Episode 3: Workplace Woes

THE COMPLETE SHOW NOTES

This episode is crafted to help you with your workplace woes. This month we take on three classic workplace woes: toxic work environments, losing your job, and feeling like you can’t be yourself at work.

Every question you’ll hear on today’s show has been sent in by a fellow listener. We are always taking new questions, so if you want some advice from Momma B, please Request Advice. You can also leave a voicemail or text us your request: 706-9-ASK-MOM. Less fancifully, that number is (706) 927-5666. We are currently working on upcoming episodes about break-ups and creative pursuits. Send those questions in pronto!

Each question on this episode gets 3 doses of advice. First you’ll hear Momma B’s advice. Next: You’ll hear a segment called Mother-Daughter Pickleball, where your host, Rebecca presents some clarifying questions and builds on Momma B's advice. Last, you’ll hear a second opinion, because it’s always good to get a second opinion.

Question 1: Recovering from a Toxic Work Environment

I'm a female creative professional, working in tech industry for the past 8 years. A few years ago, I left a terrible work situation at a "hot" tech start-up. Employees were pitted against each other and rewarded for gutting their peers' projects, sexual harassment was shrugged off on the daily, and shipping projects depended on currying favor with the higher ups' boys club rather than work, data and merit. I've had the good fortune of having plenty of good experiences and projects since I left, but I find my first instinct with people is still to assume they are trying to trick me, or prove that I'm not competent. I'm trying to be less suspicious, but there's a part of me that hangs onto the idea that I was supposed to 'learn' something from all that bad joojoo. What can I do to accept and validate my own experience without condemning all of humanity to the garbage heap?
Signed, Workplace Warrior

The guests in this segment are Sadia Harper of Collective Health and Julie Mora-Blanco of Adobe.

Question 2: building back your confidence after losing your job

Through most of my life I've enjoyed career success: receiving positive evaluations, taking constructive criticism and working to make improvements where needed, all while earning the respect of my managers, employees, and peers.
Then, last year I was laid off and found myself unemployed for the first time in my career of over 20 years. It was rough, but I tried to embrace it as just the kick in the pants I needed to make a change and grow in my career. My job search took longer than expected and I encountered a few bumps along the way, but eventually I found a new job I loved and things were looking up.
But my good fortune didn't last and I was soon struggling to prove myself in my new role, which was admittedly a stretch that I was bit underprepared for. After several months of giving it my all yet still failing to turn things around in the eyes of my boss, we agreed that things weren't working out and parted ways.
I'm proud of how I handled that difficult situation and the effort I put into addressing it, but in the end I still failed. Now I'm unemployed for the second time in a year and my confidence is shot. How can I project the necessary confidence for a successful job search when my track record is tarnished and I'm filled with self-doubt?
Signed, Failing at Forty

The guest in this segment is Robert (Tre) Laughlin. He runs All Systems Health. and has a Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine, certified medical qigong practitioner, certified as a functional medicine practitioner, and is currently pursuing his doctorate in Longevity at Yo San University in L.A., a Chinese and Integrative Medicine University founded and informed by the Ni family, that holds a 39 generation lineage in Taoist healing. In addition to being a master acupuncturist and herbalist, he loves geeking out on specialized lab tests that can help see the big picture for ultimate health and wellbeing. Tre also loves biohacking, and considers Chinese Medicine to be the original biohacking platform.  He combines the most ancient medicines with the most cutting edge tech to create a personalized and optimized treatment plan.

Question 3: Bringing your personal to work

I'm comfortable with my colleagues and can be myself workin' 9 to 5. Well, my working hours are more like 10 to 7, but don't tell Dolly Parton. Like Dolly, I too feel comfortable bringing my whole-self to work. So that's not the   heft of my question.
Rather, my question is this: When it comes to professional pursuits outside the office—writing blog posts, speaking at conferences, tweeting the tweets, and giving the occasional interview (#blessed emoji)—how do I balance the good sense to remain professional with the opportunity to be personable?
Are there techniques or exercises to determine the best amount of humor to bring into my public persona as I tip-toe this tightrope of career suicide?
I admire Ellen DeGeneres' ability to be humorous, respected, likable, and remain entertaining despite the status quo for comedians to make crass, offensive, or inflammatory jokes. Nevertheless, Ellen is squarely in the business of comedy and I—in addition to never having won a Presidential Medal of Freedom—work in a more conservative profession where, unfortunately, decorum and LinkedIn still matter.   
In an age where the internet immortalizes every public display, how do we get more comfortable bringing our personalities into our careers? ... or with the foreboding doom that may be unavoidable with such a risk? Am I going to end up helpless and homeless if my creative expressions miss their mark!? (This is literally a question I've asked my therapist multiple times—he won't answer anymore, so now I'm asking you.)
Sincerely, Profesh versus Pizzazz

The guests in this segment are Kelli Dragovich is the SVP of People at Hired.  

