Josh Hughes

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

What am I thinking!? iPads, Korea, & Dreams. oh my

In Life on April 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Wizard of Oz 1038

Today was quite the adventure and it started bright and early. 5am

I never thought I’d say it, but I waited in line for something.  It was the first time.  I gave my brother hell for waiting in line when the X-Box 360 came out.  Even with iPhones and other things, I’ve always been content to wait.  I felt I’d waited long enough for an iPad2, so I went to the store to stand in line.

I was behind a mother and son from Melbourne, Australia directly behind a lady from Ireland. Daniel, an Australian my age, and I talked with his Mom and Marie. It made me miss my mom. They were quite friendly, but the Mom said she thought Qatar rigged the FIFA World Cup bid. I then informed her I was part of that team. Dirty trick? I enjoy hearing people’s honest answer.

Sadly, the Apple store only received Verizon iPad versions.  I wanted the 32gb Wi-Fi only. Thankfully, they came out at 7 to tell us this. I bid farewell to Daniel and his Mom from Australia and Marie from Ireland.

I went back to my friend’s place, where I had strategically slept to be closer to the store the night before, to nap. After catching a few ZzZzZ’s, I went to get my hair cut.

I walked in.

Hi, I’m Hot Mess for Mathew at 11.

Only one of the receptionists laughed. I thought it was funny! The haircut was relaxing and invigorating, and after the early morning I’d just had, was well beyond needed. I now don’t look unkempt, but the front still has a slight Elvis/Jimmy Neutron look about it.

After the haircut, I raced home to change and meet a PR professional a friend from Qatar was nice enough to connect me to.  Just prior to the meeting, I declined a contract to teach at a private school in Korea. My gut instinct said something wasn’t right.  [my gut would be later validated by information provided by a friend of a friend who is currently in Korea teaching]. Always follow the gut instinct.

Back to the coffee date. She arrived perfectly on time. I insisted on buying her coffee as she had taken time out of her busy schedule to speak with me. I was completely floored.  Supplied with the skills of several PR jobs, she now currently co-owns and operates her own PR firm. We talked about our mutual friend, my time in Qatar, what helped her find direction, and her advice to me moving forward with career and interests in technology and international industries.

It gave me so much to think about. Dreams come true. Picking a dream and chasing it is the hard part.

naughty angel

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Thinking [Karma] – Pay it forward

In Life on April 28, 2011 at 3:15 am

Arrow

Someone once told me I’d go far in life. I agreed with them, but said that it would not be because of the things I did, but because of the people I knew. The supportive people I have in my life are the reason why I am successful today. I’ll never forget the largest rescue or the smallest vote of confidence in me.  It all makes a difference.

A boat is easier to row when you have a team. The same goes with life. When people help each other get to where they want to be, everyone can be happier. Since public schooling, I knew I was going to move and make something of myself.  With the advice of a few key mentors, I am here today. In San Francisco, I still have support: a friend offered me his couch till I found a place to live, several contacts in the area seek to help me locate a full-time job, etc. All this support means one thing: pay it forward.

You may not be able to help the people helping you, and that is okay. Good-hearted people do not help with the hope of getting something in direct return. Some day, you’ll be able to help someone in a similar way. Help others to help others.

Connect the dots. The best example I can give is with internships. I completed several internships during college and had pretty good relationships with them upon completion. What college kid isn’t looking for an internship? [not enough actually, which is a good thing considering how difficult they are to find] I know a few that are looking, so I connected the dots. Usually, that is all someone really needs. After you set someone in the right direction, it is their responsibility to finish the journey.

Helping others will help others help others.

It is important to note that I don’t believe in endless handouts, but that can be for another post..

Thinking [Language] – Hey y’all.

In Professional on April 26, 2011 at 8:15 am

y’all  (yôl)

pron.Chiefly Southern U.S.

Variant of you-all. See Regional Note at you-all.

Personally if you ask me, sounds A LOT BETTER than youse guys. Y’all is a contraction. Just like: can’t, won’t, shouldn’t. Being raised in the Southeast and now living in California, I find the usage of y’all interesting.

First, allow me to point out that the majority of the people I know from the Southeast here in California do not maintain a southern accent. However, I say y’all. Another girl I know says y’all. We do not disclose our geographic origins by the way we speak otherwise.

