Some Thoughts on Dancing With the Devil

or The Devil’s Due

Back in 1989 I was mesmerized by the question, “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” That question helped conjure a couple images for me when I read The Crucible a few years later. The first image is of young women dancing in a forest under a pale moon and it was innocent enough. The second image is one of a makeshift courtroom that accuses and condemns these young women of witchcraft, guilty or not

“Jack-Lanterns”

There are obvious appeals to dancing with the Devil (upper or lower case) but few consider the Devil’s due. Choices are made, words are spoken, and acts are carried out but consequences are often not considered. We think of the of allure of the pale moonlight but not of the condemnation of the court that follows. We live in a time long since Salem but has much changed? If you choose to dance, innocent or not, be prepared to find yourself in accused of witchcraft (or something of the sort), guilty or not.

-K-

Try as you might the Devil seems to know where to find you.

-K-

If you want to run with the Devil better be certain you have the shoes for it.

-K-

The Coffee Shop Office

One Man’s Cuppa is Another Man’s Grind

I think of all the people who got to work from home during the course of the past year and a half and I get to wondering about those people who officed (yep, turning a noun into a verb) in public places. What happened to all those people who didn’t have an office space to work from to begin with and used coffee shops as their offices? Where did they work during the lockdowns and quarantines?

“Sales Pitch”

I won’t even try to estimate how many times I’ve gone to a local coffee shop for a cuppa and heard or saw somebody using the shop as an office. I’ve overheard and spied many a pitch, deal, hustle, and multi level marketing scheme at work while I drank overpriced, not so good coffee and read Walker Percy (or Lovecraft, or Parker, or O’Connor, or some other writer).

Many people are grumbling about going back to the office for work while others never left. Let’s take a moment to think about those who don’t have a set workplace, who don’t work from home, and who grind away at work where most of us go to relax.

-K-

Whistle While You Work

or Maybe Create a Playlist

The older I get the more things I seem to notice or maybe the more things just come into focus. One of the things I’ve noticed lately (or it has come into focus) is the importance music plays at work. What I mean is being able to listen to the music of my choice while working. I never gave it much thought so I took for granted how important it is.

I’ve worked a variety of jobs over the years. I considered pay, benefits, conditions, and a variety of other factors when searching and selecting work, but I never considered whether or not I could play music while I worked. As I look back at my long list of jobs the ones I liked the most allowed me to play music of my choice. From my first full time job in retail electronics where I brought in my Case Logic binder of Columbia House CDs (if you are of a certain age you know what I’m talking about), to the 5:00 am inventory/pricing job and my IPod Nano packed with all those one penny CDs, or my current job where I can play seven hours of Pandora playlists a day for my clients I’ve come to realize music makes the work day a little more enjoyable.

All those jobs that didn’t allow music made the days a little slower, a little greyer, a little less enjoyable. I’m not saying I’d take twenty-five percent pay cut or give up all my benefits just to be able to listen to music, but I do believe if you have to do a thing for eight hours a day then try to find something that makes those eight hours a little more enjoyable. Whether or not I can listen to music while I work is something that I’ve decided to add to the list of considerations when I make the move to my next job. What about you? Any special considerations?

-K-

We labor for ourselves but we work for others.

-K-

Some More Thoughts on Warning Signs

or Knowing When to Stop

It’s hovering around 100 degrees out here in the Midwest, and I’m drinking my second cup of coffee while tapping away at a couple thoughts. It was my Pops who told me hot coffee on a hot day helps regulate the body temperature. I never asked where he picked up that bit of wisdom. Did he learn it growing up in Harlan County, while serving in the Army, or maybe while working as a chemical operator? With his passing the origin of that piece of advice is lost much like the origin of his advice about knowing when to stop.

“Stop Sign”

Pops warned me that there wouldn’t always be clearly posted stop signs throughout life. Sometimes I would have to use my best judgement, to realize that many individuals and institutions do not have my best interests in mind. He told me knowing when to stop, when not to follow, or when to go my own way wouldn’t be an easy skill to master but was one worth learning. Pops’ advice wasn’t unique. Most of us have been taught something similar at some time. But many of us (myself included) need to develop this skill now more than ever. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that warning signs abound and we often ignore them for one reason or another. Maybe we’ve become a little too complacent. Maybe we need to work a little harder at keeping an eye and ear out for those not so clearly posted stop signs.

-K-

It’s a warning sign when Phillip K. Dick stories start readng as realistic fiction.

-K-

Trigger warnings, caution labels, and red flags–we spend more time looking out for the bad than searching for the good.

-K-

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