Articles on this Page
- 11/13/18--01:00: _The Tate ModernR...
- 11/13/18--01:00: _What recruiters rea...
- 11/13/18--01:46: _The out-of-control ...
- 11/13/18--02:00: _This is why your em...
- 11/13/18--02:00: _Exclusive: NPR gets...
- 11/13/18--02:00: _Exclusive: Welcome ...
- 11/13/18--02:15: _Alexandria Ocasio-C...
- 11/13/18--02:45: _KFC celebrates Chri...
- 11/13/18--03:00: _Make sure you ask t...
- 11/13/18--03:05: _EU to Dutch cheese ...
- 11/13/18--03:30: _Aardman Animations&...
- 11/13/18--03:35: _Toyota is replacing...
- 11/13/18--04:00: _This tool helps you...
- 11/13/18--04:00: _How to deliver bad ...
- 11/13/18--04:15: _These MAGA LEGO kno...
- 11/13/18--04:42: _New York got played...
- 11/13/18--05:30: _Spring’s teac...
- 11/13/18--05:34: _Making time for me
- 11/13/18--06:00: _Sorry, teen vapers:...
- 11/13/18--06:30: _Inspired by the Whi...
- 11/13/18--01:46: The out-of-control price of American homes, in a single map
- 11/13/18--02:00: This is why your employees cut corners (and what to do about it)
- 11/13/18--02:00: Exclusive: NPR gets first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer award
- 11/13/18--02:00: Exclusive: Welcome to Planet Oat, earthlings
- 11/13/18--02:45: KFC celebrates Christmas with an epic turkey showdown
- 11/13/18--03:00: Make sure you ask these questions at the end of the job interview
- Can you offer specific details about the position’s day-to-day responsibilities?
- What would my first week at work look like?
- How does this position contribute to the organization’s success?
- What do you hope I will accomplish in this position?
- How does the company culture affect this role?
- What job-shadowing opportunities are available for an applicant before they accept an offer?
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- Why are you working in this industry?
- Can you walk me through your typical workday?
- What is your greatest accomplishment with the company?
- What is your team’s greatest accomplishment?
- What goals do you have for the company, yourself, and employees over the next five years?
- What hobbies do you have outside of the office?
- How do leaders encourage employees to ask questions?
- How do leaders set employees up for success?
- How does employee feedback get incorporated into day-to-day operations?
- How does management deliver negative feedback to employees?
- What is your work culture like?
- How would you describe the work environment here?
- What benefits are focused on work-life balance?
- What benefits and perks does the company offer?
- What is the outline of your telecommuting policy?
- How frequently do employees make themselves available outside of normal working hours?
- What’s your mission statement?
- How often is a new hire the result of a previous employee quitting?
- Why do most employees leave the company?
- How would employees describe the company and its leaders?
- What are the company’s biggest problems? How are they overcoming them?
- What do you want the company to be known for among employees–past, present, and future?
- How are employees recognized for their hard work?
- How involved are employees in the structuring of their own goals and tasks?
- What are your views on goals, timelines, and measuring success?
- How often are employees expected to provide status updates on a project?
- How often do you evaluate employee performance?
- Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
- How competitive are your employees?
- How do you develop teamwork skills among employees?
- What type of mentor system do you have in place?
- What type of educational/training opportunities does the company offer?
- What advancement opportunities are available?
- How do leaders promote employee growth and success?
- What does it take to be a top performer at this company?
- What’s the next step of this process, and when can I expect to hear from you?
- Is there any other information I can provide you with?
- Would you like to see more examples of my work?
- 11/13/18--03:05: EU to Dutch cheese company: Copyrighting a flavor is not-so-gouda
- 11/13/18--03:35: Toyota is replacing the melted truck of a Paradise fire hero
- 11/13/18--04:00: How to deliver bad news in a positive way
- 11/13/18--04:15: These MAGA LEGO knock-offs urge kids to “build the wall”
- 11/13/18--04:42: New York got played by Amazon
- New York is giving Amazon $1.525 billion in “performance-based direct incentives” for creating 25,000 new jobs. This includes a $325 million cash grant, along with $48,000 for each of the 25,000 jobs.
- Arlington is giving the company a total of $573 million. This includes $22,000 for each of the 25,000 jobs Amazon will supposedly make, along with another $23 million cash grant. (A disturbing footnote that every journalist should note is that Virginia also agreed to give Amazon advanced warning about any FOIA requests for information.)
- Nashville is giving the ecommerce giant $102 million in total, which includes cash grants ranging from $4,500 to $13,000 for each of the 5,000 new jobs it creates.
- 11/13/18--05:34: Making time for me
Artist Max Siedentopf’s installation at the Tate Modern in London was neither organized nor approved by the museum. But nonetheless, it’s a brilliant addition to what he calls “one of the most popular sights around the museum”: Its observation deck.
The deck is part of the museum’s Herzog & de Meuron-designed extension, known as the Blavatnik Building. Since it opened in 2016, the building’s tenth floor walkway and deck have offered spectacular 360-degree views of the London skyline, with the exception of a nearby glass tower full of residential apartments with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. (You can see where this is going, right?) The deck is so popular that peeping toms have become a problem for residents, four of whom are suing the gallery in a lawsuit that went to court last week. They want the museum to block the promenade on the deck segment that overlooks the apartment tower.
The debate pits the wealthy residents against advocates of both the museum and public space. Siedentopf’s response? Make it even easier to peep. The London-based artist installed a dozen pairs of binoculars on the deck, just in front of a museum-installed plaque that asks people to respect the neighbor’s privacy.
In an email to Fast Company, the artist declared that the installation is a response to this lawsuit and a way for the museum to “celebrate their most famous artwork.”
“Each week, Tate Modern attracts over a hundred thousand visitors from all around the world to look at some of the best art in the world,” Siedentopf writes. “However, it turns out that one of the most popular sights around the museum is not an exhibited artwork but rather, the neighbouring apartments which can be seen from Tate‘s viewing platform. Thousands of visitors gather in awe to take a peek inside the apartments. No other artwork on display attracts as much fascination as these open plan apartments.”
The artwork itself is simple: 12 pairs of binoculars, tethered by red string to the edge of the deck facing the high-rise to “help many museum visitors enjoy this contemporary artwork even more, and up close,” as Siedentopf puts it.
