The Amazing Health Crises Part 1

I’m no fan of privatized health care. We’ve been in its shadow in America for so long it has been accepted as the Devil We Know. Lots of people are too frightened to go all-in on a Nationalized Health Care situation, wondering if the quality of care will deteriorate, like most things do when handed over to the government. I get it. I have dealt with insurance companies on deeply frustrating, emotional levels since I was in my early 20’s and trying to figure out why my joints were on fire and my skin was breaking out in scaly rashes. (answer, Psoriatic Arthritis!). Now imagine giving an entire Plan of Care over to Government Employees who are NOT in line to get bonuses based on the organization’s performance, and you might begin to picture a doctor’s office resembling a DMV lobby on a Monday near the end of the month…


The problems that stem from the gap in having good coverage and having “not good” coverage, or no coverage, can be filled with money and doctors. By 2032, there’s a predicted shortfall of perhaps 122,000 doctors, both in Primary care and in Specialists.
The major factor driving demand for physicians continues to be a growing, aging population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation’s population is estimated to grow by more than 10% by 2032, with those over age 65 increasing by 48%. Additionally, the aging population will affect physician supply, since one-third of all currently active doctors will be older than 65 in the next decade. When these physicians decide to retire could have the greatest impact on supply.”

The rheumatologist I was a patient of recently semi-retired, and was one of less than 20 in the state of Washington (his number, can’t corroborate). The provider gap is expected to be filled by Physician’s Assistants and APRNs, likely doing more triage and low-severity care before referring on to the Doctors. Got gas? They’ll check you out. The gas is presenting as a green spirit that can telepathically communicate with birds? On ya go!

So we’ll have fewer doctors in relation to (potential) demand of people. Baby Boomers (about 74 million) make up a great portion of the population, and will in turn need more geriatric services and care as they near the Final Good Bye (Florida or Arizona). Factor in a generation that was caught up in few terribly destructive health crazes (jogging, low fat dieting, voting Republican) and you’re looking at more cases of Alzheimers, Dementia, Trumpism, and judging of younger generations than ever before. What then?

Well… I don’t really know. Here’s where I’d start with getting a nationalized health care plan going.

  1. Take SUPER GOOD care of yourself. Get away from refined carbs, which can cause inflammation, which is the underlying cause of most chronic diseases. I triggered my autoimmune issues with a diet of stress, bad sleep, low fat eating, low-grade beer, and sleeping in a weird, moldy environment in college. Keeping inflammation low-to-no will greatly lend to longevity.
  2. Forgive all student debt for Medical Doctors, or heavily subsidize their education, particularly for specialists in fields lacking care providers. Nursing is the 8th most-popular Major in college. Pre-Med isn’t in the top 10 (one study shows Health professions & related areas is #2 in 2017 but doesn’t differentiate between Nursing, Dentistry, etc.). Computer science is #1, but that’s an entirely different pursuit. (FTR, Instagram Influencer and YouTuber are not college majors, but should be charged a quarterly tuition) Student Debt should not be a barrier to entry for the betterment of anybody’s life and education.
  3. Get Rid of Betsy De Vos. She’s a malignancy to the education of American children, and should be treated as such. She’d rather keep people poor and under-educated, as an attempt at reserving higher education for wealthier families. She is the richest person on Trump’s cabinet. She’s never taught a class in her life.
  4. Slow-Roll the national health care plan. Phase it in a few areas at a time. Nothing jarringly huge. Take one service and subsidize it. Radiology. Every x-ray, CT Scan, MRI is paid for by the American Government. Soon you’ll see what works and what doesn’t, the potential areas of corruption, and who stuck what in their where-now?candy-cane


Ultimately, staying healthy is the best cure. Age and Life take their toll. I have a surgery on January 30 to repair a torn quadriceps tendon. Life happens. But in a nation with way more money than intelligence when it comes to spending it, we need to equate a Healthy Citizenry with a Healthy Nation. We have many more needs than faster fighter jets that will never fire a shot at a hostile foreign enemy. We need people to build solar panels and roads and tend to hemp forests.