Tim Federle is the author of Better Nate Than Ever — Tim’s debut novel about a small-town teenager who crashes an audition for E.T.: The Musical — was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and inspired a sequel that won the Lambda Literary Award.

Tim’s latest YA novel, The Great American Whatever, was called “a Holden Caulfield for a new generation” (Kirkus) and was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and School Library Journal and a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times.

Described as “a prolific scribe whose breezy wit isn’t bound to a single genre” (The Huffington Post), Federle also writes bestselling recipe books, including Tequila Mockingbird (over 200,000 copies sold) and Gone With the Gin.

 

Episode 2: Dating Advice from Mom

The complete SHOW NOTES

This episode is on dating! We provide advice for those who miss the puppy love of younger years, for those who feel misunderstood while dating, and for those who are looking to make a friendship into a romance and so much mawwwwr!!!

Every question you’ll hear on today’s show has been sent in by a fellow listener. We are always taking new questions, so if you want some advice from Momma B, please Request Advice. You can also leave a voicemail or text us your request: 706-9-ASK-MOM. Less fancifully, that number is (706) 927-5666. We are currently working on upcoming episodes about working woes and break-ups. Send those questions in pronto!

Each question on this episode gets 3 doses of advice. First you’ll hear Momma B’s advice. Next: You’ll hear a segment called Mother-Daughter Pickleball, where your host, Rebecca presents some clarifying questions and builds on Momma B's advice. Last, you’ll hear a second opinion, because it’s always good to get a second opinion.

Question 1: For those who miss the puppy love of younger years

I am a straight male knocking on 40’s door. It feels like I have been single forever. I was in love once, in my late 20s. After two & a half years I ended it - twice! - because we couldn’t seem to get past the fact that I didn’t communicate well or enough, whether it was talking about everyday things, or giving her space to communicate, or communicating my love for her. She’s married with a family, living far away. I still care for her like no other person in the world. But she needed more and somehow I wasn’t expressing the full depth of my love.
I might look good on paper, but I just can’t make anything stick. I have had a long string of 2-3 month lady friends that just end because I don’t feel the connection, conversation or commonalities are strong enough to go on. I am all but certain that the fault lies with me and my communication—similar issues to those with my ex, 10 years ago. While I often retreat to introversion, the truth is my quiet belies my desire to share, connect and grow with a partner. Perhaps if I were more open I could find more ways to connect.
The more this situation of singleness lingers, the more I feel like I should just detach the apps, try to stop pining for ladies, and focus on self actualization if that’s even possible. I suppose I still strive for the connection like the one I had in my 20s. Is that kind of puppy love unrealistic now that I am nearing 40? At the same time, there has to be some spark, does there not? How do you find a spark on a first date with a stranger from some stupid app?
Signed, Knock knock knocking on 40's door

The guest in this segment is Lisa Podell. Lisa Podell is a former matchmaker for The Dating Ring and founder of Better Sessions. She has over 10 years of experience as a teacher, educational specialist, certified life coach, and public speaker; specializing in helping individuals attain their personal and professional goals.

Lisa is also known for her position in Washington Square Park as Free Advice Girl, by which she seeks to uplift humanity one conversation at a time. She has spoken to over 5,000 people in service to this mission. With her passion for education, Lisa piloted The Advice Project. This was a series of educational workshops held in NYC public schools designed to empower adolescents to develop and express their own voice.

Question 2: Advice for those who feel misunderstood while dating

I'm hesitant to admit this, but I'm worried that men don't understand me. I’m a 31-year-old female and I know this is such a cliche, but I am slowly feeling like it’s true. The men I've dated recently are either afraid of commitment, ignore the underlying meanings to things, or don't realize when their actions or words mean something bigger. When do you consider it general male denseness or actually something they're hinting at, but afraid to admit out loud?
Signed, Doubtful Dater

The guest in this segment is Ronda L. Metcalf. She works at UCSF, dispatching for Facilities Services. She is the most awesome person to ever give advice on this podcast, even Momma B says so.

Question 3: Advice for those who looking to make a friendship into a romance.

