Getting Unstuck with Josh Gondelman | Crooked Media
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August 30, 2023
Work Appropriate
Getting Unstuck with Josh Gondelman

In This Episode

Sometimes the job is fine, the pay is fine, the schedule is fine, but you still feel stuck. It’s a miserable feeling, like no matter what you do, this is going to be your life until the end of time. Josh Gondelman, pep talker extraordinaire and our first three-peat guest, joins host Anne Helen Petersen to offer some glimmers of hope to listeners who feel woefully, hopelessly stuck.

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TRANSCRIPT

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Hi, everyone. I’m Anne Helen Petersen, and this is Work Appropriate. [music plays] There’s a genre of question that we get here at Work Appropriate that always makes me feel so much empathy. It’s pretty broad, but it’s from people who are good at what they do, make decent, if not spectacular money and have been in their industry for a solid number of years. They don’t loathe their jobs. They just feel incredibly, woefully stuck. Conventional advice will not unstick them. In most cases, they can’t just quit or can’t quit without a whole bunch of things falling into place to ease their transition. But what can they do to spend the rest of their working lives wallowing in this feeling of stuckness? I want to thank everyone who sends in these sorts of questions because I know how hard it is to even articulate exactly what makes your situation feel so stuck. But I also want to offer some hope, some sideways sort of hope, some unconventional strategies for unstuckness. And I called one of the most curious and empathetic guys I know to help me figure out what that might look like. [music plays]

 

Josh Gondelman: My name is Josh Gondelman and I am a standup comedian who is currently touring all over the United States and a television writer who is currently on strike. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: So you are our first three-peat guest. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Wow. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: You are also our first guest. So this is appropriate, right? And, you know, usually we’ve always given you complex questions. Today we’re upping the difficulty level even more. But I also want to hear a little bit about what you’ve been up to since the last time we talked, which was in February. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And especially the experience of being on strike because it’s still happening. 

 

Josh Gondelman: It’s still happening. It’s been a heavy few months and I’m very fortunate to get to be on the road doing as much stand up as I am, and I had a lot of it basically all through the summer booked already, and. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: So I didn’t have to like spin it into motion when the Writers Guild went on strike. I’ve learned a lot and it’s been a really kind of intense summer and it’s been really I think the real, a real challenge has been balancing like really pushing for this contract that I think everyone in the union knows needs to be better to secure like a healthy and safe future for the career of writing and the people that do it and making sure that, like we’re trying to look after our members and take care of them during what’s what’s a really difficult time and making sure that we’re keeping an eye towards helping take care of other people who are affected by the strike. Because it’s not just writers that are affected by these work stoppages and not just actors now as well. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And for people who aren’t familiar, you know, when you’re on strike, obviously it means that you can’t work. But it also means that, like you go and picket a lot. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Like, picketing is a big part of striking. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: So you’re based in New York, and at least the pictures that I’ve seen on Instagram, you’re largely picketing in New York. So what is that like? 

 

Josh Gondelman: On one hand, it’s like really encouraging to see all the people in the street marching and chanting. And like, there was a time earlier in the strike when there was more production happening where we would be in maybe smaller numbers at production locations and in hopes that crew members, union crew members would respect the picket line and which came at great sacrifice to themselves. And often they did. And that’s what shut down so much production and kind of slowed everything to a crawl, even in advance of SAG walking off and stopping everything else. But like, it’s really been amazing to see not just our members and SAG-AFTRA members who have been out in solidarity from the beginning, like before they were even on strike when it was just one union striking. And then people from crews and people from the Starbucks Union and the Amazon Union and just people from the public were sympathetic, a lot of students. It’s been really amazing to see the, like, forceful solidarity of people from within our union, without our union. But it is a lot of like walking in circles [laughter] in the summer heat and a lot of it depends on what the vibe of each individual location is. But a lot of like chanting, which is. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Walking for three hours, which is a I think about probably six miles at the pace that the circles move and chanting forcefully does really take more out of you than or it took more out. I don’t put this on anyone else, it takes more out of me than I expected it to. It’s humiliating how tired I am after a three hour [laughter] picket shift to the point where you, like, see what Beyonce does in concert for three hours, like singing and dancing and just like, tight choreography and like, belting the songs out and you’re like, Oh, wow. I guess that’s just another reason Beyonce is better than me. [laughter]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: You know, we talk a lot on the show about how to make work more sustainable, more survivable. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yes. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: But like sustainable like in the long term. And I’ve heard striking and like labor negotiations and forming a union like all of this described as you were trying to make the industry sustainable for generations to come. 

 

Josh Gondelman: That’s right. And I think the way it has sustained for so long was because of the work that the union members did before. You know, like all the things that we’re fighting to shore up or preserve or enhance under kind of the new business models that a lot of these big companies are using where things that were struck for 60, 80 years ago, you know. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep. 

 

Josh Gondelman: 1960 was the last time both SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild were on strike at the same time. And that’s what got residuals for reuse of theatrical films on television when they started playing movies on television. Because before that, they didn’t have to pay the people who made those things to do that. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep, yep. 

 

Josh Gondelman: They just owned them. And they were like, Yeah, we can do whatever we want. So I think being part of a labor union in this kind of collective bargaining and collective action is what helps workers get as close to a fair deal as possible and get compensated as close to fairly as possible for the work that they do that we do. It is so heartening and inspiring because it really is like taking care of each other and doing together what we couldn’t do ourselves on our own. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: So I’m going to have to finesse this transition because I do not think that being on strike is being stuck. 

