The I in Writer

I: the ninth letter and third vowel in the ISO Basic Latin Alphabet, it’s thought to have originated from Hieroglyphics in Egypt. I is also one of the few letters that’s also a complete word as well as a complete sentence, well sure all the letters can be complete sentences if we want them to be. All i have to do is ask a person, “what is the nth letter of the alphabet” and their response will be a complete and correct sentence but I is more. It does more than that because asking “who is it” and getting the response I is though bordering on extreme brevity still correct. Of course anyone who texts knows the ridiculous levels to which people gone to shorten their texts and save that precious text space, damn that 140 character limit but thank God for WhatsApp. It could also be thumbs aren’t exactly the pride n joy of the body’s muscle system.

A story is also told of a famous writer either Wilde or Hugo who on wanting to know how his new book was faring sent the telegram written ? and got the response ! from his publisher thus recording the world shortest conversation even because emojis with more characters than that. Now back to I the personal pronoun, one of the most spoken words in the world. As a writer I hate it. I hate it because it borders on ego centrism, sense of over worth and pride. Putting I in my work means talking about myself and why I’m I talking about myself is there nothing else to write about? The world is full of so many interesting characters and events. Have I reached the point where there is nothing else to talk about so that I must talk about myself?

Clearly I wouldn’t cut it as a rapper given the amount of Is in rap. Seriously just pick a song any song if you can’t don’t worry i’ve done it for you, Forever by some of the biggest names in the game is all I, Lil Wayne R.A.F is all I or we. Brooklyn’s finest by Jay Z is fairly divided between the Is of great stuff he’s done and you the things he’s done to the other person few being positive. In fact in Turn me on featuring by Nicki Minaj there’s a line where she goes I-I-I-I-I-I-I. Those are 6 Is too many for me.

Nope not happening

Unfortunately there comes a time when a person needs to move to the center of the crowd and stake their claim to respect acclaim and recognition. Like CM Punk’s Pipebomb at Las Vegas Nevada at some point in life you need to break it down real slow and real simple to the rest who are viewing that you are simply the smartest, strongest, and most talented in the place and the spotlight should be on you. As a writer I think it’s reached the point where I’m ready to blow my own trumpet because no one else will blow it for me. I can write anything, SEO, content writing, content curation even anthropology, you name it I can do it and make it look pretty good.

Some writers challenge themselves to write 1000 words a day and I’m throwing my ring into the hat too. I’m writing 1000 words a day every day. If a client gives me work well and good I won’t post anything, but if I’m free there will be a post. It could be on anything, a short story a humorous article or just a piece to demonstrate my skill in a certain niche even poetry but for the next 3 months 1000 words must be written per day. It’s time the I in writer stood for me.

Why An MBA Doesn’t Guarantee a Promotion

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MBA has to be one of the most criticized advanced courses of the recent times. It’s viewed as generic and useless by many and some speaking from experience say that it doesn’t get you ahead. I’ve been thinking about it as well and I think I can see why an MBA wouldn’t get some over to the management side. An MBA teaches you how to deal with people, it teaches leadership skills, management skills as well as how to deal with clients, investors, employees, managers and public speaking. It could be said that an MBA gives its holder valuable accounting and social skills not taught in any course. But that still wouldn’t answer the question anyone interviewing would ask, “do you know the core business of the firm?”

Let’s say you’re an engineer at a telecommunications firm and want to move up the ladder because everything looks better from a higher view. the person considering your skills will have to ask what you know about the core business, how good an engineer are you really? It’s not worth it to promote someone who’s not a good engineer to management level after all what are they going to develop? How will you leave them in charge of a group of scientists and technicians? It looks bad when the leader can’t come up with a plan and can’t keep up with the smartest guy in the room.

Let’s look at another scenario. Let’s say you were the one evaluating potentials at the same company, all the people being evaluated graduated from university the same year and took the following career paths: Candidate A: Graduated with 2nd Class upper, worked for 4 years with an equivalent firm took a year off to do a masters in Engineering then worked at the firm for a year and has proved exceptional. Candidate B: Graduated with a first class, worked at one firm for 4 years before being headhunted by the firm where they have worked for 2 also provides exceptional work. Candidate C: Graduated with a second lower, worked for the firm for 6 years and has grown with it, knows many of the people and provides good quality work. Candidate D: Graduated with second upper, has worked for 4 years, took a year off to do their MBA and was then employed by the firm. Their work is good quality but not as high as the other two candidates but people like them.

I guess for some that the answer is candidate D because they know how to get along with people but that’s not necessarily what higher level management would see. They’d see that it’s not worth it to get somebody who’s likable if they aren’t going to also supervise quality. It might even be better to hire the one who will supervise quality and have them go for a leadership program or management program to develop their leadership skills. If you ask me I see it like this, if you are confident that your work is exceptional then yes go for it. On the other hand if you think that at best your work is average it would be better to get a specialized degree, it would make you more valuable in the field as a professional and maybe after you specialize consider the MBA. For someone who’s already proved themselves before, the MBA will just be you smoothing out the edges to move on to the next level. What are your thoughts?

Missed a Date

 

Chat

Yesterday I missed a date and now i must apologize,

I saw the hours flying by but didn’t do anything,

Some work had come along so I was actually doing something,

I’m not sure if it was important or productive procrastination,

But now I need to redeem myself, prove my dedication,

Explain how it’ll never happen again,

but getting back to her good books it’s hard to begin,

Hi, I know you didn’t see me on our first date,

You know I actually came I was only very late

What? Cheap excuses? Well…..  I’m really really sorry,

It’ll never happen again don’t you worry,

I’m more dependable on any other day,

I’m honest, standing people up is not my way,

Come on don’t be like that I really think you’re a dear 😦

No, no I wasn’t with someone else, is that’s what you fear?

