I have morning sickness. When I wake up it hits me. Not the nausea, the memory. The memory of what lies ahead hits me first. Then the nausea strikes.

Not so long ago I used to wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to face the day, with a chirpy ‘good morning, world’. Now I wake up already tired from restless sleep and the thought of the day ahead. Another day worrying about money. Another day reduced to thinking about work – looking for, applying for, hoping for.

As my day gains momentum, my morning sickness weakens and my optimism strengthens. Yet I remain on guard all day, because, like real morning sickness, mine can strike at any time.

So throughout the day I force myself to relax and to smile at my remaining clients so that my nervousness doesn’t frighten them away.

I hang tough because I know this will be over in less than nine months. Or so they say.



I’m James McIntosh at nonsenseatwork.com

Copyright: 2009 James Henry McIntosh

James can be heard on Public Radio: Monday – 7:19am and Saturday – 8:19am
88.9 FM WCVE, Richmond VA | 89.1 FM WCNV, Heathsville VA | 90.1 FM WMVE, Chase City VA

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What is an organization? In many ways it is simply one big team made up of a few little teams made up of many individuals.

But we tend to forget that, don’t we?

Not only do we give the organization a legal status. We also give it ‘life’ by assuming that it exists independently of the people who energize it. The outcome is that we, on the outside, are too quick to blame any nonsense on the organization instead of on the people who are the organization.

And the people on the inside are too quick to blame any nonsense on policies and procedures, on bureaucracy and red-tape, instead of on themselves, those who perpetuate the flawed designs.

We blame the organization when we should be blaming the individuals who comprise the organization.

Currently, a lot of whining is aimed at Washington. I say ‘stop it!’. It’s nonsense to blame ‘the government’ when we should be blaming we-the-people.


I’m James McIntosh at nonsenseatwork.com

Copyright: 2009 James Henry McIntosh

James can be heard on Public Radio: Monday – 7:19am and Saturday – 8:19am
88.9 FM WCVE, Richmond VA | 89.1 FM WCNV, Heathsville VA | 90.1 FM WMVE, Chase City VA

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Now is the time to be careful what we wish for, because we might just get it. What are many of us wishing for? Jobs.

Everywhere people are saying, “I wish I had a job.” But, people, let’s be clear about this. Having a job means having to work. Are you sure you want to work?

Before you answer, consider Mark Twain’s definition. ‘Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do’.

It’s not that I mind working. It’s that I do mind being obliged to work. Specifically, I mind being obliged to work at something I don’t much care for.

James Barrie, of Peter Pan fame, warned that ‘nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.’

So, before you rush out looking for a job because you are obliged to, please stop and think about what you would rather be doing. Then look for that in the job you wish to work at.

I’m James McIntosh at nonsenseatwork.com

Copyright: 2009 James Henry McIntosh

James can be heard on Public Radio: Monday – 7:19am and Saturday – 8:19am
88.9 FM WCVE, Richmond VA | 89.1 FM WCNV, Heathsville VA | 90.1 FM WMVE, Chase City VA

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I have a question. Why do so many CEOs still believe that it is okay to make promises to customers, promises that the organization cannot or will not keep?

I am currently in a fight with a Fortune 20 company. This fight makes absolutely no sense, not because I’m a bug buzzing an elephant, but because I have access to the single most powerful force in marketing. And I will use it if this bureaucratic beast does not make good on its promise to me.

This force is… word of mouth.

Word of mouth can be for you or against you. And the Internet makes it free and easy to use.

Dear CEO, let me explain. It is nonsense to spend millions on stretching the marketing truth on top of millions keeping unhappy customers at bay.

Better to align your promise with what your people can deliver and then to let customers sing your praises, not your lies.



I’m James McIntosh at nonsenseatwork.com

Copyright: 2009 James Henry McIntosh

James can be heard on Public Radio: Monday – 7:19am and Saturday – 8:19am
88.9 FM WCVE, Richmond VA | 89.1 FM WCNV, Heathsville VA | 90.1 FM WMVE, Chase City VA

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Last week I explained why I am purposefully picking only little things to hate. Here is my current chosen little hate. Complete strangers who call me James instead of Mr McIntosh.

This shallow familiarity that some businesses foist on me in the name of customer service really annoys me.

No, I am not talking about tele-marketers. The fools who write those swarmy scripts with my first name scatter throughout are not worthy of my contempt.

I’m talking about real people who should know better.

Hey, I’m not a snob. It’s just that I like a bit of distance between us until I know you better. And until I know you better I won’t know whether I like your customer service enough for us to become familiar.

Until then, could we please have a modicum of manners and a shot at professionalism? After all, your job is to make me feel important, not commonplace.

You might even charm me into spending.



I’m James McIntosh at nonsenseatwork.com

Copyright: 2009 James Henry McIntosh

James can be heard on Public Radio: Monday – 7:19am and Saturday – 8:19am
88.9 FM WCVE, Richmond VA | 89.1 FM WCNV, Heathsville VA | 90.1 FM WMVE, Chase City VA

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Do you feel flu-ish? Please don’t be an inconsiderate pig. Stay home.

That, dear listener, is easier said than done. You are caught between a rock and a hard place. Doctors want you to stay home, but you, like 60 million other Americans, don’t get paid if you don’t go to work.

Colleagues also want you to stay home. Maybe they care about you; maybe they don’t want your bugs. More likely they just want to protect their jobs. Afterall, your employer is still looking for excuses to get rid of more people.

Please don’t blame your colleagues. It’s not their fault. They did not invent survival of the healthiest, I mean, fittest.

Blame your so-called leaders because they shape the culture and values at work. Nothing shows clearer how sick your culture is when sick people come to work.

What your leaders just don’t get is that a sick culture becomes a real swine of a problem to manage.


I’m James McIntosh at nonsenseatwork.com

Copyright: 2009 James Henry McIntosh

James can be heard on Public Radio: Monday – 7:19am and Saturday – 8:19am
88.9 FM WCVE, Richmond VA | 89.1 FM WCNV, Heathsville VA | 90.1 FM WMVE, Chase City VA

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The longer this economy stutters along, the more I expect to hear important announcements on my radio. I’m waiting for the emergency buzzer followed by a calm voice saying, “This is your captain speaking. Please remain optimistic.” Or another voice in measured tones, “This is your president speaking. Please continue to hope.”

Well, like the sands of time, optimism and hope have a nasty way of running out if they are not topped up. And when they run out, we are left with anger and despair, second cousins to hate.

No wonder I hear voices in my head saying “I hate struggling. I hate not having money. I hate my life.”

It’s easy to hate but hate will not get me out of this. And yet, my pain wants to hate something. If hate I must, then better to hate only a little.

So I’ve decided to purposefully pick only little things to hate. Now I have room for optimism and hope.


I’m James McIntosh at nonsenseatwork.com

Copyright: 2009 James Henry McIntosh

James can be heard on Public Radio: Monday – 7:19am and Saturday – 8:19am
88.9 FM WCVE, Richmond VA | 89.1 FM WCNV, Heathsville VA | 90.1 FM WMVE, Chase City VA

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