Siedentopf’s work was, obviously, temporary and not official (“I left before I could see how long they stayed there, but all I can hope for is that enough people got to enjoy the view,” he told us), But the sentiment roughly aligns with the museum’s official stance against the lawsuit. According to the New York Times, the representative of the Tate’s board of trustees told the court that the condo owners want to “deny to the public the right to use the viewing platform for its intended purpose merely to give the claimants an unencumbered right to enjoy their own view.”
In other words: Welcome to life in the city. Install some curtains, like everyone else.
It’s the question that every candidate who has been fired dreads. “So why did you leave your last job?”
A candidate that does their research before the interview will find many articles telling them to craft a compelling narrative. Fast Company contributor Judith Humphrey previously wrote, “The challenge is to create a story that positions you positively in the eyes of potential employers–yet remains true to the facts.”
But what do recruiters really think about when a candidate does this? After all, if every fired candidate comes in with a rehearsed story, wouldn’t they notice that someone wasn’t telling the entire truth? We spoke to Rowan O’Grady–the president of recruitment firm Hays–about the questions that recruiters ask themselves when they find out that a candidate they’re interviewing had previously been fired from a job.
1. Were you fired for a “good” reason or a “bad” reason?
“I don’t like the term fired. I prefer let go,” O’Grady says. The first thing that comes to a recruiter’s mind when they find out that a candidate’s position was terminated is “why?” There are black and white “good” reasons, and then there are black and white “bad” reasons, O’Grady says. Among those “good reasons” are things like downsizing, restructuring, office relocation, or perhaps moving their function to another city or offshore.
That’s a case of “it’s not you, it’s me,” says O’Grady. It’s not something that the candidate has control over, and it is not a reflection of them as a person or their performance.
The bad reasons include poor performance, lack of professionalism, or being difficult to work with. The problem, according to O’Grady, is that people rarely admit these things. Instead, they often resort to reasons like “I wasn’t able to progress in my career.”
Of course, in-between the black-and-white reasons, you have gray areas that recruiters will assess on a case-by-case basis. O’Grady gave an example of a VP of finance in an organization that changed directions, and the job they held no longer matched their natural affinities, strengths, and skills. If it’s true, this is a valid explanation, O’Grady says. Sometimes people need to leave certain jobs because they’re not suited to it, and recruiters understand that.
2. Can your story be verified from outside sources?
Of course, even when the candidate gives a good reason, recruiters will take the extra step to verify their story. O’Grady tells Fast Company that he once worked with a candidate who had said that he left his last company due to lack of career opportunities, only to find out later that this candidate had set fire to the building that his company was located in.
When recruiters hear someone say that they didn’t have opportunities to grow, yet the company they worked for is expanding (and are actually hiring for lots of people), it sends them a red flag. In those instances, recruiters will tend to find other people to talk to–whether it’s the employee’s former bosses and coworkers, or other people in the market. “We always investigate whether their story stands up to interrogation and is in line with what their references reveal,” O’Grady says.
3. Are you being honest when you talk about your last job?
Sometimes, recruiters will try and get the real information out of the candidates themselves. At Hays, they ask candidates a series of questions that determine how they made the decision to get to where they are today. Some of these questions include, “What did you like the most about working there?” and “What frustrated you the most about your last company?” For some reason, people are more willing to be honest when they’re asked the latter, says O’Grady.
He goes on to say that sometimes they can glean holes from their application materials. “If they have a job they worked in, maybe they survived six months or a year, sometimes they could disguise that by making it look like they worked there longer, and they disguise it by expanding the dates with the job after that. If people only refer to the years in resume, that could be two full years but it could be one week, ” O’Grady says. For example, they could have been hired on New Year’s Eve, and fired a week later.
4. Is this a one-off thing, or are there hints that this is a consistent pattern?
Ultimately, recruiters don’t see getting fired as a deal-breaker, if all signs point to the termination as a one-off event. As an interviewer, “past performance is the only indicator of future performance, [and] past behavior is the only indication of future behavior,” O’Grady says.
Take a candidate with a great employment record. Their former managers praised them, they held jobs for several years, and those companies promoted them. But they had one bad instance where their employment was terminated and their explanation for it is “I made a mistake.” Perhaps they discovered that the job didn’t align with their strengths, or they didn’t gel with the company culture. “That’s completely believable,” O’Grady says. However, if they told that story for the last three jobs, recruiters will start to wonder.
What recruiters ultimately want to know, O’Grady says, is “what’s normal for this person?” If they have a consistent track record, if they’re in a job where they’ve run up against a manager they’re reporting to that they just can’t work with, I think that’s fine, as long as there are more scenarios where they can work for people [and] they can talk [about] the situation in reasonable terms.”
The great American economic divide continues apace. A new report by the real estate platform Trulia concludes that more than 3 million homes are currently worth $1 million or more–a stunning increase that more than doubles the count from 2012.
Back then, 1.5% of all U.S. homes had reached or passed the $1 million mark just five years after the subprime mortgage crisis that resulted in the collapse of the global economy and more than 6 million homeless families in the U.S. alone. Today, it’s increased to a whopping 3.6 percent. The full map shows prices across the U.S., but take California, for example:
According to Trulia, the typical U.S. home price appreciation has been 7.6% over the last year, but there are areas that have experience double-digit growth. California is leading them: In San Jose, 70% of all homes are worth a million dollars or more, compared to 55.7% just last year. San Francisco follows with 81%, a 13.7% increase from 2017. Of the top 10 U.S. metro areas with the higher concentration of million-dollar homes, seven are in the Golden State. The exceptions: Honolulu (with 19.8%), Seattle (with 13.3%), and Long Island, New York (with 10.1%).
Of the 838 neighborhoods with a median home price of $1 million or more across the U.S.–Trulia only looked at areas that have at least 20 homes with actual value estimates–two thirds are in California, and 105 of those neighborhoods are new to the millionaire home club. In total, 82.8% of them are in California, New York, Florida, and Washington. The rest are distributed in other parts of the United States. Austin, for example, just got its first $1 million neighborhood this year: Barton Creek has a median value of $1.02 million up from $935,000 last year.
The number of $1 million dollar homes nationwide has doubled in just six years. It’s possible we’re reaching the full extent of new real estate bubble, as some experts suggest. At the very least, a majority of Americans seem to think so.
You can explore the full nationwide map here.
As your company has grown, chances are that processes have been put in place to manage everything from workflows to production to scheduling. Processes help ensure quality, safety, customer satisfaction, and other outcomes.
But even when such processes are finalized and made part of the company’s operations, sometimes employees still cut corners or ignore the process. Depending on the purpose or the industry, doing so can lead to all manner of issues ranging from waste and lost productivity to safety issues and compliance violations.
