Laws of Convergence

Posted by Richard Moran.

Moran’s Law of Convergence

  • Two cars going in the opposite direction will always pass in the narrowest point in the road.

  • If there’s a bicyclist on the same road, the chances of all three passing at the same point are increased.

  • Two families leaving a restaurant at the same time will invariably be parked next to

each other.

  • No matter the size of the parking lot, someone will be leaving or pulling into the spot next to yours at the same time.

  • If you want to see something from the road, a bus or eighteen wheeler will pass and get in your way at the exact moment you could have seen it.

  • While taking a photo, someone will walk between you and your subject at the exact time of the click of the shutter.

  • The maid will always be at your hotel room when you go to it at break time.  If you really have to use the bathroom, the odds are increased.

  • Toll takers will always change shifts in your lane when it is your time to pay.

  • The car will always be parked on top of the hose.

  • Conversation with a child will always start immediately after they dive under water.

  • Morning walkers will always be passing by when you go to get the newspaper in your underwear.

  • Special events will always be scheduled at the same time.  If you haven’t been out in a long time, there is a multiplier effect at work here.

  • The letter will always run over so that only one line is on page two.

  • The airplane pilot will always tell you where you are and talk over the movie soundtrack at the most critical point of the movie.

  • The toilet paper will always run out when it’s your turn.

  • The Harley will always be riding next to you at the most critical point of the cell phone conversation.

  • When pressing the button for the classical music station, it will always be during the three seconds of silence between movements and you turn it up much louder to see what’s wrong.

·         While on the phone in your car, the most critical part of the conversation will occur while going through a tunnel or as you enter the underground parking garage.

·         The more you have to go to the bathroom, the greater the likelihood that the “cart will be blocking the aisle”

  • When traveling by air with children, you will always be assigned to sit in the emergency row, the one place you can’t sit that will cause great commotion when you board.

  • The windshield wipers always work until it rains.

  • The cursor will always block the spot on the computer screen that you need to see.

The Driveway Convergence Conundrum

  • When you pull into a driveway to turn around, the owner will be standing in the garage.

  • When you pull into your own driveway, a walked dog will invariably be going to the bathroom there.

  • When you’re backing out of your own driveway, someone will be walking behind your car.

  • When you’re backing out of your own driveway, the neighbor across the street will also be backing out of their driveway.

The law of converse convergence

when you want something to be there, it isn’t.

  • When up a little early, the newspaper won’t be there.

  • If you’re early for a flight, it will be delayed.  If you’re late in arriving at the airport, the flight will take off on time.

  • You will always be on the left side of the airplane when the tourist attractions are on the right.


On Judgement and the Governor

Posted by Richard Moran.

There is no need to pile on South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford for his problems.  There is enough opinions flying about should he resign or not and the future of his marriage.  But there is an organizational and career lesson to be learned from the good Governor’s adventures.  The lesson is, if you indulge in bad behavior and misdeeds you will get caught.  I repeat, You Will Get Caught.  Since most people, even children, know they will get caught, it just makes me wonder when high profile people do irresponsible things.

At work, in general, truth will prevail.  I have just seen it too many times.  It may not happen immediately, but bad people doing bad things do get caught.  So will you.

In that light, I have questions for the Governor, I know he won’t answer them but I am dying of organizational curiosity:

  • Did you think you could go away for five days in another country to meet you girlfriend and not tell any one where you were going and that you wouldn’t get caught?  If a state employee like a clerk at the DMV in South Carolinadid that, no doubt, he or she would get caught and probably be fired.  The Governor is a state employee.
  • Did you have fun in Argentina knowing that the entire country was wondering what the hell happened to you especially since your wife was saying she didn’t know where you were either?  Bernie Madoff knew for years that he would get caught and ran his business accordingly and maybe he is a guiltless guy but when you know you will get caught it sort of takes the fun out of the trouble you can make.
  • Have you heard of John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton or the guy who taps his foot under the stall in the men’s room?  These guys aren’t from ancient history.  I have heard parallels drawn to you and Herodotus, Thucydides and other guys I sort of remember from Western Civilization 101, but the examples of getting caught are recent and frequent.
  • Do you remember high school?  In high school if you were dating one girl and went out with another, the entire school knew by the next day.  Now all of Argentina and the US at least, know all about your love lives.
  • Do you want to run for President?  Even Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett and Iran couldn’t get you off the front page.  I am afraid your judgment and morals are now always at the top of the Q&A.
  • What about later, did you think about that?  Fantasize forward to a time when you could be elected to a bigger office.  That is the time when all the information would come out anyway.  JFK and Thomas Jefferson are still getting caught.
  • What did you plan to say to everyone when you returned since I bet you assumed you would get caught?  OK, I know, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I apologize to everyone I hurt.
  • Who did you sit next to on the airplane to Argentina and did you fly first class?  There must be a good story there when your seatmate asked, “What do you do?”

People are fascinated by the Governor’s Big Adventure and it is mind boggling how he even pulled it off logistically. Like so many others before him, he is caught and the lesson for you, and me and everyone at any level in the organization:  Do something weird or bad and you will get caught.


Career Night

Posted by Richard Moran.

Career Nights – Blast from the Past

Career nights are still held at high schools.  I thought they would be virtual or on YouTube by now but they are not. In fact, except for the invitation to attend which probably comes via email instead of a good smelling mimeographed flyer, the protocol of career night hasn’t changed too much since I was in high school and that is not a good thing.  It is like going back in time to one of those parts of high school that you would like to forget.  Like the day you have to climb the ropes in gym or group projects.

As a witness to a recent Career Night with one of my children the way back machine was humming as hundreds of students and their parents passed through the cafeteria where tables were set up and smiling adults, some in the uniform of his or her trade sat behind each table to answer questions.  Everyone involved is serious and committed to helping the students learn more so they can eventually make the right career decision.  For those students who have an inkling of where their work interests might take them, there are break-out sessions in classrooms where more detailed information is distributed and stories are told.

The Career Night is a high school ritual, a rite of passage that all must endure that will someday be replaced or abandoned.  In the meantime, there is some solace in a day of constant tweeting that some things haven’t changed.  Based on a sample of one, here are those elements that ever enduring about high school career nights:


  • The students are not interested.  Sure they show up because Mom or Dad or both suggest it would be a good thing to attend, but the student is more interested in the homework that isn’t done and due tomorrow.  When it comes time for questions in the break out sessions, the most they can muster is “Do you make a lot of money?”
  • The speakers are either self-important, secretly wish they had opted for a more challenging and lucrative career, or wish they were still in high school.  Most are prepared but the audience is a tough one.  It is not an easy role to try to convince a sixteen year old that the life of an actuary is wildly exciting.
  • The information is still awful.  Instead of a flyer that declares, “So You Want to Be a Brain Surgeon!” the new info declares “Careers in Brain Surgery for the 21st Century!”  In a list of Hot Professions for 2009, the list included:
    • Auditor
    • Health Care Technician
    • Networking/Systems Administrator
    • Nurse
    • Software Designer
    • Counselor

Without checking, I would bet that is the same list given out to the Classes of 2000, 1990, 1980, and 1970.  And I know kids have changed but I would guess the prospect of any of these careers hold as much interest to the high school student today as they did to earlier classes.  A cynic would say those are still the hot careers because not a lot of people want to do them.  Supply and demand.

In spite of the current economy, I don’t know if there has ever been a more exciting time in career choices. Everything is changing in wild ways.  What is happening in technology, finance, energy, healthcare and even the government arena are creating huge changes and huge opportunities.For all of you auditors and health care technicians and others out there, no offense and I hope you enjoy your work.  For all you undecideds out there, find something that makes your heart go pitter patter.