A trip to the Dentist

We interrupt our tour of corporate values to bring you a Leap Year trip to the Dentist.  I may be on to a loophole here as instead of twice a year I would only have to go once every 4 years. I don’t think I have ever met a person who looks forward to this trip. Today was no exception.  Any trip is viewed with a sense of dread,  but today I had the privilege of getting not one but 2 cavities filled.   The 2nd one was so large I was beginning to trap food for future meals back there.  First it was a piece of lettuce,  then some celery, but when you reach the point that entire meals were being lost you have to do something about it.   I was reluctant as it is a nice bonus to have a burger you can access at any moment lodged somewhere between your cheek and esophagus.  Squirrels were impressed with the quantity I could forage.    But the time had come.

Not only was this a large cavity but it was so far back in my mouth my dentist appeared to be in up to his elbow.   Better him than a proctologist I guess.   This required the help of an assistant, multiple pieces of cotton,  a wedge to keep my mouth open,  and at least 5 metal apparatus that shot out air, water, and grape jelly.   By the time all the items were in my mouth it was almost March.  My favorite part is when random employees and patients walked by,  most taking instant photos and sending them to friends and family with the comments of human salad bar referencing the food stuck back in my teeth.  Off they went, and I don’t know about you but for me the worst part is the sound of the drill.   I asked for triple doses of Novocaine as tooth pain is the worst there is next to having to wait at the DMV.  I did not care if my lip sagged down to my stomach,  I was not going through that mess.  But the sound was bad enough.  Both hands were clamped down on the arms of the dental chair to the point where I ruined them for future patients.  There was one moment when the drill met nerve where no Novocaine was meant to go and I instantly wished both Dentist and assistant a lifetime of having no cable.  I then bitch slapped both of them and from there the appointment progressed quickly.  All items were taken out of my mouth and I pulled my lip back up and wrapped it around my head.

I had lost my snack pouch but it was replaced with sound dental hygiene and mouth numbness that extended down to my neck.  The drive home was done in silence as I was not capable of talking,  a state my family no doubt wishes for on a daily basis.

We end our story at home, knowing I had to eat something, and something I could not chew.  I opted for yogurt, and the trick to eating yogurt on massive amounts of Novocaine is to shovel it in faster than it comes out.  There were no witnesses to this event and for that I am eternally grateful.   Even my dog stood spellbound as I ladled it in one side while it came out the other.  Of course, I could have used a straw,  but what is the fun in that ?

I hope you all enjoyed your extra day like I did, and if today is your birthday,  I hope you did it right.   You deserve it .  By the way, what are you,  10 ???


Determovation is the key

You hear these slogans all the time in the corporate world .   You need to be motivated and determined.    I say the hell with that, go all out and be determovated.

Here’s a few you may have heard as a way to get you out of bed each day.

Losers quit when they fail.  Winners fail until they succeed.

A goal without a plan is just a wish. 

Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. 

I just read through those three and damn don’t I wish it was Monday already.  I decided to crank it up a notch and make up my own corporate catch phrases that would make you want to work for me 7 days a week.   I am hiring in case you were interested.


You can sleep in the next lifetime.  True success is measured by the number of wrinkles under your eyes..

Be efficient enough during the week and you will be sure to have off for an hour on Saturday.  

We will achieve more as a team when you can take that work life balance thing and stick a pin in it until 2025.  

If we cannot get it right the first time,  blame it on Steve until we do..

We are capable of so many ideas,  the trick is to believe that one of them might actually fucking work.   Until then,  keep deleting everything, and burn what you cannot shred..

Look forward to this day. Yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.  It all starts with good Chinese take out so let’s let Bob take over and get us the vision of some Chicken Lo Mein..   Then,  nap time.   We can dream, have another vision, and then call it a day.

That’s all for now..  This should have you so pumped to work tomorrow that you just start now.   Let Sunday be the new Monday, and Saturday be the old Friday.   We will work harder, and be dead quicker…  Consider yourself duly determovated.