 

Josh Gondelman: No, I understand what you’re saying. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Which is the theme of our episode. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: So I like just to transition slightly. Is there a time that is not now [laughs] in your career where you have felt stuck? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Totally. I mean, I’ve had a couple. But I think the biggest one that’s like the easiest to communicate is I was living in Boston and I was working as a preschool teacher, which I loved, and I was doing a lot of stand up comedy and it kind of felt like where I was in both careers. I wasn’t able I didn’t see a ready evident path forward, right? Like in preschool teaching, it’s not like you teach and then you become like a master teacher. Like, you know, there are ways up and you can make a little more money with—

 

Anne Helen Petersen: A little more money. 

 

Josh Gondelman: A little more money. [laughter] Right. But I truly. I had to, like, sit myself down and go like, all right, how am I going to ever think about retiring or owning a home or even not having several roommates? And I thought I either have to kind of make a shift in this career or marry rich, which was not an option at the time. And it still is not. [laughter] I am married. I did not marry for money. But the—

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Just intelligence and wit, and beauty. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. No I love my wife for who she is and not because I’m a kept man at this point. So it actually what ended up happening was I moved to New York and kind of took a step back from teaching. And I was tutoring in Boston and I moved my tutoring gig to there, this company’s office in New York. They’re very gracious about that. And I like tried to make it in the comparatively well-compensated and stable field of television and film writing. [laughter] So that kind of does tie into to where we are now. Right. Because it did feel. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: I felt like I can make no money teaching preschool outside Boston or I could make no money trying to make it in entertainment in New York. And then worst case scenario if that really doesn’t work out. I can go back to Boston where it’s slightly cheaper and make slightly more [laughs] no money going back to teaching full time. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: How did you get yourself like that feeling of like, you know, we could think of it as pivoting. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And we’ve done episodes on that and that sort of thing. But like, I think sometimes people are like, Oh, I’m kind of screwed no matter what I do here. And it doesn’t look like there’s a clear avenue forward. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Okay. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: How did you clarify that? 

 

Josh Gondelman: So that I definitely had that feeling. And I think like that the way that I may decided to make a change and felt like I could take a step forward was going like, Well, if I’m screwed either way, I might as well try the new screwed. That’s like exciting to me and could pay off in the long term, right? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Like, if now is and truly not, I don’t want to say anything bad about my teaching job. The kids who I really, you know, was so grateful to get to work with my co teachers who are amazing. But if I was like, Oh, I’m going to do this job where you don’t really you you refine your skills, you don’t really advance in steps necessarily. Like, I didn’t I didn’t want to go towards running this school, although I considered like, do I go back for an advanced degree in education? As long as this is not a path where there’s like a ladder upward to a different, more stable, highly compensated place, that kind of allows me more freedom in the future, I might as well do another thing that could end up like that or could give me a path, even if it’s kind of opaque. Now what that would be. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: All right. So we’re going to use some of your wisdom from that and just your your general wisdom. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Sure. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: To tackle some of these stuck questions. The first one is from Fiona. 

 

Fiona: I am the staff attorney in a government office that is not directly connected to specifically state government or to local government. The person that I directly work for holds an elected position, and by statute my employment is at the pleasure of this person. And if something happens, there isn’t a real oversight structure and no real H.R. department. The lack of that structure is sometimes admittedly very nice. It does allow a lot of flexibility for time needed to take care of my kids. I have two, six and nine and my father who lives with us and has a number of health issues. And recently I’ve had my own health issues. However, it’s also really hard because I don’t know where to go if I have a problem. And beyond that, there is no upward mobility in this role, and I feel so stuck. I have the pressure where I am a caretaker for an elderly person, I have kids and all of that. So I just feel suck it up, be stuck and live with it. But there are some days where I just get so burnt out, so angry, so frustrated by things that I can’t control, that I just want to walk out. I just want to grab my bag, leave and not come back. The fantasies of the giant mess that they will face if I just do that are actually kind of nice. But sometimes I just don’t know how to manage this, and I don’t even know how one even starts to look for a job after I’ve been doing this for so long, I think I’m almost at 20 years. So is there actually any advice out there? You know, the standard one is just look for a new job, get a new one. But that’s not always the easiest thing to hear. It’s not the easiest thing to do, and sometimes it’s just not feasible. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Okay. So first of all, I want to acknowledge how real the fantasy of quitting and blowing things up is. [laughs] Like. I have definitely had that been like, Oh, this is what everyone would say. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: This is how the news was spread and like the look of surprise on their face or whatever is, it’s a very amazing feeling to fantasize about. 

 

Josh Gondelman: It’s so thrilling to think about that and to imagine the only thing better than the fantasy of it. Or like that specific part of the fantasy would be the idea of getting to watch like Tom Sawyer at his own funeral when everyone thought that he was dead [laughter] and and just being like, Oh, man. But of course, it would like never live up to the fantasy in your mind. And there’d be some people that are like, Oh, I, I thought they left like two months ago, and you’re, like, No it was today and you’re all, you’re going to be nothing without me. [laughter]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Everything is going to go to shit. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Like, like what if this person’s boss who seems like, what if this person’s boss was like, Oh, I was thinking about asking you to move on. Right. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: So many ways that this could go, like, sideways. 

