Episode 49 – How I spent my COVID-19 Vacation

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Recorded: April 7, 2020

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About the Podcst

Topic: With everyone in the world being locked-down, bored  rigid with nothing much better to do and in desperate need of speaking with someone other than their significant other or dog, it’s a full-house at The Outliers Inn with guests who hail from the States, the UK, Germany, and Iceland being represented.  The episode is long, but the conversation is fun and lively.

Standing in for co-host Benjamin “Antlerboy” Taylor is a regular on the show, Don “the beer man” Burshnick.

We start off with Don sharing that his beers are being recognized by his peers as being pretty darn good.  In a recent contest, his Raspberry Wheat won 1st place and his California Common took 2nd in their respective classes.  And we discover that “gravity” is indeed relative.  In beer parlance, it means that there is more sugar in higher gravity beers – and more sugar means more fermentation which, in turn, translates to a higher alcohol content.

Hal joins us from Washington State and continues his work with small manufacturers.  His main challenge is navigating how manufacturers can continue working during the pandemic and what working together will look like after this is all done.  The biggest concerns is the potential over-reaction and the instilling of temporary controls that might become permanent.

John from the UK whose passion is continuous improvement joins us.  Being recently retired and bored rigid, he made the rookie mistake of trying to teach his wife “5-S”, starting in the kitchen.  There is nothing a wife loves more than being told by her husband how disorganized her kitchen is – not.  Needless to say, she was displeased and demonstrated her colorful vocabulary with enthusiasm.  He reflects that he should have spent more time studying Sun Tzu before starting this war, and not just how Toyota works.

Joerg from having just finished taking a cruise in the Mediterranean with his wife.  He has recently taken on a new role within the company.  But the new role will take him 500km from where he presently lives.  He has been spending his time preparing for the new role, but also looking for an apartment near his new place of work.  Due to the restrictions in place, he has had to look at apartments “virtually”.  It will be the first time he has ever entered into a contract for a place without ever having seen it live and in person.

Wolfgang, also from Germany, then bellies up to the bar.  He is missing his daily workouts at the gym, but finds himself very busy.  He changed the delivery of his consulting and training to be virtual and has landed enough work to see him through to the end of the lockdowns – even though he is thinking to make this a permanent offering for his clients – more value-add and less rumptime in a car traveling.

Andy from the UK shares his angst with the UK regulation called IR-35 and the burden that has been placed on independent contractors.  The confusion with the regulation has caused confusion with many prospective clients who don’t want to run afoul of the regulation and has been idle for longer than makes him comfortable.  All the patrons at the Outliers Inn share their angst with governments squashing small guys while they dollop benefits on those who are large enough to fight back.  So he is spending a lot of his time writing articles on LinkedIn. 

Stephane joins us from France were some of the most Draconian lockdown measures are in place.  People are allowed to leave the house for only an hour a day, much like a prisoner in solitary confinement.  When he does leave, he can only go for necessities (like groceries) and has to carry a diary with him that logs his time in case he is stopped by the authorities.  He’s working from home and his new friend is Zoom.  He is also socializing by having Zoom-beers with his friends.   

Oli is originally from Iceland, has lived in the States, and is now in Germany.  Being used to being in the field, the lockdown makes him uncomfortable.  Although he appreciates the “buy local” sentiment that is currently being expressed,  he talks about the benefits of globalizations.  Talk about global risks and the need for maintaining multiple sources in the supply chains – not just diversity in companies, but diversity in geographies.

And David from Virginia decides to celebrate his 59th year on this planet with us miscreants at the Outliers Inn instead of doing – whatever else he can be doing.  Why?  We still don’t know.  But COVID-19 or not, he drives to and from his shop every day to do what he does – and trying to living his life as usual.  He is a Virginia licensed industrial hemp grower and is trying to develop a way where he can plant and harvest in 10days hemp-sprouts as a functional food.  He does admit to enjoying the empty highways where he can open it up.  His commute time is much shorter. 

We end the program with the biggest dog-pile The Outliers Inn ever had…  Come listen in…

Hosts:Joseph Paris, Founder of the OpEx Society & The XONITEK Group of Companies
 Benjamin Taylor,  Managing Partner of RedQuadrant.

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