Superhero, Jab Number Two and a Pulitzer Prize

June 14, 2021 | By Paul Mackenzie Ross | Filed in: philosophy.

After last week’s epic post, I have some more trumpet blowing to do, both personal and for the family.

The first is after my Managing Director at Clever Marketing let me know why my ears were burning. In a quick email he let me know that a company client, a financial services firm, had emailed him saying they were impressed when I stepped in to manage a complex situation they found themselves in with their WordPress website, hosting, DNS, and some HubSpot issues.

We’d been supporting the client and their financial services website when the highly technical issues arose and the team were initially unable to pinpoint the cause of the problem. Stepping in with a clinical approach, we pinpointed a succession of fixes including:

  1. effective WordPress consultancy,
  2. a deep dive into their DNS settings with their IT provider and
  3. CDN setting adjustments via Cloudflare,
  4. plus last-minute analysis and fixes on their HubSpot account.

All thee methodical technical steps led to a successful resolution of their issues and a quick email to the MD resulting in an emoji in an email that I didn’t recognise – it was a superhero icon!

That was both a nice bit of praise from the client and from the boss too, so I was well chuffed with the result. Finding technical success when I’m actually a digital marketing professional, was both highly satisfying, and a sign that being an autodidact with multiple specialisms is a highly rewarding position. I’ve been reading David Epstein’s “Range” which is suitable subtitled “Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World”. It just goes to show that educating yourself to the highest degree in everything you do totally pays off.

The moral of the story here being that, whatever you do, really excel yourself snd you’ll go far. Even if you are just a mere digital marketer, you can be the best you can be at WordPress development, project management and technical analysis, not to mention the SEO, PPC, copywriting, etc.

Conclusion: Immerse yourself in everything you have to do at work and become an expert at everything. Feel the passion in the most mundane of tasks and gain a genuine and holistic understanding of the interconnectivity of all the skills that your job and your life requires. Everything is a system so feel it and be it. You’ll be a better person and a better professional when you immerse yourself in all that you do.

AstraZeneca Jab Number Two

My second Covid vaccination was so much less fierce than the first. I still have the slightest soreness in my arm and I did field a bit weird for about 48 hours afterwards but it was so much more positive than the initial administering of the dose.

You may recall I had a sore throat, a cough, flu-like symptoms with hot flushes followed by intense chills to which I had to go lie down for a couple of hours in the middle of a working day. My arm hurt for the whole week-plus duration. These were to be expected and were common symptoms but it was the unexpected anxiety for ten days, heart palpitations on the tenth day and losing half a stone in weight that really shocked me the first time round.

This time? No flu, no cough, no heavy pain in the arm, but I did feel rather strange for a couple of days as I had this all over body sensation that something was amiss, this tingling vibe, not wholly unpleasant yet indicative that something was not normal, before quickly settling back into a regular rhythm of life and an awareness and appreciation that this time the side effects from the second jab were far milder.

Well done AstraZeneca, thank you to the vaccine Centre volunteers and staff and my absolute gratitude to those who have made the most positive steps to secure the health of the country and the world.

Pulitzer Prize for Journalism

One of my cousins is an architect and once presented a fascinating TED talk about what should cities do when they run out of room to bury their dead?

Six years later, she’s been involved in a suite of investigative journalism pieces regarding the detention of Uighur Muslims in China. Alongside journalist Megha Rajagopalan and programmer/digital security trainer Christo Buschek, Alison Killing is described as both a licensed architect and geospatial analyst.

The team of three published a series of stories in digital publication Buzzfeed, forensically detailing the establishment of detainment camps in China. They were nominated for and eventually won an esteemed Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting.

Having manned a news desk for about seven years, I was, without qualification, once quite immersed in the world of journalism and can attest that the Pulitzer Prize is an award held in the highest esteem within the profession. So for my cousin to be part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team, as well as unearthing evidence of human rights abuses, is utterly brilliant.

Very well done, Alison, you are absolutely amazing. My daughter and I are so in awe of your achievements and I hope this serves to inspire her to be the best she can be too, as an aspiring civil engineer or architect too.

And finally, the Christian Eriksen Episode

Of all the positive news this week, the aforementioned stories have all been close and personal.

But I can’t sign off without mentioning the Denmark v Finland match on Saturday 12th June.

Watching live whilst I rested from my second Covid vaccination, I must admit to being quite distraught at the incident involving Danish attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Just three minutes before half time, the Danish midfielder mysteriously fell to the ground whilst receiving the ball from a throw in. What followed was a harrowing scene of his team mates respectfully shielding his situation from public view as medics attempted to revive the stricken player.

Following something like twenty minutes of medical attention, including CPR, the stadium and the world watching on their TV sets, were in shock at the scene unfurling.

Like the supporters at the venue I could feel the tension and the shock, as well as the disbelief as a talented footballer struggled for his life. It was a tense and testing time in what should have been an enjoyable football match.

However, the quick and decisive actions of the players and the medical staff ensured that the Danish star survived and eventually recovered. Watching the news channels, as always, reaped no swift rewards but keeping an eye on Twitter, the most rapid source of online information in my humble opinion, the Danish FA tweeted Eriksen’s recovery. To the watching world it hadn’t looked good, but amazingly the player pulled through.

Sharing the news with concerned friends, there was so much joy that Eriksen had indeed survived. A collective sigh of relief was felt but there was still deep negative feeling amongst many.

The match was postponed so I went out shopping for groceries. By the time I returned, the second half was well underway despite a delay of an hour and a half. Finland were 0-1 up and that was the final score line.

A couple of English football pundits said the match should never have restarted so quickly and that there should have been a delay of a couple of days for all involved to reflect and reset. However, the Danish squad were presented with the options and chose to go ahead.

It’s easy to say this from my perspective but I feel that the monumentally upsetting incident got a lot of the Danish team down. However, their response upon restating the match could have been so much more positive. Had their teammate not survived I’d have totally understood a “slumped shoulders” response but, because their player did pull through I’d have had more of a “Let’s do it for Christian” approach and gone on to win the game.

Like I said, easy to say, I know. I wasn’t on the pitch, not playing for Denmark nor did I see a respected teammate fall and nearly die. I did spend 45 minutes fearing the worst and when I heard the good news I was elated. So I personally believe there could have been a far more positive attitude. Being so close to a near death experience must have been utterly draining but at the same time eventually exhilarating. I’d have milked the moment for all it was worth and honoured my resurrected teammate quite literally with a newfound lease of life. As the manger I’d have respected the circumstance and the family but honoured the occasion with a show of attitude and respect.

I’m sure many may disagree. “But you weren’t there, man!” True, but I’ve survived other harrowing times and come through it swiftly due to having fostered the right attitude.

So respect to Eriksen and his teammates, love to him and his family, and upon reflection, I hope all those involved can find future positives in how they approach life.

Conclusion

What a positive and inspiring week. The most important thing in life, as always, is your attitude. It couldn’t quite overcome how chemicals injected into my body would make me feel. But attitude to approach, learning, skills, organisation, response…

It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it – that’s what gets results!


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