Day Job and Life Coming Back to Normal

Brother and SisterI went down to see my sister last week. I had planned just to stay there for a day, but it didn’t work out like that. I find it very difficult to change my living arrangements. It wasn’t that I was doing anything different there than I would have been doing here. But I went down there Thursday night and didn’t manage to come back until Tuesday morning. But I’m never as productive when I’m away. That’s especially true here at Frankly Curious. With my day job, the work is more concrete.

But I did get a little reminder that I have to be careful what I say here about my day job. It’s not too hard for people to figure out who I’m complaining about when I’m complaining. It makes me want to start a new blog where no one knows who I am. Because even though I understand the need for professionalism, I also don’t much like being constrained here. Not that I think any of my writers read what I have to say here. That’s the thing about the modern world: everyone is doing their own things. It’s not like I read the blogs that my writers have — not much anyway.

For the first time, I have a bit of sympathy for anonymous bloggers, though. Although I have to admit that I don’t know what they are worried about. I don’t just write about my day job here. This is a very personal blog. One of the first articles I wrote was, Getting to the Bottom of Things. Now if you are thinking that this is about the best way to keep your anus clean, you are right. Of course, in keeping with my nature, roughly half of it is about François Rabelais’ first Gargantua and Pantagruel novel, where Gargantua discusses the 57 different objects he used to wipe him bottom.

But as usual, money doesn’t just change everything; it ruins everything. I like my job. And one of the reasons I have the job is that I do have some political sense. It’s hard to find people who can both write and who know about computer technology. So I can’t go around chasing writers away. I’ve been really clear that our people are really good. But that doesn’t mean that they are perfect. What I really need is to find a website where editors go to bitch about their jobs.

That’s an interesting thing about editing as a day job. It all seems pretty obvious to the editor. For example, I sent out an email to all my writers alerting them to our new style for capitalizing titles. I say “new” but the truth is that we haven’t had one. And as a result, I never bugged my writers about their often colorful attempts at capitalization. But then I found this great tool, Title Cap. You enter your title and it changes it to the Chicago style. It’s really great!

So I emailed the link to my writers and updated our inhouse style guide. And I waited. Only one of my writers was excited by it. That surprised me, because this is so great! (Although I wasn’t at all surprised at which writer was excited — we are kindred spirits in these matters.) But they don’t need to get excited. They are freelancers; they can do whatever they want. (As long as they eventually figure out how to capitalize titles properly.) But it is disappointing.

It is indicative of my blessed life that I can get away with writing this article and still keep my day job, however. Also: I can go away on a quasi-vacation and still manage to work at about 60% of my normal. In fact, I was thinking that I could take my father on vacation to the Azores and still not miss much work. I have an odd life though. Frankly Curious would suffer. I think this is the first day out of the last week that I’ve published the standard two articles in a day.

Now that I’m back home and rested, I expect to get back to my normal schedule. But we’ll see. It’s supposed to be 90° for the next week, so I may just be passed out on the couch.

8 thoughts on “Day Job and Life Coming Back to Normal

  1. Do you read Lance Mannion? He has a Don Quixote themed post and I wanted your opinion. http://lancemannion.typepad.com/lance_mannion/2016/04/candidate-of-the-woeful-countenance.html
    I read his blog and generally like it. He’s gotten into what Driftglass calls hippie punching lately. I see a lot of it. Clinton partisans, or Clinton enthusiasts, supporters, what have you, who are turning their frustration with the Sanders campaign into various flavors of ad hominem against Sanders supporters. Back in 2008 I was a newly deconverted Republican, and I read Slate, or if I was feeling naughty, Kevin Drum. So I don’t know if the 2008 campaign was as bad as this, or worse. People are just frustrated and overreacting. And if someone with my temperment can make that observation that says something.

    • Not to butt in, but I heard on the Thom Hartmann show the other day that some Trump people were going on social media and harassing Clinton/Sanders fans pretending to be supporters of the other. Hartmann’s a bright guy who can be a bit flaky, so I don’t know if this claim is true or how widespread it supposedly is. But it made sense. That would be a very troll thing to do, and the Trump fans I’ve run into online are quite trollish.

      • They hardly need to though. The Clinton-Sanders supporters are very good at making me despair for the party.

          • You know what I mean. Every liberal (as I define them) who takes that test will find that they agree with Sanders 9x% of the time and Clinton 9x% of the time. I understand: the meanest fights are inside families. But I think it is brilliant that the Democratic Party is pretty evenly split between Clinton and Sanders. Because that’s pretty much what the Democratic Party is. I’m fine with that. As it is, I’d spend the next four years bitching whether Sanders or Clinton became president. Although it would probably be more ideological with Clinton and tactical with Sanders. But it’s funny that I don’t feel comfortable in the Democratic party, but still get a 96% rating with the party. Maybe I need to rethink my bitching.

    • Trying to cram Sanders into the role of Quixote makes his analysis of the character facile. Is he not aware that Don Quixote does, in fact, win the battle of reality in the second novel? The problem that Don Quixote has is not that he is old and delusional; it is that the books he read were fiction, which he mistook for reality. Bernie Sanders is no radical; he’s an old fashioned New Deal Democrat. He isn’t delusional about the way things used to be as Quixote was. And who is Mannion to say how Sanders should have spent his career? The arrogance is stunning.

      But the graver sin is to use Don Quixote in this way. The character is used just to attack Sanders. Note how he comes up with new definitions of “quixotic” — as though the word just means anything having to do with Don Quixote. I discuss what the word ought to mean, Quixotic Justification. But Mannion is just thrashing around looking for a way to see Don Quixote so as to make Sanders look bad.

      It’s sad, because I see what he is doing — a lot. Mannion is someone who likes Sanders and who agrees with him. But finds himself in a position where he must attack him. Because just admitting that you like Clinton more is beyond such people. But I do wish they would leave my favorite novels out of it.

      PS: he asks where Sanders’ Sancho is. Why would it matter? Sancho works in the books because he is us. Don Quixote doesn’t listen to Sancho. And the further on we get in the book, the more Sancho uses Don Quixote’s insanity against him. Does Mannion think that Sancho made Quixote more sane by telling him hard truths? If so, he didn’t read the books very carefully. Or at all. Maybe he just watched that awful musical.

  2. I haven’t read anything here that strikes me as overly critical of your colleagues (only that one editor who probably knows exactly what your opinion is.) But it’s that old bugbear about mistaken intentions; you never know when some harmless grousing is going to strike people the wrong way, or make them think you’re singling them out for criticism when you weren’t criticizing them at all.

    • Very true. And I know very well, that someone can complement you 99 times and criticize you once, and you will remember only the criticism. It’s the way we are.

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