  • Thank you rich people, for paying your taxes.

    We have a problem in this country, and no one seems to know how to solve it. The rich don’t want to pay their taxes, and thus essential and even life saving programs suffer from lack of funding. I can’t say I blame the rich mind you. The libertarian side of me recognizes that it might not be so fair that such a small sect of society has to pony up for so much of what society needs. Then the human in me steps in and says, it doesn’t matter if it’s fair or not – it’s not fair that so many people in this country can’t afford healthcare, or that public schools, are so terrible due to budget cuts. Still – I go back to the fact that if I were rich, if money I worked hard for was taxed at such a high rate, I would be a little miffed. Heck, I get miffed by looking at my measly salary and seeing all that the government takes from me on a regular basis! It makes me wonder if there’s a better way. While said better way will probably never be found, there is something we can do. We can say thank you.

    Before I go on – I want to make sure to say that the rich aren’t the only ones being taxed unfairly. Taxes pretty much suck all across the board, and we all pay a lot more than we should. Still, the top 1 percent of income earners pay about 50 percent of the annual income tax revenue. Compare that with the bottom 80 percent (which most of us are in). We pay about 15 percent. That’s quite a difference. And again, I hate my tax rate – it’s too high. So before I say thanks to the rich, I’ll say thank you to every taxpayer in America. But especially a big thanks to the rich.

    Thank You indeed.

    Seriously, thank you rich people who don’t dodge every tax you can. You make our country great. You save lives. You provide healthcare to children. You give people the chance to better themselves. You give veterans services they need. I realize that some of you don’t see the value in some of the services provided, but that’s just how this country works. I for one don’t really see the value in spending so much on, say, building a new ship for the Navy or the latest superweapon. Still, some people do. But I digress. My point being is that your sacrifice is serving the greater good. You should be proud of this absolutely patriotic thing you’re doing. It helps so many of your fellow Americans.

    It’s personally helped me. I’m disabled, and relied on social security for four years of my life. Your investment in me made me have a better life. Without that money, I would not have been able to attend college. There, I not only got a degree, but also the confidence in knowing how valuable my skills are to others. I became a contributing member of society because of you. Besides, if you add up all the money the government gave me in those four years (including pell grants) and compared it to the amount of federal taxes I’ve given the government, the government has a net gain. Yes, not everyone is willing to better themselves, and sure, there’s a few bad apples that want to game the system – but I’m willing to bet that most of us want to be self sufficient. Most of us want to earn our own way.

    But why should we have to say thank you?

    Now that I’ve said thank you, both collectively and personally, I want to spend some time talking about why we should say thank you. Honestly, it’s just courtesy for one thing. We all learned to say please and thank you in Kindergarten for little things. We say thank you to those who serve in the military. So why wouldn’t we say thank you to those who pay the majority of the collective bills (including the military’s bills)? Going beyond that, there’s the old adage: you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. While this may or may not be true in the literal sense, it is true in the metaphorical sense. People are more likely to react positively if you present a positive attitude and demeanor yourself. Likewise, ordering and bossing people around – even for the right thing to do (like funding schools, hospitals, etcetera) – is going to provide a more negative response. Thirdly, it’s about “melting Pharaoh’s heart.” Ok, sure, a lot of rich people are greedy (close your ears and eyes rich people – or maybe this won’t work). But maybe, just maybe, if we make them feel good about what they’re doing, they’ll be a little more willing to put aside their greed. We are all human, and unless you’re a psychopath, I believe we all want to do the right thing despite our carnal desires and nature.

    Finally, it will stroke their egos. money and power are driving forces to the financially successful, but so is self image. If this helps their self image, perhaps they’ll be more willing to pay their taxes. Perhaps it could even become a status thing. I realize I’m an idealist here, but imagine a world where instead of people like Donald Trump hiding their tax returns, they proudly display them to all who asks. Heck, maybe we should take a page from the military, and give medals to people who pay x amount of taxes. Maybe even have certain levels – if you pay 45 percent of your income in taxes, you get a green medal. If you pay 50 percent, you get a silver one. And so on. Maybe we even denote the 100 or so people who pay the most taxes. Imagine some rich guy going about his daily routine, proudly displaying a medal saying he paid more taxes than anyone else. Like I said, I’m an idealist. But then again, it might work.

    We seem to be fighting a losing battle as far as taxes goes. More and more burden is being shifted onto the middle class, and less and less being upon those who can afford it. The current administration doesn’t seem to care about social programs (or people in general), and congress is too ingrained in old ways to do anything about it. We have a fight on our hands, and in some cases it’s a life and death struggle. People should not have to worry about medical expenses. People deserve to be able to better themselves by going to school. People deserve the right, the pursuit of happiness so promised us in the Declaration of Independence. We need to change our strategies if we actually want to get anything done. I realize saying “Thank you for putting your greed aside and doing the right thing” doesn’t seem like something we should have to do, but if it helps – what harm will it do? Besides, as I said before, it is the polite thing to do. So, thank you rich people. Thank you for paying your taxes. Please continue doing so. Please help us in our own pursuit of happiness. I realize it’s a sacrifice, but your sacrifice is greatly appreciated and patriotic.

