Well Done Job Quotes

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A job well done is a reward in its own right,
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
Take it from me, there's nothing like a job well done. Except the quiet enveloping darkness at the bottom of a bottle of Jim Beam after a job done any way at all.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Too late, he recalled Miles's dictum that the reward for a job well done was usually a harder job.
Lois McMaster Bujold (A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12))
Learn to like what doesn't cost much. Learn to like reading, conversation, music. Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking. Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills. Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different...different from you. Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction doing your job as well as it can be done. Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs. Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things. Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day. Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.
Lowell C. Bennion
I do not particularly like the word 'work.' Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.
Masanobu Fukuoka (The One-Straw Revolution)
I hope I redeemed myself with the whole dancing-sex comparison.” “I suppose there were a couple of notable similarities,” I observed, holding a straight face. “A couple? What about attention to detail, heavy exertion, lots of sweat, and single-minded determinedness to get the job done and done well?” “Mostly I was thinking you just don’t talk during sex.” Mean perhaps, but I couldn’t resist. “Well, my mouth has better things to do.” I swallowed, my own mouth dry. “Are we still talking about dancing?
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
We don’t have to do anything at all to die. We can hide in a cupboard under the stairs our whole life and it’ll still find us. Death will show up wearing an invisible cloak and it will wave a magic wand and whisk us away when we least expect it. It will erase every trace of our existence on this earth and it will do all this work for free. It will ask for nothing in return. It will take a bow at our funeral and accept the accolades for a job well done and then it will disappear. Living is a little more complex. There’s one thing we always have to do. Breathe. In and out, every single day in every hour minute and moment we must inhale whether we like it or not. Even as we plan to asphyxiate our hopes and dreams still we breathe. Even as we wither away and sell our dignity to the man on the corner we breathe. We breathe when we’re wrong, we breathe when we’re right, we breathe even as we slip off the ledge toward an early grave. It cannot be undone. So I breathe. I count all the steps I’ve climbed toward the noose hanging from the ceiling of my existence and I count out the number of times I’ve been stupid and I run out of numbers.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Take it from me, there's nothing like a job well done. Except the quiet enveloping darkness at the bottom of a bottle of Jim Beam after a job done any way at all.
Stephen Colbert
Stomp stomp. Whirr. Pleased to be of service. Shut up. Thank you. Stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp. Whirr. Thank you for making a simple door very happy. Hope your diodes rot. Thank you. Have a nice day. Stomp stomp stomp stomp. Whirr. It is my pleasure to open for you... Zark off. ...and my satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done. I said zark off. Thank you for listening to this message.
Douglas Adams
Perfectionism doesn't believe in practice shots. It doesn't believe in improvement. Perfectionism has never heard that anything worth doing is worth doing badly--and that if we allow ourselves to do something badly we might in time become quite good at it. Perfectionism measures our beginner's work against the finished work of masters. Perfectionism thrives on comparison and competition. It doesn't know how to say, "Good try," or "Job well done." The critic does not believe in creative glee--or any glee at all, for that matter. No, perfectionism is a serious matter.
Julia Cameron (Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance)
We do not wait for inspiration. We work because we've jolly well got to. But when all is said and done, we toil at this particular job because it's turned out to be our particular job, and in a weird sort of way I suppose we may be said to like it.
Ngaio Marsh (Ngaio Marsh: A Life)
The orderly brandished a hunting knife from a sheath at his waist and sliced open the prisoner’s throat with it.  Warm blood cascaded out of the prisoner’s throat, some of it spraying the captain’s uniform.  The orderly waited for the prisoner to bleed to death before cutting the head clean off.  Within a few minutes, the muscle that the prisoner built on his body was carved out and thrown on the grill.  After the meat cooled, the orderly put the human steaks in front of the captain for dinner.  As the captain ate each buttery piece, he couldn’t help but compliment the orderly for a job well-done.
Harvey Havel (The Odd and the Strange: A Collection of Very Short Fiction)
I stood on the precipice of something that would change my life. For the last week, Iʹd done a very good job of detaching myself from anything romantic with Dimitri. And yet . . . had I? What was love, really? Flowers, chocolate, and poetry? Or was it something else? Was it being able to finish someoneʹs jokes? Was it having absolute faith that someone was there at your back? Was it knowing someone so well that they instantly understood why you did the things you did—and shared those same beliefs?
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
Valdin softened slightly. “Ramon you have been very well paid for this trip and I am sure that for a little extra gold the crew will not miss their shore leave. My job is done.” With that the huntsman shook Ramon’s hand and left the ship. Robert Reid – The Son
Robert Reid (The Son (The Emperor, the Son and the Thief, #2))
I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale." George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences. To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot . . . PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose! . . . So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation. They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reasons that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass! There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
Live. And Live Well. BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now. On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun. If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE. Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time. If you bike, pedal HARDER and if you crash then crash well. Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done-a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed. If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old's nose, don't be disgusted if the Kleenex didn't catch it all because soon he'll be wiping his own. If you've recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And Grieve well. At the table with friends and family, LAUGH. If you're eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you puke. And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And TASTE. Taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of Life. Because-it-is-most-definitely-a-Gift.
Kyle Lake
Ghastly," continued Marvin, "it all is. Absolutely ghastly. Just don't even talk about it. Look at this door," he said, stepping through it. The irony circuits cut in to his voice modulator as he mimicked the style of the sales brochure. " 'All the doors in his spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done.' " As the door closed behind them it became apparent that it did indeed have a satisfied sighlike quality to it. "Hummmmmmmyummmmmmmah!" it said.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Who's this?" he said, coming across a name he didn't recognize. "Lady Georgina of Sandalhurst? Why are we inviting her? I don't know her. Why are we asking people we don't know?" I know her," Pauline replied. There was a certain steeliness in her voice that Halt would have done well to recognize. "She's my aunt, Bit of an old stick, really, but I have to invite her." You've never mentioned her before," Halt challenged. True. I don't like her very much. As I said, she's a bit of an old stick." Then why are we inviting her?" We're inviting her," Lady Pauline explained, "because Aunt Georgina has spent the last twenty years bemoaning the fact that I was unmarried. 'Poor Pauline!' she'd cry to anyone who'd listen. 'She'll be a lonley old maid! Married to her job! She'll never find a husband to look after her!' It's just too good an opportunity to miss." Halt's eyebrows came together in a frown. There might be a few things that would annoy him more than someone criticizing the woman he loved, but for a moment, he couldn't think of one. Agreed," he said. "And let's sit her with the most boring people possible at the wedding feast." Good thinking," Lady Pauline said. She made a note on another sheet of paper. "I'll make her the first person on the Bores' table." The Bores' table?" Halt said. "I'm not sure I've heard that term." Every wedding has to have a Bores' table," his fiance explained patiently. "We take all the boring, annoying, bombastic people and sit them together. That way they all bore each other and they don't bother the normal people we've asked." Wouldn't it be simpler to just ask the people you like?" Halt askede. "Except Aunt Georgina, of course--there's a good reason to ask her. But why ask others?" It's a family thing," Lady Pauline said, adding a second and third name to the Bores' table as she thought of them. "You have to ask family and every family has its share of annoying bores. It's just organizing a wedding.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
If God’s purpose for your job is that you serve the human community, then the way to serve God best is to do the job as well as it can be done.
Timothy J. Keller (Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work)
In a badly designed book, the letters mill and stand like starving horses in a field. In a book designed by rote, they sit like stale bread and mutton on the page. In a well-made book, where designer, compositor and printer have all done their jobs, no matter how many thousands of lines and pages, the letters are alive. They dance in their seats. Sometimes they rise and dance in the margins and aisles.
Robert Bringhurst (The Elements of Typographic Style)
Who doesn't love a compliment? But every compliment comes with a warning: Beware—Do Not Overuse. Go ahead, sniff your compliment. Take a little sip. But don't chew, don't swallow. If you do, you risk abandoning the good work that inspired the compliment in the first place. If that happens, maybe it was the compliment and not the job well done that you were aiming for all along.
Jerry Spinelli (Today I Will: A Year of Quotes, Notes, and Promises to Myself)
Your job is to find better ideas, mine is to cut holes in the ones you have, and you've already done that pretty well.
Steven Brust (Iorich (Vlad Taltos, #12))
You're looking so well, darling. You really are. They've done a marvelous job. I don't know what sort of cream they've put on you down at the morgue, but I want some. Honestly, you look better than you have in years. You look like you're alive!
Wes Anderson
Go to the tea shop anywhere along the Ganga, sir, and look at the men working in that tea shop - men, I say, but better to call them human spiders that go crawling in between and under the tables with rags in their hands, crushed humans in crushed uniforms, sluggish, unshaven, in their thirties or forties or fifties but still "boys." But that is your fate if you do your job well - with honesty, dedication, and sincerity, the way Gandhi would have done it, no doubt.
Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger)
The joyous cries he heard over the wall were all the reward he needed for a job well done and he smiled as he heard them.
John Allyn (47 Ronin (Tuttle Classics))
A job well done is a reward in its own right, as his father always used to say.
Fredrik Backman
I had tried years earlier to kill myself, and nearly died in the attempt, but did not consider it either a selfish or a not-selfish thing to have done. It was simply the end of what I could bear, the last afternoon of having to imagine waking up the next morning only to start all over again with a thick mind and black imaginings. It was the final outcome of a bad disease, a disease it seemed to me I would never get the better of. No amount of love from or for other people0and there was a lot-could help. No advantage of a caring family and fabulous job was enough to overcome the pain and hopelessness I felt; no passionate or romantic love, however strong, could make a difference. Nothing alive and warm could make its way in through my carapace. I knew my life to be a shambles, and I believed-incontestably-that my family, friends, and patients would be better off without me. There wasn't much of me left anymore, anyway, and I thought my death would free up the wasted energies and well-meant efforts that were being wasted on my behalf.
Kay Redfield Jamison (Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide)
We are all pretenders in life, finding a patch of humanity that we relate to, and then embrace it. We come straight down the birth canal and our parents start telling us who to be, simply by being themselves. We see their lives, their cars, the way they interact, the rules they set, and the foundations for our own lives are laid. And when our parents aren’t molding us, our situations are. We are all sheep, who get jobs, and have babies, and diet, and try to carve something special out for ourselves using the broken hearts, and bored minds, and scathed souls life delivered to us. And it’s all been done before, every bit of suffering, every joy. And the minute you realize that we are all pretenders is the minute everything stops intimidating you: punishment, and failure, and death. Even people. There is nothing so ingenious about another human who has pretended well. They are, in fact, just another soul, perhaps more clever, better at failing than you are. But not worth a second of intimidation.