It’s 7 o’clock on a Friday….

Sing that to the old Billy Joel song.    Keeping with the theme of the corporate world,  it is indeed after 7 pm on a Friday night, are you still working ?    Many folks are..  This is certainly not meant to knock the hard working citizens of this fine land, but as always I am here to offer some advice on the tiniest chance you may be working too much..   If you ain’t getting paid by the hour,  it ain’t worth it. Here are some signs that you should pay attention to in the future. I will lay this down like a quiz for workaholics.   If you answer at least 3 of them as “Yes that pertains to me”,  I highly suggest you run to the nearest pub and down a pint immediately.  Then I can help you with an alcoholic quiz next week :

The 10 signs you may be working too much :

  1. You strap your laptop to your chest when you shower so you don’t miss an e-mail
  2. Your last Happy Hour was 5th grade recess.
  3. You eat lunch standing up over a waste basket, sometimes forgetting to chew.
  4. Your car has not left the office parking lot since Christmas.
  5. Your last vacation was the company mission retreat in downtown Toledo.  It lasted only 2 days but you came up with the great mission statement of “Company Profits over Personal Health”
  6. Your family forgets to get you a birthday present. When you bring this up they immediately call the police reporting a stranger in the house.
  7. You wake up screaming in the night with your phone in one hand and an Excel spreadsheet stapled to your forehead.   You panic and dial in at 3 am for a 7 am conference call.  Better to be early than miss it.
  8.  Every time you go to shut down for the day you stop yourself and say “just 3 more hours….”
  9. The last sitcom you enjoyed in the evening to unwind was I Love Lucy.
  10.  You have ever referred to a co-worker as simpleton, ignoramus, clueless, cockamamie, dumb as a bunch of rocks, dumb as dog shit, know shit from Shinola, ride the short bus, sharp as a marble, thick as pig shit, thick as two short planks, dolt, doofus, dunce, nitwit, shit for brains, numbskull, imbecile, vacuous, dunderhead, twit, pillock, peabrain, birdbrain, blockhead, bonehead, buffoon, dumb as a bag of hammers, dumb as dirt, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, not the sharpest tool in the shed…….

Ok,  I got carried away with number 10 and I am not sure that has anything to do with working too much,  but it sure was a fun thing to do at what is now 8 pm on a Friday.

Here’s hoping you are reading this at home with family, friends, the dog ,  a strong drink , or a bowl of fruit if that suits you.   If you are reading it from the office, get the hell out of there now and tell that birdbrain next to you to do the same.

Have a great weekend,  and STAY OUT OF THE OFFICE !!!


Your mission, if you accept it…

Don’t you hate when you work on something and then send it off, only to realize you forgot the most important part ?   Well that happened to me last night as I forgot to add the icing of the corporate cake,  the mission statement.

Everyone needs a mission in life, better to put it in writing and make it a statement.   Here’s mine below,  if you need help with yours, drop me a line and I will write one for you,  from ten words to a thousand, I am your mission man….


I am charged with the responsibility of spreading cheerful prose to illuminate the soul,  to probe each and every experience to find the hope that lies within, to uplift and let you know there is a better purpose for all of us, whether it be a clown in a circus or nuclear physicist in a mental institution.    I will take it upon myself to find the shiny penny in the world of bland sand,  to shed the spotlight on the golden ticket immersed in a pile of dog shit,   to declare this world fit to be seen as a glass half full,  so you can drink it all down without any nasty after taste.  It shall be my sacred duty to scribe and scribble the obstacles before all of us and while doing so give you a way to see around them and past them to a brighter existence.    In return,  all I ask is that you have a fucking sense of humor.    It’s free,  I saw some guy giving them away on the street corner.   All you need to do is look….

Another day at the office..

