076: Ode to Automation

076: Ode to Automation

We’re taking a break from our ABCs of EYB series today to do another Ode to the Office.

If you’ve ever been involved with automating anything, especially anything physical like a machine or process, then this one is for you. I tried to shed some light on both the dream of automating and the reality of automating.

For those who haven’t walked this road, the dream of automation is a machine or self-contained process that will magically drop in, do everything 10x faster with 10x better quality and save the day.

The reality is that, yes, that can be true at times, but it will also bring with it it’s own set of issues to deal with as everything is worked out. It just happens. As long as everyone knows that, then it can be a wonderful thing.

Now, I give you Ode to Automation

Ode to Automation

Robots, conveyors, sensors and more
Are all there assembled right there on your floor
You’ve waited for months for this day to arrive
And now all that you’ve dreamed of is coming to life

You plug in the cord and you push the start button
And then, hmmm,  scratch your head as the thing just does nothin’
Puzzled, your team tries to find out the problem
Your hopes that were high quickly sink to the bottom

Then all of a sudden it begins to start moving
Your team’s whole morale is now quickly improving
The grippers and slides are now doing their thing
As the servos and cameras are all in full swing

You smile as you look at this sweet automation
Tomorrow you plan to take your long vacation
But just as your mind is almost to the beach
You hear a loud whoomp and a thunk and a screech

“That didn’t sound good”, you hear somebody mutter
“It was running so well, like a knife through some butter”
But welcome to life now with your new machine…
Either scratching your head or then living the dream

If you’ve been enjoying the podcast and haven’t left an Apple Podcasts or iTunes review, I’d love it you’d take a minute to do that. You can head to shawnwashburn.com/apple to take you right there. Thanks for spending some time today to help you and your business thrive.

041: Ode to White Out

041: Ode to White Out

On today’s Fun Friday episode, we continue our Ode to the Office series with an old school shout-out… Ode to White Out.

White out was friend for many years, helping me overcome misspellings and other mistakes to produce intelligible works.

I still see White Out every now and then, like that kid from high school that you lost track of but see on Facebook a few times a year. I hope you’re doing well White Out. We had a lot of good memories together.

And now, Ode to White Out

Ode to White Out

Mistakes will be made and you’re there at the ready
To blot out the words that are wrong
With a dab of your brush from a hand that is steady
You give us the chance to move on.

Like sins on our page in grammatical form
Our errors seemed destined to doom us
But then you came along and began to transform
The page and breathed new life into us

A letter magician, so skilled at your craft
We can’t believe what we are seeing
As you carefully use your white bristles and staff
To disappear what’s disagreeing

So thank you my friend, you’ve been so good to me
And our secrets are just ours to share
Especially each time that I failed to see
The difference between they’re and there

Check out previous Odes:

Thanks for listening to today’s episode. If you’ve got an idea for a future Ode to the Office episode, shoot me an email at shawn@shawnwashburn.com.   I’d love to connect: website / LinkedIn / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

011: Ode To The Sticky Note

011: Ode To The Sticky Note

Business doesn’t have to be boring.   Let’s have some fun with it.   Today is the first installment from my Ode to the Office series, lifting up the virtues of Sticky Notes. Enjoy. 

So, I told you I was a little different, right? We talkedabout that already?

You know, like how I love to write, create, have fun with the world… and how that flows into business, engineering, manufacturing, and office life?

Well, over the years I’ve created what I call Odes to the Office. Fun observations about daily work life. I thought I’d share them here and there on this podcast as a way to have a little fun and relax together.

Today, we honor… the Sticky Note


Like a bright yellow canvas, adhesively-backed

You beckon to us from the top of the stack

you say “Fill me with notes about tasks that need doing

Or doodle a picture of someone canoeing”

And so that we don’t forget what we were thinking

You store all our thoughts on your pad, ripe for inking

Each note a reminder to get something finished

“Call Bob”, or “Buy pencils” or “Pick up some spinach”

Without you, we’re left on our own to remember

“When was that meeting, the one in September?”

Our minds just can’t hold all those details intact

Yet you do it with ease and you keep us on track

So thank you for helping us get our work done

When it comes to assistants, you’re our #1

Right by our side there on top of our desk

Let it be here noted “Sticky notes are the best!”