Tarryn Fisher (Marrow)
Damon spoke without moving. “I’m not like you.” “You’re not as different from us as you want to think,” Matt said. “Look,” he added, an odd note of challenge in his voice, “I know you killed Mr. Tanner in self-defense, because you told me. And I know you didn’t come here to Fell’s Church because Bonnie’s spell dragged you here, because I sorted the hair and I didn’t make any mistakes. You’re more like us than you admit, Damon. The only thing I don’t know is why you didn’t go into Vickie’s house to help her.” Damon snapped, almost automatically, “Because I wasn’t invited!” Memory swept over Bonnie. Herself standing outside Vickie’s house, Damon standing beside her. Stefan’s voice: Vickie, invite me in. But no one had invited Damon. “But how did Klaus get in, then—?” she began, following her own thoughts. “That was Tyler’s job, I’m sure,” Damon said tersely. “What Tyler did for Klaus in return for learning how to reclaim his heritage. And he must have invited Klaus in before we ever started guarding the house—probably before Stefan and I came to Fell’s Church. Klaus was well prepared. That night he was in the house and the girl was dead before I knew what was happening.” “Why didn’t you call for Stefan?” Matt said. There was no accusation in his voice. It was a simple question. “Because there was nothing he could have done! I knew what you were dealing with as soon as I saw it. An Old One. Stefan would only have gotten himself killed—and the girl was past caring, anyway.” Bonnie heard the thread of coldness in his voice, and when Damon turned back to Stefan and Elena, his face had hardened. It was as if some decision had been made. “You see, I’m not like you,” he said. “It doesn’t matter.” Stefan had still not withdrawn his hand. Neither had Elena.
L.J. Smith (Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #4))
he’d experienced the lovely warm feeling of a bad job well done.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
When does a job feel meaningful? Whenever it allows us to generate delight or reduce suffering in others. Though we are often taught to think of ourselves as inherently selfish, the longing to act meaningfully in our work seems just as stubborn a part of our make-up as our appetite for status or money. It is because we are meaning-focused animals rather than simply materialistic ones that we can reasonably contemplate surrendering security for a career helping to bring drinking water to rural Malawi or might quit a job in consumer goods for one in cardiac nursing, aware that when it comes to improving the human condition a well-controlled defibrillator has the edge over even the finest biscuit. But we should be wary of restricting the idea of meaningful work too tightly, of focusing only on the doctors, the nuns of Kolkata or the Old Masters. There can be less exalted ways to contribute to the furtherance of the collective good.... ....An endeavor endowed with meaning may appear meaningful only when it proceeds briskly in the hands of a restricted number of actors and therefore where particular workers can make an imaginative connection between what they have done with their working days and their impact upon others.
Alain de Botton (The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work)
You'll need to do a better job, Annabelle. No more dates like the first one tonight." "Agreed. And no more making me sit through your Power Matches introductions, either. As you so wisely pointed out, helping Portia Powers isn't in my best interests." "Then why are you still trying to talk me into seeing Melanie again?" "Hunger makes me weird." "You got rid of the last one in fourteen minutes. Well done. I'm rewarding you by letting you sit in on all the introductions from now on." She nearly choked on an ice cube. "What are you talking about?" "Exactly what I said.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
Also worthy of mention is a clique among the suicidal for whom the meaning of their act is a darker thing. Frustrated as perpetrators of an all-inclusive extermination, they would kill themselves only because killing it all is closed off to them. They hate having been delivered into a world only to be told, by and by, “This way to the abattoir, Ladies and Gentlemen.” They despise the conspiracy of Lies for Life almost as much as they despise themselves for being a party to it. If they could unmake the world by pushing a button, they would do so without a second thought. There is no satisfaction in a lonesome suicide. The phenomenon of “suicide euphoria” aside, there is only fear, bitterness, or depression beforehand, then the troublesomeness of the method, and nothingness afterward. But to push that button, to depopulate this earth and arrest its rotation as well—what satisfaction, as of a job prettily done. This would be for the good of all, for even those who know nothing about the conspiracy against the human race are among its injured parties.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
Everything I told him was technically true, more or less, and I got the job done," Jack said stubbornly. "Look, sir, if I were perfect, I wouldn't be working here in the first place. Now, would I?" And then he hung up. On speakerphone. On a freaking archangel. I couldn't help it. I let out a rolling belly laugh. "I just got suckered into doing this by...Stars and stones, you didn't even know that he...Big bad angel boy, and you get the wool pulled over your eyes by..." I stopped trying to talk and just laughed. Uriel eyed the phone, then me, and then tucked the little device away again, clearly nonplussed. "It doesn't matter how well I believe I know your kind, Harry. They always manage to find some way to try my patience.
Jim Butcher (Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13))
Those who work shit jobs tend to be the object of indignities; they not only work hard but also are held in low esteem for that very reason. But at least they know they’re doing something useful. Those who work bullshit jobs are often surrounded by honor and prestige; they are respected as professionals, well paid, and treated as high achievers—as the sort of people who can be justly proud of what they do. Yet secretly they are aware that they have achieved nothing; they feel they have done nothing to earn the consumer toys with which they fill their lives; they feel it’s all based on a lie—as, indeed, it is.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
Quiet villain. This is the end of the line for you Blackheart. Not so clever after all, are you? You thought you were setting a trap for us, but all along it was a trap for you!" "Ah well, you got me. Good job." "We did get you." "You did. You've done very well." "Is this another trap?" "I just want You to feel proud of yourself!
N.D. Stevenson (Nimona)
This is so much harder than I ever thought it would be...because the thing is, even if you're just working part-time, your boss is going to expect a full week's worth of work, no matter how understanding she is. That's just the nature of the working world-things have to get done, babies or not. And if you're like me-if you're like any woman who ever did well in school and did well at her job-you don't want to disappoint a boss. And you want to do a good job raising your baby...It's not like you think it's going to be
Jennifer Weiner (Little Earthquakes)
She learns, after she finishes the job, that she programmed very well the specifications as delivered to her, but that they were deficient. If she had only known the purpose of the program, she could have done it right for the purpose, even though the specifications were deficient.
W. Edwards Deming (Out of the Crises)
Many lose through never starting. A job well begun is half done.
Orrin Woodward
But if my research shows anything, it's that if you should happen to have had a surplus of mellow marmosets and they got the job done, you would have darned well used marmosets.
Therese Oneill (Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners)
We don’t have to do anything at all to die. We can hide in a cupboard under the stairs our whole life and it’ll still find us. Death will show up wearing an invisible cloak and it will wave a magic wand and whisk us away when we least expect it. It will erase every trace of our existence on this earth and it will do all this work for free. It will ask for nothing in return. It will take a bow at our funeral and accept the accolades for a job well done and then it will disappear. Living is a little more complex.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (The Juliette Chronicles, #2))
You have self-respect. You have friends. You have satisfaction every day, of a job well done. You have agency over your own life. These are not small things.
Jojo Moyes (Someone Else's Shoes)
Speaking of Newton but also commenting more broadly on education and the Enlightenment: "I have seen a professor of mathematics only because he was great in his vocation, buried like a king who had done well by his subjects.
Voltaire
Nonetheless, when it finally ended and the hairdressers left and Tess insisted upon pulling her to the mirror, Fire saw, and understood, that everyone had done the job well. The dress, deep shimmering purple and utterly simple in design, was so beautifully-cut and so clingy and well-fitting that Fire felt slightly naked. And her hair. She couldn’t follow what they’d done with her hair, braids thin as threads in some places, looped and wound through the thick sections that fell over her shoulders and down her back, but she saw that the end result was a controlled wildness that was magnificent against her face, her body, and the dress. She turned to measure the effect on her guard - all twenty of them, for all had roles to play in tonight’s proceedings, and all were awaiting her orders. Twenty jaws hung slack with astonishment - even Musa’s, Mila’s, and Neel’s. Fire touched their minds, and was pleased, and then angry, to find them open as the glass roofs in July. ‘Take hold of yourselves,’ she snapped. ‘It’s a disguise, remember? This isn’t going to work if the people meant to help me can’t keep their heads.’ ‘It will work, Lady Granddaughter.’ Tess handed Fire two knives in ankle holsters. ‘You’ll get what you want from whomever you want. Tonight King Nash would give you the Winged River as a present, if you asked for it. Dells, child - Prince Brigan would give you his best warhorse.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt. Our lives are linked together. No man is an island. But there is another truth, the sister of this one, and it is that every man is an island. It is a truth that often the tolling of a silence reveals even more vividly than the tolling of a bell. We sit in silence with one another, each of us more or less reluctant to speak, for fear that if he does, he may sound life a fool. And beneath that there is of course the deeper fear, which is really a fear of the self rather than of the other, that maybe truth of it is that indeed he is a fool. The fear that the self that he reveals by speaking may be a self that the others will reject just as in a way he has himself rejected it. So either we do not speak, or we speak not to reveal who we are but to conceal who we are, because words can be used either way of course. Instead of showing ourselves as we truly are, we show ourselves as we believe others want us to be. We wear masks, and with practice we do it better and better, and they serve us well –except that it gets very lonely inside the mask, because inside the mask that each of us wears there is a person who both longs to be known and fears to be known. In this sense every man is an island separated from every other man by fathoms of distrust and duplicity. Part of what it means to be is to be you and not me, between us the sea that we can never entirely cross even when we would. “My brethren are wholly estranged from me,” Job cries out. “I have become an alien in their eyes.” The paradox is that part of what binds us closest together as human beings and makes it true that no man is an island is the knowledge that in another way every man is an island. Because to know this is to know that not only deep in you is there a self that longs about all to be known and accepted, but that there is also such a self in me, in everyone else the world over. So when we meet as strangers, when even friends look like strangers, it is good to remember that we need each other greatly you and I, more than much of the time we dare to imagine, more than more of the time we dare to admit. Island calls to island across the silence, and once, in trust, the real words come, a bridge is built and love is done –not sentimental, emotional love, but love that is pontifex, bridge-builder. Love that speak the holy and healing word which is: God be with you, stranger who are no stranger. I wish you well. The islands become an archipelago, a continent, become a kingdom whose name is the Kingdom of God.