 

Josh Gondelman: You’re like, you literally can’t fire me because I actually quit. [laughter] 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Exactly. So outside of that, acknowledging that that feeling, there’s a couple of things going on in this stuckness right so. One. And I know a lot of people who feel this way. Like. They have a job that has flexibility. They’re not crazy about the job, but the job allows them to fulfill the caregiving responsibilities that they’ve taken on in their family. In this case, sandwich generation caring for elderly father and caring for kids. Two. No place to move. So some people you know, we actually I just had a discussion about this on the newsletter. Like, I think American culture is obsessed with upward mobility in jobs. Like there always has to be a place to grow. And if you decline that somehow, that’s like a sign of your lack of commitment. But I can also see if this person has been there nearly 20 years, how not having any new challenges would be a struggle. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And that relates to the fact, like, oh, I’ve been doing this for so long. But like most of her adult life. Probably. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: So is there any way that you see that Fiona can improve her situation without getting a new job? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah, it’s tough, because I know getting a new job is not the easiest thing to hear. It is the easiest thing to say. [laughs] There is the, we are at a real impasse there. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And I think this will probably come up over the course of feeling stuck. Like if she’s going to stay at this job, that seems to offer very little stimulation at this point. Right? Like she seems bored. And and again, if you’re if you’re talking about no place to go to after 20 years, I don’t think it’s because this writer is like, oh, I want to like, climb the ladder out of just kind of American ambition. It really feels like, oh, I would like to do something else. And so it feels like one thing that you think about is that this flexibility that the job affords you doesn’t just have to be for caring for others, right? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Mm. 

 

Josh Gondelman: It can also be for caring for yourself. And that is like as valid. And I don’t mean necessarily like hashtag self-care spa day, but I mean like. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Professional development, personal rest from these things that that are making you feel like you’re burning the candle at both ends, right? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Like, if you can take a day off to take care for family or if you can like work from home or like quote unquote, wink, wink, “work from home” for a morning because you have to get a child to an appointment. You can do that because like you have to go to the dentist or you have this thing that you that you like wanted to do for your own edification, personal or professional. So that’s that’s my first thought. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: You know, someone brought up in the comments of a piece I wrote that sometimes we talk about affordances for people with caregiving responsibilities, and I always use that like I meaningfully use caregiving responsibilities to encompass like because there’s so many people in your life that you could be caring for. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Sure. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And someone was like, What if I don’t have elder care responsibilities? I don’t have any kids in my life. I’m taking care of. I don’t have like a partner that I need to care for either. What if, like, my caregiving responsibilities are for myself? And that was like a really interesting turn of the screw for me to think of caregiving responsibilities as also encompassing, not hashtag self-care, but like being a full person. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Totally. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Exploring things that are interesting to you that might not have anything to do with your job. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Or maybe like there is something that’s like tangential to your job that you are interested in, but you don’t want it to be under your boss’s purview, right? Like you don’t want it to be something that they then come in and like screw up and say weird things and like, make you feel burnt out about, but you kind of just want to, like, fiddle around with them on the side. But that’s another thing you can do. 

 

Josh Gondelman: I mean, like maybe you have the flexibility to like, take a professional development class on company time that will like let you feel like you’re moving forward in your career. If that’s something that you are moving at all in your career without leaping to another job right away, or being or being unemployed, maybe, or maybe it’s just like, yeah, I’m going to come in at noon a couple of days and I’ll like make sure that I’m not derelict on emails, but I won’t show up until noon so I can read for an hour just for my own enjoyment. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. [laughs]

 

Josh Gondelman: And I think like leveraging that kind of thing for your own use, as long as you’re not failing to do the things that you promised for your job and aren’t like creating more work for colleagues that you’re that don’t deserve extra garbage heaped on them, you know, I think like. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. Why wouldn’t you? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And especially so this person’s a staff attorney. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: In some ways, this job is very shitty and that she is employed at the pleasure of this person. Like, there’s no oversight structure. There’s no H.R.. She doesn’t seem to like this person. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: But also, like she has enough power that I think she can kind of, like, test some boundaries to figure out what’s acceptable. And this isn’t the same as looking for a new job per se, but I wonder if there are lateral moves that might be interesting. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Totally. So I know that looking for a new job is not top priority here, right? It’s not the preference. But I do also think it feels like the way the letter was written. It does feel like there’s an element of trepidation. Right. That’s like, what if there’s nothing else for me? What if there’s nothing else that meets these needs? And I do think, like you said, without throwing yourself into a full job search, the idea of going like, But what if there is is like helpful and I don’t think necessary. And I also think by putting yourself in this place of like, I can’t know what’s out there, I refuse to, like, look into what’s out there, but I also hate what’s here. I think maybe if there’s nothing out there, then you invest in ways to make this current situation bearable. But if you discover that there is something out there that you’re interested in, it’s okay to indulge and cultivate that as well as a path. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: I also I really feel for this person who probably, you know, hasn’t like, looked at her resume. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Totally. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: For several decades. Right. Like the whole idea of applying for a job probably seems really exhausting. You know, she admits that she’s burnt out like she is doing a lot. She’s doing these caregiving responsibilities and holding down this full time job. And I think, like even just that act of like, okay, I work in government, I’m an attorney. I’m very good at what I do. I have a lot of experience in it. What if I look at these other—

 

Josh Gondelman: Right. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: —federal jobs and just see if it piques my interest? Right. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. What what is there? What do the people that I have worked with in the past, what what have they moved on to that’s stimulating to that? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: If I know people in that situation like that kind of thing can be really nice because I think like a career can feel and maybe this is like too niche, or maybe I’m out of date with this reference, but like a map in an RPG video game, right [laughter] where you’re like in the middle and all you see on the map is like what you can turn and see 360 degrees with your little polygon body. And then. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep. 

