S2 E64 — Let the Beers and Weekend Partying Begin

And, by coincidence I heard my name called out as I walked past another set of outdoor restaurant tables.  I spun around.  A middle aged caucasian woman in her late 40s or early 50s sporting a short, no muss hair style dressed in a brown professional power pantsuit waved in my direction.

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:You are in a proactive mode and will lean into your gift for imagining, organizing and executing your next move. There are at least two key happenings that today’s plans will smooth right out.” Cancer

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 64 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 14th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E63Easier Than Finding His MacBook Air Password?S2 E62 — “Shh. Did You Hear That?”; S2 E61Pink Behind the Reflections

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E64 — Father and Son Rituals out of Storage; S1 E63Day 63 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E62Next Reality?; S1 E61 — Investment of Time and Effort

Context

Last week I focused energy for writing several chapters which illustrate my situations and scenes for my memoir, and this week I turn to fleshing out evidence for my second volume devoted to “Working”.  

One day in my consulting career after a late morning meeting with a client at a Starbucks on MacArthur Blvd, near the airport with three names — SNA (Santa Ana), Orange County and John Wayne — I took the less traveled path back to my office.  

Doing things differently to satisfy your own curiosity will be lucky for you.

I parked my silver green 2000 Toyota four wheel drive 4-Runner with the black side wheel trim in the University Town Center across from the University of California, Irvine’s campus in a 45-minute spot near the entrance to Trader Joe’s, Pete’s Coffee and Tea and the meandering open patio which opened up with tables and a fountain and more store fronts. 

With no particular destination in mind, I began wandering in the warm noon sun which felt good on my back.  

I wondered if the consultant, we nicknamed “Be Cross”, whose arm I twisted to lead my volunteer board through strategic planning up in Big Bear at a board member’s cabin, still maintained an executive suites office in the 10-story professional building that anchors mixed use ventures. But, I have to say I wasn’t curious enough to actually enter the building, trace my finger over building tenets and ride the elevator to find out.

I passed tables with students taking a break, asking each other what plans they had for the weekend with many calling it quits on an early Friday afternoon.  Let the beers and weekend partying begin. Students, right?!

And, by coincidence I heard my name called out as I walked past another set of outdoor restaurant tables.  

I spun around.  A middle aged caucasian woman in her late 40s or early 50s sporting a short, no muss hair style dressed in a brown professional power pantsuit waved in my direction.

I hate times like these when you know the person, but from a different sphere of your life and you can’t place her face with her name.

Steve, it’s me, Nancy.  She wanted to know what I’d been up to since she left the firm where we offered outplacement services a mile or so from the multi-named airport to take a training position at a start-up beginning its emerging growth stage just before the Great Recession took hold.

Still with Right?  

I’d been hired by another Steve, who had been a corporate trainer at a competitor tech firm in Irvine, but now ran the management consulting office.  In my role I advised “Key Executives” while they waited for their generous severance packages to expire after a year or two before considering their next move.

No I told her remembering after about a month or two after she left I did too.

Nancy wanted to know what I’d been up to.

 So I told her about advising startup businesses who wanted to pitch angel investors for venture funding, coaching an HR executive who spun out of a San Diego based defense contractor into a startup applying their electron beam technology into a commercial marketplace, teaching leadership workshops about managing and developing teams based on their Myers-Briggs temperaments, and finally co-authoring “Adapt! How to Survive and Thrive in the Changing World of Work.

We traded quick have-you-heard-from so and so’s, but had to stop because her salad order arrived as did the woman professor’s sitting across the table from her. 

Nancy introduced me to the professor with a more dark, severe, no nonsense style — the kind she could shake dry while dressing and rushing off to her first class of MBA students.

“Listen,” she said, “can I get one of your business cards I might have something you might be interested in.”

No need to agonize about your choices today because there won’t be any wrong paths, just paths that get there a little sooner or later.

I took her’s and placed it in my light blue casual dress shirt breast pocket after we hugged and I shook the professor’s hand while immediately forgetting her name.  

That’s me.  Great at faces, horrible at remembering names.  Even after saying them mantra-like over and over again.

Oh, well I tried.

If I am honest, I was oozing into an early weekend vibe.  I continued on with my meandering past the professional building, checking out women students in halter tops, and restaurants and shop windows.  

On a whim when I hit the opposite end of the center, instead of returning by retracing my steps I decided to follow my nose and walk up the switchback cement ramp installed for handicapped folks to what had been the heart of the campus as I strolled across “Campus Avenue”.

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51: “In a parallel universe, secluded from the routines, pressures and responsibilities of everyday life, there’s an oasis you’ve built for yourself out of your own curiosity and interest. Visit and become revitalized.” Scorpio

I don’t know about a parallel universe, but this COVID-19 pandemic provides fewer “outside distractions”, but for an introvert like me the outcomes are the same, except for the visiting and revitalization in person.  I do confess that I may follow my curiosity and interests to a greater degree.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “You have a different experience of the world than any creature who has ever walked it. You’ll be met with appreciation as you share your unique insights with someone you trust.” Aries  

So you’re saying I’m like a snowflake, unique in every way?  Haha, the second part of this TauBit remains to be seen, but I’m not holding my breath.

“4”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: People need to hear your version of the story, but you’ve held back because you want to get the sentiment just right. It’s worth putting work into, but don’t overthink it.” Taurus 

The sentiment, hmm possibly, but just recalling the scene does require a lot of work just bubbling it up from memory aided by extemporaneous notes.

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:You are in a proactive mode and will lean into your gift for imagining, organizing and executing your next move. There are at least two key happenings that today’s plans will smooth right out.” Cancer

Sometimes work on one project can be applied to another.  You know I’m working on two works-in-progress.  The first about work and the second about a broader legacy.  I believe the legacy aka “Volume Three Manuscript” adds color with stories about what I learned and taught, my original research aka “Volume Two Manuscript.”

“3”  Steve Kerr, 54:Normality can be an anxious dictator. Hit pause and step back. The wider view shows a much broader range of ‘normal.’ Step back again and there is no ‘normal’ at all.” Libra

So I rated this lower than a “5” because we left normal last year.  We have no choice so far during this second season but to hit pause.  The wider view must include a personal scenario assessment which unfolds from Deloitte and Salesforce meant for business and the society in which business works as the pandemic turns “normal” inside out.  I guess the broader range might answer how long and how intensely will we citizens be effected?

“4”  Steve Nash, 45:You’ll come across those people you seem predisposed to like. They speak your language, share your values, get your humor. There’s more connection to look forward to in the future.” Aquarius 

I’m taking the essence of this TauBit to mean from within the mentors I recruited for the business school and those colleagues I worked with over the years.  

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): To take advantage of one opportunity, you have to leave all other experiences behind. You hardly ever think of what might have been, but today, a slight glimpse at an alternate path will intrigue you.” Pisces

Not so much for today, but this TauBit of Wisdom didn’t make sense for me when I first encountered the truism that you can’t move forward into new beginnings until you close down endings.  You have to put down past baggage first before you can travel lightly into your future.  As I write chapter drafts recounting the highs and lows in my life and at work, it is true I’m finding intriguing glimpses of tributaries I could have taken going with the flow.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3634 to 3808.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

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