01 January 2021

Question Everything

Post Pandemic, Continue Asking Why Do We Work the Way We Do.

A.K.A. – Don’t throw out the ham ends…

As this pandemic forces us to do our jobs in different ways, let’s hope we hold on to the efficient ways when we come out of this. You may have heard of the baked ham story. The one where the two ends of a ham are cut-off because the oven was too small to accommodate the ham so it had to be put in a smaller pan. Then, generations later as the famous family recipe was handed down, the “tradition” of cutting off the two ends of the ham continued. Nobody asked why. Maybe family members made up elaborate assumptions on how it affected the flavor or they had pure blind-integrity thinking. (But think of all those discarded ham ends that never got a chance to help clog arteries – a shame, really). It’s a good story to ask why and to also make a habit of doing it regularly. As a person who gets an involuntary eye spasm every time I see inefficiency, I have a small breath of relief seeing how companies and people are getting smarter in how they get their work done in light of the Shelter-In-Place. So for the love of Gilbreth (that is, Frank Bunker Gilbreth, famous efficiency expert, continue asking “why, why, why” and not contribute to my daytime REM cycle, eye-twitching.

For jobs not requiring physical presence, no one expects the amount of remote working to go back as it was before the virus hit. That would be like reliving teen acne – its awkward, takes a lot of energy and you still need to go to school.

The most common thing I’ve been hearing is because there can be no desk-drive-bys from others disrupting your work, people are getting more done. There’s some data that says that for each time we’re interrupted we lose 20 minutes of productivity and throughout the day we could lose 1 to 2 hours of work. People HR says it’s twice that.

My advice is to practice finding ways to say, “dude, it’ll have to wait”. This will give yourself back that time you need to get your shite done that ultimately would allow you to enjoy a bourbon and slice of pie at home and squeeze-in another episode of Peaky Blinders. Introverts, take heed in this helpful article and avoid an Introvert Hangover.

Social connection certainly needs to make a comeback as much as Jello Pudding Pops (yes, I know I could make them but the R.O.E (Return On Enjoyment) is very low). And the social scarcity caused by the pandemic has impacted many people to the extent of Caution Fatigue reaching beyond rational levels of social-distancing.

I’ve even heard stories of drive-by birthdays, with all good SIP-intentions, turn into a three-hour party on the front lawn of the intended birthday girl (a-hem! [insert visored-hand over eyes to avoid judgement here]).

The point is that we all have varying degrees of being in the company of others. We all need it. And you know this, ma’an! [said in the voice of Smokey from the movie Friday]. So to keep this in check, post-pandemic, let employees choose how they spend time with their co-workers socially in the event that remote work gets increased. Let it be an organic, grass-roots, low cost thing. And never let it be forced and reach a level of exhaustion. 

There's only one of you. Adapt to allow for the space you need: mentally, physically and physically.

Photo from

For many, the lockdown has helped reduce stress but for those with kids requiring home-schooling, the stress to get their work done has increased even more. You might miss being the squirrel that you once were; scurrying to get out the door, hopping in and out of lanes on your commute, then zig-zagging to meetings all over town or within your campus. If you do, you’ve got other issues ;). But even if you enjoy no longer being the squirrel, all business inefficiencies should be questioned. For those who need to be in the office either because it’s required, or you’re more impactful in-person, or just need to – for their own sanity, I hear you and you gotta do what you gotta do.

And what about the focus time needed to think and process? This is becoming a newly appreciated realization. But let me ask you this: regardless of how much your job requires you to be in the office, how much downtime to think and process do you require to be impactful on a daily basis? (I’m gathering this information in this three minute survey, so please take this if you can – you may even get a Bourbon and Pie sticker for your contribution. One never knows ;)).

But whatever the case, use the oxygen mask metaphor and put yours on first (AND BREATH) before tackling challenges take you away from the task at hand.