I'm a 36-year old gay man who has always struggled to find relationships with people who share my desire to balance the brain AND body. I usually end up settling for men who only exhibits the desirable physical characteristics OR the intellectual ones. Ultimately, I’m left unsatisfied and move on quickly.  
When I find someone I really like—which is rare—I am very cautious as I don't want to mess it up. I would like a long-term fulfilling relationship with a partner some day, but don't want to sacrifice potential friends to do so.
About a year ago, I was introduced to a man we'll call Handsome Nugget. He is the rare bird with both the brains & the body. For most of our dates, I made most of the plans, most of our conversations were about things he didn't like in his life, and the sex never felt quite right. We formally dated for about 2 months before I decided to call it off before we both grew resentful. I still really liked him, his interests, his wisdom, his body, his smile.
Recently he reached out to me when he learned about a tragedy in my life and we've rekindled a friendship, but neither of us have made any romantic moves. He and I can talk for hours and I feel really connected to him. He is someone I would like to have in my life for a long long time as a friend or preferably, a boyfriend.
How do I tell Handsome Nugget that I am interested in dating him seriously and getting physical without putting our friendship at risk?
Signed, Handsome Nugget Lover

The guest in this segment is Charlie Beckerman. Charlie Beckerman is kind of surprised anyone wants his advice about dating, but not so surprised that he's not going to give it. He's the creator of the podcast Serial Dater which can be found at www.serialdaterpodcast.com, as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. He's also one-half of Fashion It So, the Internet's premiere Star Trek: The Next Generation fashion blog. During the day he writes for Bustle.com about all sorts of political stuff. For more information about all of his projects, check out www.charliebeckerman.com.

Show Credits

Advice from Mom is a production of Wise Ones Advice Services. It produced & edited by me, RGB. Sound engineering by Bryan Garza. Our theme music is Love, Jerks.

Big thanks to everyone who sent us questions, and to all my friends who gave input & advice for this episode (Sasha, Ash, Aviva, Jane, Michael, Brad, and Bryan) and to Papa B and my sister Laura for helping me organize a special birthday treat for Momma B for her 70th birthday. If you’d like to add your birthday wish to Momma B, call 706-9-ASK-MOM, I promise to never answer if you promise always to sing.

 

Episode 1: Post-Election Advice

 

EPISODE 1: SHOW NOTES PART 1: WELCOME TO ADVICE FROM MOM. 

The episode is divided into segments, like a musical album, allowing you, our darling listener to pick and choose which questions you'd like to dive into. This post-election episode includes 3 questions and some general advice at the top and bottom of the show. We highly recommend a complete listen (but of course we would). 

Each question gets 3 doses of advice. First you’ll hear Momma B’s advice. Next: You’ll hear a segment called Mother-Daughter Pickelball, where your host, Rebecca presents some clarifying questions and builds on Momma B's advice. Last, you’ll hear a second opinion, because it’s always good to get a second opinion.

This podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer diagnosis or treatment of any medical or psychological condition. All treatment decisions should be made in partnership with your health professional.

 

PART 2: FOR THOSE OVERWHELMED BY RECENT NEWS

The question is:

Since the election, I can’t stop reading the news. It’s the only way I’ve found to wrap my brain around what just happened. It’s not calming. It’s fear-inducing. On the other hand, I know I can't just bury my head in the sand, as much as that sounds so nice right now. What are some good coping mechanisms? How can I stay engaged without being on edge all of the time? Signed, Feeling Blue in Blue State

The guest in this segment is Ahmad El Najar. Ahmad El Najar is a former legislative staffer and political campaign manager, now working on public policy and strategy at Townsquared in New York. Previously, he worked as the Communications Director, City and County of San Francisco, Board of Supervisors. He has an International Human Rights Law degree from Oxford University. His current political advocacy work is with Take Back NYC. [on LinkedIn]

As mentioned in this segment: Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

 

PART 3: FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN POLITICALLY ACTIVATED

The question is:

I'm a normal person with a normal job and a pretty normal life. Like many people this election season, I was motivated by fear to step out of my comfort zone and get political. I made calls for the Hillary campaign, wrote #ImWithHer letters, and even wore business-casual clothes to Las Vegas where I stood outside for 12 hours as a poll observer. The thing is, I LOVED it. I loved that feeling of working hard for something that mattered, and it was about 10x more satisfying than the sizable paycheck I get from my corporate marketing job. Now the election is over and I'm doing all the things I'm supposed to be doing... reading ALL the news, calling my local and national representatives, becoming a member of the ACLU, etc. But I feel like I'm permanently changed, and now everything in my day job seems so ridiculous and utterly meaningless. I used to think my job was fun, and that I was lucky for getting paid to be creative. Now I come home feeling disgusted with myself for wasting my brain, my time, and whatever meager semblance of talent I have left. (Yep, I'm in THAT kinda dark place.) My question is: What do I do now? How do I know if this feeling is a real sign to make a change or just a fleeting fancy of some 32-year-old with the social consciousness of a freshman at a liberal arts school? Signed, Optimistic People-Pleaser

The guest in this segment is Arun Chaudhary. Arun Chaudhary is a filmmaker working in politics. He is currently a partner at Revolution Messaging.

