Unnecessary meetings are a $100 million mistake ($) at big companies, according to a new survey that shows workers probably don’t need to be in nearly a third of the appointments they attend.

Via Bloomberg

I want Stanly Tucci to write and narrate the audiobook of a science fiction book where he describes alien elements like he describes food.

Scenarios

Let’s do a thought experiment!

Albert is in a car accident. Albert might die. Albert has an advance directive that states his doctors must not be vaccinated for COVID-19, must advocate for the horse dewormer Invermectin (sp?) as a treatment for COVID-19, and all medical treatment options must go through Mehmet Oz’s team first. Let’s say Albert’s family agrees.

How does that play out?

In another scenario, Albert sets up tests to ensure such a doctor as described above does not treat him while he’s out of it. Let’s say Albert’s family agrees.

How does that play out?

What happens if the directive and the family don’t agree?

What happens if the directive and the family agree but the assigned doctor doesn’t?

To be clear about me, my organs should be donated. I want all of my health care staff fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and everything else appropriate for where I’m getting treatment. No celebrities should be involved in my case. All of my medication must have scientific backing for use in people and none of it should include horse de-wormers.

If my organs become tainted because someone deviated from my wishes I will terror haunt them brutally until they have no choice but to shuffle off their mortal coil. And then I will hire a demon to haunt them in purgatory because I’ll be that pissed off.

I’ll find a lawyer to put that into actionable language.

Airport refugee

Delta’s change in lounge policy will move me further from using them as my preferred airline. While the lounges are crowded, limiting the duration to 3 hours before departure (not boarding) will do little to alleviate the problem.

Often I occupy a spot in a lounge for a long time. Here’s a list of some of the reasons why:

  • On standby for an earlier flight
  • Traveling to the airport with others (co-workers, family, etc.) where my flight leaves after theirs
  • Bad weather inbound
  • Holiday crush
  • Delayed or canceled flight
  • Hotel checkout time
  • International travel
  • Something about my work calendar that needs me in a place with power, good wifi, and relatively low noise at a specific time unrelated to boarding
  • When I arrive, needing to wait for co-workers, family, etc. so we can carpool to the destination

The list goes on. Other business travelers and those frequently taking to the air may have others.

I have ideas for Delta (and AMEX) on how to address lounge overcrowding, at least a little bit:

  • Expand the Priority Pass access to include airport restaurant access and/or gate delivery food service
  • Have a service desk for things like standby flights, rebooking, etc. near the check-in desk
  • Staff the toll-free service numbers, social media response, and in-app chat so flyers can get fast help
  • Have separate policies for domestic and international lounge access
  • In international gateway airports, partner on a separate international lounge (like in Atlanta) and offer arrival lounge access
  • Take reservations

The list goes on. Mostly my ideas revolve around people. So far, that seems to be one area outside of investment.

It’s easier to blame customers, in the short term. How dare they use our product!

※ The librarian’s service

The librarian’s service:

I saw a great story in James Clear’s “3-2-1” today.

Lillian Moore shares a quick story that reveals what really motivates people:

“A few months after my husband and I moved to a small Massachusetts town I grumbled to a resident about the poor service at the library, hoping she would repeat my complaints to the librarian. The next time I went to the library, the librarian had set aside two bestsellers for me and a new biography for my husband. What’s more, she appeared to be genuinely glad to see me.

Later I reported the miraculous change to my friend. “I suppose you told her how poor we thought the service was?” I asked.

“No,” she confessed. “In fact—I hope you don’t mind—I told her your husband was amazed at the way she had built up this small town library, and that you thought she showed unusually good taste in the new books she ordered.”


This reminded me of the parable of the wind and the sun. It is an idea I don’t implement often enough.

What?

I also subscribe to James Clear’s newsletter and read the same bit.

When I read this story I immediately thought, this is not repeatable. Even if it is, how is going to a third party with an issue and hoping they’ll accurately convey your issues only to have the third party change it going to necessarily benefit the original person? There are any number of points in this story where things could have gone poorly and, as far as I can tell, exactly one that ends in this sunny outcome.

This is a passive-aggressive’s dream result. It’s impractical in practice.

Kate Bush

Stranger Things, season 4. Am I right?

Hmmm. OK.

Here’s the thing.

What took you all soooooooooooooooo long to “discover” Kate Bush?

Were her duets with Peter Gabriel too obscure? (They’re not). Was her impact on other artists in many genres too hard to puzzle out? (No! The artists were very explicit.)

Did not enough people hear me play Kate Bush on my high school radio station show in the late 80’s and early 90’s, a show I co-hosted with my best friend Ray whose now-wife then-girlfriend was almost a bigger Kate Bush fan than me?

Probably. I mean, it was a low wattage FM station in northern central Connecticut.

And yet … you people … it is about time!

Skeptical: Boiling brats in beer before grilling

bratwurst should never be placed directly on the grill without bathing it in said beer first. “Only a fool would just put the brats on the grill to cook them,” I was told by every single one of my fellow campers.

But as someone who doesn’t make brats on a regular basis, letting encased meat soak in a vat of beer before cooking it wasn’t exactly the first thing that came to mind. So while this might disgrace my Midwestern upbringing, should you really boil brats in beer before grilling them? 

(Via Quinn Myers in MEL Magazine)

One of the theories as to why boiling brats in beer helps is that it makes the collagen in the casing tougher. While that might be true, I don’t know of anyone who eats a brat that says, “Boy, I wish that was tougher!”

Will boiling the brats help them cook faster? Sure. But the beer imparts no flavor to the process. Why? The afore mentioned casing. Modern casings won’t absorb additional flavor any more than old school intestines will. However, particulates and impurities might stick to the casing and that might end up with a tasty char.

If you want to boil brats in advance so they will be cooked through, do it in water.

I’m not a food scientist, so don’t take my word for it. Check out other sources or run a blind test of brats boiled in beer or water and both grilled. See if there’s a difference.

YMMV

“To me, the definition of hell is simple: it is a place where there is no understanding and no compassion. We have all been there. We are acquainted with hell’s heat, and we know that hell is in need of compassion. If there is compassion, then hell ceases to be hell. You can generate this compassion yourself. If you can bring a little compassion to this place, a little bit of understanding, it ceases to be hell. Hell is here, all around us. Your practice consists in generating compassion and understanding and transforming the suffering around us.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

(H/t Patrick Rhone)