Tag Archives: people

design equity


how much do you value Design?

as a designer — a human-centered storyFirst experience designer, to be more specific — i sometimes have to unfortunately question my value, or at least my perceived value to the people that hire me or collaborate with me on the project work i’m involved with

value is a relative thing

in a lot of ways value is as nebulous and conceptually faith-based as other terms like respect, trust, belief and other similar energy-guided principles that guide our daily decisions and interactions as we make from the head, heart and gut

most people simplify the concept of value to some sort of financial equivalancy

value becomes a purely monetarily-evaluated thing

but this is a perversion of what value really means, because value in actuality is a far less static force in the world, and one not really as directly associated with money as its been made to feel and as it is promoted to be by our larger societal systems

its all a vast oversimplification

but from a design standpoint in general — its actually an unfortunate and unnecessarily cluttered perversion of the term itself


i can feel that my value as a designer
changes from collaboration to collaboration

from full-time engagement to full-time engagement there is really no standard equivalency that a corporation needs to adhere to from a purely monetary, compensatory standpoint in the hiring process — its all comparative and competitive market ballparking that also involves basic negotiation and ultimately the individual decisions of each party involved — which is fine, this is a free market system we deal with on a daily basis, but don’t forget to defend your value as an employee or independent professional and to actually also stand for and stand up for the other definition variation for the term in its plural values

all that said

your value as built up over the years and as you and your colleagues and collaborators perceive you’ve accumulated through experience, expertise and the daily work you do creates a certain brand equity

in my case i own my own Design Equity

at this point in my career i just simply know what i’m doing — but what i do as a designer might be valued more or less { not just in the monetary sense of value } depending on the company i keep

if i perceive that the company i keep during my day gig doesn’t appreciate my value and the level of contribution i bring to the team and to the company, i start to get a little confused

as much as i typically want to continue with the company i keep — as much as i want to continue to innovate and collaborate with the team i’m working with by bringing the power of my design knowledge, processes and know-how to the table each and every day, if it feels like i’m being kept by the company in some way — maybe kept from leveraging my full potential talent — or kept from contributing the most i can to the business strategies, initiatives and needs of the organization

i guess i just never quite understand that particular dynamic within a corporate business setting

why would a company want to compensate you a substantial amount — after quite rigorously interviewing you and assessing what you can contribute to their business — to just keep you locked up at a desk like an collectable or something and ask you to contribute to the typical mediocrity they suddenly reveal as their real business objectives once you’ve crossed over into the company after the interview process to just be another one of their employees? 

i would automate the timepunch workforce, let go of the half aSses that keep the company { and the country, for that matter } at that well-established level of mediocrity and hire more of the go-getters and game-changers to actually maybe get some real shit done

doesn’t that make a whole lot more sense?

i think if you analyze it from even that pure economic monetary value perspective, which most companies supposedly do, it definitely makes for just better business practice

if i feel like my company is merely keeping me, that’s when i consider taking my Design Equity elsewheremy LinkedIn Profile reflects this mentality, which is a bit more than a mentality, its my personal business and career methodology and i actually recommend more people think about and conduct their careers and their lives following this more aggressive set of personal business policies that place more accountability and responsibility on the corporations that choose to engage with us

in Massachusetts we’re all considered employees at will — basically meaning at any point the company you work for can decide to let you go without any real reason whatsoever

but that decision actually goes both ways

its a ultimately bisexual decision — or at least its a two-way street

and you as the employee at will can also decide to let the company go, too

but there is a little bit of a stigma that comes with the terrain, of course, if you do choose to live by the ethical standards and values i allude to so far — and this stigma i speak of is very much not in as kind to the individual as an employee as it is to the companies that hire them

i assume its because the financial power
typically resides with the company

they decide on our relative worth and value or devalue us

although those that defend their value and fight for their real value set up and enforce a dynamic where we can ultimately at least influence and fend for what we know our real Design Equity and general workforce worth is in the world — there’s simply still more power in the hands of the corporations, for recruitment and for just about every other facet of our current capitalist, consumer-based socio-economic systemic setup

making corporations a bit more accountable when they don’t properly empower you is just another way to move our culture away from our econoRuled world to a more humanistically-beneficial, and maybe even a far more truly democratic new roadmap for the future world 

Design is one of many very powerful ways to better participate at the larger level and maybe even help change our world for the better

and i choose to use my own Design Equity to actively work toward making the world a better place for actual peoplenot to simply promote new technologies to just drive better profit margins on somebody’s fucking Excel spreadsheet — and definitely not to contribute toward the mere survival of a legal entity that doesn’t in actuality even exist in the world as anything real and that doesn’t ultimately care in any way for actual people, including: their employees; their partners; their clients; and the people of the world

i Design to imagine and help create a better world

i leverage my Design Equity for people over corporations

i am not against corporations or anti-American, though — i just think corporations need to be more accountable for their actions and behavior and for what they promote — and corporations need to be babysat a bit more through actual government-driven policies and services that put The People at the core of what this nation and the world is all about

i hope you weren’t previously confused by who i am or what i stand for, but if so — i hope this blogPost clears things up for you

let me know if you have any questions, aight?


