February 28

Mastermind Team’s Robcast 215 | Fresh & Full of Life

Nothing gets to you staying fresh, staying cool. With Rob Lee & Dann D in a anime - Dann's not hold a mentosMentos fresh and full of life.

An episode where Rob Lee and Dann D

Dissect 90’s TV singles – Mentos, Bop it, Chicken Tonight and Whatchamacallit to name a few

Discuss the butt-crack bandit

Play a rousing gaming of “new challenger”.

Remember mtrthenetwork is available on Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Podbean | Stitcher

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February 28

Black Panther | A Celebration of (Black) Excellence

You want to talk about a grand slam. This felt like the grand slam in the bottom of the 9th inning 2 outs and down by three.  This won the game and created a legacy of its own. Funny thing is, this film has been in the theaters for a matter of days and we are seeing numbers we would see a Star Wars film appear for a movie about an African King. Fucking Incredible.  I honestly have no clue where to start talking about this film.  Marvel films have been a juggernaut for a decade now delivering on films of different heroes and comic arcs. For me, Captain America Winter Solider was the greatest Marvel film to date. Cap 2 was able to blend the genre of a generic Comic Book film to a political thriller. The film even took risk and it payed off big time, delivering Marvel’s best film and one of the greatest comic book films ever. Since then, Marvel has been a mix bag for me.  Examining their current phase, Phase 3 has been ok for me.  From films that are good but not great (Spiderman-Homecoming, Doctor Strange), that are good but flawed (Civil War, Thor 3) to great in theory but meh in execution (Guardians of the Galaxy 2). Phase 3 has not impressed until Black Panther arrived. Black Panther actually move past Winter Solider for me in terms of best Marvel films, that is how great this film is. Seeing it in theaters four times (going on five now) is something I rarely do for any film.  There is nothing wrong with this film from the incredible cast and crew behind it, the soundtrack, and score were phenomenal and the topics this film covered made me forget this was a Disney film. Ryan Coogler delivered big time with this film.

Black Panther follows the events of Civil War where Prince T’Challa comes following the death of his father/king T’Chaka to anointed King of the fictional nation in Africa, Wakanda.  T’Challa prepares to take handle a burden of responsibilities and have a major dilemma that will alter the fate of Wakanda for the near future.  Right off the bat, I have to talk about the cast in this film. Chadwick Boseman was perfect for T’Challa/Black Panther. T’Challa has always been a hard character to write in comics because he is virtually perfect. Boseman channels the king well as a man who wants to honor tradition and as someone who distraught by the consequences from the actions of his father and past kings/queens of Wakanda. T’Chaka told T’Challa have a great supporting casts behind him and man did he.  Angela Basset plays the Queen Ramonda the mother of T’Challa and his sister Shruri (played incredibly well by Letitia Wright). Basset does great as she usually do but it is her daughter Shruri is the member of the Royal family that is the scene-stealer here. Shruri is incredible in the film she brings the comedy (which is not overbearing) and the brains of the film. She is going to be a massive inspiration to kids abroad. At the age of 16, Shruri brings Tony Stark to shame in terms of innovative and downright brilliance. The women in this film in general dominate. Lupita Nyong’o plays Nakia (who actually becomes a villain in the comics) as the (sort of?) love interests but with a twists. She is the one turning T’Challa down in the film and brining question to the tradition of Wakanda.  Instead of being damsel in distress, she is the one saving folks from harm and taking charge when needed (TAKE NOTES ON HOW TO WRITE WOMEN IN MOVIES).  Speaking of taking charge, I left her for last because she deserves all the praise here. Danai Gurira good God she was amazing here.  Gurira plays Okoye, leader of the Dora Milaje (an all-female special force unit whose task is protecting their king) and almost every scene she is in she owns it. Danai must have saw Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman said thank you and went to work here.  Okoye was a blast to watch in this film she was fearless, noble, and knew when to talk.  Her dynamic with Nakia in the film plays a major role in this film as well as the overall tone of the film.  The women in this film deserve all the praise coming their way they brought it big time.

