Saturday, September 03, 2016

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: It's a Man's Man's Man's World (1966)

Since Labor Day was introduced to celebrate the American worker, we are highlighting the hardest working man in show business: James Brown. Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Before he was able to support himself as a musician, James Brown shined shoes, boxed, picked peanuts and delivered groceries. He admitted he didn't enjoy any of those jobs. What was your least favorite job? When I was a secretary in a huge company. In retrospect, there was little camaraderie among the administrative staff, the men we worked for were all underutilized and so, consequently, were we and not having enough to do can turn a bored staff into a petty staff. I can see that now, with hindsight. At the time, I just knew I hated getting off the train every morning and heading to the office. I used to think it would be preferable to just ride the rails back and forth, back and forth, until 5:00.

2) What job have you enjoyed the most? In the product development division of a haircare company. I did the product packaging and promotional pieces. It was high stress but also great fun.

3) James loved performing and in the mid-60s, played 335-350 dates/year. Do you have time off this weekend? Or will you be working? Saturday is Day 2 of a lovely 4 day weekend.

4) With that grueling schedule, James spent a lot of time on the road. Do you enjoy traveling and staying in hotels? Or are you a homebody who prefers to sleep in your own bed? I love staying in hotels. Crisp white linens and lots of fluffy towels in the shower. And no guilt about just laying around and watching TV, because there's no kitchen sink with dishes to be done and no nearby dining room table filled with mail to be sorted.

5) While Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, millions of Baby Boomers are still part of American labor. Do you think it's easy or hard for people of different generations to work together? Or don't you think age matters? I think age matters, but not specific generations. I'm sure I was once as exasperating to older employees as they now are to me. It just takes a different form. I remember how exhausting it was to deal with "old school" writers and art directors who were reluctant to learn the Mac. Now I'm sure my penchant for file folders filled with hard copies inspires eye rolls.

6) 72% of employers report that they give their employees sick days. Tell us about a time when you called in sick, but weren't. I called in once as the holidays approached, just because I was blue. I was mired in the middle of some family squabbles and was still getting over the then-recent death of my favorite uncle and things were weird at work and ... it was just all weighing me down. The day off gave me an opportunity to recharge and rejuvenate.

7) According to the 2010 Census, 5.9 million Americans regularly work from home. Is working from home something you have/you would enjoy? Or do you benefit from interaction with coworkers? I have to work with my art director. I know there are writers who can just email a manuscript and find making revisions online suitable, but I'm not one of them. I often don't enjoy the creative process -- Thursday afternoon I wanted to sock my art director for being so inflexible -- but I find the face-to-face collaboration does produce a better product.

8) 12% of workers report they prefer to report for work early -- before 7:00 AM -- so they can get more done. Are you a morning person? Ha! I find I work from 10:00 to 6:00, instead of 9:00 to 5:00. This works well for my team since my boss always leaves at 4:30, and my account team can count on having me there even after he's gone for the night.

9) The NFL season starts on September 8. How do you think your team will do this year? Puh-leeze! I'm all Cubs, all the time! We have the best record in all of baseball.