Chaudhary was the first official White House videographer, a position created for him at the beginning of the Obama administration. Chaudhary traveled extensively with the President, capturing public events and behind-the-scenes moments as well as producing and packaging presidential tapings for the Internet and broadcast television. He is the creator and architect of “West Wing Week,” the first-ever online video diary of the White House. During his tenure, he wrote, produced, shot and edited over 63 episodes of West Wing Week, documenting the President through his rigorous weekly agenda. He also directed many tapings of the Weekly Address.

Chaudhary was a key member of Barack Obama's New Media Team during the 2008 campaign. As the New Media Road Director, Chaudhary oversaw the team responsible for capturing the day-to-day life of the future president in video and stills. He and his team set a new standard in documenting history, delivering crucial images to the public from the road in real time.

Before joining the Obama team, Chaudhary worked in film in New York and was part of the NYU Graduate Film Department faculty. He received his MFA in Filmmaking from NYU and his BA in Film Theory from Cornell University. Chaudhary has been profiled by the New York Times, the BBC, National Journal, Politico, Fortune, and many political websites. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, son and daughter.

 

PART 4 : FOR THOSE WHO FEEL ALIENATED AS A MINORITY

Here's the question:

As a minority, how do I deal with feelings of inadequacy, alienation, rejection anxiety, and hopelessness. At a personal level, I need some empowering alternatives to feeling like I "don't belong" here in the US?
A little backstory on me: I’m a non-political Latin American MD MBA, married to an American-born Anglo Saxon. We live a simple life in PA. I grew up during the war in my country of origin and have survived multiple traumas. Despite having worked in human development and altruism; despite having a legal status, being highly educated, and achieving a great deal of inner healing; the election results shook my insides to the point of anguish and powerlessness. Signed, Domesticated Fox

The guest in this segment is again, Ahmad El Najar. See his bio above (part 2)

As mentioned in this segment: World Without Hate.

PART 5: A RESISTANCE REVIVAL

As mentioned in this segment:  How to Host a Resistance Revival

Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe. If you share this podcast with a friend in need, then you are a friend indeed!

A big thanks to our guests, Ahmad El Najar & Arun Chaudhary, to everyone who sent us questions, and to all my friends who beta-tested this episode (Aviva, Jane, Michael, Bryan, and Emily all the way up in Alaska) to Papa B, who patiently waited for so many suppers while Momma B and I recorded, and to my lovely husband who is an abundant source of helpfulness and has been very patient with me when I can't stop working on my new found love of podcast tinkering. And a huge big thank you to my mom for sharing her wisdom, her time, and her love.

Advice from Mom is a production of Wise Ones Advice Services. It produced & edited by me, RGB. Sound engineering by Bryan Garza. Publicity by Jane Riccobono. The music in this episode is by Love, Jerks. Their song, Little Less Lonesome, featured in this episode will be out in Spring 2017.

Bonus: Home for the Holidays

Bonus: show notes

This is a holiday bonus segment for Episode 01 of Advice from Mom.

If traveling for the holidays means visiting politically-divided households, this bonus is for you. Momma B & me would like to offer you a little audio care package for your journey.

Each question gets 3 doses of advice. First you’ll hear Momma B’s advice. Next: You’ll hear a segment called Mother-Daughter Pickleball, where your host, Rebecca presents some clarifying questions and builds on Momma B's advice. Last, you’ll hear a second opinion, because it’s always good to get a second opinion.

This is the question:

I voted for Hillary this election and let’s just say my mom voted very differently. She keeps telling me everything's fine. I should "get over it." She's invalidating my feelings and it absolutely breaks my heart. I consider my mom my best friend, but right now, she doesn't understand me.
I'm going to see her next week. I feel like if I attempt to talk to her about this, we'll both get too emotional and overreact. We are peas in a pod that way.
How can I move towards a place of understanding and forgiveness without causing a huge argument? I worry if I say something, it will end badly. If I don't say something, then her choice is validated, which I certainly don’t want. Is there middle ground?
Signed, Drinking in San Francisco