– It’s the weekend. Take a breath and relax! –

I wanted to go into the weekend with something light and perhaps a bit humorous. It looks like I may be iced in and the NFL playoffs are on, so I thought I would take the opportunity to relax a bit since it seems we are so stressed nowadays that we have turned it into a competitive event. Carmine Coyote writes,

According to an article on MSNBC.com entitled “Stress showdowns”, it’s chic to be stressed. It seems that work-obsessed people are now competing in how much stress they are carrying, based on the assumption that the more stressed you are, the more successful you must be.


A sentiment shared by Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends.

As small business owners our work hours are increasingly encroaching into personal time, and we are working nontraditional hours. Evenings, weekends, holidays, while driving — even bathroom time is no longer sacred.

– What’s in a Name? –

The book Freakonomics contains several lists of children’s names based on the whitest, blackest, most educated parents, least educated and so on. This is a topic that has been written about numerous times so I won’t repeat volumes information that is already out there. I did want to mention the potential negative aspects to this information.

The authors mention that someone’s first name is not an indication of future success. In fact they present the tale of two siblings, Winner and Loser Lane. Foregoing the actual thought that went into the naming of the two brothers, ironically it was Loser who went on to a successful career and Winner who ended up with a lengthy criminal record. Despite their warning, I can’t help but feel that this list of names will make its way into corporate hiring practices at some point in time. Some studies already suggest that black sounding names on resumes represents a burden to employment.

Suppose we pull Brandon’s resume from a pile, his name being on the list of white boys with low educated parents. Given that parent’s education and income are correlated predictors of future success, would that change the way a hiring manager is likely to see his resume despite his acquired credentials? Now that I have you seriously thinking about the issue, here is my suggestion, change your name to Max Power!

Any of the following options would also be acceptable:

  • Hercules Rockefeller
  • Rembrandt Q. Einstein
  • Handsome B. Wonderful

At worst they would think your parents were enthusiastic Simpson’s fans, a measure of true distinction, or Trent Steel’s oldest and dearest friend neither of which are bad options. Have a great weekend everyone.