Colane Conundrum

Anything you can do, a computer can do better

My boss called me into his office the other day. “Take a seat,” he said. “I’ve got big news.” My heart jumped. “Is it about that promotion I’ve been asking for?” “Not exactly,” he said, sinking into his chair. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to let you go.” “Oh.” I looked down. “This doesn’t […]

Getting ahead by getting in over your head

“You know, you really should consider buying a house,” said my friend, Wayne, as he looked around my dismal apartment, his lips curled in a condescending sneer. “Now is a terrific time to buy.” “Really?” I said, settling across from him on my grungy couch. “Right now? You mean when inventory is depleted and prices […]

Rallying for all the wrong reasons

My next-door neighbor, Paul, was all grins the other day when we met for drinks after work. “What are you so happy about?” I asked, my head sagging over my gin and tonic. “Well,” Paul said, wearing a huge smile, “I’m not sure if you follow the financial news, but there was a major relief […]

An economy where no one has to work

We live in an ultra-modern, super-high-tech society with instant messaging, social media, visual teleconferencing, desktop screen-sharing and collaborative workspaces. Yet despite all that, it’s still impossible to get a hold of anybody. In my professional career, I don’t think I’ve ever called anyone and actually gotten through. I’ve always been directed to voicemail. This frustration […]

Sick days and substitute teachers 

Substitute-teacher days were always weird. You knew something was off as soon as you walked into class. You could feel it churning in your gut – along with the undercooked corndog you’d eaten for lunch. Some random adult would be standing at the head of the classroom, looking lost and out of place, as if […]

Maybe you should try decluttering your house before listing it for sale

Years ago, I worked in a small real-estate office. One of the agents got a new listing, so she asked me to drop in and take photos. As I dropped in, my jaw dropped. Random junk sat atop every conceivable surface. It looked as if a tornado had struck a knickknack shop. There were dog […]

Seasoned employees don’t use exclamation points

When I compare my work e-mails today to the ones I wrote as a new hire, there’s a noticeable difference. My e-mails today — though friendly — are often brief and to the point. The sentences are simple, and the punctuation is basic. “Hi John. Please send me a copy of the check. Thank you.” […]

Blank pages waiting to be written on

Every time I go to a Dollar Tree or a Big Lots or somewhere like that, I have to buy a spiral-bound notebook. It’s a compulsion. It’s even gotten to where I have to avoid the school supplies aisle in the supermarket. I always end up with a Spiderman or Hello Kitty notebook in my […]

Going the distance – albeit with short bursts of speed

I’m more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner. Actually, let me clarify. When it comes to track, my preferred position is spectator. But if you were to drag me back in time to high school, re-enroll me in my sophomore year, and force me to fulfill my physical-education requirement by taking a semester of […]

An essay of epic proportions

I sat down to write a blog post the other day, and this overwhelming sense of exhaustion draped over me. The idea of piecing together a coherent essay – complete with a gripping lede, a compelling thesis, and a succinct conclusion to tie it all up – seemed daunting and not worth the strain. I […]