the grocery shopping experience at Market Basket


there is nothing else in the world that can totally suck out any remaining sense of hope or empathy for the human race quite like the shopping experience at the Market Basket in Peabody

its a fucking nightmare

i’m NOT joking, either { although i’m sure this will be a hilarious entry }

from the moment you walk into the place you just know you’re getting a glimpse into what Hell might actually feel like — the experience completely humbles you, reminding us all how delicate and breakable the balance and boundaries actually are between a somewhat reasonable expectation for our human social experience and the life of our animal ancestry

the place horrifies me almost everytime

its worse than the comparably mild country pop music white trash nightmare going on right down the street at the Peabody Walmart — that’s another mindfuck of a trip that could probably be a few blips more tolerable if under the influence of hallucinogens, but it still gets put to utter shame by the kind of debilitating, pure insanity that is the Market Basket

the worst part of it all is, i mean, i know, i know, we all need to buy food on a semi-regular basis, right? and i know, too, that the less expensively priced the food offerings — well, the less refined and customer-focused the experience might be

at the Market Basket in Peabody, there’s just literally no room to move — the aisles are tight, you can barely get around or through if the feed monsters that frequent ‘The Basket’ cart park to both the left and right of main open floor per aisle — and they seem to not give a flying shit about when to re-stock shelves, or even how to re-stock ’em

today my son and i were just waiting at the top of one of the aisles to let Carol fend her way down what looked like the very claustrophobic and busy soup, pasta and ethnic food section of the store — we were waiting up by the meat department, consequently also extremely too close to their filthy restrooms and shelves of lost and rotting packaged discount grocery items, and this young Basketeer pulls out a major palette of Fun Pops, still entirely encased in semi-sheer plasticwrap, and leaves it in what seemed to my son and i like a fairly open and safe area previously in front of us

it totally cut our breathing space in half and now if anyone wanted to get by our carriage we would need to totally rock and yank the cart into a cozier proximity to the stuffed oysters and cocktail shrimp in the floor freezer unit we were previously huddled closely against

the guy starts yapping it up with some happy camper Baby Boomerette as he moves from this one majorly ridiculous obstruction he’s set up to another palette of Hugs Fruit Barrel beverages, which i really assumed were totally claimed to be as illegal as lead paint and wax teeth or something way back in the 70s, but i guess Hugs are still around — he moves the Hugs away after his little bantery live conference in the lane with Betty Boomer and disappears around the corner

after joking with Maceo about how insane this little chess move seemed to me, i decided to move our cart out into the newly opened space, maybe the only open 6 by 6 foot space with room to move, breathe and feel comfortable in the entire goddam grocery store at this point


i started to think about grocery stores in general and why we typically start our food shopping at such a miserable place like Market Basket, sometimes picking up items later in week at Super Stop & Shop or elsewhere { just never Shaw’s, ya know? } — and, i think its an obvious no-brainer, right? Market Basket does have the overall best prices { and by best, i mean lowest or most affordable, of course } — i mean, other stores probably have wider aisles and less desperate people — and for the most part, only the wider aisles part is verifiably true — the people, i hate to say, as i know this will come off as sounding like mean snobbery on my part, but its simply a realistic observation when i say these sorts of things — the people, no matter where you go to shop for groceries, typically act like these strange lost animals of consumerism

today i thought less about the word food and more about the word feed

as i looked around Market Basket and my fight or flight adrenaline was kicking in to simply help me survive the experience in this sense of hyperawareness of the sheer chaos all around me, my fellow people seemed a LOT more like animals than human beings — and they were all coming here to feed more than find food — any sense of intellectual differentiation from the animal kingdom or more refined social awareness and exchange of communication from organism to organism fell completely away to make the entire experience feel more like a zoo or a farm or a circus — and that’s what makes it even worse for me — these weren’t even the truly WILD animals i would better respect and adore to come out and see in the woods, on safari or in a tropical rainforest, no, not at all — these animals were simply humans gone wild in a next-to-nearly-inhuman contextual setting, acting like decent and respectable American shopping citizens of the capitalistic consumerist construct we’ve been given — mannerless, inconsiderate, self-motivated and self-centered, inchoate as far as i’m concerned in our journey along the technohumanic evolutionary continuum, unthinking, base, and quite frankly simultaneously frightening and disappointing to me

i know, i know, i can’t believe i’m writing this openly and honest about these observations — its just all too tragic-sounding and rather judgmental

and you need to believe me when i say, i typically give almost everybody the up-front and center benefit of the doubt the first time i encounter them, despite all they say about the importance of first impressions and all that

but i dare you to pay a visit to the Peabody Market Basket — especially on a weekend or right around the temporal vicinity of a major storm threat as predicted by our horrendously inaccurate television weather reporters — go and see for yourself and report back to me what you experience, i bet you’ll see it almost exactly the way i do


and what’re the alternatives?

go grocery shopping at Whole Foods?

its WAY too expensive there — and although there’s a lot more room to move and breathe and think, the people that shop at Whole Foods disappoint and disgust me for the very same reasons, but just coming from some more pretentious and extremely health- and fashion-conscious mentality — and there may be less of ’em, so the grocery shopping experience there feels more elegant, smooth, organized and thoughtful — i just can’t stomach the designer sweatsuits and pretentiously all organic, sugar free and decaffeinated institutionalization of food and our health addicted general public — any super market that doesn’t carry Cap’n Crunch is just selling an entirely different kind crack as far as i’m concerned

don’t get me wrong, i love the salad bar there, especially at lunch time when i worked out in Wellesley and all — it was fun to hit up the Whole Paycheck every couple of weeks or so for a nice change of pace, but its just not a financially sustainable grocery shopping option, and its not remotely believable to me on the earthy crunchy side of its post hippy, all naturale food chic

i guess until i hit it big or something i’m going back to The Basket despite the chaotic, animal-based nature of the total shopping experience — i even think i’m going back to The Basket when and if i hit it big, too — i just might go to the Market Basket out in Middleton instead