Nobody is listening…

If you write words for a living I think you know what I mean. The world feels like it is spinning off it’s axis. We all know where we were when we heard the election results. I was in my hotel at a Tableau Conference. It felt different. The ride to the hotel, the trip up the escalator, the conversations throughout the day. Something changed. The stories from our nation of immigrants were systematically silenced. If you won’t see us — how can you hear us?

Since “nobody is listening” I will share with you what I was really worried about. I was afraid he would be a fantastic president. I need to learn to think bigger with my fears. Let me clarify what I mean exactly. What happens if a reality show celebrity with dubious finances, low moral character (serial adulterer, tax evader, kitty grabber) was revered and became the face of a new prosperous America. What might come next?

I could not have predicted our current circumstances. If you are a big fan of Trump, please be safe. This virus is not partisan. I am not going to delve into politics any deeper than this but oh my god — babies in cages, inequality of unprecedented levels, unraveling of our democracy, failure to warn and prepare us for this global pandemic…I simply can’t.

My new spidey sense is recognizing “other”. I was recently on a trail run listening to a discussion from the London School of Economics. It was this reimagining of economic growth that made me realize I am not exactly in a value-added company. Unless you are a large firm capable of contributing meaningfully to the world economy you might be considered part of the gig-economy. Except when I look for my tribe they are busy delivering Uber-eats, driving people around in their own vehicles for hire — not exactly working as a data analyst or data literacy expert. Who defines the gig-economy? I think of formal agreements with companies that need our services — but when we are homogenized it is hard to see beyond the blurred lines.

While SARS COVID-2 was busy straightening her crown and devastating the globe, I was watching a business I built from the ground up grind to a halt. Conferences, workshops, even work as an adjunct professor became pauses or cancellations. Although I own my business, I also am the face of the client work. Project work often features collaborations but the speaking engagements — all me.

Linkedin posts aren’t fearful. Everyone seems to still be shucking and jiving. Employees are furloughed temporarily or working remotely. I don’t know what other folks are worried about or how they are filling their days. I am working on my book proposal, transferring live speaking gigs to webinars, and trying to grab a little outside time every day. The projects I am working on all have a little more time to complete. The days lack urgency.

But because “nobody is listening” I can admit it is a little unnerving. It is hard to imagine large conferences being planned again on the same scale. Remote learning might finally scale up and become better than a grey shadow of being somewhere in person.

When all is said and done, perhaps the granularity has shifted. We are in this at the community level. Sharing resources, humanity, good will…maybe we will start asking bigger questions. Maybe we will start questioning answers. Just maybe, we will all start listening…

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geospatial data analyst 🌍 I apply advanced data analytics including data engineering and geoenrichment to discussions of poverty, race, and gender.

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Bonny P McClain

Bonny P McClain

geospatial data analyst 🌍 I apply advanced data analytics including data engineering and geoenrichment to discussions of poverty, race, and gender.

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