Saturday, August 29, 2009

Funny Thought: Expecting Mother

There are a number of parking lots around the Google campus labeled "EXPECTING MOTHER".

Sadly, I never get to park in those lots, because whenever I'm in Google, I'm never expecting my mother.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Random Thought: Three Assumptions at Meetings

Back when I used to chair meetings with more than 3 people, I liked to start every meeting with what I call the Three Assumptions.

1. The Greater Good Assumption. We assume that each of us is in this meeting to serve the greater good, each motivated to achieve something beyond satisfying our own selfish desires.

2. The Transparency Assumption. Given Assumption 1, since we are all here for the greater good, we therefore assume that none of us has anything to hide. Hence, we assume that each of us is transparent in intention and communication.

3. The Reasonableness Assumption. Given Assumptions 1 and 2, since we are all serving the greater good and have no hidden agenda, we therefore assume that we are always reasonable. Even when we disagree intensely, we are doing so for good and honest reasons.

(And after stating the 3 assumptions, I usually invite all to abide in 30 seconds of silence to generate the conditions for inner calmness).

Of course, none of these assumptions may actually be true. For example, somebody in the room may be a real jerk. But I like the idea of starting a meeting with these assumptions about ourselves and other people around the table. My hope is that starting with positive, altruistic assumptions may actually lead to positive, altruistic behavior.

If you decide to try this at your meetings, please feel free to let me know how it works for you. That includes you, Barack. Yes, and Joe too.

Meng in the News: Google Searches

"World peace - expressed without irony - is the recurring theme for Meng".

Link to article:

(Above article refers to this post: Three Easy Steps to World Peace)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Funny Thought: My "Vacation" Message

I just returned from a long vacation. Here's the "out of office" message I've been using:

I'm on vacation until 8/17/2009. If you can't reach me, please don't think I'm dead, especially if you're from payroll (if you're not from payroll, I don't really care what you think. Except you, boss).

During my vacation, I will ignore most of my incoming emails. Why? Because being on vacation, I'm likely to be frolicking on a beach or something, and reading emails is incompatible with frolicking. I MAY read your email, but try not to hold your breath.

If your request is important, please email me again after I return. If your request is not important, please send it to /dev/null, it will be taken care of in the most appropriate way, I promise.

In case of an absolute emergency that requires my immediate attention, my teammates know how to contact me. Bribe them. Tell them they look beautiful. Say they look almost as attractive as Meng.

Examples of "absolute emergency":
- You are the President of the United States.
- You are Celine Dion.
- You urgently want to give me a billion dollars.
- Your party at the Playboy Mansion cannot start without me.
- Evil forces intent to destroy the world today (Note: not AFTER my vacation, but today) and you think I'm the only one who can save the world.
- You discovered that I'm The One, and you must find me before the Agents to give me that "blue pill, red pill" speech.
- All of the above.

During my time away, I will refrain from becoming evil. But if I do become evil, I promise I will grow a goatee and rub my hands in a sinister way when I speak. And if I capture a superhero sent to stop me, I will painstakingly explain my evil plans in detail to him/her before handing him/her to my snickering, incompetent goons.


(PS: Too lazy to stalk me physically? Try stalking me online by following my blog: )

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Funny Thought: Manifestation

Not my original funny thought, but a funny story I heard in China.

A Chinese Buddhist teacher used to tell his friends that he thought Jesus Christ was a manifestation of Guan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

He realized that many of his Christian friends were very offended.

So he changed his story. Now he tells his friends that he thinks Guan Yin is a manifestation of Jesus Christ.

And now, everybody is happy.

(Related: I had no access to Blogger in China, which is why I wasn't able to post for the last 3 weeks.)