Business is business including the guilt that goes with it.

True in more ways than one. Credit:

I had to let two people go in a ten day period and it was awful on both sides. The fact that I had to fire grown men, both are in their mid to late 20’s, for lack of accountability and general screw ups on the job and heart wrenching to me. Knowing people will then be unemployed during these chaotic times only makes it worse.

Here’s the true issue: I like both of them and consider them friends but I have to protect my business. Sound cold-hearted? …


Breaking free — I had to leave and find help.

Illustration by Vidya Vasudevan,

Did he or didn’t he? What happened? Is he ok? All questions I got from my friends at work after I quit my job on 24 January 2020 after 13 years. I was with a solid company in the finance sector that treated their employees well. The pay and healthcare benefits were excellent. Now I have neither and I’m good with that.

Here’s what happened that led me to quitting: I blew up on a colleague about getting kicked out of a conference room because she needed it for a…


Out of my way Chad, I’m trying to beat the traffic

In order to get to your “Little Cube On The Office Prairie” obstacles tend to get in your way. None, however, are more obstacle-ish than school buses, parking garages, and lack of spots to park. Traffic can be blamed but any of us that live in a metropolitan area (I live near D.C.) already expect to be delayed. We can adjust our schedules to avoid traffic or simply take a different route to work. Can’t control the other three, ever. School buses can be on a predictable schedule but…


Considering a move to another team? Here are 9 points to consider prior to making the leap.

Illustration by Vidya Vasudevan,

Managers are fun when they get into trade negotiations. They should be looking out for your best interests and helping you succeed even if it’s not in their best interest. Skill sets play a big part in wants and needs. There’s really no difference in my book, none whatsoever. If someone wants a skilled individual on their team, there’s obviously a need. I’ve seen it lead to some exceptional individual teams and cross-pollination of skills between multiple teams.

Often an issue that comes…


Suck it up buttercup, your job is not you.

Illustration by Vidya Vasudevan,

Being asked for input on anything can be a great feeling. It can lead to praise. It can lead to scorn. It can lead to a promotion. It can lead to humiliation. The praise and humiliation “Its”can turn you into someone you’re not: worthless. That feeling will absolutely lead to anger at some point…never a good thing.

Indulge me and my whining for a bit.

A difficult emotion to deal with is anger especially when that anger can materialize from people shitting on your ideas after you’ve either suggested it thinking…


Career change and the uncertainty that goes with it.

Illustration by Vidya Vasudevan,

At 48, I feel a bit old for a career change but so many people do it. I’ve read tons of articles and columns of how happy people are by eschewing corporate America, buying a cheap van, fixing it up, and hitting the road. Many of those stories don’t give enough detail on how these “travelers” actually pay for all this which is why I call bullshit on most them. But a bit of legwork finds that they had plenty of money in savings of one sort or another and, really…


Breaking point

Illustration by Vidya Vasudevan,

Even workaholics come to a breaking point. Mine happened right at the end of January. The holiday rush for implementing new projects coupled with the pressures of getting all the year-end duties brought me to my knees.

Every industry has tremendous pressures exuded on their employees. I’ve been in the information technology (IT) field in one form or another for going on 28 years, from my time in the Navy until this moment. Until this year, not once have I gotten to a point of walking away from a well paying job. Since January 1st, I’ve had it…


Addicted to work

Illustration by Vidya Vasudevan,

I have an addiction to work.

I went in today (1/13/18) for what should have been ~1 hour, instead I stayed for 3.75 hours. When does working become too much of your life? I wouldn’t call myself a workaholic necessarily but it made me think back throughout my IT career to assess my own declaration.

Many years ago I worked for an IT sweatshop that only required 40 hours a week but had an expectation of much more. A 50 hour week wasn’t considered long enough; the norm for me was 60–70. The product for the company…


Meet the new boss, not quite the same as the old boss

Illustration by Vidya Vasudevan,

Well, the hammer should drop tomorrow during an all-hands meeting that managers will be rotating out of their current positions to other teams. Meaning that my manager will be assigned to a different team and we’ll get a new one.

This happens once in a while to shake things up and give managers a different flavor for what each team does. I’m not a fan. My current manager is even-handed, kind, has our backs, and pretty much hands off unless we need her to step in. Just the…


An extra set of eyes

Illustration by Vidya Vasudevan,

After decluttering my cube last week I came across a spare set of glasses. They’re from an older prescription and still look in good shape. I’m typing this while wearing them which is turning into a mistake. Since I started with them on, I’ll finish with them on.

I’m farsighted so things up close are blurry. My current prescription allows me to read up to an arm’s length away without having to take them off. The pair I found are only good for ~9 inches leaving me crouched further into my screen for non-fuzziness. …

John Rowles

Cubicle Culturalist. Everyday Dude.

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