This is dedicated to anyone that has ever spent a day in the workplace.  You know, the corporate conglomerate, the hierarchy of the business world, the turnstile that drops you into a cubicle, or catapults you into an office of you own.  I have done the open work space, the Rubik’s cubicle, the office with the view of the road of the other people driving to their office with the view of the dumpster.   I have worked from home in a room with toddler’s toys,  an office with a view of a mountain,  a view of an alley,  a view of a wood-stove and now in a place where I can throw my laptop in any direction and hit water.   I bet the mother can skip too.  The laptop I meant…..

Almost 27 years of core competencies,  conference calls when the mute button saved me from getting fired at least 45,672 times,  circling back after I reach up and grab all of the low hanging fruit before I get thrown under the bus.  I could go on and on but I have a hard stop in 10 minutes and at the end of the day it is what it is until someone decides to recognize the elephant in the room.   Excuse me as I have to take a moment to drink the Kool aid that upper management is having me rally around before I get to the next deliverable.  Fortunately for me I have the bandwidth to handle the on boarding of the next project provided that the pain point is only the equivalent of a woman giving birth to twin babies at the same time.

I can see I am starting to lose some of you so I will take this offline and we can re-convene unless you are out of pocket next week.  Send me an e-mail with your availability as soon as you update your calendar,  unless you keep it on your smartphone which is synchronized in 12 different languages and time zones.  Hopefully I will not be on PTO or FMLA or maternity, paternity, sorority, military, personal, voting, bereavement or breast feeding leave.  If I am you can leave it on my desk and I will be sure to glance over it before the next quarterly Town Hall,  which used to be called company meeting but Town Hall sounds a lot more like anyone will have the chance to talk freely.

That’s all for know.  I believe there is a story to be written here.   Let me get my best people on it and we will do a think tank, throwing ideas on the wall to see what sticks both in and outside the box.  Going forward I promise to be more proactive and will take ownership of any and all words written,  and if the luck of the gods will shine upon me, perhaps I may even have a come to Jesus moment.

In vino veritas

In wine, there is truth………..

In a little more wine, there could still be truth, it just may be a little louder.
In a bottle of wine, there is still some truth if you can hear it through the slurring…
In several bottles of wine, who really cares if there is truth?
With even more bottles of wine, you really need to pee…
With a case of wine, it’s allllllllll gooooooooddddddddddd !!!

Go tell it on the Mountain..

I was reading through the Bible the other day…… ok,  you can stop laughing now..

But seriously folks,  I went through 12 years of Catholic school and if it taught me anything, (other than how to avoid the fiery gates of hell through fear and obedience)  it taught me that the good book is chock full of anecdotes,  lessons, and overall ripping good yarns..  Here are few that you may have missed during your youthful years….


But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. I think I just read thee the menu from Applebees.

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest. But in order to rest I would have to land first.

I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I know I will need them come tax time.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. But he probably will hate your guts.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. And if you get that one I’ll give you 5 bucks.

But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. That and a good salad bar.

It is more blessed to give than to receive, and is tax deductible.

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out, unless we are wearing pants with really big pockets.

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer. But they will have more blisters.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek; and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. And if you do not believeth me, you can go fucketh yourself


That’s all for now.. Go forth and multiply, or at least be able to conjugate a verb…..



What do you do for a living ?

I had originally posted this last summer, but this question has been on my mind all day.

What do you do for a living ?  In any conversation with a new audience,  this question is bound to come up right after you find out their name is Jack Bytheway.  I had no idea that many people had the last name of Bytheway.   Pay attention in the future, you will hear it used soon…

But what do you do for a living ?  It feels like it has to define you.  The answer encapsulates all that you are and have ever been.   And depending on how someone answers tell you how much they believe what they say.   I am the perfect example.   For years I have given the corporate title, trying to word it in such a way that would not want my audience to collapse from boredom.   But that is not what I do for a living.

I am a writer.  For as long as I can remember.  Pulling ideas that float down from the clouds and letting my imagination put them on paper.    THAT is what I do for a living.

If you are not sure what yours is :  Use this one.      “I breathe for a living. Try not doing that and the living part does not last too long”   

Pretty sure that will confuse the hell out of your audience.

