For what seems like years, people have asked me whether I have a tablet or not and what I use it for. Despite having access to a very locked-down iPad Air at work, I cannot for the life of me find a use for it outside of the classroom. These thin technological wonders clearly serve a purpose for millions around the world, though, so I am curious as heck to know how people use them.
The last few months have been pretty rough and, as a result, I’ve been much more prone to negativity and saying horribly inaccurate, gross generalisations that lead to no good and only upset the people who have legitimately tried to help. Words mean things. This is something that I can forget when expressing frustrations. If any of my inconsiderate words have upset you, I am genuinely sorry. What good can come from being angry all the time?
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, the Kobayashi Maru is a test that every command officer must take as part of their training; a simulation of a very real situation that every ship captain may face during their career where they enter a no-win scenario and are faced with utter defeat. Regardless of what tactics you employ, regardless of how much you train, you simply cannot beat the odds and come out on top. Japan is my Kobayashi Maru.
When I think back to my life eight years ago I wonder just what the heck has happened. Eight years ago I was doing everything I wanted to do. I lived in a city I loved and, like everyone else, paid bills I hated. Eight years ago I was able to unwind and relax after a long day at work by enjoying documentaries, playing the occasional game, and going for really long walks. More than this, though, I was able to accomplish goals without offending people.
On Friday I had a conversation with someone who has typically put in 70 to 90 hours at her place of work every week for as long as I’ve been alive. She’s incredibly capable and very intelligent, yet she is ultimately trapped. The corporate world is not kind to women, and she hit the glass ceiling some two decades ago. She’s even gone so far as to say that, if she were born male, she’d be a VP and earning twice the salary. “This is normal in Japan,” she told me. “Nobody likes their job, but they do it because there’s nowhere else to go.” Unlike me, this person has knowledge and skills that can be used just about anywhere in the world … yet she feels trapped.