Posted in Government, Health, Health Care, Psychology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ray/Lee Files IX: It’s Not A Coincidence

For years now I have had a weird fascination with how certain middle names align with certain crimes. I noticed that people with the middle names of “Ray” or “Lee” seem to perpetrate an inordinate number of crimes, and usually, the more heinous in nature are those crimes. That’s not to say everyone with either of those middle names HAS or WILL commit a heinous crime. Just saying that when I see a crime like “Man accused of poisoning step-sister at Easter brunch” or some-such, I always click in to see what the guy’s name is. The accused’s middle name is often posted to help the reader differentiate between Danita Renae Horvath of Lincoln, NE and Danita Lee Horvath of Lincoln, NE who was found covered in entrails outside the petting zoo…

And here we go again…
“North Carolina Man charged with killing his wife with  poisonous eyedrops.

A North Carolina man has been charged with using Visine eye drops to kill his wife of eight years. Joshua Lee Hunsucker, 35, was arrested and booked late last week, charged with the first-degree murder of Stacy Robinson in September 2018. His bail has been set at $1.5 million.

Lawyers for Hunsucker “strenuously opposed” the allegations and pleaded that his bail should be lowered to $50,000 so he can be with his two young children. The judge refused the request.

I’ll say right now that allowing that guy to see his children would be a huge, deadly mistake. This dude’s sick and has cracked, dead-eyed to the world and probably touting a “nobody understands” mentality. Until further notice, please refrain from middle names of Ray or Lee when naming anbody other than an alligator or sword-wielding gorilla.

Posted in Crime, life, News, Psychology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Camp: Money, Well… Spent

As a parent, I’m far beyond ready for the kids to go back to school. This is ridiculous. The only people happy about these extended breaks are teachers (whom I respect and support) and Summer Camp Counselors (who usually are teens just killing time for $12/hr and it shows). Everyone else who loves it are either over-joyed, under-lied Youth Pastors or childless couples with tons of vacation time to burn.

This Summer has been the campiest, busiest one we’ve had in a while, for unconventional reasons. My wife has gone back in school to finish a degree in Interior Design, and she’s getting A’s! The earlier classes she’s been in are hands-on art-heavy classes, and as the self-labeled “creative one” in the family, I’m waaaay behind her and my older son’s art work this Summer. I think I might have come up with a new joke about my car looking like a crime scene, but overall it’s been a fallow Summer for me.

Busy-ness-wise, we’ve played more mini-golf than usual, which I love. I love putt-putt! GUILTY QUEEEEEEN! Or whatever people say to be “whatever” about stuff. My kids are about to wrap up their 3rd Summer camp of the season, and then we’re done. Over $2K spent for 3 weeks of the following experiences:

  1. Mini-golf – playing on 3 courses in 4 days, so they doubled-up, half-day camp
  2. Soccer – skills were at the lowest skill-level of campers, so we didn’t really get better, half-day camp
  3. Piano – they learned a few scales and such but overall didn’t learn much, half-day camp
  4. Flag football – both kids played on championship-level teams in the Spring so this was NOT a camp of “betterment” and some other issues I’ll address in a sec, half-day camp
  5. Flag football/Soccer/Baseball camp – This is the final week happening right now. So far I’ve heard they have to hit off a tee, haven’t run any particular plays, and haven’t worked on any soccer skills. All day in the heat and they’re looking rough.

So what’s the gripe? I’d like to know that when they go to camps that they come home with some skills other than “finding which kids have untethered ADHD” and “not being that impressed with the camp.” I can’t blame them; these are all run through local churchy organizations or sporty spots, but nothing super-focused on THE ELITE LEVEL OF CONDITIONING YOUR ELEMENTARY AGE CHILDREN! But for the love of laziness, some of these camps aren’t even trying.