 

Josh Gondelman: If you like, walk a hundred feet that way you’re like, Oh, there’s a new castle over there that I can explore. And so I definitely feel like there’s so much I don’t know that I don’t know. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And the only way to get there is to, like, explore a little bit in a way that doesn’t have to be aggressive and doesn’t have to be like a big time commitment, but could truly just be like emailing someone that, you know, moved from government to a private sector or a different wing of government and going like, What’s that like? Is it something you enjoy? And then you can go, okay, this maybe is worth the effort of like spinning up a resume after two decades and like learning how to use LinkedIn and all that garbage [laughter] that is like that, that makes looking for a job, a job in and of itself. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes, exactly. And I think too, you know, the other thing, if this person is worried about losing some of the flexibility that they have to to perform these caregiving responsibilities, like there are ways to suss out the flexibility of another job. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: I think that you can look to see who that job employs. And if it’s only people without caregiving responsibilities. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Then that’s a pretty big signal that, like, that’s not the sort of flexibility that this job allows. But if it’s other people in your situation, I mean, that’s a sign right there. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And I also think that this is kind of a good point in time, like in a history of American labor, let’s say, to make that kind of a contingency. Right. A request for a negotiating point if you’re looking for a new job, because it does feel like there is, even though every week there’s an article that’s like, bosses cry when they don’t see their employees in person, it’s like [laughter] it does feel like it is the kind of thing that’s now on the table more and more to be like. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: I would like to be half time hybrid or I would like this kind of flexibility as long as I’m hitting these metrics like which didn’t even when it was possible five or six years ago, let’s say it felt more taboo. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: The other thing I’ll say is that sandwich generation moments don’t last forever. People grow up, people pass away. And if it’s something that you have to grapple with in this particular job for now, you know, some of those strategies that we talked about in the beginning might be what you have to endure for now, but it’s not forever. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Definitely. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Our next question is from someone who’s trying to get out, but it is not going well. This is from Tina and our producer Melody is going to read it. 

 

Tina: Everything at work is going wrong. There’s a slew of issues. Coworkers treating me like I work for them. Some employees are allowed to work remotely, while others aren’t. And a manager spread too thin and too focused on their own career goals to advocate for their team. The biggest issue, however, is that my role within the company is unique and solitary, and I’m not receiving any guidance, mentoring, or relevant career development. I hate that I’m not progressing and I feel like this role has destroyed my future due to financial constraints. I am not really in a position to quit without having something else lined up. But I’ve applied to more than 100 jobs in the last two years and have had zero interviews. I’m only applying to jobs I’m qualified for and my resume and cover letter are tailored to every job. I’ve considered a pivot, but my passions and other skillsets won’t bring in enough to cover the necessities. I cry more days than I don’t, and I’ve lost hope. I’m in therapy, don’t worry. But I don’t think I can continue like this. Should I quit anyway? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Oh, Josh, if Tina were here in this Zoom call with you and I, what would you say to her? 

 

Josh Gondelman: I would say, like, I am so sorry for this situation. It sounds so frustrating and so bleak. Truly miserable day after day. That stinks. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: I really feel for you. And this. This is like one of the hardest kinds of problems to reckon with because there is no flexibility to just, like, have that fantasy of walking out. Right. For the practical financial constraints, which our last writer did not voice right, didn’t voice. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Like if I just leave, then I’m in financial trouble, right? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And this feels really acute here. So like, I do feel really bad because this is, I think like the kind of most miserable experience of work is like having to do a thing that you hate day after day or like a situation you hate day after day because you cannot afford to be alive otherwise. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah, absolutely. And I think sometimes one of the roles that we play on this podcast is saying to people, well, giving them the opportunity to articulate what the problem is to strangers is useful. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. Totally. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And then also having those strangers say, this really sucks. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. Oh, yeah, no doubt about it. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: This is a horrible, shitty situation and we really feel for you. And I also think though that there is a part of what she says where she says like this job kind of the dead end ness—

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: —has ruined her future. Do you think that that is like the hopelessness of all of this job application talking or is that something that can actually happen? How do you respond to that? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Part does feel maybe like a feeling more than a fact, like the the frustration of it is so real and the financial stress is so real. But like, I think it’s pretty hard to have a job that ruins your future unless your job is like escaping from those saw traps [laughter] and then you just end up like completely physically gnarled and mentally destroyed from it.

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. Or unless your job is like working for the Trump administration. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Totally. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. Or like being Rudy Giuliani’s henchmen like that, that ruins your future. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yep. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: But this is this is not the same. I think it’s just that this. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: It has not opened any doors for this person in a really frustrating ways. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And maybe you feel like you’re starting. Like if you got out now, you would be in a similar position as when you got in possible years ago. And that that’s like such a bad feeling. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes. Oh my gosh. It’s like when I started with journalism and I was like, Look at all these fuckers who are here who just like, didn’t go and get a Ph.D. and take on all that debt. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And they’re like 22. But also I have learned a lot. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: I guess, you know, like, but I had to swallow that, that feeling of anger. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yes. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: That I had like, wasted time in some way. 

