Things Worth Doing in Seattle, WA
Two friends in the past couple weeks have mentioned casually that they are taking trips out to Seattle. It being one of my favorite cities, I volunteered to dump my opinions on them, perhaps ruining the adventure a bit, but passing on the information was a way of reliving some awesome trips for me. And then I realized, I have a blog for things like this. So, alas, here are some things I enjoyed doing/seeing in Seattle that you might too:
A Couple Things I Learned About Independent Insurance Agents
So, I am wrapping up a pretty extensive qualitative research project aimed at finding what drives/motivates independent insurance agents. In doing so, I think I learned a good bit about that world that I think might serve other people well to know. I can’t make my research public because it was done for a client, and it probably isn’t all that meaningful for consumers anyway. This post doesn’t contain research findings – this is just my opinion based on what I learned about the industry after dozens of interviews with agents around the country conducted by myself and my colleagues.
An Expectation of Hierarchy
I have worked a job since I was 14 years old. I started with a work permit that I had to get from my school to allow me to work over the summer during the ’96 Olympics, and I’ve worked ever since. During that time, I have worked full time and part time, in professional jobs and in unskilled labor positions. I’ve worked for myself and for corporate America. And through these experiences, I’ve identified one thing that makes every job stressful: an expectation of hierarchy.
Most people hate it and love it at the same time. We want titles that prove to others our worth, but we hate navigating the power differences within a company’s culture. For me, nothing can be more frustrating than having two superiors, each thinking what they want or need or think is more important than the other, telling you contradictory things. When you’re a subordinate, what can you do except to hope someone caves? And every office has the one person who thinks their title entitles them to treat everyone else terribly, right?
As with most things, I see myself straddling the general preferences of Boomers and Gen Y. The latter overwhelmingly prefers a more flat company structure, while the former prefers to have new titles to work towards. I exist in the middle, wanting the title that earns me respect (and compensation) based on my contributions, but I dream of a flat culture where that isn’t needed – where my ideas and work alone are enough to justify everyone’s respect.
I keep hearing that all of this will change when Millennials assume the power in companies. That is happening now, so here’s to hoping.
Easy Fix for Always-On Macbook Fan
I had an unfortunate incident with my 1.5 year old Macbook Air a week ago and it was destroyed, so I headed to the Apple store and got a new one. The problem with the new one (also a newer version with the backlit keyboard) is that the fan was running almost non-stop at 5000+ rpms. I checked everything. There was no Flash being run, I dimmed the keyboard backlight, I closed every program except Google Chrome, and the fan kept spinning as if the laptop was about to melt.
After a little digging, and refusing to accept the fact that Macs just tend to run hot, I found the solution. This extremely easy fix will take you about 2 minutes, and requires absolutely no technical skills. I will warn you, though, that Apple says this should only be done if you’ve tried everything else first. There is no indication of how it could negatively effect your machine, but I offer that warning just in case.
Octane is a trendy little coffee shop and bar in Atlanta with a cult-like following of hipster frequenters. The atmosphere is awesome and the coffee is always great. There are two locations, but we all know that the Westside is the best side.
Dinner at West Egg
West Egg Cafe is mostly known for its brunch, but with a variety of non-breakfast meals, you should also consider it for dinner. The loft-like interior and covered patio create a great atmosphere for meeting up with friends or family. Oh, and it has a full bar.
Flip Burger for milkshakes.
If you don’t already know, I love burger joints. Unfortunately, Flip Burger is not high on my list. It is, however, one of the best places to go for an outstanding milkshake. Seriously. Who could pass up a Krispy Kreme Milkshake? Or Nutella and Burnt Marshmellow? Yeah, amazing! If you’re curious, I don’t like the burgers because they are over-the-top gourmet burgers and that just isn’t my thing. If you’re looking for a great burger, Yeah! Burger is a mile down the road. Go there for dinner and hit up Flip Burger for dessert.
Atlanta Dogwood Festival
The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is (I think) Atlanta’s largest spring festival. Held in the beautiful Piedmont Park, it is certainly a stop you’ll want to make if you’re in the city. Spring in Atlanta is magical, so if you’re planning a trip do it then. Not only does the city come alive with festivals almost each weekend, but the temperature is manageable compared to the 90+ degree summer days.
The Dogwood Festival includes several stages for live music, great festival foods, hundreds of local art vendors, a dog show, and rides for the kids. Best of all, everything is free (though a small donation is customary).