What ?Maybe? Okay I can deal with a fifty fifty,

You’re being so understanding. Forgiving and a beauty,

Now I have to do my part not just showing up,

Time to get my swag on get suave and suited up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Gym

Iron weights on steel benches

Set 1, Set 2, Set 3,

Waiting for my spotter on the bench press

We’ll do set 1, then Set 2, and Set 3.

Delts dorks dream of, decked on display,

Muscle men are masters here so give them way.

Seated in the sauna Susan extends her stay,

I’m inching up the incline; set 1, set 2, set 3

Hunger pangs are picking up I now prefer the buffet,

But feelings of fatigue finished I’m in the fitter fray,

The trainer said it’ll lessen; me wanting to eat the whole tray,

For now let me do some push-ups set 1, set 2, set 3.

I’ve quit before it’s not for the faint hearted

But for the six-pack and adoration it’s always commanded

I’ll stick to it this time; I’m more than determined

Well here goes my last one; Set 1…., set 2……., set 3.

Why Tesla Died Poor

Nikola Tesla, celebrated genius of the twenty first century. Everybody loves his story. It serves as a reminder of the dangers of corporate greed, and how it can ruin the lives of even the most talented. However, that’s not the real reason Tesla died poor, not completely anyway. It’s not only because Edison and General Electric campaigned against him and Westinghouse, but in a way, because he chose to die poor. To understand this, there are some misconceptions that first need to be cleared, and facts stated.

1.) Tesla outlived Edison

Tesla was born in 1856 and died in 1943, 87 years old. Edison was born in 1847 and died in 1931, 84 years old.  Telsa outlived Edison by 12 years.

2.) The War of Currents Happened While he was Young

The war of currents between AC and DC had ended by 1891. Tesla was 35 years old at the time, Edison was 44. What happened for the remaining 51 years he went on to live? For white collar professionals 34 years old is still young, you’ve barely got into the senior levels of management, and have a lot to build up on. The story goes that Edison had promised Tesla $50000 for a redesign of their DC generators. However, when Tesla completed the work, Edison, surprised he’d done it, said, “Tesla, you don’t understand our American humor,” and offered him an insignificant raise. The story might be true, but this was in 1885 when Tesla was 29 and he resigned immediately. From that point he must have known to either not trust Edison or take lessons in American comedy.

 

3.)    Tesla/AC Won the War of Currents

Without a doubt, Edison did do as much as he could to sabotage Tesla and Westinghouse. However, the rest of the world could see for itself that only one was a mad genius, the other was only mad. By 1891, Germany had already acknowledged that alternating current was the better method of supplying electricity. Westinghouse had also been given a project to build a power station across Niagara Falls to power the whole of Buffalo, and yes the generators had his name on it. The final nail in the coffin came in 1892 when General Electric began to invest in AC current machinery, and Edison’s opinions about the company were silenced. At some point even Edison’s cronies acknowledged his mistakes. At 36 years of age, Tesla had gone head to head with one of the biggest corporations there was, won, and become internationally recognized. The chief executive who was his archenemy had been removed from power. That same company was now buying into his ideas. By fairy tale standards he should have lived happily ever after, or until peasant farmers with pitchforks stormed his premises. History has no account of him escaping from an unruly mob, so what went wrong?

What actually happened?

Tesla is an engineering genius, and without a doubt there are few who could match him. However, an often overlooked shortcoming of his was his poor business strategies.  After the war of currents Westinghouse and GE were financially drained. Even though Westinghouse was given the contract to build the power plant at Buffalo, they couldn’t afford Tesla’s royalties. Westinghouse, the man, decided to ask Tesla to release him from his royalties. Tesla being so happy with Westinghouse for believing in him tore up the contracts and gave his patents for free. Their value then was $12 million, about $300 million today.

Many patent holders only reach this far, breaking the device they were reading from in anger.

Several questions must be asked at this point like:

1.)    What’s wrong with Tesla? Why didn’t he ask to be made a partner instead of employee and then continue working with Westinghouse if he liked him so much?

2.)    Couldn’t he have negotiated either a lower royalty rate, or to only lend them for a period of time such as maybe one or two years. Why didn’t he consult a lawyer?

3.)    Why didn’t he just roll the contracts, stuff them with expensive tobacco, and smoke them up? If we’re going to burn money, we might as well do it in style.

This is just the beginning of a series of bad decisions that highlight Tesla’s poor business skills. The same scenario played out when Marconi was developing a radio. Tesla was well aware that Marconi was using at least 17 of his patents, but at the time he said, “Marconi is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using 17 of my patents”. It was only after Marconi had completed his design that Tesla sued him, and as early as 1935 the courts had declared Marconi’s patents invalid, but because the compensation case dragged on for another 10 years, Tesla never saw a penny of royalty fees.

Tesla takes a significant amount of blame for his impoverished state. Eventually, Westinghouse was the one that paid for his hotel costs, but why did he give them his patents for free?

His story is quite similar to that of Narcissus and Echo. I can’t go into details about it, because someone already did with a much better explanation than I could ever give. However, to conclude: Tesla was not one to listen to contrary opinions, he knew best. His science was unmatched, but success in life takes more than that, and his view on it was quite distorted. He trusted those who appeared to share his ideals too much, and never once asked if people were only good to him because he had something to offer them. His scientific brilliance meant that he always assumed to know what’s best about all matters not just scientific ones, though there are many times he was explicitly wrong. A second opinion would have told him so if he would listen. Tesla’s is a great story, but with a sad ending. When you gaze into the abyss for too long, the abyss gazes back at you. Tesla stared for too long at the pool of science, and without knowing it, turned into a solitary flower of scientific excellence which the whole world would later admire.