My friend used y’all at work in Silicon Valley. She was told “Do you want to know why I am not going to do business with your company? Because their account manager uses y’all.” Outrageous.

I could understand his thought on the matter if it were in a formal document or email, but in conversation? Get over it. Accept the exchange and development enabled by diverse people, regionally and international, or don’t work with others. Crawl into a hole and work under a rock- the world is become a smaller place as information and people travel faster.

Diversity should be valued. Ignorance is worthless.

Thinking [Poetry] – The Source of H

In Writing on April 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Happiness: n. [hap-ee-nis]

-if you define your happiness by things

things break, breaking your happiness

-if you define your happiness by people

people die, killing your happiness

-if you define your happiness by place

you leave, leaving your happiness behind

-if you define your happiness by your looks

you age, crippling your happiness

-if you define your happiness by You

when you die, You die happy.

By: Josh Hughes

Thinking [Time] – I’m late!!!

In Life on April 21, 2011 at 4:25 am

The White Rabbit at The Curious Labyrinth

“I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!” -The White Rabbit

I doubt that watching the Disney movie Alice In Wonderland countless times is the cause for my timeliness, but it serves as a good example.

If you are 5-15 minutes early, you’re on time. If you are on time, you are late. If you are late.. FAIL.

Prior to working internationally, being late made my mind twist.  If others were late, my pulse raced. This comes from the sense of time most Americans [in the more professional arenas] believe.  It is even more exact in Germany.  Latin countries are way more lax about time. It stands to reason that, working in Qatar, I had to sink or swim. Professional commitments help the mindset of “Inshallah”. The direct translation of this slang is “If Allah wills it.” I took a non-religious appreciation for this word.  Why? Be at work by 9am? If traffic permits. Meeting 3pm later today? The director just told me to cancel it at 2:15pm. Life happens.

Returning to the United States, I am so much more laid back.  I am still aware of timeliness, but when circumstances beyond my control [public transportation, weather, a common cold] do not permit me to be early [aka on time] then I accept it. I inform the other party and apologize for inconveniencing them, but what more can I do?

I’ve learned that MUNI can be as unpredictable as Qatari traffic. I plan accordingly..and might even purchase a bike..

Remember “Life Happens” the next time you or someone else is late… and it is also a good idea to always give yourself a time buffer for when Life does happen!

Thinking [College] – RA Ra Ra

In Life on April 19, 2011 at 8:01 am

Parchment Paper Texture

No. Not cheerleading.

Resident Assistant.

A huge time commitment.

Duty at all hours of the night.

Mediating petty squabbles.

A life-changing experience that connects you with anyone else that has ever been an RA, and something I would never undo.

They tell you in training that no one will understand what it means to be an RA [short form of Resident Assistant] unless they have been one themselves. In this knowledge, you bond with them. Even if they grate on your nerves, if you work together, you are family. You depend on their support, their work ethic, etc. When you meet a stranger [or a new friend] and it comes up that you were both RA’s, an unspoken rapport is created.

That year and half of service gave me so much. It gave me a family far from home and life-long friends, it tested me personally and professionally [AND PHYSICALLY], and it made me who I am today. When people talk about the physical demands of their job [not heavy lifting, but the hours, etc] I think of how I juggled an internship, classes, and RA responsibilities. How I had to adapt my Type-A planning with real life spontaneity. Teamwork? Diversity? Independence? That was my life. It was our lifestyle.

Some people are made to be RA’s and others are not. Each experience is different from the people you work with, campus culture, the students you have.. even to the floor your are assigned! There is no other job like it..

Sorry. I had to reminisce. Sometimes I wonder if being an RA prepared me more for life and the “real world” better than college!

To any high school students heading to college or to any current college students: Get involved. Apply and interview to be an RA. Diversity is key to a good staff, so don’t feel like you have to be something you’re not. If you can’t manage the commitment of being an RA for whatever reason, get involved in something else.  College is a lot more than exams and essays, and if you don’t see that before the student loans come calling and you hold a degree in your hand.. you might feel like you missed out. In the end, the experience is what you make of it. A diploma is just a piece of paper [hence the image for this post LOL]

Thinking [Damage Control] – Three cups of $h!+

In Professional on April 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Turkish Tea

Sadly, I read an article today about how the author of Three Cups of Tea basically made up his story? While reading, this caught my eye..