 

Josh Gondelman: It’s really hard to feel that you’ve wasted time and that like. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: People are ahead of you or passing you by. And I think in most cases it’s more of a feeling than a fear than it is like a hard reality for your life, right? Like you’re not living their life. The fact that other people are progressing in their careers is not doesn’t make your life worse. It just, your the thing that’s making your life worse is like how stagnant you feel. Right? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And so it’s really tough to get out of this situation. My only like advice that’s coming to mind is also annoying. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: [laughs] What’s that, tell us? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Which is like, if you have the time and the bandwidth to pick up some other work to get yourself in a position that you can just walk out without another full time job. I do feel like that would lend itself to a brighter future in the long term. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. Basically like a stop over a job. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. Or even like a side hustle thing where you’re like, Oh, if you can make enough money, like if you set a metric of like, if I can pay my bills for two months. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Without having a job, then maybe it’s worth it for me or without having a full time job, maybe it’s worth it for me to leave this and trust that with two months to figure out what’s next, then I can, like, really focus and cultivate opportunities and and relationships that that can get me into this next position. It does seem like getting out of this situation is both impossible and necessary. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Well, and I would point like on a practical advice level, I would point to previous episodes, one about job seeking with Laura Mariani, that one of the tips that she makes that I think might be applicable here is to actually talk with people who have left your company. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Find them on LinkedIn and see what that route look like. I think Tina might feel like that might not be as useful to her because these people aren’t necessarily in the exact same job as she was. Right, because she feels really siloed. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: There’s not like a team, but it could still be helpful. And then the other one that comes to mind is an episode about preparing to get laid off, and Tina’s not preparing to get laid off, but she is potentially preparing to be in a position of of short term financial precarity. And one of the things that the host Phoebe said on that episode is like, what if you took a year and you really saved. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: That’s rough. That you’re like, I hate my job. [laughter] I’m trying to apply for other jobs. And also I’m like, I’m really trying to, like, put together something that can float me. But that’s something that I think the advice that we would give as well is like, okay, how can I create a slight cushion so that if I need to quit, that that’s a possibility. The other reality that we have to acknowledge is that sometimes people quit, and even if they’re job searching full time, they don’t find jobs. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And that’s hard because you’re like, I thought if I just dedicated myself to job searching, then everything would turn out okay. And it’s it’s a lot harder. You know, I’m glad that she’s in therapy because. The thing that I would also want to tell her is that even though you feel stuck at your job and like it’s so easy for the way that you feel at work to be the way that you feel at life. But like she is so much more than just this job.

 

Josh Gondelman: Totally. And being stuck at work doesn’t mean you’re like a stuck person or. And again, that goes back to that feeling of I’ve destroyed my future. Right. And it’s like you definitely have not destroyed your future. You you have a shitty present and that’s it. But like, at work, right? Like, maybe there is a richness to your life that exists outside of work that is being eclipsed by just like 8 hours a day of, like, this shit again. And. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes. [laughs]

 

Josh Gondelman: And I think that, like, it makes it feel like, oh, this is what it is every day and there’s no end in sight. So I think like, yeah, investing mentally, you know that mentally I’m here meme of just like wherever you your—

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes. 

 

Josh Gondelman: —you go away too in your mind when you somewhere you disassociate is like creating that space in reality to be like physically you’re there and whether it’s a long term thing you know like what you’re what we’re talking about is is not like a satisfying answer tomorrow. It’s like digging out of prison with a spoon behind a poster of Rita Hayworth. And it, like, takes a long time. [laughter] But it is, I think, just having that sense of purpose and like. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Momentum, even if it’s not like climbing a career ladder, momentum out of something bad can be can feel as gratifying, I think, as up to something good. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes. And also, Tina, we’re really rooting for you. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: You know, sometimes you apply for 100 jobs and you get the 101st, but it is a demoralizing and shitty process. And I think that you have skills and you’re going to find another place because this is not it. This is not it. 

 

Josh Gondelman: You gave her the pep talk version of the Lady Gaga speech of like, Oh, there’s 100 people in the room and all you need is one to hire you away from your terrible job. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: [laughter] All right, here’s a question about getting unstuck when your entire industry is on fire. This is from Ella, and our colleague Ashley is going to read it for us. 

 

Ella: I’ve been feeling stuck in my job and don’t know how to move on. Within the six years I’ve been at my company, my role has changed significantly. So much so that it feels like a role like mine doesn’t exist anywhere else. I work in tech and we’ve been through multiple rounds of layoffs in the past few months, which I’ve survived. But it makes me wonder what I’d do if I was laid off. I’m mid-career and have a broad set of skills. I’m told I’m particularly good at soft skills, but that isn’t enough to apply for other jobs. How could I figure out what’s next and move on? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: I think we hear on the show a lot of people in tech who are like, My job is miserable, the organization is a mess, but also there’s layoffs everywhere. Sometimes they feel like that’s the case also in Hollywood. I mean, how do you feel about when you feel like the entire industry is kind of on fire looking for a new job? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah, I mean, I think one thought that I keep having because a lot of people who are involved in the strike right, a lot of people were working at jobs when the strike started. And so they have presumably jobs to go back to with better terms when when we come back. And I have been thinking like, oh, I’m so invested in this fight for a fair contract and then I have to job search? [laughter] And so that is two separate thoughts. That’s nothing against. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. 

