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Work Wit – What’s Funny About Business

The American Way… As a patriotic gentleman of business, I whole-heartedly support all legislators who give contracts to my firm.  Of course, those who give contracts to my competitors are irresponsible wastrels and darn fools.

Biz Quiz:  How many government contractors are employed in the U.S.?  You are paying for 5,294 contractors – 55% are male – average age is 46.

Re-sculpting Your Career – Post-Covid Opportunities

Fortune now smiles on the energized employee willing to take his/her current skills and apply them in a new field. On Friday, February 24, 10 a.m. at the Princeton Public Library Bart Jackson will speak to the Professional Service Group of Mercer County. Admission is free, all are welcome – virtual attendance is also available: register on the PSG website www.psgofmercercounty.org.

Bart lays out a practical plan for searching out what businesses are seeking, how to navigate your professional switch, and how to negotiate your way into a more profitable career. In his words, “If you thought the business talent hunt was immense before Covid, wait until you see what’s waiting for you today.”

Best Revenge

I invested my life savings in a not-so-mutual fund that apparently bought my broker’s new home in Aruba.  He explained that this monetary shift was covered under the contract clause, “Individual results may vary.”

 

Afterthought.  The only just solution is for you to send tickets to your nagging mother-in-law, your out-of-work brother, and your dropout daughter and offer them free rooms in your new house.  If your broker wants to rob what is yours, insist he take the whole package.

Business Quips – The Art of the CEO Radio

2023 – The Year to Get Personal

If my Wishing Wand were freshly loaded with Stardust, and stood poised over an expectant humanity, eager for salvation, my one magic spell would doubtless be that we each and all get to know each other more personally, more individually.  People’s eyes might then magically open.  We’d stop perceiving each other as red-staters or blue, as neighbors or immigrants, customers or coworkers, loosers or powerful people it behooves me to cozy up to.  Instead of slicing & dicing our fellows up into pre-labeled tribes, we’d begin delightfully exploring Judy, Tom, Randy, Jacque, Sophia, and Ivan – each unique individuals.

We’d start tearing our eyes away from our two-dimensional screens, blink into God’s honest sunlight, and launch into the far more satisfying process of learning all the little fascinating facets that lie behind Hari’s ready smile – and the real reason another old acquaintance’s parents named her Sequoia.  The other night I had the pleasure of witnessing this blossoming when a Zoom group that I attend weekly gathered for a face-to-face Holiday Party.  The sheer joy was absolutely palpable.  Laughter rang and the stilted curtain of teleconferencing formality drew back as we each shared the broader panorama of our own true selves.

But ‘tis far too easy to fix the blame for our isolation on technology.  The fault of our interpersonal poverty lies more in our selves, than our devices.  Long before smartphones, even before desktop computers, our society had begun drifting into impersonality, and what I call the “shark-fin-soup” method of making relationships.  Joe repairs my car.  Sandra is the firm’s tech wizard, Bruce is that idiot who votes for the wrong party.  So much for Joe, Sandra, and Bruce.  They’ve been boxed into their single-slot asset or characteristic.   You don’t need me to preach the stupidity of slicing off just the fin and tossing the entire rest of this individual back into the sea of our disinterest.  You already know the wastefulness of treating your fellows as mere functions.

And actually, you don’t even require my Wishing Wand to bootstrap yourself out of this self-inflicted loneliness.  Have you thrown a good old-fashioned party for the neighbors lately?  Taken your cleaning woman shopping?  Invited one or two workday cronies for a wine tasting or bike ride?  Or have you paused in your vitally frantic schedule to learn a little about the family of the person who delivers your mail?  There wanders among us legions of bizarre, captivating, multi-faceted souls whose wealth will open to you with a little friendly conversation.  Who knows, that s.o.b. in accounting might just be the tennis partner you’ve been searching for.

May you bounce merrily into 2023,   – Bart Jackson

Tidings of Comfort & Joy

As a Christian (I say that the most spiritual and not even slightly political sense), this season I often find myself sitting alone, contemplative, and thankful.  Recently, I sat in such a reverie, my sole companions a blessedly steaming cup of coffee and an absolutely voluptuous bowl of chili.  All the while, my favorite advent hymn phrase kept haunting me:

Where meek Souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.

And I kept wondering, what would it feel like when I finally Christ into my soul? What did I want Jesus to bring me for Christmas?

So I grabbed my pen and scribbled…..

– If sleep sweeps in each night with a mere closing of the eyes – like  when you were ten…

– If your mind rests with ease – with no jolts of regret or stabbing recollections that bleed out unhealed memories…

– If that smile springs to your lips from frequent, pure joy – and is not donned as a defiant shield…

– If there are no foods, drinks, or engineered indulgences you lean on  with increasing frequency to blanket yourself in brief contentment…

– If the joy of pursuing your ambition exceeds your anxiety over possibly not reaching it…

– If you are not haunted by emotional triggers…

– If you enjoy, but don’t require the adulation & approval of others…

– If you can endure success – another person’s, I mean…

– If your heart approves your habits – that tender care you give to  you, and you’re thankful for the path you’re walking…

– If you feel pride in your behavior during your last conflict – group  meeting – family gathering – and treatment of a stranger…

– If nothing in your life seems a sacrifice…

– If your own real concerns seem minor and offstage enough that you are finding greater anxiety in the plights of others…

– If you look back on your past without the balance of Success vs.       Failure – but only with relish…

– If there is so much more you want to do – but nothing you feel ruthlessly driven to do…

– If each stranger, whatever the circumstance, is seen as an opportunity – not a threat or yardstick competitor…

– And if you rise up singing with a bellowsome joy that sets your  teenage daughter blushing crimson with embarrassment…

Then you don’t need Jesus to Quickly Come…

In fact, I’ll wager the warm glow of holly & heart, He’s already there.

Wishing each of you the greatest joy this Christmas,

– Bart Jackson