Tag: neighbor

Stories from my Past: That is a long commute

When you are interviewing for a job, its is surprising the things that interviewers say.

One interview I had was with a company that was a great fit. The interview was going great. I had chemistry with the interviewer, it seemed like a good fit for both me and the company and the interviewer remarked on that as well. It was just winding down and off hand the interviewer asked where I lived. I told him and he said “That is a long commute”. It was about an hour in Chicago. I said that I didn’t consider it a long commute and I could move in neighboring place since I was single and shared that I had a gf in that neighborhood.

He didn’t really respond to that. I didn’t get the job and I am sure that in his mind, the commute meant I wasn’t a good fit. The thing is that if someone is willing to commute why not let them do it?

It isn’t the longest commute I had for a job either. I have worked jobs that at times the commute could be 2 1/2 hours. Normally it was 1 hour, but you know traffic in the city can be stopped many times for many reasons. It isn’t just the average time to travel that you have to consider when taking a job, but the likelihood of getting in a traffic jam and it being longer.

I shared earlier that a short commute has a big influence on happiness in life. So why would I apply for jobs that have longer commutes? One of the reasons is that for me, I love to drive and don’t mind commuting. Another is that I have been able to work for great companies by commuting. Another is that in large cities where I have worked like Chicago/NYC traffic is unavoidable so you just accept that is part of the time you commit to the job.

Would I love to have a short commute? You bet. However when I don’t, there are advantages to being in the car. For one I get to add music to my music playlist. I get to think about things without being interrupted, and I get to be away from a computer and see interesting things.

There are always benefits in every situation. You just need to be open to them.

New equipment sometimes means hurt feelings

New equipment sometimes means hurt feelings.

Let me give you an example. I once worked at a company that was pretty cheap. They didn’t spend money on regularly refreshing their equipment, so it was years old and very slow.

One day I was asked to upgrade some people to have two monitors instead of a tiny 15 inch one they had. As I did this, many people asked me if they were getting a monitor. I said that I had a list and only the people on the list got one. So there were lots of hurt feelings because they didn’t feel important enough to get a second monitor.

So guess what? A few days later one of the older monitors breaks. Now in any other company this would be an opportunity to just upgrade it with the new larger monitor. However in this case the political climate was to get the permission of their manager so that any hurt feelings could be addressed before this was done. Interesting isn’t it? Normally you would just replace something that is broken and let people deal with it as best they can.

In one way this is nice. It is nice that a company is aware of peoples feelings. In another way this is kind of treating people like children. Children don’t have the emotional capability of regulating their feelings like adults show, so you have to treat them more gently than an adult.

Of course the next day the monitor got replaced. However I see this happen in every company. Once someone gets something, everyone else seems to need it too.

It is a fascinating thing to watch. The person with the broken monitor said how terrible it would be if her monitor broke. Now that it did, she seemed kind of upset and nervous about the attention she would attract. She did attract attention.

It is ok to have feelings at work. However if your neighbor gets a new monitor or whatever, it doesn’t mean that you are less valuable. It just means people make decisions for reasons we aren’t always aware of.

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