Frederick Buechner (The Hungering Dark)
Reading is like cooking. It can take hours to prepare, and then the meal is over in minutes. Good, that means you’ve done your job well.
Gabe Berman
The abstract and the concrete side of operations are opposites, but you can't have one without the other, if, that is, you want get the job done well.
David Keirsey (Please Understand Me II)
But “almost done” is not done!
Israelmore Ayivor (Six Words Inspiration)
WORK, SOMETIMES I was sad all day, and why not. There I was, books piled on both sides of the table, paper stacked up, words falling off my tongue. The robins had been a long time singing, and now it was beginning to rain. What are we sure of? Happiness isn’t a town on a map, or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work ongoing. Which is not likely to be the trifling around with a poem. Then it began raining hard, and the flowers in the yard were full of lively fragrance. You have had days like this, no doubt. And wasn’t it wonderful, finally, to leave the room? Ah, what a moment! As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.
Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2)
Everything is made of words, and the words had done their job. I could even say they had done it well. They had risen in a confusing swarm and spun around in spirals, ever higher, colliding and separating, golden insects, messengers of friendship and knowledge, higher, higher, into that region of the sky where the day turns into night and reality into dreams, regal words on their nuptial flight, always higher, until their marriage is finally consummated at the summit of the world.
César Aira (The Conversations (New Directions Paperbook Book 1294))
Poor things, she thought - do they have to spend all this energy just to surround me? It seemed pitiful that these automatons should be created and wasted, never knowing more than a minor fragment of the pattern in which they were involved, to learn and follow through insensitively a tiny step in the great dance which was seen close up as the destruction of Natalie, and far off, as the end of the world. They had all earned their deaths, Natalie thought, by a job well done - the woman in the seat ahead who had never needed a face, had perhaps been given for her part only the back of a head and a dark cloth coat collar, the man in the seat next to Natalie, a full-dress part, even to the watchchain and the grimy shirt collar - had not this same man, as a matter of fact, been close to Natalie in the station, memorising her face so that although when next they met she would not know him, he would be able to identify her, winking and gesturing with his head to the others, murmuring perhaps to the bus driver, 'That one, there.
Shirley Jackson (Hangsaman)
The Negro said, “I don’t feel so good right now. Say, if I’d known that cutting your throat gave you septicaemia, I sure would have made a job of it.” “Or else not done it at all,” said Turner. The Negro paused for a moment in abstraction. “Well,” he said at last, “that would have been another way.
Nevil Shute (The Chequer Board)
I mention all this to make the point that if you were designing an organism to look after life in our lonely cosmos, to monitor where it is going and keep a record of where it has been, you wouldn't choose human beings for the job. But here's an extremely salient point: we have been chosen, by fate or Providence or whatever you wish to call it. It's an unnerving thought that we may be living the universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously. Because we are so remarkably careless about looking after things, both when alive and when not, we have no idea-- really none at all-- about how many things have died off permanently, or may soon, or may never, and what role we have played in any part of the process. In 1979, in the book The Sinking Ark, the author Norman Myers suggested that human activities were causing about two extinctions a week on the planet. By the early 1990s he had raised the figure to about some six hundred per week. (That's extinctions of all types-- plants, insects, and so on as well as animals.) Others have put the figure ever higher-- to well over a thousand a week. A United Nations report of 1995, on the other hand, put the total number of known extinctions in the last four hundred years at slightly under 500 for animals and slightly over 650 for plants-- while allowing that this was "almost certainly an underestimate," particularly with regard to tropical species. A few interpreters think most extinction figures are grossly inflated. The fact is, we don't know. Don't have any idea. We don't know when we started doing many of the things we've done. We don't know what we are doing right now or how our present actions will affect the future. What we do know is that there is only one planet to do it on, and only one species of being capable of making a considered difference. Edward O. Wilson expressed it with unimprovable brevity in The Diversity of Life: "One planet, one experiment." If this book has a lesson, it is that we are awfully lucky to be here-- and by "we" i mean every living thing. To attain any kind of life in this universe of ours appears to be quite an achievement. As humans we are doubly lucky, of course: We enjoy not only the privilege of existence but also the singular ability to appreciate it and even, in a multitude of ways, to make it better. It is a talent we have only barely begun to grasp. We have arrived at this position of eminence in a stunningly short time. Behaviorally modern human beings-- that is, people who can speak and make art and organize complex activities-- have existed for only about 0.0001 percent of Earth's history. But surviving for even that little while has required a nearly endless string of good fortune. We really are at the beginning of it all. The trick, of course, is to make sure we never find the end. And that, almost certainly, will require a good deal more than lucky breaks.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Among university professors, for example, getting tenure is a major hurdle and milestone, and at most universities tenure depends heavily on having published some high-quality, original work. One researcher, Bob Boice, looked into the writing habits of young professors just starting out and tracked them to see how they fared. Not surprisingly, in a job where there is no real boss and no one sets schedules or tells you what to do, these young professors took a variety of approaches. Some would collect information until they were ready and then write a manuscript in a burst of intense energy, over perhaps a week or two, possibly including some long days and very late nights. Others plodded along at a steadier pace, trying to write a page or two every day. Others were in between. When Boice followed up on the group some years later, he found that their paths had diverged sharply. The page-a-day folks had done well and generally gotten tenure. The so-called “binge writers” fared far less well, and many had had their careers cut short. The clear implication was that the best advice for young writers and aspiring professors is: Write every day. Use your self-control to form a daily habit, and you’ll produce more with less effort in the long run.
Roy F. Baumeister (Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength)
The primary goal of parenting, beyond keeping our children safe and loved, is to convey to them a sense that it is possible to be happy in an uncertain world, to give them hope. We do this, of course, by example more than by anything we say to them. If we can demonstrate in our own lives qualities of commitment, determination, and optimism, then we have done our job and can use our books of child-rearing advice for doorstops or fireplace fuel. What we cannot do is expect that children who are constantly criticized, bullied, and lectured will think well of themselves and their futures.
Gordon Livingston (Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now)
The land, now, well I'll tell you how I feel about that. It's done a good job, as good as it was able to, anyway, and it's got a right to look tired. It'd be pretty upsetting if it looked any other way. Yes, and the hardness is all right, too. It's been through something pretty hard, and some of that hardness was bound to rub off. And sometimes a frown sets a lot better with you than a smile. Something that's taken a beating, you don't want to see it laugh. And just because it's stopped laughing doesn't mean it'll never laugh again.
Jim Thompson (Cropper's Cabin)
Grace does not make sense. It's not supposed to make sense. Grace cannot be calculated or formulated, earned or even rewarded for a job well done. Grace is a gift, not a salary.
Michelle DeRusha (Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith)
The fact is that if the Christian home, church, and school have done their job well and the student has learned well, he may be one of the few on the earth who understand the real world.
Jim Berg (Changed Into His Image)
For work success to lead to confidence, the job has to be challenging and it must require effort. It has to be done without too much help. And it cannot go well every single day. A long run of easy successes creates a sort of fragile confidence, the kind that is shattered when the first failure comes along. A more resilient confidence comes from succeeding—and from surviving some failures.
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now)
Well... there might be a slight problem with the she-devil in your room," she admitted. What! Demon red shimmered before his eye. "Did you harm her?" "What? Sweet lil me? She shook her head, all innocence. "But I may or may not have done some research and come across a bit of info that said hacking off all the her hair would severely weaken her. Then I may or may not have snuck in your bedroom with a pair of scissors and taken these." She lifted her arms and clutched in both her hands were thick hanks of golden hair. "By the way, I may or may not know for a fact that the rumors are definitely not true." Going. To. Kill. Her. "The Red Queen may or may not have woken up mid style job," Anya continued blithely, "and may or may not have taken the scissors away from me and given me a new style of my own.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld, #11))
There is a plain under a dim sky. It is covered with gentle rolling curves that might remind you of something else if you saw it from a long way away, and if you did see it from a long way away you'd be very glad that you were, in fact, a long way away. Three gray figures floated just above it. Exactly what they were can't be described in normal language. Some people might call them cherubs, although there was nothing rosy-cheeked about them. They might be rumored among those who see to it that gravity operates and that time stays separate from space. Call them auditors. Auditors of reality. They were in conversation without speaking. They didn't need to speak. They just changed reality so that they had spoken. One said, It has never happened before. Can it be done? One said, It will have to be done. There is a personality. Personalities come to an end. Only forces endure. It said this with satisfaction. One said, Besides... there have been irregularities. Where you get personality, you get irregularities. Well-known fact. One said, He has worked inefficiently? One said, No. We can't get him there. One said, That is the point. The word is him. Becoming a personality is inefficient. We don't want it to spread. Supposing gravity developed a personality? Supposing it decided to like people? One said, Got a crush on them, that sort of thing? One said, in a voice that would have been even chillier if it was not already at absolute zero, No. One said, Sorry. Just my little joke. One said, Besides, sometimes he wonders about his job. Such speculation is dangerous. One said, No argument there. One said, Then we are agreed? One, who seemed to have been thinking about something, said, Just one moment. Did you not just use the singular pronoun "my?" Not developing a personality, are you? One said, guiltily, Who? Us? One said, Where there is personality, there is discord. One said, Yes. Yes. Very true. One said, All right. But watch it in future. One said, Then we are agreed? They looked up at the face of Azrael, outlined against the sky. In fact, it was the sky. Azrael nodded, slowly. One said, Very well. Where is this place? One said, It is the Discworld. It rides through space on the back of a giant turtle. One said, Oh, one of that sort. I hate them. One said, You're doing it again. You said "I." One said, No! No! I didn't! I never said "I!"... oh, bugger... It burst into flame and burned in the same way that a small cloud of vapor burns, quickly and with no residual mess. Almost immediately, another one appeared. It was identical in appearance to its vanished sibling. One said, Let that be a lesson. To become a personality is to end. And now... let us go.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
I like the late Bernard Haldane's definition of an achievement. He says it is: something you yourself feel you have done well, that you also enjoyed doing and felt proud of. In other words you are looking for an accomplishment that gave you two pleasures: enjoyment while doing it, and satisfaction from the outcome. That doesn't mean you may not have sweated as you did it, or hated some parts of the process, but it does mean that basically you enjoyed most of the process. The pleasure was not simply in the outcome, but along the way as well.
