Category: Workplace

Egg freezing and the facts of life

Apple and Facebook recently made headlines with their decision to cover the medical costs for female employees who want to freeze their eggs. Many fertility clinics now advertise this as a procedure one might choose in order to “pursue educational, career or other personal goals.” These headlines were a fresh reminder that Protestant Christians often ignore the ethical implications of reproductive…  [more]

The paradoxical appeal of rude sales clerks

The conventional wisdom is that markets tend to promote mundane virtues like politeness. As businesses compete with one another, any advantage, however slight, can be the difference between a sale and a customer lost. A simple smile or “thank you” can engender goodwill and loyalty and differentiate businesses from one another. As John Mueller observes in his book, Capitalism, Democracy and Ralph’s…  [more]

The curse of the cubicle?

Is the cubicle cursed? Film and television would have you believe so. From Fight Club to Office Space to The Office, the cubicle has seemed to bear the weight of a Genesis 3 curse: “by the sweat of your brow you will eat food” and “(the ground) will produce thorns and thistles for you.” Viewed as part of the thorn-and-thistle category, cubicles come in for their share of mockery, especially…  [more]

Hobby Lobby’s high horse

When the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Tuesday concerning Hobby Lobby and the Affordable Care Act, it will be framed by many as a defining moment for religious freedom. But could this also be a case of Hobby Lobby getting on a high horse? As the Affordable Care Act stands, a for-profit business like Hobby Lobby is required to offer insurance benefits for birth control and other reproductive…  [more]

Lean in? Recline? How about ‘join the body’

I’m interested by how often I’ve seen a recent Washington Post op-ed by Rosa Brooks, questioning the “lean-in” manifesto of Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, circulate in my social media. It seems that many people – not just working mothers - feel overwhelmed by competing expectations in different parts of their lives. It’s hard for us to sort out what are expectations others…  [more]

The warm promise of Beck’s Morning Phase

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3: 22-23) Beck, once a wunderkind of the ’90s alt-rock scene and then a surprising darling of the Americana world, sits back, digs in and crafts some absolutely gorgeous music on his latest release, Morning Phase. Though it contains obvious nods to…  [more]

The problem with doing what you love

A recent Slate article rightly exposes the half-truth that the phrase "do what you love" (DWYL) represents. When taken as a univocal axiom, doing what you love creates a kind of selfishness that turns our work into something that is all about us. "While DWYL seems harmless and precious, it is self-focused to the point of narcissism," writes Miya Tokumitsu. Tokumitsu takes aim specifically at Steve Jobs, who embodied…  [more]

Why Apple’s new headquarters isn’t designed for flourishing

I have the opposite of a NIMBY mindset, but it grieved me nonetheless to see the city of Cupertino, Calif., roll over, paws up, for the zoning approval of Apple’s new headquarters. I’m convinced this building will be bad for Apple and worse for Cupertino. The giant bike tire of a building, designed by the office of Lord Norman Foster and expected to cost $5 billion, comes with sterling credentials:…  [more]

Recognizing a wordsmith’s worth

Though I’ve never - not in my past as an editor nor today as a writer - been a big earner, I’ve been fine with that. Mostly. After all, I am a capitalist, I understand Economics 101 and I get how supply and demand affects my pay. Beyond that, I get that book-writing is entrepreneurial - no guarantee of big bucks. What I am not OK with, however, is the increasing number of places that will not pay…  [more]

The myth of lucrative college majors

There’s a strong tendency today to value things in merely measurable terms: prices, costs and paychecks. Consider the attention surrounding a Georgetown University economist’s report ranking the most and least lucrative college majors. If college is simply about maximizing future income, then I suppose it makes good sense to take stock of what careers are likely to pay after graduation when deciding…  [more]

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