Showing posts with label what I'm reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label what I'm reading. Show all posts

Friday, October 15, 2021

WIRTW #600: the “Here, there, and every … where” edition

This week I rejoined my good friends Marc Alifanz and Kate Bischoff on the Hostile Work Environment podcast to discuss the Season 2 finale of Ted Lasso

Spoiler alert: you should absolutely avoid listening until you complete Season 2. We discussed the employment law and human resources beats we saw in the episode, including Nate's descent into darkness, the fallout of Sam's big choice, and the actions of Trent Crimm, Independent. You'll also hear talk of mannequins, sky diving, and arugula. 

Find it wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, October 8, 2021

WIRTW #599: the “34” edition

Ask any litigant who has had the (dis)pleasure of being a party to civil litigation in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas for their opinion on the experience, and I can almost guarantee they will tell you two things — their case moved too slowly and the courthouse is gross. A proposal currently being considered will fix the latter while making the former exponentially worse.

The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas has 34 presiding judges. That's currently has. According to, a proposal is being considered to slash that number. Why? Because fewer judges mean fewer necessary courtrooms, which means that the new courthouse that Cuyahoga County desperately needs will be less expensive to construct.

This idea is terrible. Civil cases move slowly through our court. Yet, it's not the court's fault, it's not the judges' fault, and it's not their staff's fault. It's a systemic fault caused by a system that has the same group of 34 judges simultaneously presiding over civil and criminal dockets. Criminal cases always take precedence. That's how our system must operate because the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees criminal defendants "the right to a speedy … trial." If criminal cases did not take precedence, too many criminal defendants would go free prior to trial because they could not obtain a "speedy trial."

Reducing the number of judges for the sake of construction costs will not remedy this problem. In fact, it will only make it exponentially worse. Slashing the number of judges would be an unmitigated disaster for civil litigants, who already wait years to try their cases.

I implore the Cuyahoga County Commissions to reject any proposal that calls for a reduction in the number of Common Pleas judges as a means to pay for a new courthouse. Don't get me wrong; we desperately need a new courthouse. But the county should not pay for it at the expense of the civil justice the court is supposed to dispense.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, October 1, 2021

WIRTW #598: the “Would you rather?” edition

As workplace vaccine mandates continue to dominate the headlines, employees continue to threaten to quit their jobs if forced to get jabbed as a condition of their employment.

Whether that threat is sincere or idle makes a huge difference to employers in the most difficult hiring and labor market of our lifetimes. If employees will really quit when faced with a vaccine mandate by their employers, then those employers need to think long and hard over whether to implement the mandate and risk creating job vacancies that they cannot fill.

Thus, over on my LinkedIn page, I've been running a short, one-question survey to determine employees' attitudes about vaccine mandates.

If your employer is mandating the Covid vaccine, would you rather get fired or get the shot?

Please click here to go to the survey and offer your opinion on this single, multiple-choice question. I'll share the results early next week.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, September 24, 2021

WIRTW #597: the “Sorry Antivaxxer” edition

If you've visited me on LinkedIn or Twitter (and if we're not connected on both, please fix that immediately), you may have noticed I describe myself in my bios as the "Master of Workplace Schadenfreude." What is Schadenfreude? It's a German word that is most commonly translated as "enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others." My research, however, reveals that it has as many as four different potential philosophical underpinnings, which I've synthesized as the following: Taking joy in someone else getting what they deserve because of who they are or what they've done, and celebrating that you're not in their shoes.

No matter how you define it, today's share is dripping with Schadenfreude.

Meet, a repository of stories of anti-vaxxers who, because of their own un-sound and stubborn beliefs, needlessly died or came close to dying from Covid. It's a who's who of right-wing pundits, QAnon cultists and other fanatics, religious leaders and zealots, and even health care providers, all of whom opposed, shunned, or spoke out against the Covid vaccine and paid the ultimate price as a result.

Any death is sad, but what's especially sad about these is that each was almost 100 percent preventable if they had just done the one thing that could have prevented them from dying from Covid—taking the damn shot.

