Coming Soon: the Barnes & Conti Spring Newsletter

Please watch your email for the Barnes & Conti spring newsletter. Just to give you a sneak preview, here’s an excerpt from an article by Kim Barnes, written when she was stranded in Moscow.

The Situation is “Normal” by B. Kim Barnes (excerpt)

I have been working in Moscow for the past week. The Cisco groups I have worked with have been outstanding, engaged and involved, eager to learn and willing to question and take risks to gain new skills. That was Thursday. I was heading home on Friday. But that was not to be. Instead, I am enjoying a leisurely work day here in Moscow because, along with tens of thousands of others, I am stranded until the volcano spirit decides it has done enough damage and that we have learned our lessons about overdependence on technology and acknowledged our global connectedness…

…There was an interesting article in the English language paper, the Moscow Times, (by Michele Berdy) about how Russians use the word “normal.” It has several meanings, among them:

  • regular, as usual (The internet is working normally.)
  • not great but not horrible (It’s a normal workday. Same old, same old.)
  • appropriate or adequate, usual (It’s normal for engineers to be more introverted than salespeople.)
  • nothing special (It‘s a normal apartment. Leaky faucets, poor ventilation.)
  • as it should be (Moscow is a normal city.)
  • adequate, acceptable, better than mine (People are making a normal salary in that company.)
  • it will have to do (This is a normal set of instructions. I don’t have time to do any better.)
  • ironic meaning: all screwed up—like the American Army’s SNAFU (Working until midnight because someone didn’t do his or her job—that’s normal)

(to be continued in the newsletter).

    There is a sequel to this article as well. Look for it in our next blog post.

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