Richard Nelson Bolles (What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers)
I had loads of sex. Loads and loads of sex. With a guy and a girl. I double dicked and double dipped and all the doubles and had my dick in all the holes, Orion. All of them.” Orion looked to me in shock as did the rest of our group who were standing around him, but none of them smiled and Darius carved a hand down his face, shaking his head. “Someone just died, Xavier,” Max hissed and Orion stepped aside, revealing a bloody body behind him on the floor, also unveiling my mother and Hamish standing beyond the corpse. Mom was pale as she looked to me. “That’s wonderful news, sweetie, well done you. It sounds like you did a great job too, but we’ll have to discuss it later, okay?
Caroline Peckham (Heartless Sky (Zodiac Academy, #7))
Your generation is suffering from what for lack of a better word I shall call over-debunk. There was a lot of debunking that had to be done, of course. Bigotry, militarism, nationalism, religious intolerance, hypocrisy, phonyness, all sorts of dangerous, ready-made, artificially preserved false values. But your generation and the generation before yours went too far with their debunking job. You went overboard. Over-debunk, that's what you did. It's moral overkill. It's like those insecticides Rachel Carson speaks of in her book, that poison everything, and kill all the nice, useful bugs as well as the bad ones, and in the end poison human beings as well. In the end, it poisons life itself, the very air we breathe. That's what you did, morally and intellectually speaking. Yours is a silent spring. You have overprotected yourselves. You are all no more than twenty, twenty-two years old, but yours is a silent spring, I'm telling you. Nothing sings for you any more.
Romain Gary (خداحافظ گاری کوپر)
Shit jobs tend to be blue collar and pay by the hour, whereas bullshit jobs tend to be white collar and salaried. Those who work shit jobs tend to be the object of indignities; they not only work hard but also are held in low esteem for that very reason. But at least they know they're doing something useful. Those who work bullshit jobs are often surrounded by honor and prestige; they are respected as professionals, well paid, and treated as high achievers - as the sort of people who can be justly proud of what they do. Yet secretly they are aware that they have achieved nothing; they feel they have done nothing to earn the consumer toys with which they fill their lives; they feel it's all based on a lie - as, indeed, it is.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
In the past, my brain could only compute perfection or failure—nothing in between. So words like competent, acceptable, satisfactory, and good enough fell into the failure category. Even above average meant failure if I received an 88 out of 100 percent on an exam, I felt that I failed. The fact is most things in life are not absolutes and have components of both good and bad. I used to think in absolute terms a lot: all, every, or never. I would all of the food (that is, binge), and then I would restrict every meal and to never eat again. This type of thinking extended outside of the food arena as well: I had to get all of the answers right on a test; I had to be in every extracurricular activity […] The ‘if it’s not perfect, I quit’ approach to life is a treacherous way to live. […] I hadn’t established a baseline of competence: What gets the job done? What is good enough? Finding good enough takes trial and error. For those of us who are perfectionists, the error part of trial and error can stop us dead in our tracks. We would rather keep chasing perfection than risk possibly making a mistake. I was able to change my behavior only when the pain of perfectionism became greater than the pain of making an error. […] Today good enough means that I’m okay just the way I am. I play my position in the world. I catch the ball when it is thrown my way. I don’t always have to make the crowd go wild or get a standing ovation. It’s good enough to just catch the ball or even to do my best to catch it. Good enough means that I finally enjoy playing the game.
Jenni Schaefer (Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life)
Maybe I can do some writing then. The phrase made him sick. It had no meaning anymore. Like a word that is repeated until it becomes gibberish that sentence, for him, had been used to extinction. It sounded silly; like some bit of cliché from a soap opera. Hero saying in dramatic tones – Now, by God, maybe I can do some writing. Senseless. For a moment, though, he wondered if it was true. Now that she was leaving could he forget about her and really get some work done? Quit his job? Go somewhere and hold up in a cheap furnished room and write? You have $123.89 in the bank, his mind informed him. He pretended it was the only thing that kept him from it. But, far back in his mind, he wondered if he could write anything. Often the question threw itself at him when he was least expecting it. You have four hours every morning, the statement would rise like a menacing wraith. You have time to write many thousands of words. Why don't you? And the answer was always lost in a tangle of becauses and wells and endless reasons that he clung to like a drowning man at straws.(“Mad House”)
Richard Matheson (Collected Stories, Vol. 1)
As a parent is our job to teach our children wrong from right, but when they grow up we don't give up. don't say I did my job "I taught them well enough so I trust them completely." Remember children are like apples in the basket, if one bad apple is in the basket it will rotten the whole basket of apples" as you can see our job is not done our job just started, teen age children need as much love and support as toddlers doo.
Zybejta (Beta) Metani' Marashi
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
It is easy to mourn the lives we aren’t living. Easy to wish we’d developed other talents, said yes to different offers. Easy to wish we’d worked harder, loved better, handled our finances more astutely, been more popular, stayed in the band, gone to Australia, said yes to the coffee or done more bloody yoga. It takes no effort to miss the friends we didn’t make and the work we didn’t do and the people we didn’t marry and the children we didn’t have. It is not difficult to see yourself through the lens of other people, and to wish you were all the different kaleidoscopic versions of you they wanted you to be. It is easy to regret, and keep regretting, ad infinitum, until our time runs out. But it is not the lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It’s the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people’s worst enemy. We can’t tell if any of those other versions would have been better or worse. Those lives are happening, it is true, but you are happening as well, and that is the happening we have to focus on. Of course, we can’t visit every place or meet every person or do every job, yet most of what we’d feel in any life is still available. We don’t have to play every game to know what winning feels like. We don’t have to hear every piece of music in the world to understand music. We don’t have to have tried every variety of grape from every vineyard to know the pleasure of wine. Love and laughter and fear and pain are universal currencies. We just have to close our eyes and savour the taste of the drink in front of us and listen to the song as it plays. We are as completely and utterly alive as we are in any other life and have access to the same emotional spectrum. We only need to be one person. We only need to feel one existence. We don’t have to do everything in order to be everything, because we are already infinite. While we are alive we always contain a future of multifarious possibility. So let’s be kind to the people in our own existence. Let’s occasionally look up from the spot in which we are because, wherever we happen to be standing, the sky above goes on for ever. Yesterday I knew I had no future, and that it was impossible for me to accept my life as it is now. And yet today, that same messy life seems full of hope. Potential. The impossible, I suppose, happens via living. Will my life be miraculously free from pain, despair, grief, heartbreak, hardship, loneliness, depression? No. But do I want to live? Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
INT. DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS CLASS—FOURTEEN YEARS PREVIOUSLY—DAY It is Boggart time. DUMBLEDORE supervises the line of teenagers advancing to try their luck. “Riddikulus”—“Riddikulus”—gusts of hilarity as a shark becomes a flotation device, a zombie’s head turns into a pumpkin, a vampire turns into a buck-toothed rabbit. DUMBLEDORE: All right, Newt. Be brave. 16-YEAR-OLD NEWT moves to the front of the queue. The Boggart turns into a Ministry desk. DUMBLEDORE: Mmm, that’s an unusual one. So Mr. Scamander fears what more than anything else in the world? 16-YEAR-OLD NEWT: Having to work in an office, sir. The class roars with laughter. DUMBLEDORE: Go ahead, Newt. 16-YEAR-OLD NEWT: Riddikulus! NEWT turns the desk into a gamboling wooden dragon and moves aside. DUMBLEDORE: Well done. Good job.
J.K. Rowling (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay (Fantastic Beasts: The Original Screenplay, #2))
I was a really good waitress. Waitressing takes a certain gusto. You need a good memory and an ability to connect with people fast. You have to learn how to treat the kitchen as well as you treat the customers. You have to figure out which crazy people to listen to and which crazy people to ignore. I loved waiting tables because when you cashed out at the end of the night your job was truly over. You wiped down your section and paid out your busboy and you knew your work was done.
Amy Poehler
A study at Cornell University found that low-level noise both lowered job motivation and increased stress levels. It appears as well that an open-office type of environment can contribute to musculoskeletal problems such as a stiff back or tense neck and even heart disease due to increased levels of epinephrine, a stress hormone.
Jeff Davidson (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done)
Therefore, to you, and to the fifty governors, I have a request. Please, do not send me politicians. We do not have the time to do the things that must be done through that process. I need people who do real things in the real world. I need people who do not want to live in Washington. I need people who will not try to work the system. I need people who will come here at great personal sacrifice to do an important job, and then return home to their normal lives. “I want engineers who know how things are built. I want physicians who know how to make sick people well. I want cops who know what it means when your civil rights are violated by a criminal. I want farmers who grow real food on real farms. I want people who know what it’s like to have dirty hands, and pay a mortgage bill, and raise kids, and worry about the future. I want people who know they’re working for you and not themselves. That’s what I want. That’s what I need. I think that’s what a lot of you want, too.
Tom Clancy (Executive Orders (Jack Ryan, #8; Jack Ryan Universe #9))
Guy goes to the doc, and he says, ‘Doc, you gotta help me. I got this terrible headache. It feels like somebody is pounding a nail through my forehead. Like I got a big pair of pliers squeezing behind my ears. It’s tension from my job. I can’t stop working right now, but the headache’s killing me. You gotta help.’ So the doc says, ‘You know, I do have a cure. Exactly the same thing happened to me—I was working too much, and I got exactly the same headache. Then one night I was performing oral sex on my wife, and her legs were squeezing my head really tight, really hard, and the pressure must have done something, because the headache was a lot better. So I did this every night for two weeks, and at the end of two weeks, the headache was gone.’ And the guy says, ‘I’m desperate, Doc, I’ll try anything.’ The doc said, ‘Well, then, I’ll see you in two weeks.’ So the guy goes away, and two weeks later he comes back for his appointment and he’s the most cheerful guy in the world. And he says, ‘Doc, you’re a miracle worker. I did just what you told me, and the headache’s gone. Vanished. I feel great. I think it’s got to be the pressure, and—by the way, you’ve got a beautiful home.
