I have been disappointed by NBC’s Olympic coverage. I was hoping for what they did in the past by sharing coverage with their cable brethren but other than curling and a brief hockey game or two – no such luck. During the opening ceremonies Bob Costas (Yes he is still there) and Matt Lauer were introducing the competing nations and announcing who the flag carrier was. When it came to the U.S. I knew that the flag carrier was going to be a young man from Long Island who was competing in the skeleton race. His name was never mentioned in fact there was a long silence. Other nations such as Georgia and lesser known countries had their flag carrier named. In fact they went on to discuss that persons sport and any other notables in their team. Now, I know from my intern days that the announcers and anchors rarely write their own stuff so I guess some blame should go to the writers. But, what an oversight! I had read the story about him in Newsday and was looking forward to seeing him on TV. Anyone watch the ice skating til midnight? Did you get up for work the next day all bright and bushy-tailed? Probably not. Yes, I know ratings is what they are pulling for but I don’t think any American was urgently looking to see cross-country racing that happened during the day – and should have run during the day – to be seen at 10PM when ice-skating finals of all categories were on. Is this the influence of new owner Comcast and their unwillingness to share the coverage with the cable siblings or just bad planning? Well, we have another four years to find out and they have another four to get it right.
It’s been called the sandwich generation – those of us who are old enough to have children and elderly parents at the same time. When duty calls at home what do you do? Do you leave work behind and take care of the home or are you lucky enough financially and employment wise to have outside help at home assisting your kids or parents? All sorts of ethnic backgrounds in the United States find themselves in this predicament, no one seems immune. I myself being of Dutch, Irish, English and Polish decent, which I call American Blend #3, (Anglo-Saxon protestant with a dash of eastern European ) have been placed in the predicament of helping out with elderly and ill parents far away from my work routine and domain. I have no children of my own so this seemed feasible to many. I moved a couple of hours away from where I loved living and had a social life and work life. It was thought that the work life would be able to thrive still two hours away from the hustle and bustle that I was used to. It did not. I was consulting but couldn’t keep up with the phone calls, in person meetings that were far and away and needed all my time to materialize and come to fruition. Not to mention the increased costs involved with such meetings. Social life disappeared all together which was even harder in many ways. I couldn’t just meet up with friends and get away from new issues at home. I had to move to an area known as a “beautiful get-away” for many metro New Yorker’s. If you are single and looking, moving to a mostly married place with a strong group of senior citizens and low number of college educated professional males who are single can be a sad reality. Home duties call, who is going home? If you have to do it in your hometown, that is still stressfull but not as stressfull as having to move yourself and supporting life.
And, when you are ready to go back to work fulltime and the elderly relatives, or your children are somewhat stabilized do you find work right away? Not in this economy. Not in most years. Once you take a year or two away from fulltime work you are not seen on the same caliber you once were. Women more than men seem to have this pull of two worlds affect them more. For many years college educated, and in some cases well employed women gave up their corporate work for home work. After years away many women want to come back to the corporate entity and are met with curiosity and sometimes disdain. Many people are contracting or consulting at will in order to make some money. By all accounts this is not an easy choice either. Do your high level skills disappear for the time you aren’t working fulltime? No. American’s of all blends will find themselves in this scenario in one way or another. Companies and contractors need to understand that the work/life balance isn’t always balanced and some flexibility and compassion are called for to help them work again and keep companies working and the home fires burning bright and healthy.
Homage to The Wizard of Oz led me to the title of this blog. Of course in the movie it’s Dorothy and the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow who are walking down the Yellow Brick Road repeating “Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!” It’s a scary place that yellow brick road which they are on to see the wizard. Their purpose outweighs their fears in the end. And that’s all any of us can ever hope for. It’s a scary place these days on ones computer without virus protection, spy-ware, and now of course, malware. Malicious programs must be stopped! Why do they exist in the first place? Nerd men, mostly, who have nothing better to do than create nonsense and chaos so that they can feel big, fulfilled and mostly, important. The mess it has caused innocent computer users around the globe is exponential. The cost to computer users around the globe is tremendous with all the scanning programs we must buy to protect our electronic friends. I wonder if the creators of all this protection ware ever thought of creating some havoc, chaos themselves in order to sell more protective services? Hmm?
Shakedown on the PC front. A PC mafia if you will. Clever really very clever. Of course something like that would never REALLY happen now would it? Hmm? Go now, fear not, and continue to practice safe computing. Children used to fear the bogeyman, now they fear non-biological viruses that kill their favorite video games. Creepy isn’t it?