Please don't end up on If you're not yet vaccinated, do as soon as possible. Serious illness and death is almost entirely preventable. But you do need to join the 182 million of us who are fully vaccinated.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, September 17, 2021

WIRTW #596: the “Waterloo" edition

It was a busy week in the Hyman house last week, with middle school soccer games and rock 'n' roll gigs all over town for my kids. I'm happy to report that Donovan led his team to a hard-fought 3-3 tie in his first-ever sports event of any kind (which he followed up with a 13-0 romp). Okay, led might be a tad strong. He played, and that’s all that matters. 

As for Norah, she played not one, not two, not three, but four gigs in six days, with the first three all happening within 24 hours of each other. I love watching Norah perform any time she's on stage, but her set at the Waterloo Arts Fest might be my favorite that she's ever played because it was 40 minutes of all original songs. To do that at 15 years old is pretty impressive, at least in this proud dad's opinion. Here's the best nine minutes from her set (the best because I actually think they are her three strongest songs), captured and posted by someone who wandered through.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, September 10, 2021

WIRTW #595: The “future of paid leave" edition

For all the negative effects that the Covid-19 pandemic has wrought, it has imparted some very positive changes to the American workplace. For example, remote work, long looked down upon by employers, is now the norm in many workplaces. Another area of constructive change surrounds the issue of paid leave for employees. 

Has Covid-19 altered our national attitude for paid sick and family leave? I believe that it has. The time has long since passed for America to embrace and adopt paid FMLA.

Presagia, the provider of cloud-based absence management solutions that enable organizations to strengthen compliance and the developer of Leave Genius Pro, recently asked me for my perspective on Covid-19 leave laws and their permanency. At their site, I share my full thoughts, including what my paid FML program would look like if Congress gave me carte blanche to design the law.

Here are 10 other things I read this week that I think you should read, too:

Friday, September 3, 2021

WIRTW #594: the “three fests and a wine bar” edition

If you're in Northeast Ohio, let me suggest four ways for you to spend your time over the next couple of weeks — all involving my daughter and live music.

Two of our best local arts festivals are happening next weekend, and Norah is playing both — the Waterloo Arts Fest on September 11 (where she'll be in the Sculpture Garden from 3:20 - 4 pm) and the Berea Arts Fest on September 12 (where she'll be on the Acoustic Stage from 3 - 4 pm).

In between, Norah is making her return engagement at my wife's and my home away from home, the Olde Wine Cellar in Olmsted Falls. She'll be playing out front from 6 - 9 pm. Stop by for a glass of wine (or two) or to enjoy the night's tasting, which is merlot themed. Reservations are strongly suggested for the tasting. Otherwise, just come on down.

Finally, on September 16, Norah will be back at Vermillion's 3rd Thursday, again set up on the steps of Granny Joe's Ice Creamatorium and playing music from 5:30 - 8 pm.

All shows are free to attend. For all of the information about Norah's music (she performs as norah marie), visit

Here's the 11 things I read this week that I think you should read, too:

Friday, August 27, 2021

WIRTW #593 (the “18 and life” edition)

17 years and 363 days ago, I married the love of my life. In two days, we'll celebrate our 18th anniversary.

The number 18 is significant. In Hebrew, each letter has a numerical value. The number 10 is the letter Yod, and the number 8 is the letter Het. Het-Yod spells the word Chai (חי), which translates in English to "life." 

Chai is a perfect allegory for marriage. Life is not perfect, and neither is a marriage. Both have their ups and their downs. But, if you can find that someone with whom you not only enjoy the ups but can ride out the downs and come out the other side, you've done well. 

I've done very, very well. Happy 18 Colleen.

Here's what I read this week:

Friday, August 20, 2021

WIRTW #592 (the “welcome back” edition)

Covid has taken a lot from us. One of the things it robbed from this space is its weekly "What I'm Reading This Week" ("WIRTW") feature. For 591 pre-Covid Fridays, I published a list of the best workplace-related things I read on the Internet that past week.

Today (and hopefully for every Friday from this point forward), I am delighted to bring this feature back from its pandemic slumber.

Here is the 592nd edition of What I Read This Week

Friday, March 13, 2020

WIRTW #591 (the “new (ab)normal” edition)

This has been one strange and disorienting week. I haven’t felt this disjointed since 9/11.

