I am in NYC with no money. This used to happen all the time. When my company was running out of money, I would go to San Diego to give a speech and stay at a four-star hotel and not have a cent. And no credit card, of course. I would fly first class, stash all the extra treats they offered, and eat them until I could charge room service to the organization I was speaking to.

I am an ace at traveling without any money, but I'm sick of it. I thought it would never happen again. After all, I have a company credit card.

But I think Ryan Healy canceled my card. Or put a hold on it. I think this is maybe because I charged a ton of garden supplies on the card last weekend. I couldn't find my own card, so I thought I'd just charge a few things and then write the company a check. But then I charged a bunch of roses. Twenty. I mean, the farmer can just dump a bunch of dirt in a pile and dump a bunch of stones around the pile, and voila — I have a huge garden plot. So now I have a sun garden that needs a little more spunk.

I discovered the credit card problem while innocently buying a Bluetooth headset in NYC so I could do the gazillion conference calls we do at Brazen Careerist with a CEO in DC and me on a farm and Ryan and Ryan in Madison. I mean, every meeting is a conference call and I'm getting a neck ache.

Also, I'm getting fat. The conference calls are hard for me. They bore me. I like big ideas, I like hypothesizing and predicting and synthesizing. The job of actually getting stuff done is not that interesting to me. But we are in execution mode at the company, and I need to stay focused. So I eat when I’m on the conference calls. On a good day, I eat ten apples. Cut into halves, then quarters, then cookie cutter shapes like stars. On a bad day it’s one apple and ten apple pies.

So I am needlepointing, to stay focused on execution instead of food.

I remembered about needlepointing from when I was a kid, bored out of my mind in Miami with my grandma, when I spent summers at the Doral, where every evening was black tie, and kids ate dinner alone, in pajamas. I learned to needlepoint there. In between getting sunburned and getting spanked. And the needlepoint was the highlight of my trips. Well that, and my diary, featuring entries like, “Granma hayts me. I hayt Auntie. I want to dye.”

So I thought, maybe I should needlepoint to calm myself down now, so I don't have outbursts on the phone. I am trying to be a more amicable co-worker. I am not sure if it's possible, but I know that to achieve my goal of amicability, I have to stop getting angry on the phone, which comes not out of passion but rather out of boredom.

So now I needlepoint. And then it was so effective that I started needlepointing everywhere. I did it while I had dinner with my mom. She told me I was crazy. I did not say pot calling the kettle black.

I stopped following the color pattern exactly by the time I was so addicted that I was needlepointing while getting a Brazilian. And by the time I was doing needlepoint in the board meeting, I was disregarding the whole pattern in favor of a completely free-form approach, (which, by the way, strikes me as the future of all needlepoint — less rigidity).

Now I'm convinced I need beads for my needlepoint, and I'm actually super happy thinking of spending my days threading beads. The problem is that I don't have any beads. There is a bead store near the farm, but they are not interesting beads, and I knew I was going to New York City, which must be home to many amazing beads. I was thinking that even though I don't know where my bank card is, I have the company card. And now that I've charged garden stuff, the beads won't get anyone any more annoyed.

But now I'm cut off from the credit card. I'm going to have to ask Ryan Healy, or even Ed, our CEO, why. They will say, “Have you been using it for anything weird?” They will ask innocently maybe, although they constantly worry about me and weird. They worry that weird will overshadow all the good about me.

But just because I am not able to charge beads while I'm in NYC with no money does not mean that I am out of good ideas. Don't underestimate my workplace trends genius.

Like, I'm thinking that the future of all writing is short, twitter-like stuff, based on traits we see in Generation Z. This group only uses phones, and very few use phones for email. For Generation Z, email is for diatribes and texting is for communication. There are few laptops in our future. Laptops will be for dorks, and keyboards will be too small for big typing sessions, so only dorks will write long form.

Here's another idea: The future of human resources is death. Good managers will do their own recruiting by having their own great network. (Great article from ERE about how Brazen Careerist will be a part of this revolution.) And RPO companies will take over the legal part of HR. So there won't be a reason for HR. Which is good because it's a cost center, which means there are no line manager positions in HR, so it's a dangerous career move for everyone.

One more trend. This one is for all the investors that my CEO will be worrying about when they read this post. Bloggers will rule the world. They will own advertising, because it's so effective to target audiences through blogs. And blogs have the best content, because if someone writes great content, why would they do it for someone else? They should build their own brand.

Okay. So, look. My career as a workplace genius is not over. And anyway, my career was never built on me being conventional. I think my company is going to have a fit over the gardening charges. I wish I were scared about what will happen. But I am feeling fearless, thinking that if I am simply honest about what's happening, I'll be fine. Or, at least I'll have a blog post.

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  1. Denise
    Denise says:

    P–I check for a new post from you every day and can’t wait to hear from you again. Your fans clearly outnumber the silly critics-ala-self-proclaimed-psychologists who mistake “crazy” for artist, who think your post is about credit cards and needlepoint (I wonder how often these same people fail to get the central value of other people in their own personal and professional lives). I hope hope hope their rudeness isn’t the reason for your sudden absence…please don’t let them bother you…but on the other hand, I hope you don’t take the suggestion above and turn off comments. It’s so entertaining for us readers!

    My favorite line is also: I like big ideas, I like hypothesizing and predicting and synthesizing. The job of actually getting stuff done is not that interesting to me I can so relate! I hear Walt Disney was the same…

  2. Jen
    Jen says:

    I’m a big fan of yours….but irritated that there have been so few posts in the last few months :( We MISS you!!! lol

  3. Christian Dietz
    Christian Dietz says:

    Hey Penelope, to see a female view in such a way… lots of people seem to like the way your writing. Personally I drink coffee. Yep. Healthy coffee. 3-5 times antioxidants of green tea. Premium taste. healthy roasting. Try it. Just wanted to tell you. When I heard the first time of it I was suprised didn’t know coffee originally being that healthy. Originally it is but normal supermarket or traditional coffee lost a lot of its benefits due to the way it is processed. This coffee here is a shocker!! My friends drink it too. So for me this is a point. So if you don’t know with the money topic. Well drop me a line. You can also make money with it. But really whether drinking or selling it or building a team with it: it makes things faster and nicer. I personally love the way to wake up and know how to get momentum in the most pleasant way.

  4. Lee
    Lee says:

    Maybe she’s laying low because she got canned for inappropriate use of a company credit card…

  5. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    You sound pregnant.

    That aside, most of the women I know listen well when our hands are busy. It’s probably far better to be multitasking with your hands/head than all within your head.

  6. j terjesen
    j terjesen says:

    husband says, let it go. yes, old blog post. yes, probably somebody already said it. but seriously, you think all human resources does is recruit?


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