As for the villain in this film, FINALLY Marvel got it right and man did they get it right (this honestly deserve a deeper analysis than what I am about to do and will probably write it eventually). Michael B Jordan’s Erick Killmonger (In this film his last name is Stevens) is one of the best villains I have seen in a long time. This is not due to the underperforming villains of recent years either. He is has a reason to be the way he is, each line he drops could be a quotable for a social media post or t-shirt idea.  He symbolizes anger but in a place that has yet to be resolved in films period and the fact Disney let Coogler go there…..Bravo.  Killmonger is a product of his past but it is not crutch to him at all in fact the accomplishments he have under his name is damning and most will look past this but it needs to be brought up his past was more than what transpired in one scene it is his whole backstory that is fascinating. Killmonger is breath of fresh air for villains. There are so many arguments he makes are hard to refute, even T’Challa himself have a hard time disagreeing with him. He makes T’Challa challenge tradition and himself on what it will take for Wakanda to grow and evolve.  His stance on colorism is one of the most heart endearing aspect of the film. Each scene with him, you want to learn more about him, but you can see his side of the coin.  Great Villains always make the heroes they face better and in this film, T’Challa grows to become a better king, but it also bring up a real life issue to be addressed in a manner we have yet seen.  Again Bravo Marvel!

This film is a damn masterpiece the fact my only issue with this film was the fact I wished this film was 15 minutes longer for selfish reasons. Coogler and his crew knocked this film out of the park.  Ruth Carter costume designs are some of the best costumes created in a film. Hell, I want to buy some of T’Challa’s gear if it was possible. Wakanda is beautiful and thank god it tears away from the Africa is a “shithole” (this is still a cringe worthy quote by the President 45) Continent. Despite Wakanda being fictional, it does display a world where anyone would love to visit. To the members of the VFX team for brining Wakanda to life, I salute you.  Thank you for brining color to Marvel; seriously, the color scale in Marvel films can be a little dull in some films.  Ludwig Göransson composed the score for this film and what an incredible this was. Ludwig actually traveled to Senegal to and used their local musicians to record the soundtrack.  My favorite composed movie soundtrack since Man of Steel.  Even Kendrick Lamar had a Superfly moment and curated a movie soundtrack for this film as well. Both delivered great soundtrack that are worth listening to right now.  Which lead us back to Ryan Coogler, who is now 3 for 3 for great films. Coogler proved he belongs in discussion for great young directors. The fact he is only 31 is incredible and I am 100% interested in his next project.  Coogler brought energy to this film and gave this film a message that was refreshing for a Marvel. Marvel allow Coogler to make this film a FUBU (for us, by us) film, they let him create a message that Black people will relate to alongside its hero.

The issues in these films is that the ideologies of both the hero and the villain tends to lean one side over the other. However, this film made the line blurred. Killmonger and T’Challa battle of the minds using their fists is not anything new but they reason of these minds facing off has never been this fascinating.  Killmonger being somewhat of revolutionary ready to take what was stolen from us compared to T’Challa whose lifelong obligation is to the people of Wakanda and establishing the order there.  The way this conflict ends is one of the more beautiful, tear jerking moments in the films.

I must admit I cried at the ending more than once.  Reading about Black Panther around the age of 13, I never thought this day would come. I remember the failed Wesley Snipes attempt at bringing the character to life only for filmmakers to sway the material a different way and I mean DIFFERENT. The ending of this film bring us back to full circle of the film and present the world a new hero to inspire to be. Finally, I have to witness one of Marvel’s most underappreciated characters in mainstream media to make a debut worth applauding. This is not just another Marvel movie; this was an event unlike anything before. This was a celebration of blackness and a celebration of Comic book cinema.  Where the previous films I reviewed laid the groundwork (good or bad) for a film like Black Panther to grow.  The box office has responded to this film in a way no one imagined as it is on pace become a Billion dollar film which along with the records it has already broke will be a feat unheard of a decade ago.

