San Francisco

Downtown for a meeting



Friday 9.19.2014

I am glad it is Friday.

This week we had our very first rain after going through most of the year without even a dark cloud.  I was sitting outside on an unusually warm Wednesday night when the wind picked up, clouds rolled in and it reminded me of what happens back in Columbus, Ohio right before a storm.  Since we haven’t had rain in what seems like eons the change seemed almost magical to me and brought back great memories.  I must have sat out on the patio for about an hour just appreciating the very rare warm temperature, the wind rustling through the trees and actual clouds, instead of the usual fog.  As I figured out later, the weather pattern was due to Hurricane Odile down south and we were just getting a few remnants.  

It was fitting for the weather to have a drastic change this week.  At work change is also happening which is not unusual as I’ve learned these past 8 years.  Whenever there is a shift in management there are shifts in everything else and it is not a bad idea to keep the resume continually updated.  In my experience the bosses change roughly every year.  I’ve been back in the USA for 8 years and I’ve had 8 different bosses!  

When the change happens I do get quite a bit of anxiety as changes like these can change employees lives pretty rapidly as well.  So far it looks like it will be a pretty smooth transition and not too much disruption as it is internal movement and the person already has a well established reputation.  If it had been someone from the outside however, that would be cause for concern because they always have to prove themselves and proving yourself in corporate land means making a bunch of changes.  A new person cannot simply come in and say “everything is working quite well, I’ll leave it all alone!”  No, no no.  New people must change things to show they are actually doing something and it is a tossup whether it will be for better or worse.  

Due to the anxiety of the change and other business related matters I have to say I am glad it is Friday and the outcome from all the movement seems to be positive so my mood has also moved in a positive direction.  

It is interesting how my mood swings when there a big change arrives.  I’m coasting along feeling content until the big change is announced.  My mood takes a nosedive and my anxiety spikes for a couple of days.  As I digest the new information my mood then greatly improves, anxiety dives and I become quite energetic.  It is almost as though I become mentally stronger.  It is good if the changes work out but if not it will simply lead to new adventures and I’m confident I could actually improve my job situation if I desired and so I become unafraid of the unexpected changes which may or may not occur.  

In any case, I’m happy it is Friday, I’m feeling very good and my thoughts have me excited as though I’m awaking from a slumber and mentally preparing for an even brighter future.  

Journal Pacifica

Thursday morning

It is a cold wet morning here in Pacifica.  I’m sitting at the Starbucks people watching and waiting for the time to pass before I must meet up with a colleague. I’m going to try and make an effort to write something in my blog everyday to add a little more substance to this online journal of mine instead of just pictures all of the time.

I’m feeling pretty good today as I believe I’ve figured out a way to become mentally stress free.   This past month has been mentally tough as I’ve had a lot of big contract renewals to do. But with a little practice one just need look around and appreciate life.  No matter how difficult things become we are not dead, so if we can just learn to appreciate being alive and see the beauty around us that trends to lift up spirits pretty high.



Business event with wine!

Business event with wine!
Business event with wine!
Journal San Francisco

"Moving Forward"

Approximately one month and a half ago I switched careers and ventured into a position with an entirely new industry. A large American corporation with a great reputation for honest dealings with the customer and a fun beginning it has been. There is a bit of pressure, but the freedom to go out and make sales suits me well.

However, it has also been quite a culture shock switching from a Japanese corporation to a pure American one. Not only must I get used to a more aggressive nature, but also a language I am completely unaccustomed to. This language is known as “corporate speak,” and is characterized mostly by phrases which emphasize action, positive results etc. One phrase in particular I would like to address is “Moving Forward.”

I’m not exactly sure which grammar category it would fall into but it is used to convey a meaning of “getting better,” “positive results,” “the future,” etc. The problem is that it is extremely addictive and thus akin to the teenage use of the word “like.” Thus, it can be used innumerous times but when used in excess really loses any and all meaning.
For example, one could say, “and moving forward, I really should come to a point with this post.” Or one could use it at the end of a sentence “I should really come to a point with this post, moving forward.” Or even, “I should really come to a point, moving forward, with this post. “Moving Forward,” is very versatile in nature but must always convey a meaning of a positive result in the future.
Another problem is that it has no opposite. One could never say, “Moving backward” or even “Moving Diagonally.” This would make no sense at all to any business person. It almost reminds me of a chess match in that the Pawns are the only ones that can move forward. Perhaps only a CEO of a company could say “Moving Sideways.” Therefore, “Moving Forward” is definitely not very agile of a statement. You “move forward” and that is the only direction you can go. If one did mention “moving backward” or even “standing still” they might get fired.

What I cannot understand however, is how this (verb?) became such a staple of business English. It is perhaps the most used in B.S. business card bingo which is a game where you check off the cliche business speak on your card, and should you get them all during a meeting you actually stand up and yell bingo!!!

Therefore, moving forward, I would like to propose a few other phrases in the hopes that they will dilute the plague of this too often used phrase.

1. Looking ahead
2. as we progress
3. as we proceed
4. moving along (well maybe not this one as it might convey something someone might say to a vagrant.)
5. with the future in mind
6. concerning the future
7. addressing the future

It has been a wonderful couple of weeks, but I’m afraid it is too soon to address this issue with my peers. I wonder if they would realize what I am doing should I start a meeting with, “moving forward, the company direction, moving forward, is one of great hope, moving forward, and we should all, moving forward, be cognizant of the fact that, moving forward, our paradigm has shifted so that, moving forward, we are all toeing the company line and moving forward.

Would they all nod in agreement I wonder? Would I perhaps get a standing ovation?
For further reading on this phenomenon, please see the following: