Hustle harder!!!!

Mercy, what a last few days. Just one thing after another. The small dinner party was a success, and I’m about to grill myself a hot dog, because why the hell not.

I think I had some ideas about blogs, but at the moment they have fled my brain. I should write these down. My to-do list routine is holding out, long past when I generally abandon them. But there’s something, what’s the word, centering about sitting down Sunday night or first thing Monday, turning to a fresh page in the diary, and making the list: Job 1, Job 2, personal. Maybe one of these days I’ll learn: Write it all down.

In the meantime, a question for you Californians: Where is the mine in California from which these guys are dug? Lay-deez and gennlemen, the CEO of WeWork:

Neumann is the kind of chief executive who sees pies in every sky, so it’s not surprising that even after a $14 billion step back, he calls the relationship with SoftBank “very, very, very, very positive.” While he’s known as a fierce and unpredictable negotiator whose bargaining tactics include tequila shots, he’s also always ready with a pep talk about finding your purpose, doing what you love, and making people feel less alone. Neon slogans on WeWork office walls implore you to “Hustle Harder” and “Get S#!t Done.” (More of the slogans, found in photos on the company’s website, are cycling below.) Neumann told a reporter in 2017 that WeWork’s 11-figure valuation had less to do with its revenue than its “energy and spirituality.” In a recent promotional video, he intoned, “The single most powerful word is the word ‘we.’”

…“Everyone wants to know what ARK is. I think it’s going to be amazing,” Neumann says one morning last month at WeWork’s headquarters in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. Throughout our conversation, he’s at ease making grand statements, as if the dreary details will fall in line later as long as the vision is bold enough. He’s also hungry. It’s just past 11:30 a.m. when a male assistant in a black baseball cap delivers a shallow gray ceramic bowl with brown grains and a spoon. “I haven’t broken my fast yet,” the 40-year-old CEO says apologetically, instead of using the word “breakfast.” He’s clearly a big fan of the oats, sourced from Dan Barber, an “amazingly interesting” farm-to-table chef developing grains with “amazing qualities.” (These are high in fat.) Neumann invested in Barber’s seed company, Row 7, last year.

My editor and I looked at one of the Detroit WeWork spaces when we were expanding last year. It was as advertised above — very slogan-y, very go-team-y, and there’s free beer. It was also pretty expensive for what we wanted. The space was tight, and the walls were glass. There was a therapist in one of them; when I expressed amazement, the guide said, “she has curtains.”

So I’m not surprised to hear that the CEO appears to think that dreary details will fall into line later as long as the vision is bold enough.

We stayed in our cruddy suite of offices, and it’s fine.

I hope this week is easier than the last. I expect it will.

Posted at 9:12 pm in Popculch |

38 responses to “Hustle harder!!!!”

  1. David C. said on May 20, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    CUbercles. Not sure that’s a ten billion dollar idea, but whatever.

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  2. alex said on May 20, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    I have this sense of pity every morning when I pass the communal office space trying to advertise its coolness to little effect. I’ve had ciggies in the alley with some of its tenants who are probably hemorrhaging red ink if it can be discerned through the bad tats covering the jugulars and everything from there on down. And I doubt they have an onsite shrink, much less one with curtains, useful as it might be.

    I work for a profitable enterprise and part of the reason it’s profitable is that our office is a fucking dump. It’s good for business. Our clients don’t think their fees are going to waste on extravagances.

    As for the treadmill of life, I feel you Nance. I write things down and still don’t know what’s a priority because it’s like everything’s on fire.

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  3. jcburns said on May 20, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    I regret to inform you that you have exceeded your budget for exclamation marks in story titles in Summer 2019. Please wait until August 1 before exclaiming again.

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  4. brian stouder said on May 20, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Well, for a racing under-achievement parallel, there’s this:


    The McLaren team never seemed to find their footing; they’ve been a comedy of errors, including not getting the car in the right shade of orange, and then needlessly missing out on practice time.

    But forget that; the Niki Lauda news is the story that made me say “awwwwwww…”

    And the Al Unser Junior story is a continuing, vexing, pre-tragedy (we know it foreshadows an unhappy end)

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  5. Sherri said on May 21, 2019 at 1:27 am

    I think they grow them in the salt ponds in San Francisco Bay.

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  6. Dexter Friend said on May 21, 2019 at 1:35 am

    Sherri, my gawd, are those salt ponds north of Fremont ever huge. I think of them every time I salt the hell out of my popcorn.

    re-posting my response to LAMary from previous thread: LAMary…do you mean Robert F. Smith’s money was not laundered by Deutsche Bank, like the Trump Kushner conglomerations’ money was and is?

    I was watching Joy in the Morning (Sunday, msnbc) when the guest who was speaking was texted and he revealed Mr. Smith’s incredible gift. All we have to do to make this happen all across and up and down the USA is simple: #berniesanders2020

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 21, 2019 at 6:37 am

    They grow exclamation marks in salt ponds?

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  8. alex said on May 21, 2019 at 6:59 am

    Was just perusing Today in History and I’m fricking blown away by 2012. Know-nothingism was really quite something before we all became inured to it. In one of the comments, somebody suggested that the Republicans should be in charge for a couple of years, even if it sucked in the short term, so that everyone could see just how silly they are and throw the bums out for good. What prescience. Hope the latter part comes true in 2020.

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  9. basset said on May 21, 2019 at 9:09 am

    At least they didn’t have any trouble filling the 500 field this year. And Charlie Kimball is in, the only one of three to make the race from his new and barely funded team… which McLaren chose to partner with for some reason.

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  10. Suzanne said on May 21, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Maybe just being in Indiana makes people do stupid stuff. Is it the air?

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on May 21, 2019 at 9:55 am

    This Neumann might as well have “douchebag” tattooed on his forehead.

    The exhortation to “do what you love” has always irritated me. One reason is the subtext: “…and if you don’t, you’re a loser.” Another is, if we all do what we love, who’s going to take out the garbage?

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  12. JodiP said on May 21, 2019 at 10:09 am

    If anyone needs a fun thing to listen to, John Waters was on Fresh Air.

    Also, the Pod Save the Ppl ‘cast was amazing today, with an interview with Danielle Sered who runs Common Justice which seeks to reduce harm in communities by a very deep, intense restorative justice model. Very thought-provoking.

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  13. Sherri said on May 21, 2019 at 10:27 am

    No, Dexter, Robert Smith’s money was made in private equity, where he gets to take advantage of that wonderful carried interest tax loophole, which, of course, he’s a staunch advocate for maintaining. In other words, if he’d pay his taxes, many fewer students would have college debt to be paid off by the whim of a billionaire…

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  14. Sherri said on May 21, 2019 at 10:57 am

    FIFA reigns supreme among corrupt and incompetent organizations:

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  15. Julie Robinson said on May 21, 2019 at 11:09 am

    If I had to work under a neon Hustle Harder sign I would quietly seethe until the day I snapped and threw something at it on my way out.

    Alex, my mom would appreciate your dumpy office. Whenever I take her somewhere like a lawyer or dentist she is immediately distrustful if she sees it all fancy and newly decorated. She figures the cost will be added to her bill, and darn it if I don’t think she’s right.

    Forget all the nasty news in the real world, the Downton Abbey trailer came out this morning. Take me away, Carson!

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  16. Suzanne said on May 21, 2019 at 11:20 am

    I’d say conservatives are discovering that climate change might, just might, impact them, too.

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  17. JodiP said on May 21, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Julie! I am so excited!

    And Sherri, great point about our tax system robbing us of the common good.

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  18. LAMary said on May 21, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    I think I’m saying that Robert Smith actually has made billions. I’m sure we’ll learn more now that he’s become a public figure.

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  19. LAMary said on May 21, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    I can’t take credit for sending happy shiny people like Neumann to the world. My sons are more genetically New Jersey than that guy. To be honest I haven’t met many people like Neumann in my 38 years in LA. I think we ship them all to other places to provide entertainment for the rest of the country. When I do sense someone is one of those types I step back slowly.

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  20. Deborah said on May 21, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    I’ve been in Santa Fe for a few days because my husband had to go back to Chicago. We got some window flower boxes for the apartment that LB and I will be setting up tomorrow. One of LB’s friends is coming to Santa Fe from California for Memorial Day weekend, so I’m spending the weekend in Abiquiu so her friend can stay in the other bedroom in the Santa Fe apartment.

    It’s been cold here and it snowed this morning. We had moved all of the flower pots inside. It’s been overcast for 3 days which is rare for New Mexico.

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  21. jerry said on May 22, 2019 at 2:24 am

    The weather here in London is lovely; warm enough to wear shorts and a T-shirt but cool enough not to be sweating all the time.

    We went up to London yesterday for afternoon tea at The Ritz – a Christmas present rather than a treat for ourselves. Most enjoyable with a choice of 15 different types of tea, finger sandwiches, brioches filled with egg mayonnaise, scones with jam and cream and tiny, delicious cakes. And they offered repeats of sandwiches, more scones and then a trolley with lemon drizzle cake and rum baba. Even with our good appetites we had to cry enough.

