This week’s “small idea” ™ is that every workplace can be seen as a sort of madhouse. I say this as someone who’s had more than thirty jobs and by this point they all seem sort of interchangeable, from the all-night burger joint I worked at as a teenager to my current workplace in the heart of high tech. All it takes to see it is a slight shift in perspective. Pretend you’re a parrot, for example, and you’re stuck in this place with these creatures. What do you see? And by that I don’t mean ‘how do you interpret what you are seeing’ but what, precisely, are you seeing. Use a little mindfulness and just take note of actual occurrences. It’s all out in the open in my new workplace, one of those “open” places with no cubicles that’s the current trend. I take a break and look around sometimes. There’s the person who sits there all day long and says nothing. There’s the person who seemingly can’t shut up. There’s the person who, every ten minutes, takes out their phone and looks at it for twenty five seconds. There’s the one who gets up and walks around. I pay no attention to what they are all doing, what we are all doing there (making the world a better place, of course. This is, after all, Silicon Valley) but taking it all out of context. In my retail days, there I was, saying “thank you” a thousand times a day and actually meaning it once or twice. It’s insane. At least it can all easily seem insane! Such odd creatures gathered in bizarre circumstances for certain hours of the day on certain days of the week, and coming from all over the place to be there. Who would believe it?