No basketball (pro or college).

No hockey.

No baseball.

No James Bond.

No large scale concert tours.

No Broadway shows or Disney parks.

No St. Patrick’s Day parades.

No Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions.

And, in Ohio, no mass gatherings of more than 100 people (to include auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, large conference rooms, meeting halls, cafeterias, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space, but not offices, restaurants, factories, or retail or grocery stores). And no school at least for the next three weeks.

And, to top it off, Tom freakin’ Hanks has coronavirus (my personal breaking point).

So what now? Our new normal is very abnormal. And it’s going to stay this way, at least for the immediate future.

As it stands, the best advice remains to practice social distances, stay home if you’re ill, follow the recommended hand washing and other “good hygiene” protocols, and don’t travel unless you absolutely (and I mean absolutely) have to.

Finally, above all else, please be flexible, understanding, and kind. If there was ever a time to prioritize the human issues, it’s now. Illnesses, quarantines, and closed schools will strain the workplace. I promise you that they are straining your employees more. The more nimble and empathetic we can be, the less this will hurt.

One last thing. When the time comes (and it will come) when we can resume our pre-coronavirus lives, get out and support small businesses, live music, the travel industry, and everyone else whose livelihood was impacted by COVID-19. They are really going to need it.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, March 6, 2020

WIRTW #590 (the “win some, lose some” edition)

Life is often about competition. For example, I litigate for a living. Trials have winners and losers. We also compete for jobs, for college admissions, and for sports titles. And competition requires a winner and some losers.

Some things, however, we do just for the experience, even if that experience is built around competition.

Last weekend, my daughter’s band, Fake ID, competed in the finals of the Tri-C High School Rock Off. Even though they did not win the competition, they won the event. They played three songs (including two of their own originals) on stage at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in front of more than a thousand people. They earned a lot of new fans. They befriended other bands with whom they will be able to plan future gigs. As a finalist, they got to record a song in an amazing recording studio at Tri-C (stay tuned; their first single is coming soon, and I’ll be asking all of you to pre-save it on Spotify).

Before we dropped Norah off at the Rock Hall for the pre-event activities, I told her to have fun and play a great set, and that nothing else matters. She understood, and if you ask her she will tell it was mission accomplished. 

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, February 28, 2020

WIRTW #589 (the “Coronavirus” edition)

Does the Coronavirus freak you out? Do you think it’s the beginning of the end for the human race, way over-hyped by the media, or somewhere in between? I’m in the “somewhere in between camp,” but it doesn’t mean that your business shouldn’t be preparing for the inevitable when this virus starts clustering in the US.

Thus, I’ve gathered the best thoughts on how to prepare from some of the best bloggers around the internet.

Friday, February 21, 2020

WIRTW #588 (the “new voices” edition)

One of the benefits participating in the Tri-C High School Rock Off is that your band gets featured in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s “New Voices in Rock” video series. One of the benefits of advancing to the Finals is that your band gets featured a lot more in said video. So, without further adieu, I bring you Fake ID’s contribution to the Rock Hall’s “New Voices in Rock” series.

The Finals are next Saturday night, February 29. Tickets are only $12 (including Rock Hall admission) and are available here. Aside from Fake ID participating, it really is one of Northeast Ohio's best music events of the year.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, February 14, 2020

WIRTW #587 (the “joy” edition)

On Valentine’s Day, we tend to focus (because marketing and advertising tell us that we should) on our significant other. Not to sound too cheesy, but I focus on my wife every day. I don’t need a special heart-shaped day on the calendar to remind me. Thus, I instead like to focus on the general ideals of love and that which brings joy into our lives. 

So for today, let’s focus less on the Hallmark world of Valentine’s Day and more on all of the things in our lives that bring us love and joy. 

And, in that vein, I bring you something that recently brought me tremendous joy—this video of my daughter learning that her band advanced to the finals of the 2020 Tri-C High School Rock Off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for the opportunities that this will bring them, but I’m more excited because you can see from the look on her face when she hears the emcee announce, “Fake ID,” just how happy this makes her. We all need something in our lives that makes us this happy and joyful.