I have no idea what this will means for the film industry, no one knows what will happen really. Hollywood can look at this as a blimp on the radar and there will be another #oscarsowhite moment or even worse, a Gods of Egypt catastrophe.  This film could finally open the eyes of Hollywood and show them that diversity in films is huge and people will respond to films that care about the culture it attempting to represent.  Mad Max Fury Road and Wonder Woman’s success led to a rise in female led action films to varying results (wished it did the same for female directors leading them). Where Black Panther success will lie is the future it help molds. (Please everyone go see Wrinkle in Time and support Ava for the same reason as Black Panther).  Black Panther may or may not be the reason of change, but this film provided a historic moment that no one thought would happen. This a celebration for us to remember and rejoice in the moment.  A love letter to comic book fan and a reason to feel kids of color to be proud of representation done right.

Marvel, Black Panther, Kilmonger, Wakanda forever,Marvel, Black Panther, Kilmonger, Wakanda forever,Marvel, Black Panther, Kilmonger, Wakanda forever,Marvel, Black Panther, Kilmonger, Wakanda forever

 

Bow to the King and WAKANDA FORVER.

 

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February 28

Robservations | Four Letter Words

Hey maaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaan. Rob Lee here and I have something on my mind – “4 Letter Words”. Now I know what you’re thinking? This has been covered by George Carlin and others but I’m thinking of the other types of “4 Letter Words” that have power. Within the agreed upon reality, these aren’t vulgar words they’re words you’ll read every day, say every day and hear every day. I’ve give you 2 of my most confounding 4 Letter Words.

LOVE

So, I’m starting off rather big here. Love is often misused – love is uncommon but we’re too familiar with it. We use it to describe a feeling in the same what we’d say “shit” or “fuck” whilst committing a faux-pas. Love is too complicated to use as often as we do. Love is often conflated with extreme like or specialness – conditional affection. Love is rare and pretty incomprehensible. It should hit you – “Like Damn, I love her.” I’ve felt love and have been in love 4 times in my life and none of those times were with burritos. I really do like burritos, though.

HATE

Hate is similar to love to me. But I think we don’t give it it’s due. People are capable of both love and hate. Hate, however, is normalized especially here and now. The sheer fact that “Hate Groups” exist is insane. But maybe it’s not really hate since we don’t treat it as such. Maybe we’re looking at them as just ignorant or unfamiliar and violent. The people in these groups are vile, horrible people but hate is very deep routed. Further, I think hate is intimate. Often, I hear people say I hate this person or this thing but have never met the person or have specious knowledge of the thing. People say hate like love when the mean something else.

What do you think? Did I cover this properly or would you want to add something more? Email me at mtrthenetwork@gmail.com

 

R

 

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February 28

Robservations | Lightweight Racism

They’re not alternative they’re just black folks – it’s like marketers want Afropunk to be a demo instead of something organic.

 

Hey maaaaaaaan, Rob Lee here and I have something on my mind – lightweight racism. Check it – Racism happens every day – it’s deplorable. Many people think it’s bad when it’s out and in the open like a visceral, almost cartoon villainy sort of racism. I prefer that version of racism – it’s like the movie “They Live” sans the glasses. I like to judge people on their merits regardless of any other factor. Do I slip outside of that value? Hell yes I do and often. Am I racist? No. But those bias, compounded, paint a picture and, over time, become one’s feelings. I work hard not to allow that to fester – I try to detach myself and work under the idea that I know nothing. As a black male, I find myself in many quasi-racial situations. Here are a few that I observed.

News Anchors

I try to not watch the news – it stinks! It’s bad for you – stress and injustice run rampant in news reporting with a few minutes of fluff and non-stress inducing news. There is some tech discussion and medical news but mostly shit. The one thing that I notice is when there’s the smooth brother – he’s presented as a token. I watch him and he’s a decent reporter but he’s almost a puppet. I black face saying, presenting and operating like a white male. It’s the news equivalent of “Get Out”. It’s strange to me – suddenly the black guy is mad corny. I’m not saying that because he’s black that he’s gotta have flavor. No, not at all. It just doesn’t seem authentic. Further, peep Don Lemon since Trump has been in office – his normally closely, corny black guy cropped hair has been replaced with a big of a light afro. I see that shit. It’s light weight racism because news anchors to many is where we get our news and information – so if we’re looking at some corny but that looks like us we’re confused, annoyed or in some pockets inspires – that’s the way we should act. It’s like searching for the white man’s love and their comfort.