 

Josh Gondelman: You know, against this collective action. But I am like ugh. That’s part of it, too, I guess, that I like forget about because I’m so in this moment. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. 

 

Josh Gondelman: But yeah, it does feel like when you’re in an industry where there’s a lot of shift going on that it can feel like just standing in a river trying to catch a salmon with your bare hands. [laughter] 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right? You’re in the frying pan and you’re like looking out the corner of the frying pan and it’s just like other frying pans—

 

Josh Gondelman: Right, right, right. It’s not out of the frying pan into the fire. It’s just like, what’s how do I know that these frying pans are better? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: [laughs] Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah, totally. That’s exactly right. I don’t know if this is the case, but I do think when you have a changing set of responsibilities, having that codified into a job title and description that, like, really trumpets the stuff you do well. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep.

 

Josh Gondelman: Is helpful. And sometimes not always. People, bosses are more amenable to that kind of perk and benefit because it is free to give someone a better title for a job they’re already doing. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep, yep. 

 

Josh Gondelman: So yeah, it is. Or, you know, a shifting job, it’s like something that you can ask for that they don’t have to be like, I don’t know if there’s the budget for this, which stinks. It stinks that if potentially you’re being asked to do more and more with less and less fewer resources and compensation, that is possibly being outweighed by a shifting job. But I do think it helps to go like this is my new job title. Even if it’s not a promotion, it’ll feel like a promotion. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep, yep. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And it’ll look like a promotion and it lets you claim all the things you do well as like not just like quote unquote, “soft skills” but as like job responsibilities. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Totally. And I think that that, you know, she doesn’t say that she dislikes her job. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Totally. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: She she just says that like she’s scared that layoffs are coming. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: So this is a way to solidify your purpose at your own company. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. By underlining I am doing a role that we have decided is essential. Like it’s not some title that, like no one has really created jobs or hired for that job since like 2000. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Totally. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. So you’re essentially like updating. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yes. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Your iPhone model to be like what you do now. It’s like still the same freaking phone. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Right. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: It’s just perceived. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Right. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: As more up to date. [laughs] 

 

Josh Gondelman: It’s like saying like, it would be like going from being like, I’m an apothecary to going like, Oh, I’m a pharmacist. [laughs]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes, right.

 

Josh Gondelman: That’s like a job people have and hire for now. [laughter]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes. So she gets the free update from apothecary to pharmacist, which also has the benefit of being a title that is legible across the industry. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. Yep. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: So that when and if the layoff happens, it’s easier for her to apply for jobs at other organizations. 

 

Josh Gondelman: I would also say a title that’s legible outside the industry can be helpful, right? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Because it is. I’m not like 100% believer in that just like business as a skill is infinitely transferable. I might have said this to you before, but like when someone’s like, I’m an entrepreneur as what they do, it’s like. So you just like bossing people around and like, it doesn’t matter what you make or create. Like that’s it’s so untrustworthy to me when someone’s just like, Yeah, I just own companies and it’s like. Oh, must be nice to have rich parents. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. 

 

Josh Gondelman: But so I don’t necessarily agree that like, oh, all you need is someone who has like MBA skills and they can thrive in any different industry because I do think there’s. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Specialization is worthwhile, but making sure that the skills that you’re good at of like dealing with people because soft skills are really important and like maybe they’re valued even more outside of this industry, honestly, like. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: There might be a place where like what you do is a really useful thing that someone prizes and having that again codified and have having a legible title that that doesn’t just mean something in like the startup world could help you if you’re like, oh, you know, there’s layoffs here all the time. Maybe I want to work the same kind of function in a different industry. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Even if the title can’t get to that nuance. This is the sort of thing where I think, like the resumes that I’ve seen, where people are like, you know, the the primary skills that they’re working on. Like, I don’t know if she’s referencing that she’s a very good manager or maybe she’s an incredible collaborator, making sure that you’re having those conversations with your manager about those skills, right? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Oh that’s smart, yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Okay. Like, and then so when it’s time for recommendations like that comes to the fore. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: In terms of like the things that you are skilled at. Yeah, I think that Ella is in a good place to find some stability and security, and it’s a low stakes move to try to figure out, you know, okay, I’m going to have this slightly different title. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And then feel more secure in the place that she is. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah, totally. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: So our final question is about feeling stuck in a capitalist society. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Sure. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: It’s life. This is from Padma. 

 

Padma: For the first 15 years of my career, I busted my ass. I never said no to opportunities to take on more and to move up. But for the last few years, I can’t get excited about work. I just don’t want to work. Maybe it’s the pandemic that put things in perspective. Maybe it’s because I have three young kids. But to be clear, I kept climbing really aggressively even after my first and my second kids were born. I thought maybe it’s because I am middle aged now. I’m in my early forties, but I just can’t muster a lot of enthusiasm for my last couple roles. And while I’m happy that my work does not define me anymore, this also really freaks me out. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: All right. So I love this question. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: I think, you know, she says that she had babies before and now she has more babies. And I’ve been doing some reporting recently on a period that women experience around this time in their lives that, like someone referred to me as the portal. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Ooh. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Like the portal that women go through. And I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and I don’t think it’s exclusive to women. I do think that, like obviously people of all genders go through transitional periods in their lives, but a lot of it, like some of it intersects with like pre-menopausal stuff and that sort of thing. But one of the people I talk to is a psychologist named Satya Byock. She wrote a book called Quarterlife, and she uses these concepts of like, oftentimes people come to this quarter life crisis when they’re, you know, between the ages of 25, 35, where they have either been people who have been incredibly goal and like perfection oriented and then they smack up against like, oh, I want to find meaning. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Or the inverse is that people have been incredibly meaning oriented, like they’re always trying to find out like what is meaningful in life, like asking those questions and have resisted the more traditional paths. And Satya told me that, like this often happens for women as well when they enter the portal, right? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Oh interesting. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Because it’s the first time that they kind of slow down. And then the thing about the pandemic is it like widened the door to the portal. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. It really brought things into focus. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: It’s like, come on in. Let’s like, think about our purpose in life—