Mortenson’s book agent, Elizabeth Kaplan, declined to comment on the 60 Minutes report, writing in an email to The Daily Beast: “I’m on a runway at Newark airport heading for Prague.” His co-author, Portland, Oregon, journalist David Oliver Relin, could not be reached. The public relations executive at Viking-Penguin, Paul Slovak, didn’t respond to our email, and Viking-Penguin refused to answer 60 Minutes’ questions or speak to Kroft, who, in a classic ambush scene, tried to grill his quarry at a book signing, only to be led away by security.

What do you pay these people for? 

Granted, it is horrible if these allegations are true, and not just because he made a bunch of people look like idiots, but also because it makes people lose faith in the non-profit, and this region needs as much help as it can get! But, that isn’t going to be the focus of my attention – all that stuff is obvious.

My focus is on the crisis management and PR professionals that get paid $$$$ of money, agents that are by people’s side when things are good, but what about when the going gets tough? As some that had a glimpse into PR, I am just dumbfounded. I guess it just takes you back to that phrase..

“Good help is so hard to find.”

What do you do when your PR teams runs with their tail between their legs? What do you do your support system of experts leaves you hanging? Granted, you shouldn’t be doing stuff to get you into that predicament in the first place [imagine being paid to clean up Lindsay Lohan’s mess?!] but stuff happens..

Thinking [Poetry] – Bay town home

In Writing on April 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Orion in the sky,

Crescent moon way up high.

Salty smell light in the air,

The wind swiftly in my hair.

Streetlights aglow,

and I know:

I’m at home in San Francisco.

By: Josh Hughes

Thinking [Work] – 119 Days

In Professional on April 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm

119

Today was my first day working in 119 days. I completed my contract in Qatar on December 16th, spent the holidays with my family, previewed DC and San Francisco, and then moved my life to The Bay Area. I traded one peninsula (Qatar) for another (holidays in Florida) for another (San Francisco).

It is a contracted IT job. Today, I cabled managed a training room. Coming soon, I’ll be updating RAM. Yes. People get paid to do these kind of things. I am very thankful that a friend was made me aware of the job post.  Regardless of earnings, being at work is just such a relief. I admit it. I’m a workaholic. 

Knowing this makes me feel like I’ll probably end up starting my own business one day. I also think that one of the things I can honestly say I missed about my college life was how busy I was. Juggling an internship, classes, being a resident assistant, a good friend.. … I just enjoy living. Sleep is nice [especially with my new mattress!] but I’ll sleep when I’m dead.. or 80 something.

People should take their jobs for granted, economic hardship or not. One of my thoughts today as I was being shown around the building was “Their cubicles are personalized.. it will be so nice when I’m able to do that.” Water cooler talk, gadget geeking, etc. Even on day one, I felt easily part of their environment. I know this will be a good experience.

Thinking [Living] – Working lost

In Life on April 14, 2011 at 7:45 am

Men at Work

Graduate high school with good grades to go to college.  Graduate college to get a job or go to Grad school. Work your way up the corporate ladder. Earn six figures. Have 2.5 kids, a house with a white picket fence, and… yeah. How about not.

Several people I went to college with and a few of my friends find similar definitions of success and happiness.  An important fact, however obvious it might be, is Success and Happiness are not synonymous. What made our parents and grandparents happy, and even our peers, may not be what will make us Happy.

After several life experience, I have come to recognize that like life, careers and jobs take on unique paths.  I find that our society enables us to judge each other on our jobs and careers, among other things.  It provides a sense of identity.  You work for the IRS?- You must be evil. You work for McDonald’s- You must be stupid. You’re an accountant- You must be rich.

What we should be doing is judging these individuals.

After taking off my goggles of career judgement, two things happened to me.

1. I personally felt free.

2. I started meeting more amazing people and learning their stories.

Having once felt the weight to have a normal 9-5 job  working my way up to middle management, I sought to continue what I had already unconsciously been doing. I was doing temp work.  I was making connections, developing skills, serving a purpose, and figuring out my true calling in life.  It is one of those things that once you start, it keeps on going.

There is so much more to a person beyond what they do to pay the rent.  Student by day, artist by night? Stay at home dad and blogger?

Bottom Line: Don’t judge a book by its cover, a person by their job, or a dog by the breed.