ANNOUNCING WITHORN’S UPDATED OPEN OFFICE HOURS
Another thing I miss about my office is the chance to be helpful to students, and other people who just stopped by to “talk something out” for a bit. Usually it was individual/organizational problems and strategies — how to understand and manage that difficult boss or coworker, how to think out intra- and inter-organizational dynamics and dilemmas. Sometimes it was whether to seek a new job, or which grad school to pursue, or how to get something organized.
I didn’t give advice as much as I listened to what people wanted to do, feared doing, or just needed to talk through with an empathetic, somewhat experienced person. Sometimes I suggested someone else to talk with, or named a possible resource that wasn’t obvious. I loved this role because it made me feel useful and allowed me to deepen connections with people beyond academic or political purposes.
Now I am trying to continue to keep my virtual office door open. So please, if we have connected this way in the past, feel free to contact me via the email@example.com address and/or my Facebook “messenger” account. I now check them daily. Maybe we can just email each other, or arrange to talk on the phone, or even in person at my house or at some not too distant quiet cafe or park. If this works out, my plan is eventually to set up some kind of a virtual sign-up sheet, where I will be accessible at set times.
I’m sending this notice out to people I used to work with in such a way — former students, and colleagues, friends and neighbors mainly. But I’m sending it alongs to new connections, especially new FaceBook and Linked In friends. Usually, as before, I will just view it as part of my work, but now in my new “office.” But if anybody wants me to come talk with others, or visit their workplace/organization, I may be up for it. Let me know.
it might have to be more formal, like some kind of “consultant” role. And, it there were enough of this kind of request, I might need to charge some money, to cover the extra time and/or travel. But that would be negotiable.
Mainly I just want to be available and useful to folks. Please follow up if it makes sense, or with suggestions for how to make this work.