'What's normal at your work that would blow anyone else's mind?'


From an old life of mine doing political operations and campaigns:

Nothing happens 'by accident'. Even for the most minor event or tour, someone's been in contact with the organisers for two weeks, and has been on-site for three days already briefing anyone and everyone. That spontaneous person coming forward to give the candidate flowers? Pre-approved and vetted. The everyman-esque ordering of a coffee while the tour bus has an impromptu stop?

The store manager knew the bus was coming, and what everyone would be ordering (how do you think there was parking for two buses and a security entourage?). The forklift that just happens to be blocking anyone from getting a photograph from an angle that would show how few people are present in a venue? Not parked there by accident. The training class that the candidate just visited? It doesn't usually happen on this day, and the last one ran two months ago. The local guy in jeans who's standing at the back and clapping enthusiastically, but maybe not staring at the stage? He's the professional who put this on, and is already thinking of where his next event is.


Confessions of a former investment banker:

1. While presentation and advice appear sophisticated and precise, you really don't want to see how the sausage was made. Opinions range from educated guesses to made-up-stuff frequently masquerading as facts and well-researched advice. I've seen and performed my fair share of number fudging/massaging to justify a conclusion.

2. The reality is you will say anything to get a deal done. I once advised a client on acquiring a business. A few years later, I advised the same client to divest the business. You can always find some way to justify a deal.

Henry Wong

Working with pornography is not a pleasurable experience. My job was as a 'Describer'... I would watch the videos all day long, take screenshots, and then try to write the most enticing copy that I could.

Most people would say half-jokingly to me that it must be fun to get paid for watching porn all day long. But then they're shocked when I tell them that as a describer, you're in no control of what kind you get to watch. And we had to watch it all – everything that's legal in America, and sometimes stuff that wasn't legal but which slipped through the cracks anyway, and which we had to report. I'll leave it up to your imagination. I had quite an anthropological education that year.

Thea Pilarczyk

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