Tag Archives: news

Keep it classy, Captain Schettino.

29 Jan

I’m still mildly obsessed with the cruise ship that sunk tipped over two weeks ago, for one reason: Captain Schettino.

The guy sounds like a real piece of work, doesn’t he? First, the accident was allegedly caused because he deviated from the course to provide a show for the people on land. Apparently no one taught him that pride cometh before a fall. Also? I now know where the term “show-boating” comes from.

Then, in response to having beached his vessel like an awkward whale, what does he do? Does he take charge and give his crew orders to organize passengers for evacuation? Does he begin a role call to assure all passengers are accounted for? No. If the rumor is to be believed, rather than do either of those useful things, he called down to the kitchen (galley?) to order dinner for himself and a woman he was entertaining.

Wow. I think we can agree on two things: #1: He demonstrated fantastically bad judgement; #2:  This guy takes “calm in a crisis” to a whole new level.

By the way, how mortified do you think his date was? We’ve all been out with that guy – the one who tries too hard to impress you, who ends up making an ass of himself with grandiose gestures that completely backfire. I’m thinking the conversation in the cockpit (or whatever you call it on ship – the bridge?) went something like this:

Captain: You really MUST see the port up-close. Let me zip in a bit for you.
Date: I’m good. We should probably just stick with the regular route. 
Captain: No! I insist! You must see this. 
Date: Um. What was that shudder? Why aren’t we moving?
Captain: Ah, that’s totally normal. Here, let me call down for a bottle of wine and some food.
Date: Actually, I just remembered – I left the iron on at home. Gotta roll! 

And then, when he does realize there may be grave consequences, rather than spring into action to save the lives of his passengers, he’s one of the first people off the boat. Granted, he claims he “tripped” and fell into a lifeboat, so we’re not supposed to fault him for that, but if you’ve read the Coast Guard transcripts, you know that he didn’t exactly mount a campaign to re-board the ship and take command of the situation.

Don’t get me wrong – self-preservation is a biologically driven urge, and it would take some serious over-coming to force yourself to stay on that ship. But when you’re the person who caused the situation, it’s kind of your responsibility to make sure you aren’t killing people.

I’m sure we’ll learn more in coming months when the lawsuits start to mount. Given his track record for chivalry, I’m waiting for him to throw his date under the bus and claim she was actually the one driving when the ship ran aground. And in keeping with his character, he’ll shrug and say, “What? Everyone knows women can’t drive.”

I actually was in the car with a client once when this exact move happened. I'd like to note: the driver was a man in that instance.

A Somewhat Rambling Ode to Steve Jobs.

5 Oct

I knew Steve Jobs resigned in August for health issues, but I had no idea he was cutting it this close. The news that he died shocked me.

At first, I was sad that he had barely gotten a month of retirement under his belt before dying. That would SUCK, I thought. But then, I revised my opinion and came back with: Good for him. 

Good for him. He, who was passionate about technology? There wouldn’t be a pasture engaging enough for someone with a mind like that. It would’ve been a slow death, being killed a thousand times over, sitting on the sidelines and watching technology emerge without having a hand in it. Smart Man to work until he wasn’t able. I can appreciate that.

But that’s not what this post is about. This is about how Steve Jobs changed my life.

Continue reading

Jim Vance is my public speaking secret weapon.

8 Sep

I recently switched jobs at my company so I’m now developing and delivering training for our staff. As the daughter of two teachers and a microphone addict, it’s the perfect job for me.

Today was my first opportunity to deliver new training that I designed, in the form of an hour-long interactive call that was part lecture, part Q&A, part interview and part crazy. I had an audience of about 50 people and ample question prompts, so I was expecting it to be ROCKIN’.

Unfortunately, I’d forgotten about the odd dynamic that happens on group calls. Normally talkative people go quiet. Everyone chooses to mute their line. It’s like pulling teeth to get a simple, “No,” when you ask if anyone has a question.

More than once, I found myself calling, “Beuller? Beuller?”

I could understand the silence if I were a robot-like presenter. But I’d like to think I have contagious energy  a pulse and am hilarious a WEE BIT silly. And yet: crickets.

I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve facilitated large group calls for more than ten years and it’s always been the same.

When I was younger, I had an awful go-to joke. For whatever reason, whenever I would “share my screen” and allow people to view my computer, I’d feel compelled to make this crack:

Sure hope I remembered to close the porn!

Let’s just agree, while that can be funny, it’s probably not appropriate for work. Ever. And it only sounds creepier when it’s met with silence. As if people think I might surf porn. At work.

Maybe this is why mustaches are gross.

The only thing worse than that I can think of is the word porno. It’s about ten times worse than the word porn, for the same reason that mustaches are somehow inexplicably worse than goatees.

The good thing to come from today’s call was a reminder of why I haven’t yet worked up the nerve to hit Open Mike Night at the local comedy club. While some of my best dreams involve bringing down the house at the Improv, in reality, I think it might go a bit more like a conference call.

This made me realize: it’s always good to have some kind of secret weapon in your pocket. Something that people won’t be able to turn away from, that will weaken them and bring them to tears (preferably from laughter). Even if it has absolutely nothing to do with your presentation.

Once I had this revelation, I knew what my weapon would be: This clip of Jim Vance.

Please take a minute and watch it.

Just be sure you hit *6 first to mute your line.

Once you’ve closed out of any pornos you’re viewing, that is.
Continue reading

Who knew I would actually give a shit about the Royal Wedding?

29 Apr

I swear, I haven’t been obsessing about the Royal Wedding. It actually wasn’t even on my radar until I awoke this morning at 5:30 and saw comments on my Facebook news feed. But then I just HAD to turn it on.

And I found myself smiling, and crying, and getting irrationally emotional about an event that affects me in absolutely no way at all. I couldn’t help it — there’s something great about seeing two people so giddily in love that they’re sneaking private glances and beaming uncontrollably in the middle of an otherwise proper event loaded with pomp and circumstance.

Continue reading