And with all of these areas mentioned, question everything. Constantly. Make it your new habit. Or just keep passing down that same old ham recipe.

07 June 2020

Be Kind Out There

Inciting Violence Is Not Progress

The outrage is just. But violence? Shouldn’t we have flying cars by now and be communicating to each other via telepathic waves while in our Utopian communities? We’re still doing this? Hurting others, looting or destroying local businesses is like stabbing yourself in your own leg – you’re gonna have a hard time walking for awhile, and it’s a setback you could’ve avoided. My inclination is to assume that the majority of the people protesting are not there to flip over cars – but perhaps some got caught up in the social norms of the mob. Be smart. This is not what you’re about and you know this.

We Are All Important

And for those out there protesting for all good intentions – bless you to care enough and take action rather than frivolously posting famous quotes from MLK, Gandhi and others and sit behind a computer screen (like I’m doing now ;)). Stay strong and above those police officers who would choose to “Neglect and to unnerve.” Rather than “To protect and to serve”.

A woman in Omaha stands bravely and peacefully as police shoot projectiles and tear gas.

Peace Officers, Tell Us Your Stories

And if you’re one of the well-intended men and women of law enforcement who are in it for the right reasons and act with integrity, share your perspectives and stories and why you got into law enforcement to serve peace and protect others. We all want to know there are still some Frank Serpico’s out there – those who have integrity. I know there are good cops because they are my friends and family, literally. They are no Chauvin’s or Jonathan Silva’s who abuse their power, have no self-restraint or racist words or actions. So if you haven’t yet, share something that shows that you are not this picture of police brutality or racism that is being exploited at this moment.

Weed Out The Bad Cops

As for those “bad apples” in law-enforcement, let’s get cracking on them. Here’s some resources that could help you take action:


Look up “Brady lists” : The name, taken from a 1963 Supreme Court ruling, Brady v. Maryland, these are lists that District attorney offices across the state keep of officers who have been identified as potentially problematic witnesses. The reasons that may include information about past dishonesty or other bad behavior of the cops involved in the case. But they’re not always complete and can miss cops who were hired after past jobs in other counties. This is our “Megans Law” list, if you want to stand in question of an officer in your area.

Look up Senate Bill 1421 : This gives the public the right to see certain records relating to police misconduct and serious uses of force. You can now request these records under the Public Records Act (“PRA”) — a law that gives the public the right to see the non-confidential documents of our state and local government agencies.

BLM Keep Going! Be Positive. Be Constructive.

So if you’re supporting Black Lives Matter and already doing what you can with your posts, great. And if you are taking a stance, go beyond words and do something, be a part of something that contributes to positivity. Like the organization Corporate Accountability. Take your resourcefulness, creativity and energy to contribute to a positive cause that is actually doing something other than violence.

As astrophysicist Tom Chi mentioned in a Ted Talk that knowledge and knowing, limits you to learn more. Because you’ve settled. In this context, having a point of view without considering new data is only going to inhibit an understanding of each other. But this is ok if you’re one of those who still think the world is flat. Uh yeah, don’t know what to say to you.

But if you believe in a flying cars and a Utopian Society, you can help make that possibility a reality.

Chris Escobar is a coach for introverts and also enjoys helping teams become efficient. He resides in San Jose California with his amazing wife Boom Boom, two almost-automous teenagers: Zolie and Evanusky, and sassy Bichon, Lola.

06 June 2020

Time Tools

Weather you’re like Frank Sinatra with few regrets or have many like Charlie Sheen, (assuming he does), are some of your regrets haunting you in a constant-reminder way? That is, when your work is impacted through multiple “re-do’s” because you feel you could have prevented the extra work, are you learning, or falling into the same patterns?

02 September 2019


You’ve heard it – your worst enemy is you. Yes, that person staring you in the face as you brush your teeth when you get up in the morning (or evening, for Vampires). You can’t run but you can do something about it. Unwrap the untrue and get on with your day (and life).

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