I know this is a very “white” complaint, believe me. I try to not throw the “guilt-quilt” over any of the kids’ experiences – “Well, I never got to do cool Learn To Cast Spells camps when I was a kid because my parents were lazy asses” – because it’s not their fault if the camp isn’t killing it. If nothing else, they’re getting a lot of exercise, plenty of bath time at night, and they’ve been crashing hard at night. But I get that they don’t love Summer Camp. There are others we tried to get into, turns out those suck, too.

Our friends sent their kids to a week-long NERF Battle Camp, with blasters and swords and such. I hosted a birthday party like this once and it was a shitfire. Everyone getting shot in the face or up-close, darts to the junk, total chaos. And that camp report was “Lame. There was only one day of Capture The Flag.” I hear ya. Every day of life is capturing flags, young ‘in.

When I was 10, I went to this ridiculous horse riding/pool/craft camp for 3 of the 5 days I was supposed to. On day 3, one of the counselors – a guy in his mid-30’s with a cigarette behind his ear and severely receding hairline – called me “fatso” on front of the whole camp, and I was like “F*ck this guy.” If you’re trashing the kids of the parents who pay for what’s probably your work-release program, there’s not a lot else I can do at 10 to thrash your day-to-day. Not sure what happened to that guy. I’m sure the police were involved.

But sending kids to camp puts them in somewhat unfamiliar situations, which you can help them grow in to working at. Learning to adapt and go with the flow in a different place is about 50% of life’s requirement of success. The others include being attractive and having some sort of water craft. When I hear parents say they have “nothing” planned for their kid’s Summer, I’m astounded, if they aren’t traveling a lot. Or if the kid’s secretly a SuperHero. But I doubt the kid’s saving lives and stopping MegaVillains when they keep putting their shoes on the wrong feet and pinching their ween instead of just going to the restroom. Leaving a kid to do “nothing”  during the Summer is just lazy. I understand there are financial barriers for some families. If there aren’t, a kid at home all Summer is basically just a dormant seed waiting to bloom into the same flower that left school in June.

At least put a golf club in their cheese-powdered hands for a week, get some putting work in.

Posted in Coaching, Interactions, life, Parenting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Carry-On Luggage

It’s been forever since I wrote anything. I have lacked energy, motivation, insight, and probably time to do so. But honestly, I have the time, I just burn it doing unproductive crap like working or yard work. Or phone-scrolling like a laboratory crack-monkey. The motivation has been there, sometimes, but I’m not feeling too inspired lately. Then I read something, I think it was Carl Jung’s quote… (hey, Geoff, an easy way to confirm that is go to on the internet and see if this is true…)

“Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.”

I have plenty of work to do, but man, Jung was a pretty deep dude.

His insight into the duality of human existence, of overcoming our greatest fears or darkest corners by admitting them and confronting them, led me to a lot of introspection in my 20’s. In my late-20’s, I had what was probably close to what they call a “quarter-life crisis.” Did a lot of therapy at that time, a lot of looking way back to my childhood to understand why I was in a cycle of friendships and relationships that stagnated. The only constant in those scenarios was Me, so however it played out, I had the same role every time. It was a great step forward to gain understanding of my own behavioral drives.

“His retreat into himself is not a final renunciation of the world, but a search for quietude, where alone it is possible for him to make his contribution to the life of the community.”

Fast-forward to 2019. Recently spent a fair amount of time with some people who, frankly, are carrying a lot of old shit around. And not just carrying it, but leaning it onto other people, unconsciously, because that’s what they have to offer. I don’t think it’s malicious, their leaning. There’s no reflection of whether or not it’s beneficial to carry it, and thus, no wondering if it helps to blurt out their “take” on a situation. Because some of the stuff I saw and heard was straight-up bullshit, bigoted, short-sighted, and/or stupid.

“I have always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way.”

