casual to causal

I am a bit stunned. I received this video as a post in my Facebook feed. It popped up as one of their promoted style videos for something that I may like.

Immediately, I took offense.

And then I started to wonder…

What have I clicked on, hovered over, or accidentally ‘liked’ that would make the bots algorithmically connect me with a weapon DIY video?

The more I reflected the more agitated I became.

I posted a complaint to Facebook and they responded.

When I received their response I nearly lost my mind. In that moment I posted their response and shared it to my friends. Every one of the responses to my post contained shock and awe…and then I cooled off a bit.

And thought about it a bit more.

I found out later that the video was housed on YouTube… but that just kinda made it seem like Facebook was aiding and abetting YouTube or vice versa.

The part that really shook me was the kind offer to help me not see things like this in the future. And I started to realize that their offer had a techno-insidiousness to it.

I imagined the many times, already, that I did not see a thing like that, I gnawed on the thought that maybe I have sent or shared a link with dark sub-links to content I could not see. I was deeply bugged that on top of the fact that a DIY concealable weapon video landed on my timeline, and it did not go against the Community Standards of Facebook, that I had become so automatic in my trust of social media.

There is no tidy wrap up for this post.

Check your clicks.


I only, sometimes, maybe, mostly do not offer my opinion in meetings.

In the past I have recklessly dove into professional convos offering my views, many times bashing down moments without warrant and care.

Once in a while, a deeper state of collab was achieved by me throttling and shaking the tree other times my thoughtful/less thoughts were graciously discounted as either rogue or dangerous.

Truthfully, I am okay with existing at the fringes- rogue and dangerous are not how I would identify my intention, but at times, getting attention and holding attention can stem from open disagreement with the establishment.

Tactically, I have changed my delivery and pursuit so that I can remain viable and approachable…but I still disagree a lot.

Having and presenting and defending an opinion is one of the most underdeveloped and misunderstood tools in a teacher’s kit. I often find myself in ad hoc convos after a meeting where a colleague, after the fact, agrees with the position I held in the meeting. I ask why they did not engage… some┬áreply:

  • Why bother? Nothing is going to change.
  • I do not want to cause conflict.
  • I have lots of [stuff] to do, no time for this.

To these I often ask:

  • What part have you played in this conversation before?
  • What [ideas, evidence, reflections] are you holding back?
  • How do you hold decision-makers and stakeholders accountable to outcomes?
  • Who do you trust in this group?
  • Who do you trust, that should be a part of this group?
  • Who do you accept professional criticism from?
  • What have you lost as a result of not jumping in?

Of course, it is also critical to consider:

  • best time to hold this meeting?
  • best length of time for the meeting?
  • best person to chair the meeting?
  • best environment to hold the meeting?
  • best method for moving resources before/during /after meeting?
  • best method to account for deliverables?What is the…

Colleagues rarely say that they are not interested in participation, we know that meetings are a part of our work and that the big picture can make our time in meetings feel diffuse.

I choose to exist on the fringe until I am certain that I have an angle of trajectory and a full enough understanding of the topic so that I can better engage with the table.

I feel that challenging the issues at hand, especially when they seem dogmatic in nature, can feel a little like a free fall. And like a freefall, the thrill can be a bit frightening. Consider that the next time you agree, even slightly, with an opposing view.

Ask yourself:

  • How would my support help to expand this idea?
  • What could my support look like?
  • Could my support now, lead them to supporting me later?

turn off teacher

Although teaching is my current stop along my career path, it will not be my last. And as amazing as this job is, it triggers behaviours that I am not entirely comfortable with. In truth, it has exacerbated some of the same characteristics that I had left behind in the kitchens of past.

10 years ago, teaching found me. Faced with a ‘whats my next move?’ moment I opted to shift out of restaurant life at a moment in time when the opportunity presented itself, and my motivation to change was accessible, and the resources to support the change were available. All of this couched in a singular notion- that if I truly wanted to grow my family, my current lifestyle would need to end.

In the professional kitchen, there is little time for ‘self’. The business pulls so many resources from its staff that I often felt the blackhole-pull teasing at my personal life. The down time from the kitchen often was dotted with frantic calls from either the owner or other staff members. The gravity was unavoidable. For a roadside view of my past autobahn self- check out or both articles present parts of my former career, in all its guts and glory.

So now, I discriminate.

In the past, this meant choosing work stuff over life stuff. Now, I find that at 3:00 pm I crave my family. I want to hustle out of the building, into my vehicle, and pick up my kids. This is new territory for me. But I gotta admit, it feels pretty good. There is a palpable upswing in my mood as I walk into my kids’ school- no matter the type of day they may have had and all of the possibilities that may have occurred, I feel one step closer to my center.

Coming home for downtime has taken on new meaning for me. I find that at the end of the work day I crave, well, ‘home’. In the past I would have/could have remained at work, puttered around organizing, copying, recopying, and possibly reorganizing stuff for the next day. Much of this busy work was/is fuelled by an internal autopilot mechanism that often misleads- more often than not, created anxious dissonance with my family’s needs, and did nothing to build connectivity to my work.

Going forward into 2016 I remain focused on getting and being ‘home’. A huge challenge in this will be developing a finer and clearer integration of work with life. Additionally, I aim to remain at home while there.