 

Josh Gondelman: Just a big door with glowing edges. [laughter]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: So, so many people are in the portal. And I rallied around thinking about these questions. And also I think it can be very destabilizing for someone like Padma, like I always thought that I knew what motivated me. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Like here was my driving force my entire life. Where did it go? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Like, it’s like running out of gas. And so how do you restart the car? Do you want to restart the car? Do you want to start walking? Like, where do you go from there? 

 

Josh Gondelman: It’s very intense. So the poets Blink-182 once sang, Work sucks I know. And they were right about aliens, so I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt [laughter] on this. I’ve had this feeling of like, even when you’re doing work that you really, really feel passionately about and engaged with. I’ve definitely had the feeling like, I get to do this for how many more decades? [laughs]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right, right. Like, sometimes I like, do the math in my head, just like that mental math of like I probably need to work til I’m 75, like I thought I was old. That’s still like 35 more years. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah, yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: It’s like another whole life. 

 

Josh Gondelman: I mean, I’ve been talking about this onstage, so not to, like, do bits at you, but I was like, you know, I have crunched the numbers and my wife and I can afford to retire at the end of this year as long as we agree to be dead by the beginning of next year. [laughter] And like, that’s not like a plan that I have, but it’s definitely a thought that occurred to me. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Well and like the joke I have with like every other millennial is, like, we don’t even think about retirement. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Because our understanding of retirement is like, just work until you’re dead. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yes. I feel like I’m like, die at my desk is probably my destiny. You know, my dad worked in construction for 40 years, and by the time he retired, his body would not do that work anymore. But because of his. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yep. 

 

Josh Gondelman: The kind of union protections and pension and and, you know, he and my my mom were able to, like, save prudently, like they’re retired and they have like a pretty. My mom retired as well now and they have like a pretty cozy life. And that feels so remote to people of our generation where I think like by the time they I this is like trod to death, but like by the time they were my age, they had two kids and owned a home that they still live in. And I have an elderly dog and live in an apartment that’s owned by just like some guy that I text three times a year. [laughs] 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: But for your dog is just keeps going. 

 

Josh Gondelman: I know. She’s so resilient. She thought she’d be retired by now. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. You know, I think that, like, it’s very normal for all people to reach a point where they’re like, Wait, what is this all for? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And sometimes people, like, get to that point when they’re 16. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yep. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And sometimes they get to that point when they’re 80. But questioning like, wait, I do all this work and someone else makes most of the money. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Like this. This is kind of bullshit. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And I can’t just like not? [laughs]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes.

 

Josh Gondelman: I like to have to keep doing it. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right? Like, we’re an incredibly technologically advanced society. We’re so smart, we’ve done so much, and yet we are all still running ourselves into the ground. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Like, this is wild, right? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: This doesn’t make sense. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Where the fuck is this service that chops my head off and puts it on top of a robot spider? [laughs]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: The cognitive dissonance is there. And also, I think, like comparing with other societies that have figured out different ways of doing it, and that’s comparing with other societies that have similar amounts of GDP as the United States and other societies that have far less like we, there’s some things going wrong. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Mm hmm. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. So underlining asking these questions isn’t just normal. It’s also incredibly healthy, I think. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: It is. It is a sign of someone who is questioning the world around them and trying to make sense of it. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And you’re asking a lot of questions about like, why did this happen? And I think that’s an easier answer, right? Is because, like, it sucks ass to have to go to work or else you can’t live in a house anymore. That’s like a really stressful situation and you have worked hard at it and do not have like there’s no like work nirvana that you hit when you have worked really hard for a long time where you just like gain this glowing understanding of a new level of productivity. It’s just like, Oh, and then more? And so I think those questions have easier answers than the kind of unspoken question, which is like, what is meaningful to you? 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And you hit on that already. So I’m kind of just paraphrasing, but I think like the letter is so focused on like the part about, like, why doesn’t this mean anything to me anymore? And it’s like for whatever reason, like it’s so reasonable that this doesn’t that work doesn’t mean as much to you and you don’t want to do it as much. But now you you have the intellectual philosophical burden slash freedom of being like, what? How do I define myself? What does mean something to me? And I think that’s scarier to stare down than like, why don’t I like work anymore? Or why don’t I? Why am I not motivated to work? But it is ultimately like a more rewarding question to ask yourself because you can get to the other side of it and and have like an affirmative thing that you’re like, this is what I want and love and value. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: You know, when I was doing a lot of the reporting for my book on millennial burnout, I talked to a lot of people who, for whatever reason, from a lot of different class backgrounds, racial backgrounds, like there’s different places where this intersects and you’re like, work has to be the thing that I define myself by. And that starts early when you’re trying to get into college and trying to, like, define yourself in junior high and high school and then continues on. And because you’re so focused on that, oftentimes the development of other parts of your personality fall away. So it can be incredibly discombobulating to wake up and be like, if I don’t care about work anymore. If, as our question asker points out, like it doesn’t define me anymore, what am I? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah.