    The room was full with what looked to be mainly couples celebrating something or groups of tourists, mainly Japanese. There is even a dress code; we observed a woman being turned away for wearing trainers and I had to wear a tie for the first time since the last funeral I attended!

    As I said, lovely, but so it should be for the price,

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  22. Dexter Friend said on May 22, 2019 at 3:07 am

    Oh , jerry, we are so uncouth here in the colonies and yon hinterlands, where I live. Here, my 4:00 P.M. tea is a slice of cake made from a box mix and a cuppa Twinings Earl Grey. ~ In Fort Wayne, a few people were irritated at The News-Sentinel, which ran a story about longtime WKJG-33 news anchor and general do-anything man-for-all-seasons, the very proper Dick Florea, who was inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Hall of Fame or something like that. Plastered beside the column was a large picture of Kerry Hubartt, writer of the column. This was so deceiving as it appeared it was intended to be Florea’s picture. It got me too, as I thought it looked nothing like Florea. Commenters called it shameful. I thought it was piss-poor editing.

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 22, 2019 at 6:43 am

    Don’t know about the N-S, but we just had the last of five “town meetings” on the future of our local Gannett daily, which has an independent history unbroken from 1820, so we’re getting ready to have, Deus volent, a bicentennial next year. The Newark Advocate is the oldest ongoing business in the county.

    Our editor, whom we share with another city almost an hour’s drive away, told the group assembled a number of interesting if unsurprising (to me, anyhow) things, such as that we still have nearly 20,000 eyeballs a day onto print output, and over 10,000 and still growing in online subscriptions. But our business model over the last twenty years has gone from advertising over 80% versus circulation income to less than 30%, and that we’re going steadily past 50% of online readership being on mobile devices. Desktop is fading fast, tablets even lagging, but lots of our otherwise puzzling layout choices have to do with optimizing the handheld view. And somewhat news to me: the homepage is becoming downright irrelevant, with almost all online coming from social and searches. Facebook is the primary angle of entry, Twitter and other social the next, search engines right behind. As someone who still is as often on a laptop as his phone, and uses a bookmark bar to start the day, that was unexpected.

    It was interested to see how surprised the folks, skewing older (in a library community room evening meeting), were to learn that the combined newsroom, editorial, sports, and photography staff had gone from over 30 to 9 . . . or 8, plus a shared editor. And he does pretty much all the editing. So layout and copy is done by a guy on his laptop in a car as much as Perry White, let alone Jimmy Olsen, sitting in the corner office.

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  24. alex said on May 22, 2019 at 7:32 am

    The N-S now has a staff of one with a couple of retirees as contributors. So essentially it’s three opinion writers, none of whom holds any opinions worth reading unless you like your right-wing dreck a whole lot less polished than what appears in Breitbart.

    It doesn’t even have a print circulation anymore, unless you count the once-a-week token page buried deep inside the surviving print newspaper in Fort Wayne.

    And the online comments — the usual cranks are vastly outnumbered by spam… “I made over $400,000 last year working from home. …” (I’ll allow that I could very well be mistaking this for spam and that it constitutes what is their paid advertising at this point.)

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  25. Peter said on May 22, 2019 at 9:17 am

    I’m sorry for going off on a tangent here, but I am still seething at the Ben Carson show yesterday and what people are saying about it.

    Maybe I’ve turned into a Fox News Wannabee, but I don’t think he was dumb at all. When he said REO was an Oreo, when he said that OMWI was Amway, he was just being an insufferable prick.

    Who did he make those comments to? Two women congressman. When he kept “taking back my time” which he wasn’t doing and isn’t allowed to do anyway, who was he saying that to? A black congresswoman.

    It was just “I’m acting dumb because I don’t give a shit about my job and even less about you”.

    What a jerk.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on May 22, 2019 at 10:21 am

    The N-S has a page in the Monday-Saturday editions of the JG. I assume this is the how the lawyers worked out the terms of the JOA. There are three articles most days; one local and the other two canned opinions from the usual right-wing suspects. Also a political cartoon, as bad as the rest.

    None of what JTTMO writes surprises me. I think we’re the only house in two blocks to take the print paper. I have online subscriptions to the Washington Post and New York Times, but rarely look at the home pages because the apps have horrible interfaces. Mostly I catch the links from the email summaries I get or Facebook. I read stories in stolen moments, waiting in lines, waiting for my mom’s appointments, and it doesn’t feel anything like reading a paper.