“Good quality and good safety is good business,” says Pape Fall, director of quality assurance for Birmingham, Alabama-based residential and commercial builder Hoar Construction, which grossed roughly $860 million in 2017 revenue. “Whether it’s construction or anything else, there are some time-tested procedures in place, and they’re not there to just keep people busy or have them do something. It affects the bottom line when those things are not followed.”
And if employees are ignoring processes, there are some common reasons. Here are four of them, as well as remedies for each.
They don’t understand the process—or the point
Just as customer experience is important to a company’s overall success, employee experience is also becoming a critical factor in navigating a tight labor market. Employees want to understand the purpose of their role and why they’re spending their time in certain ways. A 2006 study from Washington University in St. Louis found that employees were most likely to cut corners when they lacked clear goals.
How to solve it. Leaders need to make sure their teams understand the “what” and “why” of their work, says Dana Deibel, owner and principal consultant of management consulting firm EverRamp, LLC. That starts with leadership being clear about the importance of adhering to established processes. Explain how the process contributes to the company—perhaps by increasing safety or product quality, for example—and ensure employees have proper training to adhere to processes, she says.
At Hoar, employees and subcontractors have checklists and check-ins by supervisors to help them ensure that they don’t miss or avoid a step that could affect the overall project. Employees go through rigorous training to ensure they understand expectations about process adherence, and subcontractors must provide a quality assurance plan, Fall says.
The company also rewards the behavior it wants to see—including adherence to processes. The company rewards employees who do good work—including adherence to processes—with opportunities for public recognition and bonuses, he says.
They think they know better
When employees are on the front lines, they usually develop a good understanding of how to do their jobs. And when processes are redundant or inefficient, they may skip or change steps because they think they know how to do the job better. And it’s very possible they’re right, says business process consultant Susan Page, author of The Power of Business Process Improvement. Over time, processes may overlap, require duplicate effort, or may grow overly complex. Bureaucracy can creep into virtually any organization, she says.
How to solve it. This is where employees can become valuable advisers, Page says. Leaders should map processes regularly, challenge steps and inefficiencies, and test new ways of doing things, Page outlines in her book and on her website. Gather input from employees who are expected to follow various processes as well as others who are affected by them, Page says. Having a say in how to get things done can lead to better adherence to decisions and processes, she says.
They want to do it faster
Processes can also slow down how things get done. For employees focused on fast growth—or who are simply overwhelmed with their workloads—saving time might be enough incentive to skip steps or ignore processes. The Washington University study also found that employees tend to cut corners when they’re overworked, so in cases of chronic process noncompliance, ensure that the employee has the time and resources necessary to complete the process effectively.
How to solve it. Despite being an early-stage startup with 12 employees, photo-sharing app Brizi, which has a U.S. office in Boston, has implemented processes typically found in much larger firms. They’ve committed to meetings, commitments, and accountability up front to have them firmly in place as the company scales, says Alex Nossovskoi, who heads marketing. Using quarterly planning through Asana as well as Agile methodology, the company and its employees set short- and long-term goals and establish methods of how they will get things done. This formality may seem out of place at a startup, but it’s essential for the firm to realize its vision, says Nossovskoi, who has a background in venture capital.
“People don’t adopt processes because you tell them to,” he says. But when the process is a part of the culture and various methods of accountability are part of the process, there are multiple reasons to do things the right way, or suggest better ideas or methodologies, he says.
Deibel says that reinforcement is critical for process adoption. “They don’t follow it or they disregard it because perhaps management drove the change, or added the process, implemented the process, whatever it happens to be,” she says. Ensuring that employees are encouraged to share their concerns about the process or ideas and are also held accountable helps create an environment where they feel they can share their thoughts, but also know that the process has value, and they’re responsible for following it.
They think they can get away with it
In some cases, cutting corners without regard for the outcome is a sign of more serious issues. A 2017 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found that those who cut corners were “morally compromised, selfish, impulsive, and not forward-thinking,” according to the journal findings.
How to solve it. Fall says accountability is essential for repeat offenders. At Hoar, performance reviews include how well employees adhere to established processes, as well as an evaluation of their work quality. “Budget, schedule, safety—all those things are the metrics that are used to evaluate our people,” he says. If employees ignore processes, it’s going to be reflected in their job performance evaluations.
Ultimately, adherence to processes starts with leadership, Page says. If chronic abuse of processes is causing quality or other issues, they must step in. “Make sure your consequences are correct, and make sure there are no obstacles [or reasons] why employees aren’t following the process,” she says. And then hold employees accountable for following the processes you have in place.
As iHeartMedia continues its push into the podcasting world, it is trying to be good neighbors to its public radio peers. Not only is it throwing a fancy Hollywood awards show and inviting all the cool kids from Gimlet, WNYC Studios, Wondery, and American Public Media, but it is respecting its elders, too.
Today iHeartRadio announced that NPR, one of the OG’s of podcasting (seriously, they’re like Ice T and Ice Cube rolled into a one), will be honored with the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award at the inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards on January 18. The award will recognize NPR as a driving, innovative force in the podcasting industry dating back to the pre-podcast digital-only show “All Songs Considered,” which debuted back in April 2000.
NPR officially entered the podcast world in August 2005 with a full slate of 174 programs, including 17 original podcasts. Less than a year later, it reached 13 million downloads for all of its podcast programming. Today, NPR has over 40 active podcasts that reach over 16 million people listening to their favorite public radio shows while wearing their favorite NPR pledge drive swag.
“When we decided to honor the biggest names in podcasting with our first awards show for podcasts, we knew we wanted to recognize NPR’s unparalleled impact on how millions of listeners consume audio content,” said Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network. “We’re thrilled to be able to honor their trailblazing efforts with our first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award in January.”
Tune in to see the NPR podcasters hit the red carpet with their fanciest tote bags to accept this honor at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles in January, or tune into the live stream in the hopes of seeing Mario Lopez interview Ira Glass. Head to iHeartPodcastAwards.com for a complete list of nominees and voting details.
Soy milk is over. Almond milk is, like, so last year. Corn milk? Never heard of it. This year (and probably the next one unless they get pea milk to catch on) will be ruled by oat milk–and Hood is ready for it.
HP Hood LLC, better known in the dairy aisle as Hood, has built a $2 billion company on the hard work of cows, but now that global cow milk consumption is in decline, Hood is rethinking things a bit. It announced today that it will elbow its way into the world of oat milk, giving Oatly a run for its money in the $16 billion plant-based milk market.