When I was 10 or 11, I had a great interest in biology and how animals were created and grew. I wondered how 2 kids from the same parents could look vastly different. I loved animals. I told my mom I thought it would be cool to be a veterinarian some day. She asked me…

“Do you think if someone brought you a sick animal that you could put it to sleep?”

So in this conversation about something not happening, in theory, for 20 years, I have to handle the hardest part of the work before I ever start? Whatever place of reality that came from, it wasn’t encouraging. I’m not a veterinarian. I didn’t share much with my mom about my hopes after that. Subconsciously I didn’t see trust there.

“We are not what happened to us, we are what we wish to become.”  

Recently we’ve been working a lot on the Growth Mindset with our kids, and the teams I coach. It’s more about understanding that putting in effort leads to success, mistakes are OK but quitting is not, and taking time daily to reflect on what went well, and what we can change. This doesn’t mean we eschew dwelling in reality so that we never feel bad or think we screwed up, cranking Disney soundtracks and polishing our participation trophies. It means we focus on what’s working, praise the effort that went it a good outcome, and admit that we can get better.

So when I’m around negativity, which for some people is a default selection in their menu – to find fault everywhere and constantly express how people around them would be happier if they’d just listen to advice – I quickly tire of that cycle. I see a person who is insecure and needs validation. I see a person who is hurt and can’t or won’t heal. I see someone who needs to be listened to, but can’t ask for help. There’s a part of all of us that is flawed, imperfect, mottled, cracked, or dark. It’s a part we’re not all happy with, and most of us would never allow the world to see it. But it’s part of being Human. I’m a wreck sometimes, the way my brain processes the smallest issues while accepting horrible events.

“The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.”  

There are times when these people would steer conversations towards things they knew a lot about. Which is fine. But not everyone knows a lot about, let’s say, the compression ratios of indirect injection in diesel engines (it ranges from 18:1 to 24:1, but you go lower and you’re gonna bonk it out). And it’s not a lively discussion when one person has to talk about that for a long time after being told what’s-what about tariffs with China and how that impacts American spending from across the dinner table. And then they point out “Geoff’s tuned out, he doesn’t know shit about diesel engines.” True on both accounts.

There were a few times when, having pointed out, quietly, that what I was hearing from these people – complaints about how other people did their job, how other people spent their money, how other people lived their lives (even though it had zero outward impact) – was just dead-weight negatives, I was told to “not make a thing of it.” I wasn’t making a thing of it, but I’m not going to NOT put up a boundary on my good time. Life is far too short. Don’t crap in a punchbowl and call me impolite for drinking from my flask. Don’t crap in a punchbowl, period.

“Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life.”

Instead of carrying it all around, everywhere we go, I think it’s far more beneficial to admit we carry some ugly luggage. Start there. We lie to ourselves, tell ourselves things are fine while our ears are bleeding, refuse to admit we have to make a change, etc. And the luggage gets heavier. It takes more strength to put it down and open it up than it does to keep carrying it. Nobody can see it, usually. So it just looks like somebody struggling to get through the day; the baggage is invisible, but the weight of it is evident.

And the closer we are to letting go of that stuff, the more some people get uncomfortable. They don’t understand that dragging it around isn’t part of Life, it’s part of Stagnation and Death. I hope I can keep choosing introspection and reflection over wallowing.

“Every step closer to my soul excites the scornful laughter of my devils, those cowardly ear-whisperers and poison-mixers.”  

Posted in Health, Interactions, Parenting, Psychology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ten Years Past The Day He Left This Place

I am very thankful for today. It has been a decade since my dad passed on. His grandchildren have grown quite a bit, though he never met them on this level. We still talk to my sons about Papa Gerry. He would have loooved being a grandpa. LOVED IT. I am thankful I was born to him. He was 65.

It was awful and unfair to watch him go. My mom’s strength and faith and grace carried the little boy in me that sobbed when I’d get back in the car after visiting him at the care facility he was moved to. It was better for all of us. He had been wandering away from home, usually to church, and usually during the middle of the week. It was unsafe and harrowing. My mom had the right and hard decisions.

