🔥 Is that the smell of my iPhone cooking?
Don't try this at home, or anywhere for that matter. A Halloween recap, stained glass, and a poem to bid farewell to Twitter.
Did you have a nice Halloween? We did. We’re now 147 candy bars lighter than we used to be. We kept some of our favorites for ourselves! Snickers, Butterfinger, Starburst, and Skittles. My favorite part of the evening was hearing a kid exclaim from the road, “We found the house with the wheel! It’s my favorite!” The candy carousel was a hit again.
A Tip for the Modern Worker
Build rapport with your team. You have to rely on voice, video, email, and chat since you’re seldom face-to-face with your team. If possible, meet them in person and establish some rapport. It’ll ease future interactions if you understand everyone's background. Professional encounters are more effective when you have more insight into their personalities. Talking about a shared experience, especially work-related, is a great way to strengthen a relationship.
I tweeted that out exactly a year ago and it’s part of my Handbook for the Modern Worker. Working remotely is all the rage, but over my several decades of doing so, I found that meeting people in person really eases future interactions. Early in my career, I traveled to NYC once a month. At its most infrequent, it was a 9-month stretch. Then there was a nightmarish time when someone wanted me there every week. Oof, that was difficult and blessedly brief. I’m about a year into my newest role and I’ve taken four trips to the office. I’ve met everyone I work with in person, and feel like I really got to know them as a result. Work is good!
I drew this and wrote the accompanying annotation as part of my #365DayDraw project 6 years ago today.
Once we cleared the vine-choked wall and carefully removed layers of dirt and moss, the window continued to tell a story of hope
I’ve always been fascinated by stained glass. It graces the windows in my childhood church. I visited many historic European churches when I lived in Zurich. This particular scene, if I remember, was inspired by being in Trumansburg’s Methodist church during Community Chorus rehearsals. Although, their walls are not vine-choked and covered with layers of dirt and moss. I definitely made that part up.
I have a ceramic self-heating mug in my office. The coaster doubles as an inductive phone charger, so when I’m not enjoying a hot beverage, I can put my phone on the coaster to top it off. Both of these uses are great. This week, though, I put my phone down on the charger and joined a half-hour meeting. At the meeting’s conclusion, I picked up my phone and – oh-my-gosh-that’s-hot! I quickly realized – with horror –what I’d done. I’d placed the phone on the coaster upside-down, with the screen facing down. The coaster clearly says DO NOT PLACE METAL OBJECTS ON THIS CHARGING PAD. Now, to be precise, the phone has a soft case around it, and as such, metal was NOT in direct contact with the coaster. I guess it was close enough, though. I could barely hold the phone without being burned.
I toggled the side button but the screen remained dark. Oh shit, I thought. I’m going to need a new phone. I ran to Amy’s Emoticakes kitchen two rooms away, flung open the refrigerator door, and placed the phone, sans case, on an empty shelf. I returned to my office in a semi-panic. What would I do without my phone? I’d need to immediately get a new one. Forget social media, email, or calendars: it has my only VPN key to log into work; my workouts sync to it from my watch (which is useless without the phone); it serves a few other critical functions. I copied down the phone number for IT support at work, who I’d need to call for a one-time PIN if I needed to get on the network without a phone.
Ten minutes into my next meeting I excused myself and padded over to the refrigerator. The phone was now at a comfortable temperature. I cradled it in my hands and lightly touched the side button as I stared at the blank display. Please work, I thought. Please. The technology gods smiled down on me at that very moment. The phone’s white Apple logo popped up, dutifully signaling the beginning of a successful restart. I quickly put it through its paces: incoming and outgoing texts and calls, speaker and microphone checks. All checked out.
I’m not the first to do this, I’m sure, and I won’t be the last. I give massive credit to Apple’s engineers for building such a resilient device. And, my wallet thanks you.
We switched from WebEx to Zoom this week at work. WebEx, if you’ve had the pleasure, really lacks a lot of the bells and whistles that Zoom has. My colleagues discovered the virtual backgrounds and avatars during our maiden voyage and there was no turning back. The novelty has since worn off, but my first meeting (a design review) was done with a badger, a cow, and with party lights strung across the frame. Worth a laugh, and definitely a fun way to bond!
We watched Thirteen Lives on Amazon Prime this week. I won’t spoil anything for you, but it’s a fantastic film based on the true story of the Tham Luang cave rescue in 2018. It’s really well done and will definitely leave you thinking.
After 10 years on the platform, I bid adieu to Twitter. I hosted #RemoteChat there for five years and made a lot of connections. The past week there, though, has been tumultuous. A lot of things are being posted that I don’t need to see . Naturally, I wrote a poem to accompany my last tweet. Here it is embedded in my Instagram at @scottpdawson, where I’ll happily be for the foreseeable future.
Here Lies, by Scott Dawson
Here lies my profile
Now dormant and dull
It used to be vibrant
But I’ve made the right call
It’s time to move on
Now that Musk is the leader
This bird has no place
Nope, I’m not gonna feed her
‘Twas fun while it lasted
But the lines are redrawn
The board’s been dissolved
And the guard rails are gone
When tweets from the top
Are about a dumb sweatshirt
And cherry-pick headlines
That’s always gonna hurt
Where can you find me?
I’ll follow the pack
You can find me on Insta
Or read my Substack
I’ll leave this right here
As fodder for scholars
Until they delete it
For not paying eight dollars