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Who am I? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yes. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: What do I love? Right? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yep. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: And like, yes, I want to be a mother too. But what else? What else?

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah, of course. Right. And like, it would feel hollow for me to be like but she has kids, that’s something to have. And it’s like, yeah, she knows she has kids. It’s in the letter. [laughs] Right. She’s not like, oh, shit, kid’s whoops. Is that who’s in the car still? [laughs]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right, right. No, it’s like I think that that’s an important part of her personality. But also. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Right. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: It’s still not enough. Like a lot of people. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Right, and it doesn’t have to be enough. And it can be that as one facet and like a job that you just like care less, like you brought this up before, but like that you care less about climbing the ladder and more about like, Oh, I like to do the thing I do every day. Less thinking about the career advancement and more like, Oh, what? What is it like? What do I feel productive and satisfied having done for a work day? And is there a way to do more of that? And then it’s like, Yeah, and what else can my life contain if I make space for it with this energy that is no longer like success based and in a capitalist way, I feel like I’m starting to have friends now in their, like mid thirties to early forties who are like, yeah, I like. Play guitar again. Like I haven’t played guitar since I was 17, and now I play guitar again because like, I want to do something that I can invest in and improve at and feel satisfied with. That isn’t just like creating wealth for people who I either have never seen or do I see and hate. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: [laughter] You know, and I like sometimes it takes a while to figure out what that is. And sometimes you’re still, like, weirded out by your attitude towards your job. One thing I’ve seen work really well is figuring out how to, like, do your job very effectively and be more productive with the time that you’re there so that you can stop doing it. Like we don’t know what this person’s career is. But one thing I’ve done as I’ve gotten older is figured out how to spend less time doing my job, like do the same amount of work, but spend less time— 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: —doing it, because I’m more focused. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yep. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Because I have other things I want to do. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Yeah. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Right. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Like I have other parts of my life other than work. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Totally. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Can be an incredible motivator. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah, for sure. 

 

Josh Gondelman: So figuring out what that is so that you can spend less time doing the thing that like you don’t want to do anymore. And then just having these other parts of your life that you do the work for. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Mm hmm. 

 

Josh Gondelman: You do the work so that you can eat and have all these other things in your life. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yeah. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And I think it feels really stressful to be like, Oh no, who am I? But the like, inverse of that is like you’re whoever you want to be and it’s not decided by how good you are at work, right? It’s defined by like what you what you spend your mental energy thinking about. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Yes. 

 

Josh Gondelman: And what you invest your time in doing and like what you do with your family, what you do apart from your family and like all that stuff. There is the scaffolding for that already. Like it wasn’t I assume, you know, you weren’t like living on the International Space Station for the last eight years and it is like an affirmative decision you get to make. It’s not like you’ve run through this wall professionally and left an outline of a person in the wall, like the Kool-Aid guy. [laughter] And that’s who you are, right? Like, you can fill in who you are. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Kool-Aid guy. Great reference to the first time that you were on the show. 

 

Josh Gondelman: I know. And it honestly isn’t even the Kool-Aid guy. That’s the right reference here. It’s like Wile E. Coyote. Is the right one. [laughter]

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Amazing. This is a great place for us to wrap up. Josh, if people want to hear more from you, where can they find you? 

 

Josh Gondelman: Oh my gosh. I am on tour all over the place. I have a newsletter that I write every week called That’s Marvelous. It’s free. It comes out Mondays. It’s Joshgondelman.substack.com. Subscribe to our newsletter. Come see me on the road. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Thank you so much, Josh. 

 

Josh Gondelman: Thank you. This has been such a pleasure. 

 

Anne Helen Petersen: Before we roll the credits, I got to let you know that the best of the best is officially on sale. The Crooked store’s, Labor Day weekend sale just started. So now is the perfect time to snag that merch you’ve been eyeing. Everything in the store is 15% off now through September 5th. Personally, I’m going to take this opportunity to buy like 50 fuck that guy shirts to hand out to people because let’s be real. That was probably said a lot during the Republican debates. Shop the sale at Crooked.com/store. [music plays] Thanks for listening to Work Appropriate. If you need advice about a sticky situation at work, we’re here for you. Submit your questions at WorkAppropriate.com or send a voice memo with your question to Work Appropriate at Crooked.com. We love building episodes around your questions and you can stay as anonymous as you like. Don’t forget to follow us @CrookedMedia on Instagram and Twitter for more original content hosts takeovers and other community events. You can also follow me on Instagram @AnneHelenPetersen or you can sign up for my newsletter Culture Study AnneHelen.substack.com. And if you like the show, leave us a review on your podcast app of choice. Work Appropriate is a Crooked Media production. I’m Anne Helen Petersen, your host. Our executive producer is Kendra James. Melody Rowell is our producer and editor. Alison Falzetta is our development producer. Music is composed by Chanell Crichlow. Additional production support from Ari Schwartz and a special thanks to Katie Long and Sarah Geismer. [music plays]