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  27. susan said on May 22, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Ben Carson…Is he Sleepy or Dopey?

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  28. Suzanne said on May 22, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Ben Carson must be getting a lot of kick-back Russian money or something for him to sully his stellar reputation to become a running joke. “Well, it’s not brain surgery!” will now be taken out of the pithy expression rotation because of him.

    We still take the print newspaper in the morning. I like reading it with my breakfast. The N-S page is a joke, with most of the editorialists men recycled from the 80s who are probably at least in their 80s. I try to read it at times for a competing viewpoint but generally can’t get through the middle school logic.

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  29. Sherri said on May 22, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Oh, we didn’t mean *those* teachers…

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  30. Jakash said on May 22, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Neil Steinberg’s column today in the Sun-Times: “Should you toss dog poop in a neighbor’s garbage can?”

    Seems like he’s pleased that 49% said “It’s not rude” in a previous poll, while that indicates that 51% said either it’s a little, or quite rude. On his Twitter, folks are saying “I’d rather have them put it in my garbage can than not pick it up,” which is beside the point. Several people note that bags break open in their trash and then they have to clean out the can. *That’s* a much more significant point. Dealbreaker. Put the droppings in your own trash! AND stay off my lawn! (Of course, in the poll he’s running today, more than 60% say it’s okay, but that just shows the nature of his readership…) ; )

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  31. alex said on May 22, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Who the fuck cleans out the inside of their garbage can? Why? They plan to eat dinner off of it?

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  32. Deborah said on May 22, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Isn’t there a saying that African Americans who obsequiously bend their will to white people, are called Oreos? White on the inside, dark on the outside, like Uncle Toms?

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  33. Icarus said on May 22, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Alex @31: cleaning the garbage can periodically can reduce insect and vermin attraction.

    I don’t know how it works elsewhere, but in the city of Chicago proper, the garbage can is owned by the city. Therefore if the can that resides at my property is full, I am well within my rights to fill a neighbor’s can with my excess refuse and recyclables (respective containers of course). Now for buildings and other places that hire private disposal I can see why this would be an issue.

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  34. JodiP said on May 22, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Deborah, it’s more like: “a black person who adopts the characteristic mentality and behavior of white middle-class society.” per Merriam Webster, which is what I thought it was.

    Re: dog poop bags: I don’t put them in others’ garbage cans, but do in open dumpsters if they are available. Alex, I’d wash out my can if a split bag happened, just to get rid of the smell.

    I am working from home this afternoon. The new-ish kitten is on my lap, sleeping. We knew she was a cuddler when she took a 45 minute nap on my wife’s lap at the guest house in Puerto Rico. As soon as I heard that had happened, I knew we had to find a way to get her home!

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  35. Heather said on May 22, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Everyone in our neighborhood seems to put their dog poop in our building’s Dumpsters, which are provided by a private company that our condo association pays for. I don’t really mind since we have two and they tend to use only the one closest to the street, but it does get fragrant in summer. I save my wrath for the people who dump their other shit there for us to pay for, like their crappy furniture.

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  36. basset said on May 22, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Maybe I’m just too much of a 70s Midwesterner, or I don’t know enough about business, but when I hear REO I think Speedwagon.

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  37. Jakash said on May 22, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    I believe that you know a lot about housing in Chicago, Icarus, so I’ll take your word for it. But “illegal” and “rude” are two different standards. If a neighbor that you didn’t know regularly had parties and happened to fill your garbage can up with the leftover detritus, such that you had no room for your own garbage and/or recycling, you’d be fine with that? At a minimum, it would annoy me. If you had no dog, but your can frequently smelled like dog poop, because other people used it, when they could just as well use their own, that wouldn’t bother you — you wouldn’t find it “rude”?

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  38. Deborah said on May 22, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    JodiP, that’s a much better description.

    Living in a high rise co-op building in Chicago relieves us from all responsibility for the garbage bins on the street. In Santa Fe the bins come from the city, there are 5 units so 5 garbage bins and 5 recycle bins. There are only 4 units occupied so all the bins are never full. When we first moved in our landlady knew I was a graphic designer so she asked us to mark the bins with unit ID, they’re ID’d by letters A-E. We made stencils and spray painted the letters, then immediately 2 got stolen, which is common around here. So the city replaced the stolen bins but we decided we’d done enough. Nobody cares which bin they use. We’re at the end of a dead end, not many people walk their dogs down our lane. As a result we don’t get many dog poop bags that I know of.

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