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Archive for "Personal"

November 28, 2006

Parting Words

Thursday is my last day in the office, and while you’re still going to be seeing me around this place (I’m still hammering out details of my Big Plans but I’ll be posting here no matter what), I thought I would leave you with some thoughts gleaned from my ten-and-almost-a-half years working for the same employer, and nine-and-a-third years working on the same magazine. Let’s begin!

On the Business World
When you start at a new job, you will be terrified. Ten years later, you will wonder what you were so worried about.

Learn how to do the things that aren’t strictly your job. You never know when it might come in handy.

Remember that it’s okay to say “no” sometimes. But if you spend more energy explaining why you can’t do something than you would have spent actually doing it, it’s time to look for a new job.

The business world is strange, and fickle, and strange. Weird things happen. Expect the weirdness and you’ll be fine.

My dad, the successful owner and manager of a small business, once told me, “Never ask an employee to do something that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.” Another way to put this is, “Never ask an employee to do something unless they know you’d be willing to do it yourself.” I have never been given better managerial advice.

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July 13, 2006

Missed Opportunities

[originally published in The Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Issue #104, May 2006]

A few years back I got a letter from my mom. Amid the pleasantries and family updates was this particularly touching passage:

“‘Far be it from me to tell you what to do’…but I felt I must say something.

“I wish — I ask — I plead with you. Please try to do something to discourage those violent, antisocial videogames such as Grand Theft Auto. (I’ve read and heard more negative comments about this game in particular.)

“You have always cared about others — and cared deeply, I believe. I just can’t believe that you don’t care what effect these games have on other people — especially on kids and teens. I know you say they are for adults. Well, even if adults were the only ones to play them (and they aren’t), the game can influence adults who are not emotionally and morally mature — and can even affect those who are. This sort of thing is depressing, at the very least, and we all ought to try to be uplifting and encouraging, and most of all, responsible. We are our brothers’ keepers.

“You might think that you have no influence on the game designers, but I believe that you do. If you care, your voice could influence others to join you in protesting. And if you don’t make a difference at this time, your attempts could bring a change in the future — so that your children might live in a more peaceful world.”

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February 23, 2005

10 Things I’ve Done That You Probably Haven’t

OPM columnist John Scalzi posted an entry on his personal blog where he invited readers to list 10 things they’ve done that most people haven’t. It sounded like a fun idea, and responding reminded me I’ve had an oddly interesting life. So here are my 10; feel free to add your own in comments or on your own blog! (If you do put it on your own blog, leave me a message to that effect in comments, ok?)

1. Headlined a punk rock show in a Masonic temple in Trenton, New Jersey. The opening band was a very young Less Than Jake, followed by a surprise appearance by Bobby Steele (formerly of the Misfits) and his band the Undead, who performed a 3-song set on our equipment. Their closing song was a freakin’ incredible rendition of “Last Caress” (which Steele wrote but Glenn Danzig stole and copyrighted under his own name) in which Steele paused before the final verse and slyly commented, “Often imitated, never duplicated.” \m/

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