Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm Just Not Geeky Enough

I am a geek. I've pretty much always been a geek, and I've never really been ashamed of that. I spend an inordinate amount of time with my Playstation. I own Optimus Prime and Blaster transformer toys. There is a barrel of monkeys on my desk at work, nestled amongst my four monitors. My kids have Star Trek, FFA, and Metallica onesies. I can name the pilots and colors of the five Voltron lions (I miss Sven). I have Jim Henson's autograph, and I'm staring at a statue of Kermit the Frog right now. I have a large collection of Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes memorabilia. I listen to gothic rock. I often say things like, "Why am I still talking while there's science to do."

Yes, I'm a geek... but this weekend, I learned that I'm just not geeky enough. What taught me this? Why... Dragon*Con, of course. (note the asterisk - some people seem to get a little snippy if you leave it out or replace it with a hypen. I'm not sure how you pronounce the asterisk, though...).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Some Things I Learned at the Academy of Management

Worth mentioning: the title above originally was missing the word, "Some," until I realized that would make for a blog post even more ridiculously long than usual.

The Academy of Management, admittedly grandiosely named, is the world's preeminent association for those interested in management and its study. Although the majority of the organization's membership is academics - professors, deans, students, and the like - a healthy chunk of the membership is made up of actual managers. You know, people who run businesses and have management positions in what we laughingly call "the real world." Go figure.

This weekend the Academy had its annual meeting, (or rather, Meeting, as they frame it) and I had the honor of both attending and presenting my paper on authentic leadership (for a bit of the logic behind the paper I presented, check this old post). Here are a few things I learned this weekend, in bullet-point format as you guys seem to like that format...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Feedback and Volunteering in Organizations (with the Muppets)

Maybe if I type up all of these research-oriented thoughts in my head, then I'll be able to assemble them a little more clearly. On the other hand, even if it doesn't help with my research, it might ease my guilt over not blogging lately. So let's kill two birds with one stone. Unless of course you like birds, gentle reader, in which case I will be doing no bird killing today. In that case, we will be... ummm... hitting two... targets?... with one... ummm... you know what? I'm no good with metaphors. Asking me to write a good metaphor is like asking Kenny Chesney to be a decent human being. Wait, that was a decent metaphor, wasn't it? Never mind.

In modern workplaces, whether they be offices, retail stores, schools, small businesses, large firms, or non-profits, the concept of "going above and beyond" is becoming increasingly important. There's research backing that statement up, and plenty of it. Organizations expect their team members and employees to not just do what is explicitly listed on their job descriptions, but also to do other things that benefit the organization, the people who work there, and the customers they serve. Many organizations even manage to work these "things-that-are-not-in-the-job-description" into the job description itself, oddly enough. They do this by including a line at the end of the official list of duties that says something like: "Employee shall also perform other duties beneficial to the company outside those listed here, as determined by management." When I was in the corporate world, I called that "The Auschwitz Clause," because under language like that, the company could direct you to do just about anything, from killing innocent people to selling yourself into slavery to buying Kenny Chesney albums.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Today is Father's Day

This is my first Father's Day as a father myself, although I don't yet really think of myself as a father despite the fact that I'm fairly certain I am one. There are these two wriggly, lovable little poop machines that are always around and who I'm expected to help care for, but I don't yet feel like a father. Heck, I don't yet feel like an adult. Most mornings when I wake up I'm still amazed I graduated from high school. Some other mornings I think I'm still in college... and then I remember that yes, I am still in college.

That said, if this is what Father's Day is like, I'm happy to report that I'm looking forward to the next one. Blueberry muffins, printed pictures I've been asking for since the kids were born, and a new copy of Portal 2? Yes, please. Daddyhood is good. The kids gave me some poop... which I didn't really want, but they made it themselves, and I guess it's the thought that counts.

When I think of Father's Day, I don't think about myself - I think, as we should, about my own father. He was the only real strong male presence I had for most of my young life, both of my grandfathers having died relatively early. I think I'd like to write a bit about my father today - Gerald James Lemoine, the Senior. He was a deeply flawed but nonetheless amazing person. That's kind of neat to me, because I'm at least smart enough to know that we're all deeply flawed. I'm deeply flawed, and maybe you are, too. However, there are very few of us who are nonetheless amazing. I'm not. You might be. Dad was.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So you want to get your doctorate....

I find myself with a rare thirty minutes of complete and total freedom right now, and since I don't have any video gaming devices handy, that means it's time to blog. Gather round, boys and girls, for a topic that you may be very interested in (unless you're not)... reasons why you should (or shouldn't get yourself a Ph.D.