Next month, Hood will bring Planet Oat to major retailers, putting oat milk on the shelves of Kroger, Shaw’s, and Amazon Fresh to start–thereby providing another option for parents whose kid turned vegan in college and is now heading home for the holidays.
Planet Oat will come in low-fat, extra creamy, and vanilla varieties and offer the first-ever dark chocolate version, which sounds like something I wouldn’t mind asking the bartender to pour me a shot of after a long hard night of SEO management.
Sales of oat milk are up 425% in coffee shops since last year, and Oatly’s runaway success proves that Americans like oat milk in their coffee. Now Hood is ready to cash in on the rapidly growing oat milk category. The more the merrier, because oat milk has a smaller carbon footprint than dairy and takes less water to produce than almond milk, and this planet needs all the help it can get.
Amazon is expected to announce two locations for its new “headquarters” (aka offices): one in Crystal City, Virginia, and the other in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York. And no one in Queens is excited.
While Google, Facebook, and Twitter all have large offices in NYC, which the New York Times notes were set up without state subsidies, Amazon reportedly needed New Yorkers to chip in to help it build its new office building. The ecommerce giant (unpatriotically) required the 238 cities vying to host its new office to sign nondisclosure agreements, but the Times points out that “cities and states now spend some $90 billion a year in cash and tax incentives to attract companies,” and that’s a lot of money that could go toward things like repairing roads, subways, bridges, and even schools.
Considering that Amazon is hovering around a trillion-dollar market cap, some people are understandably outraged that their tax dollars are being used as the equivalent of a GoFundMe for Amazon.
That includes New York’s newly minted Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who took to Twitter last night to point out that tax breaks will funnel much-needed money away from the city’s crumbling infrastructure.
Starting in January, Ocasio-Cortez will represent New York’s 14th congressional district, which includes parts of Queens.
She noted that the community’s response so far has been outrage. “Amazon is a billion-dollar company,” she wrote. “The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here.”
Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 13, 2018
New York City officials no doubt sold Long Island City as an attractive neighborhood with great access to mass transit, but Amazon’s newly arriving employees may discover they’re in for a tougher commute than they bargained for. Just wait until they can’t get to work because the A train is flooded, the L train is down, the 7 train is stalled, the 1 train is delayed because of a track fire, and the D train is running on the F line. And that’s just Monday.
As we’ve pointed out many times before, the Brits take their Christmas advertising very seriously. The 2018 holiday ad sweepstakes have begun and in with an early entry is KFC, created by agency Mother London, giving us a poultry-themed homage to The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.
Yep, that’s Ennio Morricone’s “L’estasi dell’oro” (or “The Ecstatsy of Gold”) soundtracking our hero’s journey across the snow-swept landscape. No cretins here, just a couple of flightless foul spoiling for a holiday fight.
It was the middle of July 2008, and I had just bought an expensive power suit for a job interview. After being laid off during the height of the recession and unemployed for about six weeks, I was feeling desperate and willing to spend money on anything that might put my career on track.
Surprisingly, the train was running on time that day, which gave me the opportunity to take my new jacket off, sit back, and prepare for this meeting one last time. At my stop, I realized I was so intently focused that I didn’t notice a robbery happening right under my nose. The jacket was gone.
With nothing but an inappropriate tank top on, I was mortified but decided to go for it anyway. I proceeded to meet all of the organization’s department heads, during which time my thoughts repeatedly returned to my improper attire. But believe it or not, I ended up getting the job.
Even though my story had a happy ending, there’s no doubt the pressures of the interview process had me unnerved. Anything can happen before or during an interview, which is why it’s crucial to walk in feeling prepared–even if your jacket has just been stolen.
Interviewers will be focused on finding out if you’re a right fit for the position, but it’s also important to decide if the company is a right fit for you. Have a list of questions ready to help you through your next interview:
Be careful not to ask questions already answered in the job description. It’s important go beyond those general duties to understand everything the job entails.
Proceed with caution: If rather than going into detail about the primary responsibilities listed in the job description, the employer rambles off many more duties–they may be asking you to take on more than you initially thought.
Getting to know the interviewer
Most likely, the interviewer is the first contact you’ll have at this company–they could even be your future boss. Asking questions can help you understand their attitude, company values, and where the company’s future is heading.
Proceed with caution: Be wary of leaders who have trouble opening up or don’t seem passionate about their company and team.
What type of management style do you need to reach the height of your potential? Now’s the best time to see if the company’s leaders align with your expectations.
Proceed with caution: Employers who can’t list how they encourage employees and set them up for success may not deliver the support you’re looking for in a company.
From benefits and perks to the ways employees interact with each other, not meshing with a company’s culture can put a roadblock on your path to success.
Proceed with caution: Listen closely to how the interviewer describes the company’s benefits and environment to be sure it’s the right culture for your personality and working style.
After doing some research, you should already know a few things about the company’s reputation. Now it’s time to dig a little deeper to make sure this is a place where you’ll thrive.
Proceed with caution: Quality leaders will be the first to admit that their company isn’t perfect. Interviewers who claim they would change nothing might be failing to grow and make positive changes.
Knowing a company’s expectations and how they measure goals before accepting a job offer helps you decide if their style matches with what motivates you.
Proceed with caution: Wanting constant updates and control over employee tasks are warning signs of a micromanager.
The employees at this organization could be your next team. Make sure you’re positive this is a group you want to be a part of.
Proceed with caution: A competitive environment can be fun and motivating, but a lack of teamwork in the office could point to a cutthroat company.
Opportunities for growth
What is your ultimate career goal? Set yourself up for success by finding out how far this new position could take you on your career path.
Proceed with caution: If an interviewer is unable to share how you can advance within the company, chances are you might not be able to grow at the rate you want.
Don’t leave the interview with any questions unanswered–for you or the interviewer. This is your final opportunity to make sure you’re both on the same page before you walk out the door.
Proceed with caution: Interviewers who don’t have a lot to offer on next steps may already have another candidate in mind or might not be in a big rush to hire. Remember to stay positive and continue to job search until you’re officially hired.
If you were in the Netherlands this morning, you may have heard the company Levola let out a milk-curdling (s)cream. That’s because the European Court of Justice ruled that it cannot copyright a particular flavor of cheese.
According to the Telegraph, Levola, which makes the cheese and herb spread Heksenkaas, claimed that its competitor Smilde was infringing on its copyright because it made a product that tasted like it. Levola argued to the courts that its cheese flavor was protected under EU copyright.