John Sandford (Easy Prey (Lucas Davenport, #11))
His wife would never admit it to him, but Billy’s guess was that interns killed patients all the time, and their supervisors, with an eye for the long-term healer to come, mainly looked the other way. Well, it was the same with him. In order to get the greater job done, to mold your people as you saw fit and prepare them to effectively do the job in the years to come, you tolerated error, you turned a not-quite-blind eye to the actions of others and to your own actions. You created secrets and you kept secrets. Out on the streets, same thing: depending on the individual and the situation, sometimes you threw the Thor hammer at a misdemeanor, other times you let an individual walk who had no right to sleep in his own bed that night. You did all these things and more because as a boss, if you weren’t willing to play fast and loose when required, if you weren’t willing to make a discreet hash of the rule book now and then, on this job you might as well call in sick. That’s just the way it was. *
Harry Brandt (The Whites)
Jack put his hands on his hips, surveying the scene with a satisfied nod. "That turned out much better than I'd hoped." "Please,let's leave!" "What's your hurry? Let's take a moment to bask in the satisfaction of a job well done." "I didn't want to do that!" "No?" He cocked his head and raised his eyebrows. "I thought you hated the fey." "I do,but that doesn't mean I want to run around the Faerie Realms lighting everything on fire!" "What's the point in hating something if you aren't proactive?" He put his arm around my shoulders, steering me to look at the inferno with him. "You can't tell me that's not satisfying, not after what you saw.Faeries care about very few things,but they're quite fond of their little trinkets. That boat was a particular favorite of hers,not to mention the entire lake. All the centuries she spent crafting this landscape,then poof! One excellently thrown firebomb, and you've made her feel anger and pain more deeply than she's probably ever known. And far less than she deserves to know.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
Hey kid. Remember when John asked you to be in charge of watering the plants outside our door?' Eden frowns for a second, digging through his memories, and then a grin lights us his face. 'I did a pretty good job, didn't I?' 'You built that little makeshift catapult in front of our door.' I close my eyes and indulge in the memory, a temporary distraction from all the pain. 'Yeah, I remember that thing. You kept lobbing water balloons at those poor flowers. Did they have any petals when you were done? Oh man, John was so pissed.' He was even madder because Eden was only four at the time, well, how do you punish your wide-eyed baby brother.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
I watched the light flicker on the limestone walls until Archer said, "I wish we could go to the movies." I stared at him. "We're in a creepy dungeon. There's a chance I might die in the next few hours. You are going to die in the next few hours. And if you had one wish, it would be to catch a movie?" He shook his head. "That's not what I meant. I wish we weren't like this. You know, demon, demon-hunter. I wish I'd met you in a normal high school, and taken you on normal dates, and like, carried your books or something." Glancing over at me, he squinted and asked, "Is that a thing humans actually do?" "Not outside of 1950s TV shows," I told him, reaching up to touch his hair. He wrapped an arm around me and leaned against the wall, pulling me to his chest. I drew my legs up under me and rested my cheek on his collarbone. "So instead of stomping around forests hunting ghouls, you want to go to the movies and school dances." "Well,maybe we could go on the occasional ghoul hunt," he allowed before pressing a kiss to my temple. "Keep things interesting." I closed my eyes. "What else would we do if we were regular teenagers?" "Hmm...let's see.Well,first of all, I'd need to get some kind of job so I could afford to take you on these completely normal dates. Maybe I could stock groceries somewhere." The image of Archer in a blue apron, putting boxes of Nilla Wafers on a shelf at Walmart was too bizarre to even contemplate, but I went along with it. "We could argue in front of our lockers all dramatically," I said. "That's something I saw a lot at human high schools." He squeezed me in a quick hug. "Yes! Now that sounds like a good time. And then I could come to your house in the middle of the night and play music really loudly under your window until you took me back." I chuckled. "You watch too many movies. Ooh, we could be lab partners!" "Isn't that kind of what we were in Defense?" "Yeah,but in a normal high school, there would be more science, less kicking each other in the face." "Nice." We spent the next few minutes spinning out scenarios like this, including all the sports in which Archer's L'Occhio di Dio skills would come in handy, and starring in school plays.By the time we were done, I was laughing, and I realized that, for just a little while, I'd managed to forget what a huge freaking mess we were in. Which had probably been the point. Once our laughter died away, the dread started seeping back in. Still, I tried to joke when I said, "You know, if I do live through this, I'm gonna be covered in funky tattoos like the Vandy. You sure you want to date the Illustrated Woman, even if it's just for a little while?" He caught my chin and raised my eyes to his. "Trust me," he said softly, "you could have a giant tiger tattooed on your face, and I'd still want to be with you." "Okay,seriously,enough with the swoony talk," I told him, leaning in closer. "I like snarky, mean Archer." He grinned. "In that case, shut up, Mercer.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
. . . Neither ecological nor social engineering will lead us to a conflict-free, simple path . . . Utilitarians and others who simply advise us to be happy are unhelpful, because we almost always have to make a choice either between different kinds of happiness--different things to be happy _about_--or between these and other things we want, which nothing to do with happiness. . . . Do we find ourselves a species naturally free from conflict? We do not. There has not, apparently, been in our evolution a kind of rationalization which might seem a possible solution to problems of conflict--namely, a takeover by some major motive, such as the desire for future pleasure, which would automatically rule out all competing desires. Instead, what has developed is our intelligence. And this in some ways makes matters worse, since it shows us many desirable things that we would not otherwise have thought of, as well as the quite sufficient number we knew about for a start. In compensation, however, it does help us to arbitrate. Rules and principles, standards and ideals emerge as part of a priority system by which we guide ourselves through the jungle. They never make the job easy--desires that we put low on our priority system do not merely vanish--but they make it possible. And it is in working out these concepts more fully, in trying to extend their usefulness, that moral philosophy begins. Were there no conflict, it [moral philosophy] could never have arisen. The motivation of living creatures does got boil down to any single basic force, not even an 'instinct of self-preservation.' It is a complex pattern of separate elements, balanced roughly in the constitution of the species, but always liable to need adjusting. Creatures really have divergent and conflicting desires. Their distinct motives are not (usually) wishes for survival or for means to survival, but for various particular things to be done and obtained while surviving. And these can always conflict. Motivation is fundamentally plural. . . An obsessive creature dominated constantly by one kind of motive, would not survive. All moral doctrine, all practical suggestions about how we ought to live, depend on some belief about what human nature is like. The traditional business of moral philosophy is attempting to understand, clarify, relate, and harmonize so far as possible the claims arising from different sides of our nature. . . . One motive does not necessarily replace another smoothly and unremarked. There is _ambivalence_, conflict behavior.
Mary Midgley (Beast and Man. Routledge. 2002.)
The passionate state of mind is often indicative of a lack of skill, talent or power. Moreover, passionate intensity can serve as a substitute for the confidence born of proficiency and the possession of power. A workingman sure of his skill goes leisurely about his job, and accomplishes much though he works as if at play. On the other hand, the workingman who is without confidence attacks his work as if he were saving the world, and he must do so if he is to get anything done. The same is true of the soldier. A well-trained and well-equipped soldier will fight well even when not sitrred by strong feeling. But the untrained soldier will give a good account of himself only when animated by enthusiasm and fervor.
Eric Hoffer (The Passionate State of Mind: And Other Aphorisms)
Speaking of chocolate, what kind of cake are we having for the shower?” “I don’t know.” Sincerely shocked, Peabody jerked around in her seat. “You didn’t get cake?” “I don’t know. Probably.” Because the idea of the shower, what she had to do, hadn’t done, should do, made her stomach jitter, Eve squirmed. “Look, I called the caterer, okay? I did it myself. I didn’t dump it on Roarke, I didn’t ask—God forbid—Summerset to handle it.” “Well, what did you ask for? What’s the theme?” The jitters escalated into a roiling. “What do you mean, theme?” “You don’t have a theme? How can you have a baby shower without a theme?” “Jesus Christ, I need a theme? I don’t even know what that means. I called the caterer. I did my job. I told her it was a baby shower. I told her how many people, more or less. I told her when and where. She started asking me all kinds of questions, which gives me a fucking headache, and I told her not to ask me all kinds of questions or she was fired. Just to do whatever needed doing. Why isn’t that enough?” Peabody’s sigh was long and heartfelt. “Give me the caterer’s info, and I’ll check in with her. Does she do the decorations, too?” “Oh, my God. I need decorations?” “I’m going to help you, Dallas. I’m going to run interference with the caterer. I’m going to come over early on the day and help get it set up.” Eve narrowed her eyes and tried to ignore the joy and relief bubbling in her breast. “And what’s this going to cost me?” “Nothing. I like baby showers.” “You’re a sick, sick woman.