See, since I started the doctoral program here at Georgia Tech... and especially in the last few months... I've had a lot of people tell me that they're thinking about going back to school to get that ultimate degree. They generally ask me what it's like and ask me if I think they'd be a good fit. My answers vary - usually I ask my questioners a few questions to try to figure out if they're a good fit or not, and then we get distracted talking about something like cheese or raccoons or whether Optimus Prime could beat Trypticon (he totally could), and they never get an answer to their question. So let me try to be as helpful as I can, while staying as on-topic as possible, while giving my own humble opinions on the truthiness or falsiness of certain things I've heard lately.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ruth's Chris and the Usual Diversions

WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T FIND MY BLOGPOST DRAFT?!? I WAS ALMOST DONE WITH THAT POST! IT WAS BRILLIANT! IT HAD BABY PICTURES AND BANANAS AND PAC-MAN AND... and... seriously, it's lost? Dang it. You mean I have to start writing it all over again? Ugg. That really sucks.

Hey, wasn't Ugg that little purple guy from Q*Bert? I LOVED that arcade game. It apparently made a great babysitter, because my mother would drop little nine-year-old Jim off at the university arcade for an hour or two with just a dollar in his pocket, but that dollar would be more than enough to keep me playing and entertained the whole time I was stuck there. I miss arcades.

The post I began yesterday that somehow got erased was about some of my experiences at Ruth's Chris steakhouse. Don't get me wrong: I'm not the kind of guy who eats a lot at places as fancy as Ruth's Chris - I'm much more likely to be found at your local neighborhood Popeye's. Although I tend to get confused every time I go to Popeye's, now that you mention it. There's a reason for my confusion... a good one, I think. It all started a long time ago, back to even before I was kicking the SLU undergraduates' butts in the local arcade.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Speaking of....

Well, it's good to be back. I don't see why I've been the only one catching hell for not visiting the NeverTown over the last couple of months... where have you been? And more importantly, am I the only one who cleans up around here?? There's dust all over everything! It's kind of cute... a fine layer of NeverDust covers all of the buildings and streets of the NeverTown. I guess I should start cleaning.

The last few months have been ludicrously busy (which has no connection with any rappers - instead, it's the level of 'busy' that comes after 'light busy' and 'ridiculous busy', and leads from there into the plaid zone), with kids, papers, classes, and anniversary preparations. And poop. Lots and lots of poop. But I guess that's tied in with the kids. Seriously, we could solve all of our American energy problems if someone would just invent a line of cars powered by my kids' poop. We could all ride for years oil-free and save the environment... but I hate to think of the smell emerging from the exhaust pipes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Introductory Organizational Theory (and the Muppets)

So I've said something shocking several times recently, in public, in private, but never on this blog. So let me say it here as well: as far as new programs and presentations are concerned, the Muppets are dead to me. I was willing to overlook all of those supposedly heartwarming musical guest appearances with up-and-coming Disney Channel stars - Disney owns them now, so sure, I have to expect they'll use Kermit and pals to promote their more fashionable drek. I gave them a pass for the Muppet Wizard of Oz, which abandoned the franchise's normally adult-oriented humor to instead pursue silly songs, the two-year-old market, and a sad attempt to bolster the sagging career of an R&B singer with dubious acting qualities. I even got excited about the new Muppet special, "Letters to Santa", two Christmases ago. I reasoned that any new Muppet show couldn't be all that bad. But then within the first five minutes the Muppets were singing a silly song about how wonderful the United States Post Office is, in a show sponsored by the United States Post Office. Is this really what the home of Beaker and Animal has sunk to?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An Unreasonable Quantity of Snow Days in Atlanta

And now, a blog about snow.

It's 5:43 pm on a lovely Wednesday afternoon in Sandy Springs, Georgia, where we've been snowed- and iced- in for the past few days. Last Monday was supposed to be my return to Georgia Tech, research, and classes, but instead I've been here ever since, spending plenty of time with the wife and kids while getting really, really sick of the available convenience foods. I got very excited about the possibility of walking down to Panda Express this evening for some real grub, but alas that my giftcard will go as yet unspent: they closed two hours ago due to a lack of customers braving the treacherous roads for quality Chinese. Heavy sigh.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's 2011: Where's My Flying Car?

I mean, at the very least, there must be a hoverboard or something on the way. Christopher Lloyd taught me that. Where we're going, we don't need roads.

It's a new year, and the kids are sleeping.

Damn, that felt nice and relaxing to type. In fact, I like that feeling so much, I'm going to type it again.

It's a new year, and the kids are sleeping.