Office Culture

I’ve spoken about office culture at length on Robservations but here’s something that I have really covered. So, I’ve almost always worked with white folks – that’s not uncommon. I’ve heard so many white people microaggressions that one’s head would spin. I am pensive. I observe, inventory and move on. Many people would react. For instance, I work with white women and they aren’t great leaders – they lead by fear and intimidation via e-mail and work edicts. They ignore common courtesy. However, that same energy isn’t there in the streets or even in the super market. They’re afraid of what I as a black man represent. I’ve actually seen a senior level office peer who shops at the same high-priced store – she was sporting white girl cornrolls – she saw me, refused to acknowledge me. We were both buying cheese. I saw her the next day at work and she had her normal office energy. I think it’s a cycle of attempting to break black people. Conform or leave. It’s not inherently racist because it’s not cartoony but it’s racist because culturally the message is you’re not good enough as is – as is happens to be black or a person of color. In addition, how many white guys have I noticed who answer with “yo” or try to be extra cool – cringy cool around black guys? Tons.

TV Executives

This one is recent – that Donald Glover interview. So, Donald mentioned his picture for making Atlanta and the only way the word ‘nigga’ could be used is if a white character could say it. Imagine that. The gull of executive telling someone who’s black and writing a black show that he had to allow an ancillary white character to say ‘nigga’. It’s strange. The executives, likely white, knows what’s best for the black audience. Atlanta’s audience is 50% black. Granted executives know their work and their audience but how do they know when they typically don’t have the experiences of a specific ethnic group. Representation matters and even behind the scenes. You don’t want a monolithically monochromic melaninless group making all the decisions. Just take notice when black people are written they don’t seem black – they don’t feel authentic.

Alt Blacks

Lastly, Alt black people. They’re my people but why aren’t they just black. Who’s determining their alternativeness? They dress weird, like art and attend Afropunk. They’re not alternative they’re just black folks – it’s like marketers want Afropunk to be a demo instead of something organic. To say they’re alternative suggests that they don’t fit into the black mold. That’s ludicrous! What black mold? Where are the alt-white – the closest thing to that is the alt-right and white people quickly distance themselves from those dicks. I associate myself with alt-black that I reject the typical banality, our lot in life. A lot that was created, programmed without our consent and well before we came along. Alt black are free to be whoever, love whoever and do whatever.

 

R

 

Did you like this? Let me know in the comments below or at mtrthenetwork@gmail.com

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February 27

Mastermind Team’s Robcast 214 | The Grower & Shower

An episode where Rob Lee & Dann D cover stories across the multiverse including bacon being thrown at muslims, Fergie ruining the national anthem and Spiderman.

MTR The Network blesses you with the #godsofpod, Rob Lee & Dann D, every week.

For More Mastermind Team’s Robcast, follow us on Twitter @mtrpodcasts, and subscribe to our podcasts, here.

February 26

Hancock | A tale of 2 films

I really do not know what to make of this film. One minute I think the film is fine, then I see the glaring issues right behind it.  The beginning of this film worked really well, but then we got to the twist and that god-awful third act, I think this will be another film. There is so much that film to fail to offer from what was initially going well.  Will Smith plays John Hancock an alcoholic superhero (A parody of Superman if we are being honest here) who does not have memories of who he is and is frustrated of the world he lives in.  He screws up a lot often causing more damage than saving people (Something Zach Snyder failed to learn in Man of Steel). Hancock initially saves a PR consultant by the name of Ray Embrey played by Jason Bateman; which led to Embrey wanting to rehabilitate Hancock’s image as a Superhero. Seems like an easy plot with a story that can develop two characters in the process. Hancock learning and understanding humanity and Embrey discovers his blind optimism can create a change once he learns how to understand how life works. I personally love Bateman’s character in this film. I think he does a great job as the ignorant youthfully optimistic Embrey and takes that character to a familiar yet interesting route. Smith’s Hancock is great too in fact; I was shocked watching this at first, he stayed away from the charismatic person he has always been in films. He did have the occasional fun spots like never call Hancock an asshole, NEVER.  That remained a constant trend for Smith until the 2016 film Focus (I still like that movie, fight me).