I am thankful today because of how he Parented. Those years I had with him, not knowing they were so gravely important to who I was trying to become. The lessons I have from his examples of parenting are numerous and pop up like pre-programmed cues when my kids start acting up. He was being Dad, and probably a Teacher. Sometimes he was far too easy on me. Other times he played it so straight for discipline, and I was so disappointed in myself for disappointing him, that the lesson seared itself into my DNA. I am grateful he did it his way.

In the 10 years since he died, I have seen some of the most amazing achievements that I think he would have been proud of. I have worked on major projects that millions of mobile phone users take part in. I met and married the perfect-for-me Woman, a fiercely strong and beautiful spirit in a gorgeous human. I performed for thousands of people at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, and the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery ahead of Earth, Wind and Fire. I have coached 3 different sports for dozens of kids. I have two healthy, happy, hilarious boys that he would have loved to sit back and laugh with and about. It’s been a great 10 years. I wish he had been here for it.

I am thankful today, for my days. It was a beautiful Fall day in Kirkland. My boys and I walked from our house to their school about a half-mile away, picking up garbage along the way. We found a lot of cigarette butts, mini bottles of vodka (empty, sadly), and a lot of Halloween candy wrappers. We played soccer for the 2nd day in a row, and snacked up in between the game and walking home. I hopped in for a couple rounds of Xbox-ing. It was a great day. I wish their Papa Gerry were here to be part of any of it. But I carry him with me, so in a way, he is. I am grateful that I was his son. I was very lucky.


Posted in life, love, Parenting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Writer’s Blah

I have nothing to really write about… to REALLY write about. Nothing. I have a lot of these little frustrations and nits I could wax on about. But it sounds like griping, and the time for the Straight White Male’s Gripe has passed. Oh shit, this guy at work uses the word “past” in place of “passed” and that drives me up the ass. And before you say I’m a “grammar Nazi” (why did WordPress auto-capitalize Nazi?), you need to reign that in. I’m not saying I want to round up and exterminate people who consistently mis-use phrases and cause confusion due to a lack of punctuation. I’m just saying that publicly flogging people for a lack of attention to proper use of language shouldn’t be a thing of the passed.

Did your brain feel like it shorted out for a sec? Yeah, sucks, doesn’t it?

Recently a guy I used to work with noted the passing of he and his wife’s 15 year-old fluffball dog, Pomeranian I think, on social media. I know that sucks. Losing a furry pet – that isn’t my cat – of any tenure will always truly suck. The gushing over their “little man” and how much he’ll be missed, and the magic he brought to their lives, was pretty stomach-turning, though. He and his wife chose to not have kids, and instead spend their lives traveling the world with stops back in America to work at software, inc. and rack up a 6-figure salary on a yearly basis. That’s great, and more power to them for choosing that path. Life’s larger challenges can be amplified via perspective. And perhaps it’s my having 2 kids and playing the roles of parent, teacher, doctor, gastroenterologist, party planner, fashion consultant, dietician, triage nurse, coach, team mate, chauffeur, pharmacist, meal planner, and intergalactic foe for them which has me in a totally different headspace than a dog-dedicated family resides in. I know, I’m an asshole about some things, I know this. Dog’s are sweet companions of families and can teach many lessons about Life. And they can be replaced after one passes, and barely anybody thinks that’s bad or weird, and might even attract more than a few kudos. I don’t think it works the same for children.

Humor can be hard sometimes.


