July 30, 2012 at 2:45pm • 1 hour 17 minutes
TOPIC: Gut Churn, Pointing Arrows, and Recognizing Change
This week, Dan and Merlin talk at length about a recent article by Radiolab's Jad Abumrad, called, "The Terrors & Occasional Virtues of Not Knowing What You’re Doing."
From the genesis of Radiolab through casting about for what comes next, Jad's article reads like a Greatest Hits of Back to Work. Just terrific.
It all comes down to working through the times you don't know what you're doing and making, then accepting that—even once you do know—you still have to push through change and evolution.
Working through the fear to make something awesome? Well. That's Fine for Jad Abumrad.
July 23, 2012 at 2:45pm • 1 hour 25 minutes
TOPIC: Motivation, Hardware Stores, and Fighting the Last War
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about motivation—how it changes, how it doesn't, and how it can be fueled by anxiety and cognitive dissonance.
There is also discussion of Merlin's pear tart problem, the challenge of the engineering triangle, and, yeah, a new t-shirt That's Fine for Merlin.
July 16, 2012 at 5:00pm • 1 hour 27 minutes
TOPICS: Better Meat & Working Backwards
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the many strategic and tactical benefits of reverse-engineering your next project.
There is also extensive discussion of choosing, preparing, and cooking meat.
It's not food until is sounds like food and it smells like food.
July 9, 2012 at 4:30pm • 1 hour 27 minutes
TOPIC: Feeling Stuck in the Middle
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about a topic suggested by listener, @toddsandends: what happens when you're stuck enforcing rules you don't agree with?
Whether you're a security guard, an RA, a SysAdmin, a character on The Wire, or pretty much anybody else, sometimes there's just stuff you gotta do. Even when you think it's a terrible idea.
So, who's allowed to corrupt you, what's it worth, and how long is that going to be okay with you?
As ever, work is a lot of work.
July 2, 2012 at 4:30pm • 1 hour 24 minutes
TOPIC: How Much Honesty Can We Stand?
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about how ridiculously complex "Honesty" can be. Do "Candor," "Transparency," "Frankness," and all those other Capital Letter Nouns mean the same thing?
June 25, 2012 at 6:30pm • 1 hour 40 minutes
TOPIC: Aspects of Letting Go
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about two very different viewports into doing what you want to do and being who you want to be.
There's the non-fiddly value you earn from getting junk out of your head and into a place you trust (in this instance, OmniFocus location-based contexts).
Then, there's the "what the cuss?" situation faced by listener, "Evan," who's struggling with a work conundrum that's hard on the office freezer and his feelings.
How do you move toward doing the right thing in the face of a lot of wrong? And, how do you take care of the piddly crap that's made your brain such a messy white board?
Also, there's our new t-shirts, some boot scoots, lots of tickles, plus, that total tool who pushed Shlomo out. Don't even get Merlin started. Literally.
June 18, 2012 at 4:30pm • 1 hour 27 minutes
TOPIC: Confidence, Courage, and the Problem with Thinking
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about why we may or may not feel confident to do stuff. How do other people seem to get it so easily, and where do they find the courage?
Well. You walk through The Forum, you check the mics, and you never let thinking get in your way.
Too much thinking? UNACCEPTABLE!
Dungeon. Seven years. No trials.
June 11, 2012 at 1:30pm • 1 hour 39 minutes
TOPIC: The Problem with Passive-Aggression. If that's okay with you.
This week, Dan and Merlin apologize if they've made you unhappy with an episode about passive-aggressiveness, wussy non-communication, and non-apology apologies. But, maybe, that'll just have to be okay with them.
But, could you PLEASE take your tuna out of the fridge, pick up after your dog, make more coffee, change the toilet paper roll, and help with taking trash to the curb?
Thank You In Advance For Your Cooperation!
— The Management
June 5, 2012 at 3:00pm • 1 hour 25 minutes
TOPIC: Recalibrating Expectations
This week, Dan and Merlin talk more about struggling with expectations. Everybody's expectations. Including yours.
Why it's worth recalibrating your own expectations, managing others' expectations, and accepting the impossibility of knowing—let alone meeting—the expectations of the entire world.
Because, that's monkeyballs.
We also learn that Merlin likes his buttons touched very gently.
May 29, 2012 at 5:30pm • 1 hour 37 minutes
TOPIC: Boogers and Expectations
Are you making perfect reports when your boss just wants them on time? Are you making crème brûlée when you should be jumping in a trench? Are wangs and boogers causing problems at work?
This week, Dan and Merlin talk more about expectations – whether you're willing to or not – and the risks of expectations of partners, bosses, and kids.
How can you handle expectations? There aren't a lot of easy answers. As you'd probably expect.