Happy Valentine’s Day y’all.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, February 7, 2020

WIRTW #586 (the “silos” edition)

Yesterday, Suzanne Lucas (aka the Evil HR Lady), asked a question about corporate jargon.

One of my least favorite corporate jargon-isms? “Stay in your lane.” It suggests that we only do that which we do best, and not veer into areas outside of our comfort zone.

Why not? New and different lead to learning and creativity.

Comfort zones are boring. They can lead to staleness and silos.

Friday, January 31, 2020

WIRTW #585 (the “demos” edition)

My daughter’s band, Fake ID, just recorded demos of a few of their original songs. Check them out on Soundcloud; they’d really appreciate it.

They will be performing some of these songs live at the Rock Hall tomorrow night for the first round of the Tri-C High School Rock Off. Fake ID is officially sold out of their ticket allotment (on behalf of the band, a big thank you to all who bought tickets), but they are still available through the Rock Hall’s box office, and will be sold at the door on the night of the event on a first-come-first-served basis. calls the Rock Off “one of the most important — and best — musical events in Northeast Ohio.” Having attended in years past, I can vouch. It’s a fun night, with creative kids showing off their musical chops in a great venue (even if Norah’s not on stage).

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, January 24, 2020

WIRTW #584 (the “He’s not the Messiah” edition)

We’ve sadly reached the point in history at which legends of the entertainment world are going to start passing. Someday, we’ll lose Paul, and Betty, and Mick. And the world will gasp, and mourn, and remember. This week was one of those weeks.

We lost Terry Jones, one of the founding members of Monty Python. He was a comedy genius, most famous for depicting middle-aged housewives, usually with hilariously falsetto voices. One of those housewives, Brian’s mom in Life of Brian, uttered one of the greatest lines in movie history—”He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy.”

I discovered Monty Python’s Flying Circus as a pre-teen, late at night on our local PBS station. Staying up late to watch it made me feel part of a special, subversive cult. Flying Circus is now readily available, on Netflix, BBC America, and IFC, I’m joyfully introducing it to my 11-year-old son, who loves all things silly. And above all else, Python was always silly.

And Jones’s characters were some of the silliest. The nude organ player. Cardinal Biggles of the Spanish Inquisition. Mr. Creosote, the obese and vomiting diner in Meaning of Life. Holy Grail‘s Sir Bedevere. And Brian’s mum.

Rest in peace, Terry Jones. The world is better for all of the laughs you brought through the characters you created, and skits and movies you birthed.

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, January 17, 2020

WIRTW #583 (the “Portugal (not the man)” edition)

Last year I asked y’all to share your tips on travel to Italy. And you came through. So, I thought I’d try again this year, with Portugal. We’ll be there for 8 days in late March, and are planning to visit Lisbon, Sintra, and Porto.

If you’ve been—
  • What other towns are worth visiting?
  • Can’t miss things to see and do?
  • Must eat foods / restaurants?

Thanks! I figure it never hurts to crowdsource your vacation planning.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, January 10, 2020

WIRTW #582 (the “Rock Off” edition)

On Feb. 1, my daughter's band, Fake ID, will compete in the 2020 Tri-C High School Rock Off. The Rock Off is in its 24th year and is one of the biggest (and most prestigious) competitions for high school rock bands anywhere.

Tickets are only $10, include full access to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (where the event is held, and usually a $28 admission ticket on its own), and help support the band you buy them from. Email me if you'd like tickets.

Here's what I read this week.

Friday, December 20, 2019

WIRTW #581 (the “home invasion” edition)

“A Day in the Life,” by (Not) The Beatles
Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a Bic across my head
Found my way downstairs to make a cup
And looking up I noticed…
there were three elderly Asian people in my kitchen!

This actually happened to me Monday morning. And technically, it was two elderly Asian people in my kitchen and one in my bathroom. 

I had accidentally left the garage door open the night before, and they had accidentally wandered into the wrong house. After a lot of dog barking, and yelling, and confusion, they wandered out into the early morning darkness. I have no idea who they were, where they came from, or where they went. It was most definitely the strangest morning of my life, and maybe the strangest home invasion of all time.

Here’s what I read this week.