J.D. Robb
Larry smiled a trifle ruefully. "Like Rolla [who is?], I've come too late into a world too old. I should have been born in the Middle Ages when faith was a matter of course; then my way would have been clear to me and I'd have sought to enter the order. I couldn't believe. I wanted to believe, but I couldn't believe in a God who wasn't better than the ordinary decent man. The monks told me that God had created the world for his glorification. That didn't seem to me a very worthy object. Did Beethoven create his symphonies for his glorification? I don't believe it. I believe he created them because the music in his soul demanded expression and then all he tried to do was to make them as perfect as he knew how. I used to listen to the monks repeating the Lord's Prayer; I wondered how they could continue to pray without misgiving to their heavenly father to give them their daily bread. Do children beseech their earthly father to give them sustenance? They expect him to do it, they neither feel gratitude to him for doing so nor need to, and we have only blame for a man who brings children into the world that he can't or won't provide for. It seemed to me that if an omnipotent creator was not prepared to provide his creatures with the necessities, material and spiritual, of existence he'd have done better not to create them." "Dear Larry," I said, "I think it's just as well you weren't born in the Middle ages. You'd undoubtedly have perished at the stake." He smiled. "You've had a great deal of success," he went on. "Do you want to be praised to your face?" "It only embarrasses me." "That's what I should have thought. I couldn't believe that God wanted it either. We didn't think much in the air corps of a fellow who wangled a cushy job out of his C.O. By buttering him up. It was hard for me to believe that God thought much of a man who tried to wangle salvation by fulsome flattery. I should have thought the worship most pleasing to him was to do your best according to your lights.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
The one-eyed man stood helplessly by. "I'll help ya if ya want," he said. "Know what that son-of-a-bitch done? He come by an' he got on white pants. An' he says, 'Come on, le's go out to my yacht.' By God, I'll whang him some day!" He breathed heavily. "I ain't been out with a woman sence I los' my eye. An' he says stuff like that." And big tears cut channels in the dirt beside his nose. Tom said impatiently, "Whyn't you roll on? Got no guards to keep ya here." "Yeah, that's easy to say. Ain't so easy to get a job - not for a one-eye' man." Tom turned on him. "Now look-a-here, fella. You got that eye wide open. An' ya dirty, ya stink. Ya jus' askin' for it. Ya like it. Lets ya feel sorry for yaself. 'Course ya can't get no woman with that empty eye flappin' aroun'. Put somepin over it an' wash ya face. You ain't hittin' nobody with no pipe wrench." "I tell ya, a one-eye' fella got a hard row," the man said. "Can't see stuff the way other fellas can. Can't see how far off a thing is. Ever'thing's jus' flat." Tom said, "Ya full of crap. Why, I knowed a one-legged whore one time. Think she was takin' two-bits in a alley? No, by God! She's gettin' half a dollar extra. She says, 'How many one-legged women you slep' with? None!' she says. 'O.K.,' she says. 'You got somepin pretty special here, an it's gonna cos' ya half a buck extry.' An' by God, she was gettin' 'em, too, an' the fellas comin' out thinkin' they're pretty lucky. She says she's good luck. An' I knowed a hump-back in - in a place I was. Make his whole livin' lettin' folk rub his hump for luck. Jesus Christ, an' all you got is one eye gone." The man said stumblingly, "Well, Jesus, ya see somebody edge away from ya, an' it gets into ya." "Cover it up then, goddamn it. Ya stickin' it out like a cow's ass. Ya like to feel sorry for yaself. There ain't nothin' the matter with ya. Buy yaself some white pants. Ya gettin' drunk and cryin' in ya bed, I bet." ... The one-eyed man said softly, "Think - somebody'd like - me?" "Why, sure," said Tom. "Tell 'em ya dong's growed sence you los' your eye.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
We live in a world that values words over thoughts. This is precisely why people talk all the time and don’t think! Which is more valuable? Thoughts or words? People may talk about doing something, every day, and end up never doing it because it is not in their thoughts! On the other hand, a person may think about doing something, every day, without speaking of it, and at the end of the day the job is done. The energy is saved as is executed in the final outcome. So which is more valuable? The thoughts of a man or the words of a man? The thoughts of a man are more valuable than his words, because the thoughts of a man are the contents of his mind! And it is the mind of man that makes a man and dictates a man! And so, why do we value words over mental telepathy? Why do we shy away from the notion of mind communication? Why do we value the communication of words over the communication of minds? Is it because most of you do not understand it? Well, you do not understand it because you are too busy talking and not thinking. Not thinking about anything. Here is the big question: Should a thought reader value the words of the man over his thoughts? Are the words spoken the truth or are the thoughts in the mind, the truth? You think about it. You decide.
C. JoyBell C.
Rose of Sharon Chapter 16 Me an’ Connie don’t want to live in the country no more. We got it all planned up what we gonna do. Well, we talked about it, me an’ Connie. Ma, we want to live in a town. Connie gonna get a job in a store or maybe a factory. An’ he’s gonna study at home, maybe radios, so he can get to be a expert an’ maybe later have his own store. An’ we’ll go to pitchers whenever. An’ Connie says I’m gonna have a doctor when the baby’s born; an’ he says we’ll see how times is, an’ maybe I’ll go to a hospiddle. An’ we’ll have a car, a little car. An’ when he gets done studying at night, why – it’ll be nice, an’ he tore a page out of Western Love Stories, an’ he’s gonna send off for a course ‘cause it don’t cost nothin’ to send off. Says right on that clipping. I seen it. An’, why- they even get you a job when you take that course-radios, it is—nice clean work, and a future. An’ we’ll live in town an’ go to pitchers whenever, an’ – well. I’m gonna have an ‘lectric iron! an’, the baby’ll have all new stuff-“white an’- Well, you seen in the catalogue all the stuff they got for a baby. Maybe right at first while Connie’s studying’ at home it wou’t be so easy, but-well, when the baby comes, maybe he’ll be all done studyin’ an’ we’ll have a place, little bit of a place. We don’t want nothin’ fancy, but we want it nice for the baby-“An’ I thougt-well, I thought maybe we could all go in town, an’ when Connie gets his store – maybe Al could work for him.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Look, guys, I know you mean well and you’re doing your job, but it’d be better for everyone if you all got back in your cars and drove away. Pretend like this never happened. I promise I’m not going to blow anything up and the most un-American thing I’ve ever done is root for South Korea in speed skating during the Olympics. This whole thing falls so far out of your jurisdiction it’s not even funny.” I pictured the officers cuffing Reth and reading him his rights, then trying to detain Cresseda. “Okay, it’s a little funny. But seriously. As far as you’re all concerned, I’m just a teen girl who is really far behind on planning for the dance decorating committee. And also dating an invisible boy.” “Orders are orders,” the mustachioed man said gruffly, elbowing the men around him and startling them out of their paranormal-induced stupor. “We’re taking you in.” He walked down the steps. I sighed. “Don’t make me call the dragon.” He laughed, and so did most of the others, but a few looked back at Lend and the blood drained from their faces. “Look, kid, I’m with you. I think this is all a mistake, maybe even a clerical error. We’ll figure it out at the station.” Arianna swore, stamping her foot. “That’s it! She put her fingers to her lips and let out a shrill, earsplitting whistle. A rush of wind engulfed us as the dragon in all its serpentine glory snaked out of the trees, settling onto the ground and rearing up to stare down at all of us. I thought I’d learn a few new words, but the men were too shocked to even swear this time.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
There are always plenty of rivals to our work. We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come. There are, of course, moments when the pressure of the excitement is so great that only superhuman self-control could resist it. They come both in war and peace. We must do the best we can. The second enemy is frustration—the feeling that we shall not have time to finish. If I say to you that no one has time to finish, that the longest human life leaves a man, in any branch of learning, a beginner, I shall seem to you to be saying something quite academic and theoretical. You would be surprised if you knew how soon one begins to feel the shortness of the tether, of how many things, even in middle life, we have to say "No time for that," "Too late now," and "Not for me." But Nature herself forbids you to share that experience. A more Christian attitude, which can be attained at any age, is that of leaving futurity in God's hands. We may as well, for God will certainly retain it whether we leave it to Him or not. Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment "as to the Lord." It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.
C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)
. . . I bet I'm beginning to make some parents nervous - here I am, bragging of being a dropout, and unemployable, and about to make a pitch for you to follow your creative dreams, when what parents want is for their children to do well in their field, to make them look good, and maybe also to assemble a tasteful fortune . . . But that is not your problem. Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to live it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are . . . I do know you are not what you look like, or how much you weigh, or how you did in school, or whether you start a job next Monday or not. Spirit isn't what you do, it's . . . well, again, I don't actually know. They probably taught this junior year at Goucher; I should've stuck around. But I know that you feel best when you're not doing much - when you're in nature, when you're very quiet or, paradoxically, listening to music . . . We can see Spirit made visible when people are kind to one another, especially when it's a really busy person, like you, taking care of the needy, annoying, neurotic person, like you. In fact, that's often when we see Spirit most brightly . . . In my twenties I devised a school of relaxation that has unfortunately fallen out of favor in the ensuing years - it was called Prone Yoga. You just lay around as much as possible. You could read, listen to music, you could space out or sleep. But you had to be lying down. Maintaining the prone. You've graduated. You have nothing left to prove, and besides, it's a fool's game. If you agree to play, you've already lost. It's Charlie Brown and Lucy, with the football. If you keep getting back on the field, they win. There are so many great things to do right now. Write. Sing. Rest. Eat cherries. Register voters. And - oh my God - I nearly forgot the most important thing: refuse to wear uncomfortable pants, even if they make you look really thin. Promise me you'll never wear pants that bind or tug or hurt, pants that have an opinion about how much you've just eaten. The pants may be lying! There is way too much lying and scolding going on politically right now without having your pants get in on the act, too. So bless you. You've done an amazing thing. And you are loved; you're capable of lives of great joy and meaning. It's what you are made of. And it's what you're here for. Take care of yourselves; take care of one another. And give thanks, like this: Thank you.
Anne Lamott (Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)
At this point, I must describe an important study carried out by Clare W. Graves of Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. on deterioration of work standards. Professor Graves starts from the Maslow-McGregor assumption that work standards deteriorate when people react against workcontrol systems with boredom, inertia, cynicism... A fourteen-year study led to the conclusion that, for practical purposes, we may divide people up into seven groups, seven personality levels, ranging from totally selfpreoccupied and selfish to what Nietzsche called ‘a selfrolling wheel’-a thoroughly self-determined person, absorbed in an objective task. This important study might be regarded as an expansion of Shotover’s remark that our interest in the world is an overflow of our interest in ourselves—and that therefore nobody can be genuinely ‘objective’ until they have fully satiated the subjective cravings. What is interesting—and surprising—is that it should not only be possible to distinguish seven clear personality-ypes, but that these can be recognised by any competent industrial psychologist. When Professor Graves’s theories were applied in a large manufacturing organisation—and people were slotted into their proper ‘levels’—the result was a 17% increase in production and an 87% drop in grumbles. The seven levels are labelled as follows: (1) Autistic (2) Animistic (3) Awakening and fright (4) Aggressive power seeking (5) Sociocentric (6) Aggressive individualistic (7) Pacifist individualistic. The first level can be easily understood: people belonging to it are almost babylike, perhaps psychologically run-down and discouraged; there is very little to be done with these people. The animistic level would more probably be encountered in backward countries: primitive, superstitious, preoccupied with totems and taboos, and again poor industrial material. Man at the third level is altogether more wide-awake and objective, but finds the complexity of the real world frightening; the best work is to be got out of him by giving him rules to obey and a sense of hierarchical security. Such people are firm believers in staying in the class in which they were born. They prefer an autocracy. The majority of Russian peasants under the Tsars probably belonged to this level. And a good example of level four would probably be the revolutionaries who threw bombs at the Tsars and preached destruction. In industry, they are likely to be trouble makers, aggressive, angry, and not necessarily intelligent. Management needs a high level of tact to get the best out of these. Man at level five has achieved a degree of security—psychological and economic—and he becomes seriously preoccupied with making society run smoothly. He is the sort of person who joins rotary clubs and enjoys group activities. As a worker, he is inferior to levels three and four, but the best is to be got out of him by making him part of a group striving for a common purpose. Level six is a self-confident individualist who likes to do a job his own way, and does it well. Interfered with by authoritarian management, he is hopeless. He needs to be told the goal, and left to work out the best way to achieve it; obstructed, he becomes mulish. Level seven is much like level six, but without the mulishness; he is pacifistic, and does his best when left to himself. Faced with authoritarian management, he either retreats into himself, or goes on his own way while trying to present a passable front to the management. Professor Graves describes the method of applying this theory in a large plant where there was a certain amount of unrest. The basic idea was to make sure that each man was placed under the type of supervisor appropriate to his level. A certain amount of transferring brought about the desired result, mentioned above—increased production, immense decrease in grievances, and far less workers leaving the plant (7% as against 21% before the change).
