Essays on Conversations
A glimpse into Korean work culture from a coffeeshop conversation.
Karl Lagerfeld died two days after I learned about him.
Charles Koch says he wanted to stand on the shoulders of giants and I spend my Saturday night standing on the shoulder of a 95 year old man in a wheelchair.
Two men sit across from each other. They've come to a coffee shop but neither are drinking coffee. They both ordered a glass bottled water. Those usually tend to be some kind of European sparkling water.
So my first assumption is that they did not come here for the coffee. Just to chat.
This is for me. Something I've felt and learned as I hit the 8th month of my sabbatical.
A question I hate answering these days is "what do you do?"
To such a question my favourite response is: "Do you have 30 minutes for me to describe to you why, how and what I'm spending my time on because I don't have a socially defined and accepted definition of an occupation to give you?"
Elevator to the coffee shop: three people staring at their phones. Lining up at Starbucks: two staring at their phones. In my seat as I type: two on the phone, one on phone mid conversation.
Per my weekly report over the past month, I've been on Instagram 37 minutes per day with an average screen time of 3 hours and about 73 pick ups of my phone.
Words are powerful. Even more so are great questions.
If this weren't the case no one should be able to make a living interviewing people, whether it be a therapist, coach, or talk show host.