 

However, the film takes an immediate turn once we get to see Charlize Theron’s character, Mary realize secrets of her own. I will not spoil her character arch but yeah it was umm interesting.  Mary is Ray’s wife and she knows quite a few things about Hancock. What made the twist and eventually change in narrative fail overall is how bad the execution was. Theron and Smith’s dynamic was not as fun, which is sad, considering how great both of them are at their craft. Theron is an incredible actress but she felt misplaced here.  The change in plot did her no favors and the same can be said for Bateman who took a backseat to Theron and Smith awkward on screen encounters. The villain was forgettable as well. Writing this review, I literally forgot about the villain in this film and I am writing a few hours after watching the film.

 

The third act of this film has to be one of the worst I have seen in a comic book film so far (The worst still goes to this god-awful which also stars Will Smith). The plot completely changes again and this time it completely killed the film for me. What started as a comedy/parody on superhero films made a dramatic turn that was so unnecessary it ultimately killed any joy I had in the film itself.  There was a good film here, an honest yet simple critique of Hero’s and the ones who admire them but we lose that film half way through for something unnecessary. What made the first act great was the dynamic between Smith and Bateman, but as soon as they moved away from one another the film suffered.  Charlize Theron deserved better and eventually do in a much better film.  Hancock is a film that split itself into two films one was worth seeing where the story would lead to, the other was worth not seeing at all.

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February 26

Robservations | Time

Hey Maaaaan, Rob Lee here and I have something on my mind. Time, not in the broad sense, in the micro, right now, affecting the macro sense.  Allow me to delve a bit and as always, these blogs are just a stream of consciousness, my musings on a particular thought. These thoughts may be things I visit over and over again as my feelings on the subject or perspective evolve. So please bare with me.

TIME’s Ticking

Have you ever had this feeling that the Jack Bauer clock is constantly in the overlay of your life? If you answered yes, then you’re a lot like me. During period of stress I constantly feel like the clock is ticking. This clock usually isn’t one that I manufacture – it’s one given to me whether it’s by a job or external forces, friends, lovers or even state-appointed officials. It’s a dreadful and unsavory feeling – I do things my own way and I’m always on task but these deadlines inspire a feeling that I’m cramming for a test that I know I’ll fail. It’s anxiety evoking – like I know that I need to get whatever it is done and in that haste, regardless of how familiar I am with a process, I may, like any human, make a mistake, so now I’m behind and the dread of screwing up again and not making the deadline are now a tag team – this is a handicap match. It is the worst. Back to the clock, the manufacturer creates a metric of how quickly this is to get done and you’re expected to work within the parameters created. These parameters, interestingly enough, don’t factor in many things such as in a work environment a system going down or in a real life scenario an address changing resulting in a person not reserving an important letter. It’s all very punitive and no one is around to help – you’re expected to get it done and before deadline. The time is always ticking.

TIME’s Up

Another thing about time that’s always on my mind is the end of it. The buzzer sounds and that’s the end of regulation. The relief of reaching the ending of a particularly stress period, the sadness of the end of time with a person or the constant, shared knowledge of the end of being. The end of being has always shared me. Kevin Smith is a film maker and podcast – he’s one of the main reasons I gave podcasting a shot and that I still do it. I see some of things he’s done such as Tusk and various ventures that came about from podcasting. That inspires me and he’s a hero to me for that and his films. He recently had a massive heart attack and nearly died before performing stand-up. I was a gut punch to me – reality setting in. I read over his Instagram post about his fear of dying like is dad did prior. That always stuck with me. One thing that he wrote from his hospital bed was not wanting his life to end but appreciating it was a gift. That’s awesome perspective. Perspective that I think is missed often and it inspires me – to take chances, value to the people in my life and to recognize that one day my time will be up. When that clock is winding down and I’m taking inventory of my life – will it matter, will it be a gift?