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
Tell me this- if you could have a guarantee that your child would be a National Merit Scholar and get into a prestigious college, have good work habits and a successful career, but that your relationship with him would be destroyed in the process, would you do it? Why not? Because you are made to love, that's why. We care about our relationships more than about our accomplishments. That's the way God made us. Then why don't we live that way? Why, come a damp and gloomy day in March, do we yell over a  math lesson or lose our temper over a writing assignment? Why do we see the lessons left to finish and get lost in an anxiety-ridden haze? We forget that we are dealing with a soul, a precious child bearing the Image of God, and all we can see is that there are only a few months left to the school year and we are still only halfway through the math book. When you are performing mommy triage- that is, when you have a crisis moment and have to figure out which fire to put out first- always choose your child. It's just a math lesson. It's only a writing assignment. It's a Latin declension. Nothing more. But your child? He is God's. And the Almighty put him in your charge for relationship. Don't damage that relationship over something so trivial as an algebra problem. And when you do (because you will, and so will I), repent. We like to feed our egos. When our children perform well, we can puff up with satisfaction and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. But as important as it is to give our children a solid education (and it is important, don't misunderstand me), it is far more important that we love them well.  Our children need to know that the most important thing about them is not whether they finished their science curriculum or score well on the SAT. Their worth is not bound up in a booklist or a test score. Take a moment. Take ten. Look deep into your child's eyes. Listen, even when you're bored. Break out a board game or an old picture book you haven't read in ages. Resting in Him means relaxing into the knowledge that He has put these children in our care to nurture. And nurturing looks different than charging through the checklist all angst-like. Your children are not ordinary kids or ordinary people, because there are no ordinary kids or ordinary people. They are little reflections of the
Sarah Mackenzie (Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace)
We know from subsequent leaks that the president was indeed presented with information about the seriousness of the virus and its pandemic potential beginning at least in early January 2020. And yet, as documented by the Washington Post, he repeatedly stated that “it would go away.” On February 10, when there were 12 known cases, he said that he thought the virus would “go away” by April, “with the heat.” On February 25, when there were 53 known cases, he said, “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away.” On February 27, when there were 60 cases, he said, famously, “We have done an incredible job. We’re going to continue. It’s going to disappear. One day—it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.” On March 6, when there were 278 cases and 14 deaths, again he said, “It’ll go away.” On March 10, when there were 959 cases and 28 deaths, he said, “We’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” On March 12, with 1,663 cases and 40 deaths recorded, he said, “It’s going to go away.” On March 30, with 161,807 cases and 2,978 deaths, he was still saying, “It will go away. You know it—you know it is going away, and it will go away. And we’re going to have a great victory.” On April 3, with 275,586 cases and 7,087 deaths, he again said, “It is going to go away.” He continued, repeating himself: “It is going away.… I said it’s going away, and it is going away.” In remarks on June 23, when the United States had 126,060 deaths and roughly 2.5 million cases, he said, “We did so well before the plague, and we’re doing so well after the plague. It’s going away.” Such statements continued as both the cases and the deaths kept rising. Neither the virus nor Trump’s statements went away.
Nicholas A. Christakis (Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live)
Sheepwalking I define “sheepwalking” as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a brain-dead job and enough fear to keep them in line. You’ve probably encountered someone who is sheepwalking. The TSA “screener” who forces a mom to drink from a bottle of breast milk because any other action is not in the manual. A “customer service” rep who will happily reread a company policy six or seven times but never stop to actually consider what the policy means. A marketing executive who buys millions of dollars’ worth of TV time even though she knows it’s not working—she does it because her boss told her to. It’s ironic but not surprising that in our age of increased reliance on new ideas, rapid change, and innovation, sheepwalking is actually on the rise. That’s because we can no longer rely on machines to do the brain-dead stuff. We’ve mechanized what we could mechanize. What’s left is to cost-reduce the manual labor that must be done by a human. So we write manuals and race to the bottom in our search for the cheapest possible labor. And it’s not surprising that when we go to hire that labor, we search for people who have already been trained to be sheepish. Training a student to be sheepish is a lot easier than the alternative. Teaching to the test, ensuring compliant behavior, and using fear as a motivator are the easiest and fastest ways to get a kid through school. So why does it surprise us that we graduate so many sheep? And graduate school? Since the stakes are higher (opportunity cost, tuition, and the job market), students fall back on what they’ve been taught. To be sheep. Well-educated, of course, but compliant nonetheless. And many organizations go out of their way to hire people that color inside the lines, that demonstrate consistency and compliance. And then they give these people jobs where they are managed via fear. Which leads to sheepwalking. (“I might get fired!”) The fault doesn’t lie with the employee, at least not at first. And of course, the pain is often shouldered by both the employee and the customer. Is it less efficient to pursue the alternative? What happens when you build an organization like W. L. Gore and Associates (makers of Gore-Tex) or the Acumen Fund? At first, it seems crazy. There’s too much overhead, there are too many cats to herd, there is too little predictability, and there is way too much noise. Then, over and over, we see something happen. When you hire amazing people and give them freedom, they do amazing stuff. And the sheepwalkers and their bosses just watch and shake their heads, certain that this is just an exception, and that it is way too risky for their industry or their customer base. I was at a Google conference last month, and I spent some time in a room filled with (pretty newly minted) Google sales reps. I talked to a few of them for a while about the state of the industry. And it broke my heart to discover that they were sheepwalking. Just like the receptionist at a company I visited a week later. She acknowledged that the front office is very slow, and that she just sits there, reading romance novels and waiting. And she’s been doing it for two years. Just like the MBA student I met yesterday who is taking a job at a major packaged-goods company…because they offered her a great salary and promised her a well-known brand. She’s going to stay “for just ten years, then have a baby and leave and start my own gig.…” She’ll get really good at running coupons in the Sunday paper, but not particularly good at solving new problems. What a waste. Step one is to give the problem a name. Done. Step two is for anyone who sees themselves in this mirror to realize that you can always stop. You can always claim the career you deserve merely by refusing to walk down the same path as everyone else just because everyone else is already doing it.
Seth Godin (Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations, 2006-2012)
Toyota wasn’t really worried that it would give away its “secret sauce.” Toyota’s competitive advantage rested firmly in its proprietary, complex, and often unspoken processes. In hindsight, Ernie Schaefer, a longtime GM manager who toured the Toyota plant, told NPR’s This American Life that he realized that there were no special secrets to see on the manufacturing floors. “You know, they never prohibited us from walking through the plant, understanding, even asking questions of some of their key people,” Schaefer said. “I’ve often puzzled over that, why they did that. And I think they recognized we were asking the wrong questions. We didn’t understand this bigger picture.” It’s no surprise, really. Processes are often hard to see—they’re a combination of both formal, defined, and documented steps and expectations and informal, habitual routines or ways of working that have evolved over time. But they matter profoundly. As MIT’s Edgar Schein has explored and discussed, processes are a critical part of the unspoken culture of an organization. 1 They enforce “this is what matters most to us.” Processes are intangible; they belong to the company. They emerge from hundreds and hundreds of small decisions about how to solve a problem. They’re critical to strategy, but they also can’t easily be copied. Pixar Animation Studios, too, has openly shared its creative process with the world. Pixar’s longtime president Ed Catmull has literally written the book on how the digital film company fosters collective creativity2—there are fixed processes about how a movie idea is generated, critiqued, improved, and perfected. Yet Pixar’s competitors have yet to equal Pixar’s successes. Like Toyota, Southern New Hampshire University has been open with would-be competitors, regularly offering tours and visits to other educational institutions. As President Paul LeBlanc sees it, competition is always possible from well-financed organizations with more powerful brand recognition. But those assets alone aren’t enough to give them a leg up. SNHU has taken years to craft and integrate the right experiences and processes for its students and they would be exceedingly difficult for a would-be competitor to copy. SNHU did not invent all its tactics for recruiting and serving its online students. It borrowed from some of the best practices of the for-profit educational sector. But what it’s done with laser focus is to ensure that all its processes—hundreds and hundreds of individual “this is how we do it” processes—focus specifically on how to best respond to the job students are hiring it for. “We think we have advantages by ‘owning’ these processes internally,” LeBlanc says, “and some of that is tied to our culture and passion for students.
Clayton M. Christensen (Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice)
Just ask me how to get bloodstains out of a fur coat. No, really, go ahead. Ask me. The secret is cornmeal and brushing the fur the wrong way. The tricky part is keeping your mouth shut. To get blood off of piano keys, polish them with talcum powder or powdered milk. This isn’t the most marketable job skill, but to get bloodstains out of wallpaper, put on a paste of cornstarch and cold water. This will work just as well to get blood out of a mattress or a davenport. The trick is to forget how fast these things can happen. Suicides. Accidents. Crimes of passion. Just concentrate on the stain until your memory is completely erased. Practice really does make perfect. If you could call it that. Ignore how it feels when the only real talent you have is for hiding the truth. You have a God-given knack for committing a terrible sin. It’s your calling. You have a natural gift for denial. A blessing. If you could call it that. Even after sixteen years of cleaning people’s houses, I want to think the world is getting better and better, but really I know it’s not. You want there to be some improvement in people, but there won’t be. And you want to think there’s something you can get done. Cleaning this same house every day, all that gets better is my skill at denying what’s wrong. God forbid I should ever meet who I work for in person. Please don’t get the idea I don’t like my employers. The caseworker has gotten me lots worse postings. I don’t hate them. I don’t love them, but I don’t hate them. I’ve worked for lots worse. Just ask me how to get urine stains out of drapes and a tablecloth. Ask me what’s the fastest way to hide bullet holes in a living-room wall. The answer is toothpaste. For larger calibers, mix a paste of equal parts starch and salt. Call me the voice of experience.
