This is Howard C. Park's blog. Interests: live music, simulations and modeling, languages, iPod, social and business networking, systems thinking, history of science, management, BBQ, trivia, good coffee, organizational learning, traveling, personal histories.
Friday, September 23, 2005
lessons from Rita
The real lessons will come later. For now, lessons I am learning...
Have friends and lots of friends in different places.
Get gas early.
Do NOT get 4 hours asleep for the two nights prior to a 14 hour drive.
If you're in Texas, long drives may be easier in the night.
1. I've been communicating with a few folks that have taken part in the Exodus. It took us 14 hrs from Houston to Austin. Family #1 took 5.5 hrs to get to San Antonio taking back roads. Family #2 from The Woodlands took 8 hrs to Dallas. This was after they opened up the southbound lanes for northbound traffic. Family #3 took 5 hrs from Pearland to Austin. I gotta find out their route for our trip back.
2. If anyone wants a "friend referal" to Vonage, let me know.
Tomorrow evening is the second annual "Houston Area Former Andersen Employees Reunion". Last year's event was a great success--lots of people catching up, exchanging business cards, and sharing stories. Looking back, I was surprised that so little of the conversations were about the "end days" or "Enron"... it was mostly about where we had been dispersed to and what we were doing, how we could continue to help each other.
Lots of folks had started their own companies. Or built up new practices within existing companies. Many were working with other former Andersen colleagues.
When the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of the "obstruction of justice" charge against Andersen, it was tempting to think, "well, maybe we can bring it all together again". For many of us, Andersen will be the one of the finest organizations that we'll ever see firsthand. But we can't go back, the world had changed. The business of professional service has changed, we've started new dreams, new endeavors, new directions. Whether Andersen was a constraint or a training ground, a distraction or an ideal to be modeled, it is no more.
Except for brief moments like tomorrow evening. There will be lots of handshakes and hugs, lots of comments that start, "one thing I learned at Andersen was...". And references to "so-and-so if now doing this and that...". The company is no more, but the network lives (in fact, I got a call from a headhunter this week who found me on one of the Andersen Alumni sites).
I had a small house project this weekend. For this project, I needed some duct tape. I asked Katheryn, "do you know where the duct tape is?". She replied, "what do you need it for?". "I need to do some duct work in the attic" She replied, "Oh, that's the 1st time I've actually heard of someone using duct tape for duct work". The thought never occured to me. I just thought of the work I needed to do, and considered my options, "well, masking tape is too small, and won't last as long, electrical tape is too small and stretches too much. The perfect tape I need is duct tape!" Imagine that!? I used duct tape to do ductwork. Here's a secret: it's GREAT for duct work! I was so proud of myself for finally using duct tape for its intended purpose, I ended up using more I probably needed. But if you consider all the duct tape I've used for taping down cables/wires at gigs, to various bodies and body parts1, using duct tape for duct work seemed incredible satisfying. You can of course find all kinds of uses of /info on duct tape on the web2. I've even bought duct tape accessories as a gift for Katheryn. But none have been as satisfying as using it for duct work. Small celebrations in everyday life3.
1. Don't ask. 2. Not as good as the twinkies project. 3. I should trademark this; this could catch on.