 

R

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February 24

Crown City Cooking | The Real Thing Review

It’s noon on the east coast and while dozens of students and state employees scour the streets for a quick meal, I am sitting comfortably at my favorite sub shop watching it all pass by in a blur. I have very specific wants and needs when craving a cheese steak. Call me a diva if you want, but you can’t just go to any hole in the wall sub shop thinking it’ll work out. No, I need the best of the best and that special somewhere is located right around the corner from my day job.

The Real Thing is run by two foreign gentlemen with big hearts and a passion for creating remarkable carry-out food. Their signature dish: a 8’ cheese steak that will make you reevaluate your life. The secret (in my opinion) to this sub is the way they chop the meat. Pillowy doesn’t even begin to describe how light this cheese steak feels. While I pride myself on dressing my meals with an assortment of condiments, all you really need at The Real Thing is lettuce and a standard amount of mayo, the overall flavor of the beef mixed with fresh provolone does all the heavy lifting. They do offer an assortment of add-ons but all you really need is the meat and cheese.

The Real Thing is open 7 days a week in Towson. If you’re like me and have too much to deal with in your working life, TRT caters to the bar/late night crowd with a 11 am to 3 am schedule Thursdays thru Saturdays. While I’ve seen many random eateries come and go in this part of town, it’s safe to say The Real Thing isn’t going anywhere. Check them out with a friend so you have someone to revel with after finishing an entire sub. Because yes, you really had to eat the whole thing.

-CCC

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February 23

Catwoman and Blade Trinity | UUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Neither of these films deserve a review. My intelligence was insulted watching both of them. One for being hot pile of shit (Catwoman) and the other killing their franchise due to ego (Blade 3).  There is much wrong in both of these films I do not known where to start. To hell with a summary, neither film deserves it.  I only put these films together because I thought it would be easier to shit on both of them equally.  Yes, I reviewed Steel but Steel at least had some heart to it and flair. These two films either tried too hard to be funny or was embarrassing to sit through. To me, these films never existed and it will remain that way.  So, let’s get this over with.

Catwoman……good god was this shit awful. I can make a 30 page list on everything wrong with this film (I really got to 27) but I’ll go to 10 to be nice.

  1. No Selina Kyle new character named Patience Phillips sigh
  2. Hallie Berry hasn’t the last time to stop taking CBM roles
  3. This fucking scene
  4. 2004 Sharron Stone as 2004 Sharron Stone
  5. The plot is stupid
  6. This the directors 2nd film his first was a flop and his name is Pitof
  7. This film took 11 years to make 11!!!!!!!!
  8. The CGI made Spawn look like fucking Avatar
  9. Each fight scene gave me a headache
  10. EVERYONE PLAYS A STEROTYPE

This literally the worst CBM of all time there’s redeemable about it. Even the music in this film makes me want to throw up. Burn this movie BURN IT TO THE GROUND and never let it comeback. Hallie Berry said it best accepting her Razzie for this film First of all, I want to thank Warner Brothers. Thank you for putting me in a piece of shit, god-awful movie… It was just what my career needed.” At least she’s a good sport.  Sidenote THIS was the 1st black female led CBM. UGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH

 

Blade Trinity where I do begin with this film, oh wait I’ll let Patton Oswalt tell you instead.

 

Remember when I said Goyer is the problem 3 strikes and you screwed it all up Congratulations. Let’s play 10 list game

  1. Snipes is not the movie long at all
  2. Whistler will they won’t they ends with a pointless kill scene
  3. Dracula is in this and played by the boring one from prison break
  4. Ryan Reynolds ab libbbing jokes
  5. This line
  6. Jessica Biel being the only one who seems like she’s trying
  7. HHH licking dogs
  8. Parker Posey looks even more dead
  9. The action sucks
  10. What happened to the blood bank

Seriously what the hell happened here.  I never knew why Del Toro left after 2; I guess it was to direct Hellboy but man he was missed here.  David S Goyer has no business directing films and this film showed why. None of these actors wanted to be here. I will give it credit being the most enjoyable out of these 2 films but that is where line is drawn. Blade 3 had issues up and down from a narrative point to humans finally learning about vampire and it goes away with no resolution. This does not get and it shows.