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
He needs to be talked to." "This is funny, but I know how to talk, too." Brian swore under his breath. "He prefers singing." "Excuse me?" "I said,he prefers singing." "Oh." Keeley tucked her tongue in her cheek. "Any particular tune? Wait, let me guess. Finnegan's Wake?" Brian''s steely-eyed stare had her laughing until she had to lean weakly against the gelding.The horse responded by twisting his head and trying to sniff her pockets for apples. "It's a quick tune," Brian said coolly, "and he likes hearing his name." "I know the chorus." Gamely Keeley struggled to swallow another giggle. "But I'm not sure I know all the words.There are several verses as I recall." "Do the best you can," he muttered and strode off.His lips twitched as he heard her launch into the song about the Dubliner who had a tippling way. When he reached Betty's box, he shook his head. "I should've known. If there's not a Grant one place, there's a Grant in another until you're tripping over them." Travis gave Betty a last pat on the shoulder. "Is that Keeley I hear singing?" "She's being sarcastic, but as long as the job's done. She's dug in her heels about grooming Finnegan." "She comes by it naturally.The hard head as well as the skill." "Never had so many owners breathing down my neck.We don't need them, do we, darling?" Brian laid his hands on Beetty's cheek, and she shook her head, then nibbled his hair. "Damn horse has a crush on you." "She may be your lady, sir, but she's my own true love.Aren't you beautiful, my heart?" He stroked, sliding into the Gaelic that had Betty's ears pricked and her body shifting restlessly. "She likes being excited before a race," Brian murmured. "What do you call it-pumped up like your American football players.Which is a sport that eludes me altogether as they're gathered into circles discussing things most of the time instead of getting on with it." "I heard you won the pool on last Monday nights game," Travis commented. "Betting's the only thing about your football I do understand." Brian gathered her reins. "I'll walk her around a bit before we take her down. She likes to parade.You and your missus will want to stay close to the winner's circle." Travis grinned at him. "We'll be watching from the rail." "Let's go show off." Brian led Betty out.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
The Smiths were unable to conceive children and decided to use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day the surrogate father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife and said, "I'm off. The man should be here soon" Half an hour later, just by chance a door-to-door baby photographer rang the doorbell, hoping to make a sale. "Good morning, madam. I've come to...." "Oh, no need to explain. I've been expecting you," Mrs. Smith cut in. "Really?" the photographer asked. "Well, good. I've made a specialty of babies" "That's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat" After a moment, she asked, blushing, "Well, where do we start?" "Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch and perhaps a couple on the bed. Sometimes the living room floor is fun too; you can really spread out!" "Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work for Harry and me" "Well, madam, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But, if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven different angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results" "My, that's a lot of....." gasped Mrs. Smith. "Madam, in my line of work, a man must take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but you'd be disappointed with that, I'm sure"  "Don't I know it," Mrs. Smith said quietly. The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. "This was done on the top of a bus in downtown London" "Oh my God!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, tugging at her handkerchief. "And these twins turned out exceptionally well, when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with" "She was difficult?" asked Mrs. Smith. "Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to Hyde Park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep, pushing to get a good look" "Four and five deep?" asked Mrs. Smith, eyes widened in amazement. "Yes," the photographer said, "And for more than three hours too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling. I could hardly concentrate. Then darkness approached and I began to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just packed it all in." Mrs. Smith leaned forward. "You mean squirrels actually chewed on your, um......equipment?" "That's right. Well, madam, if you're ready, I'll set up my tripod so we  can get to work." "Tripod?????" "Oh yes, I have to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big for me to hold for very long. Madam? Madam? ....... Good Lord, she's fainted!!
Adam Kisiel (101 foolproof jokes to use in case of emergency)
Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare ‘automeals,’ heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on. Breakfasts will be ‘ordered’ the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica. [M]en will continue to withdraw from nature in order to create an environment that will suit them better. By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use. Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button. Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. “[H]ighways … in the more advanced sections of the world will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface. There will be aircraft, of course, but even ground travel will increasingly take to the air a foot or two off the ground. [V]ehicles with ‘Robot-brains’ … can be set for particular destinations … that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver. [W]all screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible. [T]he world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000. All earth will be a single choked Manhattan by A.D. 2450 and society will collapse long before that! There will, therefore, be a worldwide propaganda drive in favor of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious effect. Ordinary agriculture will keep up with great difficulty and there will be ‘farms’ turning to the more efficient micro-organisms. Processed yeast and algae products will be available in a variety of flavors. The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction…. All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary “Fortran". [M]ankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. [T]he most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work! in our a society of enforced leisure.
Isaac Asimov
I work as fast as I can. Binah will come soon looking for me. It’s Mother, however, who descends the back steps into the yard. Binah and the other house slaves are clumped behind her, moving with cautious, synchronized steps as if they’re a single creature, a centipede crossing an unprotected space. I sense the shadow that hovers over them in the air, some devouring dread, and I crawl back into the green-black gloom of the tree. The slaves stare at Mother’s back, which is straight and without give. She turns and admonishes them. “You are lagging. Quickly now, let us be done with this.” As she speaks, an older slave, Rosetta, is dragged from the cow house, dragged by a man, a yard slave. She fights, clawing at his face. Mother watches, impassive. He ties Rosetta’s hands to the corner column of the kitchen house porch. She looks over her shoulder and begs. Missus, please. Missus. Missus. Please. She begs even as the man lashes her with his whip. Her dress is cotton, a pale yellow color. I stare transfixed as the back of it sprouts blood, blooms of red that open like petals. I cannot reconcile the savagery of the blows with the mellifluous way she keens or the beauty of the roses coiling along the trellis of her spine. Someone counts the lashes—is it Mother? Six, seven. The scourging continues, but Rosetta stops wailing and sinks against the porch rail. Nine, ten. My eyes look away. They follow a black ant traveling the far reaches beneath the tree—the mountainous roots and forested mosses, the endless perils—and in my head I say the words I fashioned earlier. Boy Run. Girl Jump. Sarah Go. Thirteen. Fourteen . . . I bolt from the shadows, past the man who now coils his whip, job well done, past Rosetta hanging by her hands in a heap. As I bound up the back steps into the house, Mother calls to me, and Binah reaches to scoop me up, but I escape them, thrashing along the main passage, out the front door, where I break blindly for the wharves. I don’t remember the rest with clarity, only that I find myself wandering across the gangplank of a sailing vessel, sobbing, stumbling over a turban of rope. A kind man with a beard and a dark cap asks what I want. I plead with him, Sarah Go. Binah chases me, though I’m unaware of her until she pulls me into her arms and coos, “Poor Miss Sarah, poor Miss Sarah.” Like a decree, a proclamation, a prophecy. When I arrive home, I am a muss of snot, tears, yard dirt, and harbor filth. Mother holds me against her, rears back and gives me an incensed shake, then clasps me again. “You must promise never to run away again. Promise me.” I want to. I try to. The words are on my tongue—the rounded lumps of them, shining like the marbles beneath the tree. “Sarah!” she demands. Nothing comes. Not a sound. I remained mute for a week. My words seemed sucked into the cleft between my collar bones. I rescued them by degrees, by praying, bullying and wooing. I came to speak again, but with an odd and mercurial form of stammer. I’d never been a fluid speaker, even my first spoken words had possessed a certain belligerent quality, but now there were ugly, halting gaps between my sentences, endless seconds when the words cowered against my lips and people averted their eyes. Eventually, these horrid pauses began to come and go according to their own mysterious whims. They might plague me for weeks and then remain away months, only to return again as abruptly as they left.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Invention of Wings)
For most people moving is a tiring experience. When on the verge of moving out to a new home or into a new office, it's only natural to focus on your new place and forget about the one you’re leaving. Actually, the last thing you would even think about is embarking on a heavy duty move out clean. However, you can be certain that agents, landlords and all the potential renters or buyers of your old home will most definitely notice if it's being cleaned, therefore getting the place cleaned up is something that you need to consider. The process of cleaning will basically depend to things; how dirty your property and the size of the home. If you leave the property in good condition, you'll have a higher the chance of getting back your bond deposit or if you're selling, attracting a potential buyer. Below are the steps you need to consider before moving out. You should start with cleaning. Remove all screws and nails from the walls and the ceilings, fill up all holes and dust all ledges. Large holes should be patched and the entire wall checked the major marks. Remove all the cobwebs from the walls and ceilings, taking care to wash or vacuum the vents. They can get quite dusty. Clean all doors and door knobs, wipe down all the switches, electrical outlets, vacuum/wipe down the drapes, clean the blinds and remove all the light covers from light fixtures and clean them thoroughly as they may contain dead insects. Also, replace all the burnt out light bulbs and empty all cupboards when you clean them. Clean all windows, window sills and tracks. Vacuum all carpets or get them professionally cleaned which quite often is stipulated in the rental agreement. After you've finished the general cleaning, you can now embark on the more specific areas. When cleaning the bathroom, wash off the soap scum and remove mould (if any) from the bathroom tiles. This can be done by pre-spraying the tile grout with bleach and letting it sit for at least half an hour. Clean all the inside drawers and vanity units thoroughly. Clean the toilet/sink, vanity unit and replace anything that you've damaged. Wash all shower curtains and shower doors plus all other enclosures. Polish the mirrors and make sure the exhaust fan is free of dust. You can generally vacuum these quite easily. Finally, clean the bathroom floors by vacuuming and mopping. In the kitchen, clean all the cabinets and liners and wash the cupboards inside out. Clean the counter-tops and shine the facet and sink. If the fridge is staying give it a good clean. You can do this by removing all shelves and wash them individually. Thoroughly degrease the oven inside and out. It's best to use and oven cleaner from your supermarket, just take care to use gloves and a mask as they can be quite toxic. Clean the kitchen floor well by giving it a good vacuum and mop . Sometimes the kitchen floor may need to be degreased. Dust the bedrooms and living room, vacuum throughout then mop. If you have a garage give it a good sweep. Also cut the grass, pull out all weeds and remove all items that may be lying or hanging around. Remember to put your garbage bins out for collection even if collection is a week away as in our experience the bins will be full to the brim from all the rubbish during the moving process. If this all looks too hard then you can always hire a bond cleaner to tackle the job for you or if you're on a tight budget you can download an end of lease cleaning checklist or have one sent to you from your local agent. Just make sure you give yourself at least a day or to take on the job. Its best not to rush through the job, just make sure everything is cleaned thoroughly, so it passes the inspection in order for you to get your bond back in full.
Tanya Smith