The judges, however, weren’t fondue to Levola’s arguments. A “work’s” claim to copyright, they decided, comes down to whether its characteristics can be determined with “sufficient precision and objectivity.” Flavor is too subjective an attribute. Writes the court: “The taste of a food product will be identified essentially on the basis of taste sensations and experiences, which are subjective and variable.”
This will supposedly cause shockwaves throughout the European Union, as there have been other cases making similar copyright claims. This is the first time this high court has ruled on the matter, and will set an important precedent. Still, writes the Telegraph, the Netherlands gets to make the final decision about this case, though it must take the EU court’s decision into account.
The ruling may have been brie(f), but it was definitive. And because I have run out of terrible cheese puns, I shall end this post here.
What: A generous corporate financial decision.
Who: Aardman Animations, the U.K.’s top animation studio.
Why we care: It turns out the team behind Wallace and Gromit is just as endearing as the characters it has created. Aardman has just announced it is giving its 140 employees a 75% stake in the business to protect the company’s independence.
Aardman’s empire creates movies like Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep, along with merchandising, licensing, and multimedia. Founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton will continue to own a quarter of Aardman Holdings, the company’s parent group, and receive a hefty, multimillion-pound payday from the deal. Meanwhile, the 140 employees and 180 current freelancers will also continue receiving a share of profits and have a say in running the business.
“We are balancing what we are comfortable taking out and what doesn’t stress the company out,” Sproxton told the Guardian in a comprehensive piece about the deal. “We have been thinking about this a long time and built up considerable cash reserves so we could do this without borrowing any money.”
It’s called doing well by doing good. Perhaps Amazon should look into it.
Four days ago, Paradise, California, nurse Allyn Pierce posted a picture of his damaged truck to Instagram, with a message of gratitude to his crispy vehicle.
View this post on Instagram
Here's my @toyotausa commercial. This truck literally saved my life today. My little town of Paradise was literally burning down around me and @the_pandra got me to safety where I could help others…twice. #campfire #perfectmarshmellow #meltedplastics #buttecountyfire #sema2019 thanks to the fire fighters, law enforcement and my fellow healthcare workers for the work we all did getting the hospital evacuated and our patients to safety. ????????????
According to reporting by the New York Times‘s Jack Nicas, in a pretty epic Twitter thread (seriously, read it right now), Pierce was stuck in traffic, surrounded by flames, trying to evacuate Paradise, but then decided to turn back and help those unable to leave.
Here's the crazy story of just one of the many heroes in Paradise, the town destroyed by California's deadliest fire ever. His name is Allyn Pierce, and he's the badass nurse who drove this truck through the flames. pic.twitter.com/xAL7zRf34H
— Jack Nicas (@jacknicas) November 13, 2018
It didn’t take Toyota long to see the story and offer Pierce a free new truck. It’s a relatively small gesture amid all the destruction and tragedy, but it’s a valuable one that says two significant things about the brand: It’s listening and is quick to do the right thing. Obviously an automobile company can’t replace everyone’s car in every situation, but Pierce’s story is an awe-inspiring one, and the brand recognized it and reacted. Read through the comments on Pierce’s Instagram feed to see how the saga made people feel. That is brand engagement.
Toyota hasn’t responded to a request for comment, but we’ll update the story if and when we hear back.
If you’re like most people with a 401(k), you probably don’t know which companies are in your mutual funds, let alone whether those companies have policies to support gender equality or how many women they have on their board of directors or senior management team.
A new tool answers those questions. “Now people can actually look at a mutual fund and know, wow, this fund is doing terrible things on gender–companies in this fund have no women on the board, they have no equal pay for equal work, they don’t have a sexual harassment policy, they don’t have maternity and paternity leave,” says Andy Behar, CEO of As You Sow, the nonprofit that created a tool called Gender Equality Funds.
The tool pulls in data on 4,000 companies from Equileap, an organization that studies gender equality in the corporate sector. If you type in the name or ticker of a mutual fund or ETF, it shows a gender score for each fund, based on detailed data about the hundreds or thousands of companies in the fund. Vanguard (VTSAX), for example, scores particularly badly among its peers. The Pax Elevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund (PXWIX), by contrast, scores particularly well. Armed with results about the most socially responsible funds, you can ask your retirement fund manager or financial adviser to move your money.
The tool is the fifth in a series from As You Sow; the first was Fossil Free Funds, a tool created as the organization worked on the movement for divestment from fossil fuel companies. “What we discovered was people wanted to divest from fossil fuels, but nobody had a clue what they actually owned because they were all held in mutual funds,” says Behar. “They didn’t realize that they were holding Halliburton and Exxon and coal-fired utilities like Duke–everything that went against their entire ethos. And so in order to align investing with your values, we said you have to know what you own.”
With the new tool, Behar expects to see similar divestment from companies that perform poorly on gender issues. “I believe this is going to be a tsunami of capital shifting away from companies that are not responsive on gender equality,” he says. “I think any company that isn’t right now actively looking at their policies, looking at their practices, are going to lose massively.”
When it has the funding, As You Sow wants to create another tool that combines all of its tools–looking at fossil fuels, rain forest deforestation, tobacco, weapons, and gender–into one place. “Our vision is you would go to the site and you would say, ‘I care about gender first, three-year return second, and climate third, and I work at IBM.’ And it would say, ‘Okay, IBM has these 40 mutual funds in their 401(k) plan. Boom, here’s your optimized portfolio.”
In ancient Persia, there was a messenger who reported whether or not his army had been victorious in battle. If they won, citizens celebrated him like a hero. If their army lost, the messenger could expect to be executed immediately–even though he had nothing to do with the outcome. Oddly, there are no reports of messengers lying about a victory and sneaking out after the party.
Today, viewers regularly subject meteorologists to abuse when bad weather hits–as if they are in a position to control it. U.S. psychologist Robert Cialdini mentions an incident in which an angry farmer approached a weather forecaster as he entered a bar. The farmer said, “You’re the one that sent that tornado and tore my house up . . . I’m going to take your head off.” The weatherman replied, “That’s right about the tornado, and I’ll tell you something else, I’ll send another one if you don’t back off.”
In this case, the halo effect is at work, as something positive or negative directly rubs off on the messenger.
Bad news can be good news
It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO or the intern. At some point in your career, you need to deliver bad news. The thing is, people are often far too quick to think that a seemingly negative situation is unfavorable towards them. For instance, if I order a turkey breast salad and the server tells me, with sad eyes, that they are “very, very sorry,” but the only salad available is with chicken breast, they’re putting themselves and the restaurant in a bad light. I’ll probably reflexively stand up and head to another restaurant.