One of my favorite movies and movie lines comes from Castaway.    “I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring”

Never stop searching for what that “thing” is that you do for a living….   For some lighter ideas from my post last summer ,  read below.   And my name is Tom Bytheway……


Some job titles you can use at cocktail parties,  they are on me……..

I discovered a cure for boredom. Unfortunately it only works when I am done talking to you.

I invented sand. The ocean used to roll up to concrete, and nobody went to the beach. Yes, you can thank me as you enjoy your vacation.

I did not invent water, but I am responsible for the 2 in H20. It made water taste a hell of a lot better and you don’t want to know what H7O was like.

My great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grandfather wrote a book in the Bible. His name was Larry Leviticus. He lived next door to Dexter Deuteronomy. We get royalties for every hotel room.

I inherited the family business. We invented food. You may have seen some in grocery stores.

I am a lion tamer in the circus. I get paid huge sums of money to be flown around the world, tame the lion, and then fly back. I must leave in 12 minutes so I can no longer speak with you.

I created a sub electronic cathenater to put into vehicles that will help with gas mileage and the air conditioning. It works by fusing the lower ractigon with the engine block to propel the ductiphone into the wheel vectors. (If they are still listening that this point, I tell them it works for 5,000 miles and then the car explodes. By then I am a rich man and living in Tahiti)

My family created the indoors. It started with a Denny’s restaurant. We felt people needed a place to eat late night.

My passion in life it to discover a new species each week. Last week I found a new species in Aisle 7 of the Food Lion. If you saw how it was eating you would not argue with me. I only have about ten minutes left this week, and brother, you ain’t it…

I just started a new job inspecting all the elevators on the island. I have to make sure each elevator has all the number buttons. It is hours of hard work but I find it extremely fulfilling. It helps to be able to count to 3. I was recently promoted to manager of the 4th floor elevator of a major hotel.

That’s all for today. Always keep people guessing. If getting to know you involves people wanting to know how you “fit” into the system, let them think you are in on a secret no one told them about. More than likely they will leave you alone, or at least avoid you at the post office.

2016 – From a different angle

Most of you who know me are aware that I tend to look at this world in a different way.  To look at life head on can get you down many times.  In the end,  all we really want is the love of our family and friends,  the ability to wake up every morning and do something we feel has meaning,  and to cheat on our taxes and get away with it.   Is that too much to ask ?

I am here to tell you it can be done.  Get up tomorrow early and watch a sunrise.  When you have that cup of coffee, stop and truly taste it.  When you step outside on a frigid February morning, take the time to smell the cold and be glad you are on this planet.   Then get the hell inside because you forgot to put on clothes.

Always look at the world this way.  It is easy to get caught up in the stress of life and suddenly you are 95 and wonder where it all went.  At that point you might not wonder much of anything but I think you get my point.

I am going to try to help you along here.  If I can inspire you with a short story or a funny memory of when I was arrested for oystering out of season,  then let me be your guide.

All I ask is that you take what I lay down here and pass it along.  One person will do, even better if it is all the residents of Iowa.   I am going to come at life from a different angle.   Join me if you can,  and enjoy the ride.     I leave you now with this  :  Always try to be original, but if you cannot,  copy the shit out of someone else.



Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day; teach him how to fish, and he will smell like fish the rest of his life.

Horoscope for Cancer

Today is not a day to ride public transportation. While we are on the topic of things to avoid, you should also steer clear of take-out food, friends that call you needing advice on real estate, and general body odor. Virgo is your ally today, but only because Scorpio can’t be trusted. Aquarius just screwed you out of a business deal, and Libra ran off with your mailman. Other than that the day is looking up and you should look at things in a positive light. The road is always bending and turning and it is about to bend your way. Speaking of bending don’t forget today you have an appointment with your proctologist. Unless he is a Sagittarius, then go directly to a brothel and meet a Gemini.