Archive for the ‘ work ’ Category

ok fine… maybe

OK I concede, sometimes my job has its high points… I’m posting this from my new iPod Touch… so ha, suckers!! On wait, I forgot for a moment that I still sit in a cubicle.

autumn in five hundred words or more

Autumn does weird things to me. Autumn is the best season of the year, but I find that I’m generally the most dissatisfied with life during these months. Something about the changing colors of the leaves, the coolness in the air, rainy afternoons, darkness coming earlier. It makes me quiet.

Autumn is the season of time slipping away.I find myself listening to highly emotive music during autumn: Sigur Ros, Fionn Regan, The Frames, the new Radiohead album. This music seems to capture everything I feel, but I can’t tell you what those things are. That’s just between me and the song.

It’s raining right now. I’m sitting at a coffeeshop outside of Chicago. Radiohead’s song “Reckoner” sounds like the sun rising.

I wonder if artists ever give thought to the time of year that they release their albums. Music has a season. Well, I should say, that certain types of music remind you of certain seasons of life. Autumn is not the season of pop music. Autumn is for Sigur Ros, Fionn Regan, The Frames, and the new Radiohead album. This is when they should release their album. Matchbox20 should have waited until summer. But labels don’t think about that – they just want to get it out in time for Christmas so that their stock price goes up and shareholders are happy.

Work has difficult recently. With so much music, much of it sounding the same and mediocre, it’s easy to get jaded. Many of these artists are legit, and they mean what they write, but I’m so far removed from all that that it’s often hard to tell the difference. “Can you get me homepage on iTunes?” I don’t know… maybe… can you make your album not suck?

I think I’ll get some coffee.

I’m not sure what I’m passionate about right now. Some days it’s music, some days it’s climbing mountains. Some days it’s theology, and others it’s… well, whatever… I feel mediocre at a lot of things. I hate mediocrity. I have trouble staying focused on things. Time is slipping away with the autumn and I want to keep moving. I do not want to sit in a cubicle anymore.

I’m in Chicago this weekend helping Beau book some gigs with college campuses. I love talking to the college kids, I wish we had more time to do it. That’s hands on music industry right there.

If I could make some of these side businesses profitable I could easily get passionate about that. They don’t seem to want to be profitable right now. I might be stuck in the cubicle for a while.

I think we should move to Montana, live off the land, and climb mountains.

And study theology.

And write music.

Autumn just makes me feel empty. I’m happy that the colors are changing and that the air is cool, but I don’t feel happy. The rain and darkness do not make me feel sad. It’s just quiet and quiet equals empty, and I’d rather not talk about it. It’s good for a drive, across Indiana – long, flat, boring, endless Indiana, with the rain coming down and Radiohead’s song “Reckoner” playing asking the sun to rise.

a new obsession

Ping-Pong. Wow, what a marvelous game! My company made the poor and unwise decision to invest in a ping-pong table for our third floor “commons” area. It is certainly where I have been spending all of my free time lately.

Now, I grew up with a ping-pong table at my house… and I played a fair bit, but generally against my grandparents, so no true advancement in skill was made in my early years. Over the years I’ve played from time to time, and I’ve gotten quite a bit better. Now, I am certainly nowhere near the skill level of ping-pong extraordinaire Timmy P (and he truly is quite good). Timmy was in Ping-Pong Scouts – had a uniform that he would wear to school all the time. He had these cute little patches that he would sew to the back of his shirt every time he won a tournament. Then in our junior year he decided he wanted to do both Bowling Club and Ping-Pong Scouts, so his ping-pong game started to suffer a bit….. but I digress….

Anyways, so yeah, I’ve been playing a lot of ping-pong lately. I’m mastering my different service styles. I’ve pretty much got my spin under control, and am able to return most spins as well. I need to work on my smash, because that usually goes totally out of control. I’ve been taking on a variety of different people in the building, and am holding my own pretty well. I’m happy to say I’ve been teaching Jon the art of the ping-pong and he is coming along quite nicely… though he needs to learn discretion as to when not to return the ball. 🙂

I want to get an EMI Ping-Pong Tournament going… that’s my goal for the fall.