Instead, if they tell me with shining eyes about their chef’s excellent salad, which has the most tender chicken breast on the planet, I’ll certainly be intrigued and want to order it. So even though it’s the same problem–chicken instead of turkey–the outcome is completely different depending on how they chose to present it. It’s possible to take a potentially negative situation and turn it into an advantage.
Reframing a situation can go a long way
The “framing” of a situation–the lens you put on to understand specific circumstances–can change how you see a situation. For example, instead of saying, “Unfortunately, we only have fresh rolls for breakfast,” you could state, “We have rolls for breakfast.” And instead of, “Unfortunately, we cannot show you our new model before November,” say, “We can show you our new model in November.” Small changes in wording can make a significant difference.
An adventurous salesman from the Czech American Bata Shoe Company was supposed to investigate the possibilities for growth in the African market at the end of the 19th century. As the story goes, his colleague had been very upset by the fact that most people went barefoot in Africa. His colleague concluded, “There’s no business for Bata here.” The salesman didn’t take that approach–instead, he reframed the situation and told to the home office: “Great business for Bata, everyone is barefoot!”
There are lots of ways to apply this concept to everyday obstacles: You have delivery problems? Demand is exploding. Are you facing resistance to your decisions? Effective changes are always hard to implement. Did you lose a customer? A new generation of influential customers is replacing the old ones. You can even engineer a positive outcome from silly mistakes. Let’s say you send out an email invitation with an incorrect date on it? That gives you a great reason to follow up with something like “Correction of the previous email!” in the subject line. Now, your recipients are more likely to read your original email and the follow-up.
Your own perception of success or failure plays a crucial role in how you frame a situation and how you respond to others. Have you ever caught yourself gratefully thanking someone for his work even though the outcome he delivered was far below your expectations? If someone beams at us with pride over a job well done, it creates a certain expectation and pressure for us to respond positively.
In these instances, those who did the work are framing the situation in their favor, even if it didn’t meet our expectations. The lesson here is that you, too, should be framing your response to a situation in a way that causes the other party involved to see the upsides, or at least still see the positive effort on your part. Yes, there are bad news that you can’t frame positively–but most of the time, what you’re about to say doesn’t need to be as bad as you think.
This article is adapted from Convinced! How to Prove Your Competence and Win People Over by Jack Nasher. It is reprinted with permission from Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
If you are worried that your Christmas will be too full of peace, joy, and generous spirit, the MAGA building blocks unearthed by the New York Post should cure you of this illusion. Emblazoned with a MAGA logo that looks suspiciously similar to LEGO’s logo, the set contains 101 pieces of knock-off gray bricks and a Donald Trump mini-figure in a red MAGA hard hat who can stand guard outside (if it’s not raining, of course) and cheer on the construction project.
The product comes from the minds of the marketing department behind Keep and Bear: The Movie, a documentary that theorizes that “gun ownership is more than a Constitutional right.” The company’s extremely pro-Trump e-commerce site explains the idea behind the toy in handy, racist language: “A mob of 10,000 Central American migrants is marching through Mexico and heading toward El Paso, Texas. Mexican border agents attempted to stop them at the Mexican border, but to no avail.” In other words, fear immigrants, kids–starting, presumably, with the package’s caricatured mini-figure wearing a sombrero and holding maracas.
The anti-immigrant LEGO knock-off can be wrapped and put under the Christmas tree for a mere $29.95. Shipping starts on November 23, which means it’s not too late for the Ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future to convince the creators of this project to have a change of heart. (That’s assuming they possess one.) And if the Ghosts are busy, perhaps a letter from LEGO’s lawyers will do the trick.
We’ve reached out to LEGO for comment and will update if we hear back.
Earlier this month New York Governor Andrew Cuomo joked (?) that he would change his name to “Amazon Cuomo, if that’s what it takes” to get the ecommerce giant to set up shop in the Empire State. Cuomo got his wish, but instead of merely debasing himself and his name, he embarrassed the state and city of New York.
Today Amazon announced it was opening two new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, and Arlington, Virginia–along with a third, smaller one in Nashville. Amazon loves to brag about the power it has over everything around it, so we delved into the details. It turns out these cities are paying a pretty penny for the privilege of Amazon serfdom.
Let’s look at the numbers:
Essentially, each area is paying a premium for the supposed economic boost that Amazon will provide. And New York is by far paying the most.
New York’s infrastructure has been pressed to its limits for years. The subways are in a constant state of disrepair, rents have been skyrocketing, and affordable housing has been in a state of crisis. Many of New York’s more than 8.6 million residents are looking toward city and state leaders to address the systemic problems plaguing the city.
A company like Amazon could present an opportunity to collect more taxes to fix the crumbling foundation. Instead, Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio made a deal with Jeff Bezos that cost the city more than twice what the other supposed headquarters are paying. (Some could argue that Amazon is receiving non-monetary compensation in Virginia by living beside and ingratiating itself with Washington, D.C., but that’s beside the point.)
And at what cost? Will Amazon’s presence help fix the rot? On the contrary, crowding into an already-densely packed area will lead to more–and potentially worse–problems down the line. Long Island City’s Court Square subway stop saw about 23,672 average weekday riders in 2017. That will more than double with HQ2. Jeff Bezos, however, will probably not be one of them, as the city has agreed to give the company access to a helipad.
Soon we’ll begin to see the reality of a company planting itself in a neighborhood where the rent was already rising, smack dab next to the country’s largest affordable housing project. And while this happens, politicians like Cuomo will undoubtedly tout this new chapter as good development in the annals of New York–one that he spearheaded. Expect to hear Amazon’s name invoked along with rumors of a presidential run.
The truth is that Cuomo–and New York as a whole–ought to be embarrassed. Early on it was clear that the city was going to bend over backwards for Amazon, but there was no way to know just how far back we’d bend.
As the teacher strikes that drew national attention in the spring in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona wound down, they left elected officials and all those watching with a phrase: “Remember in November.” The walkouts in all three states began in response to decisions by Republican-led state governments that gutted public education funding. In the decade leading up to the strikes, teachers’ salaries stagnated and their benefits dwindled as states constricted their public education budgets. Teachers’ unions, their power diminished by anti-union laws passed by those same governments, weren’t able to effectively fight back against the cuts–until the strikes.
