This is in no way a chronological story

February 13, 2018

There is only one truth, and that is the one we see and know from our own lenses, even if they might be a bit occluded at times. No one else can be a witness to our every move and thought. And there are no “alternative facts”. A fact is a fact, and as it pertains to our lives, only we really know the truth.

Most of us (save me for the moment) work for companies, or for governments, that speak from both sides of their mouths. Even big-time “thought leaders” that thousands of us follow. They say do this and do that and you will be successful. “Wake up at 4:00am”. “Do the hardest thing first”. “Hit the gym first”. But my favorite comes from organizations themselves, and the theme and/or the mission of every company seems to be some form of, “love your employees and they’ll love your customers, and you’ll have a successful company and everyone will be happy”.

Bullshit. This is sheepherding. There is not a company out there where not one worker feels marginalized or jaded by said company for one reason or another, and it’s not just because they’re whiners or complainers.

December 3, 2019

As you can see, and if you follow me, you will see that I am a procrastinator. I am the thought leader’s worst nightmare. But sometimes, it takes time for thoughts to come to fruition through aging and perspective. I’m glad I saved this one for that reason. This is the first of three “chapters”.

I worked for one of the world’s best known brands, and one of the world’s best-known leaders. Perhaps the most unconventional and brash out there, but that is how this person gained the notoriety that he did, and became a billionaire because of it.

It was a Saturday night in Chicago, May of 2017. Having to leave for London the next morning after the previous six grueling weeks of travels to the UK and domestic trips, I was preparing for yet another trip to London. The company decided it should bring the entire global sales force to the UK for a one-day meeting to announce a change in direction. Given that there was a new leader in charge, I would have to say this had to do with ego more than anything, for the expense of such on the back of a company not necessarily turning a profit was immense.

Immediately below us in an eight-unit condominium building in Chicago lived our best friends. Immediately above us was our 1,500 square-foot roof deck with lovely views of the skyline to the South, and Wrigley Field to the North. So on this Saturday, the male unit of the condo below us, along with some of his buddies, asked if they could hang out on the deck, and of course I said by all means. Ordinarily I would have joined them, but I had a backlog of work to do before heading over the pond yet again the next day. They vacated by 11:00pm, and I went upstairs, just to make sure all of the electrical was properly turned off. I had not had a drink.

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My left leg is about an inch shorter than my right leg. I never really knew this until I began working in professional jobs that required professional clothing, such as a tailored suit. (Not the three-piece light blue Angels Flight suit I bought for $49 in the disco era.)I bought that first suit at the now defunct Irv’s Clothing in Mount Prospect, Illinois. The store simply featured endless racks of designer suits at discount prices, and I was blinded by the sameness. Once I had picked out three what I thought were rather dull suits but were required apparel, I proceeded to the tailor’s area. When he measured the length of both of my legs, that’s when I learned why I had been clumsy, a tripper, not a good sports guy all of my life. I had literally been tripping over myself for years and never knew why! And always wondering why the left leg of my pants was dragging the floor and not the right. (Another thing he asked was, “do I wear it right or left?” What is “it”?) I had to ask my ex-wife about this, who had accompanied me. How I wore my package never really occurred to me as being important.

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The rooftop deck was dark as I made sure all was in order, and just as I was about to proceed back downstairs, dang it if I didn’t run into a small portable heater due to my clumsiness, and fell right on top of it — right on my chest. The wind got knocked out of me, and I had learned before to raise your arms up above your body, walk around, and try to breathe, and it would come back. It did. But something else was wrong, as it continued to be difficult to breathe. My mate was away that evening, so I was on my own. I knew something was dreadfully wrong, and I got much of no sleep that evening. But at least I was ready to leave for London the next day.

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My life in the context of 20th-century history and pop culture — infused with a dose of fun (where appropriate!) More to come when I get my sea legs on here.

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