Posted in Interactions, life, Parenting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Plumber’s Crack

In the renovation of a small condominium (Latin, from Con + Dom + Inium, meaning “a small place to be uncomfortably screwed.”) in preparation for selling it (PLEASE, SEATTLE HOUSING GODS, HANG IN THERE WHILE WE SACRIFICE THIS CAN OF KELLY MOORE EGGSHELL MOON-GRAY PAINT UNTO THEE)… we had to hire a plumber service to hook-up/disconnect some kitchen work for us. Just an absolute mental clusterfist of a group, AA Plumbing & Drain. You know when somebody’s full of shit when you ask them about an item you need clarification on, and they just talk and talk and talk about everything EXCEPT the issue.

I don’t know if anybody’s going to give a clogged can about this, but here’s what I want to share.

GET YOUR BIDS IN WRITING. We had a verbal bid of $500 to $700. Final bill was almost $1000. After checking the reviews online, this looks like what this company does. Verbal Bid, Actual over-bill. So if the model is to come in way over the bid, just up your bid so you don’t have blowback when people ask why you’re way TF over your original bid. Makes  you look like you don’t know what you’re doing, outside of causing issues.

I know “shit happens,” in work and business. Time runs short, overruns on materials, etc. But when you overbill by $100, and add a guy to stand around and watch you swear for another $100, that’s shit you’re causing, not the happening of the shit.

I get why people have issues with the repair and trade industries. I’ve had contractors demo a bathroom and try to bilk a couple extra hundred out of me, likely due to a gambling problem. Once had a team do great work except for one of them stealing a $500 watch on their last day. This distrust is one reason why people go the DIY route, but all the same, there’s a point when you’re suddenly watching a shell-game happen. When somebody answers your concise question with a drawn-out response riddled with unrelated details (we have good reviews!, a high satisfaction rating!, my socks match!), you’re getting the run-around.

I’m already resigned that we won’t be getting any money back on an overbilling issue. But I’ve also included their integrity as part of the equation. I have moments where I miss integrity, I’m sure. So maybe it’s a karmic back-up throwing some shit my way. At least I know who not to call. I’ll handle this myself.



Posted in Business, Interactions, life, Review | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pardon The Interruption

Hey, you’re sitting there typing on a keyboard. I’m gonna jump in and start talking to you because I have like zero ability to judge a situation. Now you’re distracted and my question is confusing. Get out of your car and come look under my hood. Hear that? Yeah. What is that? I don’t know either.

Anyway, if there’s any justice in the universe, I’ll be shitting blood by lunch. OK, cool, I’m gonna get coffee.


Posted in Career, Interactions, life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Death, Taxes, and Other Investments

In the past 2 weeks I have spent over 4 hours on the phone with the IRS’s on-hold music. I worked on a 1099 last year, wherein I took a higher level of pay and didn’t have taxes taken out; instead, I defer the payment to a single tax payment after some standard deductions as a consultant. If you play it properly you have the tax money (and then some) stored up and ready when the bill comes due. In our case, the payment to the IRS hasn’t happened because of… well, I’m not sure. It seems like the payment was supposed to, but didn’t, go through, and then I got a letter that prompted a call. Apparently, that letter went out to a lot of people. I have yet to speak to an actual human at the IRS.

At the same time, a massive merger between AT&T and TimeWarner occurred, creating WarnerMedia. Having worked at AT&T a number of times I can honestly say it is one of the corporations that is best at treating employees with the most basic of respect to keep them from leaving. Which is too bad. Because when publicly-traded corporations are beholden to shareholders, the CEO will do a dance to perhaps make people feel good about their investments. Money rolls in. Stock price rises. Dividends are paid out. Employees grind through work to keep the machine rolling. The company makes a very public, virtue-signaling bonus payout announcement. But that’s just a small part of the story.

So what’s my problem? It’s this… Shortly after the announcement, a round of layoffs began. There was no announcement for that. It’s a year-end move AT&T, and likely other corporations, do in order to get money off the books before benefits reset. For a company that touts itself – and this is for any corporation – as wanting to grow, invest in, and care about the people who work for it, nobody is more important than the Investor. That might also be employees of the company. The workforce within, and this is also common at many corporations, is heavily augmented by consultants, contingent workers, or contractors. We do not receive the same benefits as the people who we work alongside who are full time employees. But we do the same work. And many times, from management or leadership positions.