After the strikes, many of the same teachers worked to get on the ballots for the midterms in November. Their goal: To flood state and local governments with educators who have felt the adverse effects of years of budget constraints, and who would use their political standing to advocate for better funding for public education. As one educator, Heather Deluca-Nestor, president of the Monongalia County Education Association in West Virginia, put it: “We want to flip some seats so we’re protected, so education is protected, so public employees in West Virginia are protected.”
Galvanized by the strikes and the national spotlight on public education, an unprecedented number of teachers ran for office in 2018. “Normally, we have around 100 members run–this year, it was easily 300,” says Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), one of the leading teachers’ unions in the U.S. Of the 178 finalized elections in which AFT teachers ran, they won 109, as of the most recent count. Most who ran were Democrats, but several were Republicans, Weingarten says, which reflects the growing bipartisan reach of the issue. The National Education Association (NEA), the other large teacher union in the country, counted 1,800 educators who ran in the midterms; 1,080 of them were elected to their state legislatures. “You have a lot of people who proudly wore their teacher pedigree and what it stands for–which is hope and opportunity–on their sleeves, and it was embraced,” Weingarten says. “People want people in office who will problem-solve, and will solve their issues.”
As the dust settles after the November 6 elections, it’s clear that the spotlight the teacher strikes directed toward the dire state of public education in the country had an effect. In Oklahoma, bolstered by the wins of former teachers like Carri Hicks, Jacob Rosencrants, and John Waldron to the state legislature, the state’s “education caucus”–a group of bipartisan lawmakers committed to improving education–grew from nine members to 25. Mobilizing around education this spring helped Democratic candidates break the Republican supermajority in North Carolina last week.
While the teacher strikes did not reach Wisconsin in the spring, voters there got the message, and in the governor’s race elected Tony Evers, a former teacher and superintendent, over longtime public education foe and right-to-work proponent Scott Walker. Tim Walz, a former high school teacher, became governor of Minnesota. And in states where educators themselves were not running, it was still a winning issue: Gretchen Whitmer was elected governor of Michigan after campaigning against public-school funding cuts (a significant achievement in the home state of Betsy DeVos). In Illinois, Democrat J.B. Pritzker unseated the anti-public-education governor Bruce Rauner. And in Kansas, where school districts successfully sued the state for more funding, Laura Kelly defeated conservative incumbent governor Kris Kobach on a platform of further expanding funding for public schools.
In the lead-up to the general election, education became the second most-mentioned topic in both Republican and Democratic campaign ads. While the tax cuts that gutted public education emerged from Republican policies–tax cuts for corporations, and an insistent opposition to funding public resources–Republican candidates seeking election (or re-election) began to co-opt the idea of improving public education in the wake of the teacher strikes. Notably, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, after teachers walked out in his state, played up the public education funding expansion that emerged out of the strikes in his ultimately successful re-election campaign. Kevin Stitt, a Republican who won the governor’s seat in Oklahoma, also made increasing funding for public schools a central tenet of his campaign after walkouts in the state.
There were, however, also some notable losses: Richard Ojeda lost his bid for the U.S. House in West Virginia after championing education reform (though he’s reportedly launching a bid for president). Legislatures and governorships in those states remain Republican-controlled. To Weingarten, though, this is not a defeat for the movement, but rather the beginning of a long, slow process that is just getting started. “The intensity of the walkouts in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona may not have led to sweeping victories in November,” Weingarten says. “But looking at the losses alone doesn’t account for how much bridge building we need to do given how deep a hole public education has been in under decades of Republican control.”
What the strikes accomplished was making the need for improved public education impossible to ignore, Weingarten says. “We have to start this discussion by going back and saying: Why did teachers walk out?” If those reasons–low salaries, poor benefits, overburdened schedules–don’t improve for the better, Weingarten says, teachers will not remain quiet, and will continue to agitate for change, both inside and outside of state houses, until they do. Voters have galvanized around these issues, too: The NEA found that apart from educators who ran, members and their families showed a 165% increase in activism and volunteering around the election over 2016–especially significant because midterms tend to mobilize fewer people than general elections.
Furthermore, every teacher who did not win their election this year will be keeping close tabs on the people making decisions about education in their state. In Oklahoma, for instance, Stitt’s promise to improve education–and deliver a “top 10” education system for the state–makes no mention of erasing tax cuts on corporations to correct decades of disinvestment and lack of funding. If Stitt’s plan fails to deliver, the Oklahoma “education caucus,” already empowered this year, will likely grow larger as teachers continue to run to hold him accountable. And Mike Collier, a Democrat who lost a long-shot campaign for lieutenant governor in Texas after incumbent Dan Patrick began running ads about his promise to boost teacher pay, has promised to hold Patrick and the state of Texas accountable to those promises. Ultimately, it seems the teachers’ strikes opened voters’ eyes to the fact that public education in the U.S. is something within their control, and if they want to see it improved, they can run to change it, or they can vote for candidates who promise that change. This year, Weingarten says, was just a first step.
Time was on everyone’s minds at this year’s Fast Company Innovation Festival, including carmaker Lincoln. During a panel entitled “Making Connections That Matter,” the Dearborn, Michigan–based automaker discussed how it’s trying to give its clients the gift of more time through innovative technology and personalized service. “When we think about our clients, we’re thinking about this time compression that they feel in their lives,” Becca Anderson, client experience manager at Lincoln, told the panel audience. “I think about what that means to me in the morning. That 10 or 15 minutes off of my commute can be the difference between seeing my girls before they go into their school day, versus being out the door before they wake up.”
It’s a topic that anyone who has dealt with a deluge of errands or a grueling commute can easily identify with, and Lincoln is leveraging technology, such as in-car integration with Waze, along with personal touches, including complimentary pickup and delivery for Lincoln clients. “We think a lot about how we can create warm, human, and personally crafted experiences for our clients,” Anderson said. “And that can be enabled by really smart and effective technology.”
Johnson was joined on the panel by Andy Horton, head of creative strategy at Pinterest, and Jen Mazer, co-creator of the board game Sparked. Both professed to be acutely aware of how time itself is becoming an increasingly precious resource—that as we’re asked to do more and more with our day, those moments where we can reclaim the clock are more important than ever.
GAMING THE SYSTEM
The deluge of social media, video, TV, movies, and more has led to a near infinite amount of entertainment at our fingertips. But, according to Mazer, that’s only made the desire to slow things down and get together in person that much more pronounced. “People are on their phones and [using] social media so much, they’re craving personal connections,” she told the panel audience. “Sparked provides a way for us to get together and actually see each other, and experience things together outside of those virtual communities.”