     


  • Meeting the Cookie Monster Shaped my Career Path

    Cookie Monster Loves cookies!!!!!!!In 1982, I met the Cookie Monster.  Well…maybe not THE Cookie Monster – most likely just someone officially sanctioned to dress up in the Cookie Monster suit. But I digress. Meeting the Cookie Monster ended up playing a significant role in my professional life.

    I was 7 years old, and my mom heard about a radio contest to win tickets for Sesame Street Live. Sure, I had already pretty much outgrown the show, but my mom insisted I enter. I guess she  knew how much I loved the series even a year beforehand. “Meh, whatever,” I must have said to myself…and so I entered. The rules stated that I had to write “why I wanted to go see Sesame Street Live” on a postcard and send it into the station. I didn’t know what to say, so I said “I want to go see Sesame Street Live because it’s one of my favorite shows.” A blatant lie, as I already mentioned – I had outgrown the show and cared more about Saturday morning cartoons. I kind of wonder what my mom were to say if she were alive today to read this. Such a big moment in my young life was about appeasing her – about going with the flow and not really caring if I won! Eh, she’d probably laugh. Maybe she’d  insist that I was still very much into the show. She’d probably say I was remembering wrong. Granted, that wasn’t the only lie involved in entering this contest. She transcribed my words to the postcard and later admitted to writing a few letters backwards. When I found this fact out, I laughed, but I was secretly offended as I never wrote letters backwards to my recollection. I knew my alphabet forwards, even at that age, thank you very much!

    What was probably a few weeks passed, and  found out that I, along with five or so other kids, won tickets. The radio station wanted me to read my postcard over the air on the radio, so one Saturday morning we trekked down to their studio. They sat me  in an early 80s DJ booth, and read my words into the microphone (somewhere, I still have a recording of this). Afterwards, we were ushered downstairs into what seemed like a gigantic room with huge couches. There we waited for what seemed like forever. The other contest winners were also there, and there were refreshments – meats, cheeses. Probably cookies – after all, we were about to meet Cookie Monster! Mostly though, I was kind of bored.

    Finally, I see a big, blue, carpeted muppet entering the room. Some of the other kids thought he was real. I knew better – he was just someone in a costume. Regardless….I thought it was cool. He didn’t say anything –  confirming that it wasn’t Frank Oz. A legit Frank Oz would have said “Me want cookies” or something like that. I felt kind of shy, but I did hug him, and my mom got a really cute picture of me and him embracing. He didn’t stay too long – did his rounds with all the kids, waved bye, and left.

    After the meet and greet, we were given a tour of the radio station – and that’s where I saw the most fascinating room of my young life. It was full of knobs, and levers, and buttons. I swear, one of the tech people said that one of the machines was for dispensing meat and cheese. Certainly a joke, but I saw him pulling a piece of salami from a slot. I would love to tell said tech how much his joke influenced my life. To this day, whenever I’ve walked into a strange control room, I wonder if they have the mysterious meat and cheese machine. But back to the story…what I can only assume was master control fascinated me on a level I had never experienced before.

    Master control from a radio station.
    I bet that machine on the bottom is the meat machine!

     

    Ever since that day, if you asked my inner, deeper self what I would do as an a adult, I probably would have said working in some control room somewhere. Sure, if you had asked surface me, I would have said something else. As a kid, I wanted to be “a doctor In Hawaii.” In high school, I wanted to be a youth pastor. Even now, I’m still trying to make my college dream of being a professional writer come true! Despite all those dreams and ambitions, something deep inside of me told me that I would be working in a control room. And If I hadn’t entered that contest, and then met Cookie Monster, I would have not gone on that tour. The fascinating room would not serve as a basis to my aspirations.

    To be fair – I really don’t work in a control room anymore. I did when I got my first job in television, I was a master control operator. My career has progressed from that point onwards. Even though I now work in an office behind a desk and with a computer, it is essentially still a control room. Sure, all the noisy machines and buttons and levers are in the room next door, where I no longer need to go – but I still control a good portion of those machines. I still give those machines input, and watch their output. It’s just that those inputs and outputs are, like most things, done via a computer instead of levers and buttons and knobs. So I still stand behind my statement! I always knew I would work in some control room somewhere and here I am.

    Of course, the Cookie Monster may have been one of the reasons I work in a “control room somewhere,” but it’s not the only reason. I was also greatly inspired by my dad, who ran the sound at my church every single Sunday. I’m sure sitting behind the sound council with all those knobs and buttons and sliders made me think “This is what I’ll be doing one day.” That’s actually how I got into television. I volunteered to do sound myself at one church, knowing that I could pick it up pretty quickly.  A couple family friends who happened to work together at a TV station knew I had some skills in “control room work,” and got me onboard. 18 years later, and here I am. Sorry Cookie Monster. You did have a little help in your attempts to shape my career.

    If there’s a moral to this story, it’s just this: Don’t be afraid to let your kids take chances at stupid things – even if they’re just a tad bit too old for said things. The memories I have of that experience are something I’ll always have with me, sure. But the seeds that experience planted shaped me in a deep way and continues to do so, some 35 years later. I’m not saying their experiences will lay out their career path – but maybe it will.  At the very least, it will teach them to take chances. And if you happen to scribe their letters backwards, well…they’ll forgive you.