Friday, September 17, 2021

“Thinking Outside of The Box”


Creativity, Survival, and Situational Politics. 

Here’s a hypothetical – let’s say, the boss has asked you and a few other employees to stay late and help out, working off the books. A few hours later, he announces it’s time to go home – but then, he’s frantic – he’s lost his keys. He tells you the route he has taken, and asks you to help find those keys.

You carefully follow the path, looking for the missing keys. You follow an orderly, rational route, as someone of his stature would have taken. Perhaps, he stopped here, to inspect a supervisor’s workstation, for irregularities. No, they’re not there. At the end of the route, you’ve found nothing, certainly not the bosses’ keys. You retrace your path – still not there.

Did you miss them? What do you do next? Did he go someplace he forgot, or didn’t tell you? Or, is this a ruse, to test your loyalty and obedience? Does he know where the keys really are?

You ask if he could have gone any place else. He’s adamant, no.

You retrace the route once more, and still they haven’t magically appeared.

Is he really desperate to find those keys, or is this a test?

The task of obedience would be to retrace the path, again and again, looking for those keys.

Rational solutions would include scrutinizing places along the route where the keys might have fallen into a more obscure setting. Or, something might have absently been laid on top of them.

Still, no keys.

Expand the search radius, but in a respectful manner.


Did he perhaps forget a small side trip?

Does he know where the keys really are?

Then, something occurs to you. In the past, you’ve noticed that dodgy, furtive glance he makes when he passes near the women’s restroom.

You find the keys in a stall, and can guess how they got there.

You tell your boss you found them where they had fallen into a shadow, next to the aforementioned supervisor’s workstation. We can all go home now.

Frequently, social survival is survival.

Sometimes, in order to think “outside the box,” one has to actually climb outside of it and look around.

And, sometimes, creativity is more exercised in the framing of a solution, than in its actual discovery.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Not One of Us #68


All, by Isa Arsén
The Sisters of Andromeda (poem), by Alexandra Seidel
Gloria, by Andrin Albrecht
Fascination (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
The Moon Held in Her Lap, by Sarah McGill
Paterfamilias (poem), by Sydney Sackett
Morning (poem), by Alexandra Seidel
Sickness and Health, by Mary Crosbie
Wrong Numbers (poem), by J. J. Steinfeld
Art: John Stanton

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