That might explain why board games are experiencing a resurgence. Sales rose 28% between 2016 and 2017, spurred by the success of games like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride, both of which, unlike your average mobile game, take at least a couple of hours to play. (Even Dungeons and Dragons, the godfather of tabletop games for which adventures are measured in days rather than hours, has gone through a renaissance, marking its biggest sales year in 2017.) The deliberate pace of board games was something that resonated with Mazer. In Sparked, a group of players spin a wheel and draw themed cards grouped into categories such as happiness and adventure. The group members then share their answers with each other, which Mazer says strengthens bonds and lets people talk about “real things” with each other. “It’s about building authentic connections between people,” she said. “You hear stories about people’s lives and it brings you closer to one another.” Since such moments are increasingly fleeting and precious, Mazer has made it her mission to ensure people are still making time for those priceless moments.
JUST DO IT
For Andy Holton at Pinterest, the rise of collaborative software marked the beginning of a whole new way of working—one that saved loads of time. Holton was a veteran of some of Chicago’s top ad firms before joining the San Francisco-based discovery platform, and he recalled long nights spent waiting for edits to bounce back and forth between different copywriters and creative directors before he could move forward on an idea. “We wrote a lot of scripts, and we’d get a brief at night and come back in the morning and share our scripts and you’d sit there and you’d wait,” Holton told the panel audience, whose reaction indicated they shared his pain. “Now, you can collaborate on a Pinterest board through visuals or, if you’re writing scripts, you can actually collaborate in real-time with Google Docs.”
Holton sees the ability of tech to eliminate those hours of idling as a way to let people do more of the things they enjoy—and to get to them sooner. It’s one reason why Pinterest opened up its platform to attributes more commonly found on social networks, including the ability to comment on pins. “Even though the ideas are curated by other like-minded people, Pinterest is about you, so we were a little nervous about enabling some of these social features,” Holton said. “But what it allows is [the ability to] creates communities online, and [to] connect with people in the comment sections. It’s actually making you more productive by getting you to that idea faster, and then you can take action on it faster.”
Closing the gap between interest and action is at the heart of Pinterest’s mission, and the company is committed to inspiring its users to set aside their screens and embracing their passions in the real world. As Holton told the audience, if someone finds something they’re interested in on Pinterest, they want to make it “easy for them to go out and do it.”
This article was created for and commissioned by Lincoln.
Juul is regulating itself before the Food and Drug Administration does it for them.
As of this morning, the electronic-cigarette startup is pulling its fun fruit-flavored products from brick-and-mortar vape stores and putting it out of the reach of cool teens. That means would-be mango, cucumber, fruit, and creme vapers will have to buy their favorite flavored Juul pods online, where the company has age-verification controls that require government-issued ID and their name, date of birth, permanent address, and the last four digits of their social security number. (And if you steal your big brother’s, you will be in big trouble, mister.)
Juul is also adding additional protections, such as two-factor authentication and a real-time photo requirement to match a user’s face against an uploaded ID. Of course, menthol- and tobacco-flavored products will still be available in stores.
In the hopes of cutting down on teen smoking, the company is also increasing its secret shopper program to ensure age requirements are being met at retail outlets. They are also getting rid of their social media accounts and monitoring third-party accounts for inappropriate content, which they admit accounts for more than 99% of all Juul social media content.
“We don’t want anyone who doesn’t smoke, or already use nicotine, to use Juul products,” CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement. “We certainly don’t want youth using the product. It is bad for public health, and it is bad for our mission.”
The move comes in the wake of a Stanford University School of Medicine study that showed that teens and young adults love Juul and “are failing to recognize the product’s addictive potential, despite using it more often than their peers who smoke conventional cigarettes.”
The secret to parenting is structure. I only know this anecdotally, as I remain blissfully childless, but when I think about how I would raise a child, I can’t help being reminded of the job White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is doing with the president.
Part of Kelly’s job, it seems, is micromanaging the schedule of Donald Trump, America’s Big Boy. We all remember how when Kelly first arrived in summer 2017, POTUS soon began“acting sharper in meetings and even rattling off stats.” Finally! Stats! What a fresh change of pace for the adult-shaped president, who, months before, had White House aides scrambling to keep him busy with meetings on certain days, so he wouldn’t watch TV and tweet. (“But if he wants to watch it, it’s not like we can say, ‘Oh, the TV doesn’t work,'” said one official who is definitely at peace with their chosen path.)
As much as Trump has (not) blossomed under Kelly’s tough-love taskmastery, his schedule is still chock-a-block with Executive Time, those nebulously defined periods throughout the day when the president, age 72, can watch TV, tweet, and phone friends on his unprotected cell phone, without the burden of having to do President Stuff. In order to curb the freedom of Executive Time, however, Kelly and the White House have reportedly instituted Policy Time, a temporal toddler leash aimed at keeping Trump on track, against towering odds.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) November 13, 2018
Inspired by this bold take on leadership, my Fast Company editors have begun to institute similar strictures on my time to help keep me focused on each task at hand. [Editor’s note: At this point, the author wandered off, drank not one but two cans of seltzer, and played Fortnite for 45 minutes before attempting to concentrate on work anew.] Below is a list of my new Trump-inspired schedule, designed to keep this writer poised for success.
3:14 a.m. Propped Up on Elbow Reading Twitter Time
In order to be as full of potential story ideas as possible, I’m required to begin the day surveying world news events the moment I wake up–which, like the president, is disturbingly early.
9:30 a.m. Reflection Time
This is when my editors show me praise from people who think I’m doing a good job–just like the president of the United States! It’s the peanut butter that makes the medicine of the next part of my day go down smoother.
11 a.m. Do the News Time
Starting at 11 a.m.–also like the president!–I’m good and ready to do the news. This is pretty much the rest of my work day, except for the times noted below.
1 p.m. Meetings Time
Grrr, meetings! What can I say, folks, they’re bad. And don’t get me started on Mondays . . .
2 p.m. Snack Time
Because I wake up at what some might call a debilitatingly early hour, I have already consumed lunch by 10 a.m. each day without fail. Once Meetings Time is over, however, my editors kindly reward me with treats–which I invariably turn into a double-reward by also yelling about my enemies inside the snack room, where there’s no one to stop me!
7 p.m. (give or take) Executive Time
I am finally free. Weirdly, though, Executive Time looks a lot like Propped Up on Elbow Reading Twitter Time.