I hate doing this, but this is a once in a lifetime experience, so please bear with me as I brag just a little bit. My CEO at EMI was kind enough about four weeks ago to nominate me for a feature being run in Billboard Magazine for their annual “30 Under 30” feature, and believe it or not I was chosen! Yeah, that Billboard Magazine – crazy… way crazy. The article features, as they say “30 young rising executives in the music industry from all aspects of the business….” I don’t know if I’m really “rising executive” material, but it was cool to be placed in this bunch. The feature ran in this week’s edition of Billboard (8/24).

So it features everyone from the CEO of Imeem to one of Live Nation’s head talent agents, to the creator of Facebook. I was chosen specifically because I am the account manager for iTunes while representing the largest Christian music company in the industry, and we’ve done a significant amount of work, specifically at iTunes, getting Christian music to a place where it is quite successful in the digital space. Here’s where I need to throw out the qualifier that this stuff is a team effort and I’m given the chance to take credit for a lot of things I had a lot of help on. But it has been fun being around through the beginning of this whole thing… I was working iTunes over three years ago when hardly anyone knew what an iPod was and it was a struggle every week just to make sure our albums went live.

So, there you go. I really never thought I would be quoted in a national magazine. I got to be a quasi-celebrity for a week. Back to normal tomorrow.

words i wish i never had to hear again in the context of work

Crossover Potential
5000 Pound Elephant
Value Add
Drill Down
Core Competencies

What annoys me even more is that I find myself using these ridiculous phrases in conversations during meetings…. WHY OH WHY?!? I disappoint myself.

many of these trees were my friends…

Yesterday EMI Music, the company I work for, restructured and layed off 20% of it’s North American workforce. Crap. There’s no good way to say that. In Nashville we lost almost 30 people in our company of 200.

I feel like Treebeard, one of the Ents from Lord Of The Rings, when he stumbles out of the forest into a clearing and sees all of his young trees chopped up and lying on the ground, and says, “…many of these trees were my friends….” So sad. Work was just not the same today without them.

Some of them had been working at EMI for 10 to 15 years. Some for just a few months. It was like a tornado coming through… a few people here, a few people there, and then they’re gone. It was odd, awkward, and very very foreign. In the midst of it all I almost feel guilty still being here. I just happened to get hired into a division that was growing in sales two years ago, so here I am. As much as work frustrates me many days, I feel very blessed to still have my job.

The fact that the music industry is suffering, and that people are illegally downloading music, became very real yesterday. The growth in sales at services like iTunes is not countering the decline in CD sales. People are getting their music off the internet and burning it from their friends CDs.

And yesterday it cost 30 of my friends their jobs.

Today you should listen to…
Future Of Forestry “You And I

oh, by the way…

I applied for a new job within my company a few weeks ago… actually, it was two months ago, literally. That is point of frustration #1, but oh well… I understand it takes time to decide these things. So I applied for the job – I felt really good about it too – figured I was a perfect candidate, and it was something I was really interested in. Figured I had a good relationship with the guy that was hiring. But in the end I didn’t get the job. I’m ok with that I guess. I was excited about the possibility of something new, but I also appreciate what I have.

But the thing that really frustrates me about all this is the way I found out that I didn’t get it. I was out of the office Thursday and Friday last week, and on Friday I start getting all of these messages from my friends in the office (who knew I had applied) saying that the “new girl” was there and was being introduced to everyone. The guy had never said anything to me… it would have been nice to know I hadn’t gotten the job and get some feedback, but I got nothing. I mean, they probably made the decision two weeks ago – that should have been plenty of time to talk to me. I figured that was standard HR protocol. And then to top it all off, I have a regularly scheduled meeting with this guy at 9:15 this morning, so I walk into the meeting and new girl is there, and he introduces us, plays it off like it’s completely normal, and that’s that – end of story.

Alright, I vented. Now I’m going to write a nice and calm note to HR and then be done with it.