 

Both films deserve a dumpster to put them in to never be seen again.  I am ready for the next film now.

 

 

 

 

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February 22

Robservations | Office Culture

Hey maaaaaan. Rob Lee here and I have something on my mind – office culture. I’ve worked many places during my 33 years. More than half of that time, it’s been spent working. It’s a weird system – check it – I started to work at 15 years old, my retirement age – this pre-planned metric of one’s usefulness to keep the capitalism monster is 62 or 65. It’s like being indebted to trade 50 years of your life to work hopefully most of that time at a place you like – a place you enjoy. Unfortunately, most of us endure. I send 4 years of my life in college learning the foundation of business etiquette, corporate culture and so on. Some of its applicable but a lot of it varies from place to place in my experience. Look at it like baseball – the game is played similarly from team to team with nuance. Nuance is important.

Where this not that

So more to my observation on office culture or corporate culture. I’ve always, to at least a small degree recognized it’s a bullshit code of conduct created by people you’ll never see. For instance, what’s business formal and business casual? What does that have to do with my acumen as an accountant. If the best accountant wore jorts would that be unaccusable? It’s for someone else, it has little to do with the job. It’s part of the culture – “Here at workfirm we have casual Friday.” Right, sure – they’re defining ‘casual’ for us. What if casual for me is to wear Onitsuka Tigers and a Dashiki? That would unacceptable. It doesn’t fit office culture or office dynamics yet has nothing to do with the actual job. The office clothing generally goes trousers and a shirt for men. It’s strange for women as all types of sexual bullshit is filtered through. I’ve worked at places that have a light policy for women wearing dresses only. That’s wack! Pantsuits, however, are wacker.

Co-workers

We’ve all seen shitty people, that’s someone’s coworker, someone’s boss and that’s someone’s client. They suck. Imagine working in an office comprised of 100 or 200 hundred of these jerks. Describe these jerks? Sure. Let’s start with the boss – this person may be the benefactor of nepotism or is someone fighting the glass ceiling. Full disclosure most of my managers have been women – out of the 10 I’ve had only two were complete assholes. I can accept an asshole but if you’re not good at your job and make mistakes but are hyperbolic about the mistakes of others, you’re not a good manager. That’s a culture thing – usually jobs don’t have one or two bosses that exhibit these qualities – they have many – it’s engrained in the managerial training and cultivated by senior management behind closed doors because lord forbid they look like a megalomaniac in front of their team. They’re no coaches. Next up, the client – they’re usually uninformed but have timelines or some idea what they want but they must know exactly what they want. It’s like that old adage of garbage in, garbage out. Here’s the thing: they permeate stress – everything is a hair on fire emergency. They have minimal structure but know a “deliverable” needs to be delivered. Just imagine being around these people every day – it would make you dread going to work and loving the weekend. It fuels the beast – buying shit for convenience and long vacations – things to numb you from stress. Also, you have to navigate through everyone’s emotions and how they’ll impact you while their being only a façade of concern for your life, feelings, and most crucial for you job, workload.

Stress

Office culture usually has something about performance – these are crazy people telling you that you’re worth this or that. I had a closed-door argument with a boss who basically said I wasn’t manageable and they next week she wrote my performance review and expressed how I’m very flexible and a joy to work with. How Sway? There are probationary periods – those are anxiety producing. Granted some people are derelict of duty – but many of these decisions are based in ‘fit’ and ‘adaptability’. Can you fit into this shitshow for your pittance? Hell no, in most instances. If someone doesn’t like you – you can lose your
job and that has nothing to do with actual work performance. Jobs are also so haphazard at times with an influx of meeting and schedules that conflict but are essential. Also, let’s not forget the hours. Often, I’ve worked as a salaried employee – they moderate big bucks – those bucks however are based on 40-hours – the work week standard however that $50k a year job equates to about $26 per hour while let’s say working 50-hour weeks at that rate turns into $21 hours. That’s a nice drop. What’s your time worth? What’s your life worth?

Anything else you can think of? Drop me a line at mtrthenetwork@gmail.com – put ‘Robservations’ in the subject

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