I work for a great corporation at the moment. I’ve worked for not-great corporations. A great corporation takes care of people, inside-out. It pays taxes to the areas and nations it works in. It has jobs for people to move in to, and up to, and cuts workforce as a last resort. Yes, Capitalism has allowed me a very comfortable lifestyle while I work to pay off taxes I accrued by working in a Capitalist economy. It’s a loop I’m out of, with an anchor to cut loose instead of reeling in to drop somewhere again. There’s a point where we all have to get to a 0-balance life. Hopefully we’re alive when it happens.


Posted in life, News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Value of Volume

Having finished another season of coaching flag football – 2 teams this time – I find it’s always good/self-indulgent to reflect on the season(s). There are so many lessons to learn from coaching that I hope I coach long enough to compile a long enough list to make a ton of money off a book that people download, something with a title like “The Basics of Success: 2287 Tips to Get to The Top From Your Personal Rock-Bottom,” or “Win Today: Turning The ShitShow You Call Your Life Into a Success Orgy.” But I probably won’t do that too soon.

This entry is more about some people I encounter regularly who believe that making noise – literally and figuratively – somehow equates to “get shit done,” or GSD. This happens at work, on the field, in the 7-11 parking lot, church choir planning retreats, we could go on and on… In coaching sometimes I have to yell. I mean BELLOW to get a kid’s attention. A lot of kids seem to go by a nickname, so I yell their name and they don’t respond. Instead, they’re just NOT dropping back to cover the flat and just gonna stand there having a go at their, apparently very itchy bum while having a good look at the opposing player running past them. You can’t coach instinct, but you can yell about the lack of effort.

A co-worker of mine is like a human whistle. Noise. Just noise noise noise. Dropping f-bombs in a way that most people use a comma. Got it. You’re fired up. You’re a rebel, a breaker of convention, a THOUGHT LEADER. From 70 feet away, over the tops of cubicles, WE HEAR THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED AND YOU’RE GONNA BE OK. Good job. Now please, shut up so we can GSD. This person, I swear, equates being loud to Leading. That’s “Loudership” (just invented that, trademark 2018), and it’s annoying.

My wife tells me I “really need to yell louder” on the sidelines. I always do. About as loud as I can yell, I let it rip. She’s also usually on the same side as I am, 3 feet behind me, and 30 feet to my left or right. So she can’t hear me trying to get Kayd’n’s attention so he’ll TAKE 5 BIG STEPS FORWARD. Again in the past 3 minutes. And I’m shouting for him to move up, and waving my hand to move up, while yelling “KAAAYD”””N! TAKE 5 BIG STEPS FORWARD.” He looks at me, palms up, as if to say “I am holding an invisible sandwich that is at least 3 feet long. It will drop if move!”

Later, when I ask “Hey, were  you able to hear me out there?”

“Yeah, I heard you.”

“Why didn’t you move up?”

“I didn’t know why I should.”

“OK… We don’t have time in the game to explain every little move. We coach that in practice so that, when we tell you where to move, you’re in the best position to make a play for the team. The basic spot you start from is on that corner of the penalty box. You’re not in the wrong place, but if  you move there’s a better chance good things will happen. You moved up and the other player had to try and come back inside, and lost the ball. Good job out there!”

(Blank stare)

“Good talk, get some PowerJuice.”

And this seems to be the way right now, in America. Being loud gets attention. It diverts us away from the constant thrum of whatever else is being hammered on. I’m not saying Kayd’n is trying to divert attention way from his meddling with his sister’s sleepover, or accuse his brother of eating all the Nutella with a spoon. I’m just saying that being loud has its place in the world. But not in the workplace, unless you REALLY need to be LOUD, or just like to yell at kids.


Posted in Career, Coaching, Interactions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment