January 18th, 2023
This week, employers unleash a surveillance state on their employees, enrollment declines in high schools, and the most popular news subject of 2022 is revealed.
Don’t miss the new ‘Dad Joke‘ Section of this newsletter. Scroll down all the way to the end to see it.
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Happy Birthday Mom!! 😍
Let’s get started.
In the News
Declining Enrollment: There has been a lot of press coverage about declining college enrollment numbers but public high schools have also experienced a decrease in students. (Wall Street Journal)
- Some reasons include: declining birth rates, increased homeschooling, and competition from private and charter schools.
Politics and Higher Education: A majority of voters in both major US political parties believe that the industry of higher education is in need of reform.
The parties are in general agreement on whether student loan debt is a problem with 88% of Democrats and 77% of Republicans answering affirmatively. (Public Agenda)
One area of disagreement is “whether racial discrimination makes it harder for students of color to get a college degree.” 79% of Democrats believe this to be the case, whereas only 30% of Republicans agree. (Public Agenda)
Both parties believe that higher education is in need of reform. Republicans are more likely to want to reform higher education by holding colleges accountable. 88% of Republican voters believe that taxpayer dollars should stop going to colleges that provide no return on investment.
Democrats tend to favor breaking down barriers to college admission and lowering costs, especially for disadvantaged groups. (Pew Research)
Rage-Applying: On TikTok, bad advice like ‘quiet quitting’ spreads wide and far. Rage-applying has apparently emerged as a new trend and it remains to be seen how far it will travel. (Parade.com)
- A TikTok user with a modest following of 1,668 obtained nearly 2 million views by sharing her success story. She applied for 15 jobs rapidly and received a $25,000 pay raise. (Fortune Magazine via Yahoo Finance)
Do not try this at home.
Don’t Say Hello: An Indian company imposes a $1,200 fine on employees who contact colleagues who are on vacation.(Business Insider)
A Deeper Dive
Surveillance State: More employers are closely monitoring their employees’ activity and some of the things they check on are downright creepy. (Morning Wire – The Daily Wire)
- This is a more common practice in lower-paying jobs but it is becoming more common as more people with advanced degrees work from home. (The Morning – New York Times)
- A survey in 2022 revealed that 60% of employers now use technology to monitor remote workers, this is an increase from 30% prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Wall Street Journal)
Some of the creepiest examples include:
- Keystrokes: United HealthCare famously monitors computer keystrokes and even attaches pay raises to activity levels. (Becker’s Payer Issues)
- Facial Expressions: Video monitoring of facial expressions.
- Screenshots: To monitor web usage.
- Heart rate: Company sponsored fitness programs could potentially lead to abuses. (Washington Post)
Employees have countered by buying equipment such as mouse jigglers to mask an idling work station. If you buy this and use it against your employer, you didn’t hear it from me.
Don’t spy on the Quiet Quitters… They will… well… Quit. (Wall Street Journal)
Quote to Consider:
“Stop managing your time. Start managing your focus.” — Robin Sharma
What I’m Reading
7 Rules of Power: Surprising – but True – Advice on How to Get Things Done and Advance Your Career – Jeffrey Pfiffer
- Many of the dynamics that create a powerful, commanding, personal presence are counterintuitive. From rejecting the fear of being disliked, to rejecting the temptation to be agreeable to avoid conflict, Pfiffer presents valuable insights that will help anyone who wants to attain more power in their personal or professional lives.
Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
Articles of the Week
How to NOT Make Friends: Few people enjoy the company of passive-aggressive people. Here are 5 phrases that make people respect you less. (CNBC)
Perfectionism Perpetuates Stress: Are you a perfectionist? If so, understand that this mindset is likely draining your reservoir of creative energy. (Rachael Kable)
The Apolitical University: The question has been present for years: Should college administrators take political positions on controversial issues? (Chronicle of Higher Education)
Deep Dive Careers Article of the Week: The Meaning of Friendship: Civil Rights, Respect and that ‘One Night in Miami’
2 years ago, I was fortunate enough to watch the movie, ‘One Night in Miami.’ The story describes the events of February 25, 1964. It was the night that Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston to become the heavyweight boxing champion. Besides its interesting portrayal of the historical context of the era, the movie contained some surprising and striking lessons on friendship.
The honesty with which the main characters (Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown) criticized each other while still demonstrating genuine respect was inspiring. Malcolm X and Sam Cooke had one particularly heated exchange that tested the limits of their friendship.
The movie suggests that the most fulfilling and rewarding human friendships allow for nearly complete honesty while still remaining respectful. When people care enough about each other to say what their friend needs to hear, rather than what he or she wants to hear, human friendship reaches its most powerful dimension.
These men exercised this balance to perfection. They recognized that each member of their group had a crucial platform in the fight against the blatant and pervasive racism of the era. Their togetherness was always most important despite some truly heated exchanges.
I found the lessons to be applicable to how people should cultivate and nurture their own friendships.
Other Fun Stuff
Go Away from Tokyo: The government is paying Japanese people to move away from Tokyo. Similar trends have happened in other major cities in Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and the United States. (Quartz)
The Most Popular News Subjects: The war in Ukraine is the winner. Donald Trump comes in forth, behind Joe Biden at third. The 45th President is probably pissed. (The Economist)
Dad Joke of the Week:
When does a joke become a dad joke?
When it becomes a parent.
Thanks for reading. I’ll catch you next week.
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