J came up to the table and admitted that this was not such a serious thing but that he was still stuck thinking about it.
He has a great job in a visual effects company. Recently he got a promotion and is now boss to many of the peers that he was working alongside just a few weeks before. The work environment is laid back and fun but he feels that somehow he needs to be or feel like he is “being the boss now” somehow tempered with the fun.
He laughed and conceded that if this was as bad as it got he was going to somehow make it.
I have to say that sometimes it really takes time to tease out and discover what the creative approach will be for someone and their situation. Sometimes there is a need to undo the perspective a bit so it can be looked at freshly. But looking at J and his jovial face framed by a backwards facing baseball cap and hearing about his job making special effects the approach just magicked into existence like something out of “I Dream of Jeannie.”
I offered J that he might create fun opportunities during workdays that establishes him as a regulator of their schedules. I gave him an example of a job that I once had where a cluster of eight guys who sat together had a Page-A-Day Trivia Calendar.
Every day at 4:00 PM there was a sound effect that went off that signified that it was trivia time. No matter what we were doing – with almost no exceptions – we all stopped what we were doing and would have the question dramatically read aloud. We would give joke answers or real ones. We would discuss the inane questions or try to come up with a well thought out rationale for why our answer was correct.
Then when the answer was read the winner would post the page above their desks. Shared winners would split the page. Mondays and Fridays we did one question from the weekend. Sometimes people would wander in to play with us or if someone was wandering in and it happened to be 4PM they would play too. The whole thing never took more than five minutes but it was an absolute joy (one friend admitted that it was sometimes the only reason he came to work).
J was slackjawed with delight at my story about office trivia.
Dude. Guys love trivia with the same intensity that cats like naps.
I told him that he could of course steal the trivia game but more importantly that if he dictated the rules of this new game, whatever it was, and then called “back to work” he’d slowly take on a new air in the office.
Having bonded over trivia we fist bumped and J said
Dude, I am pretty much doing that.
Sometimes it is just simple out there in Union Square.