Mar 3, 2021

Night Owls Get Their Day in the Sun (So to Speak)

Employers begin to see the value of later-day saints

By Ed Goldman

Are you a night owl, morning lark or bird of another feather? 

Here are two questions to help you determine if you’re a true night owl:

  1. Do you TiVo Stephen Colbert’s show so you can watch it even later than it airs (as I do)? 
  2. Do you similarly record things slated to begin before noon on TV, even if you know in advance it will be our country declaring the start of World War III?
Edgy Cartoon

Mourning Lark

You are not alone! Because of the global shutdown, a new corporate tolerance has apparently emerged for night owls, those of us who hit our productivity marks at 10 p.m. or later—at a time when morning larks have already flossed, jammied and gone night-night.  

I’ve been a night owl all of my life. It doesn’t mean I didn’t have to force myself into being otherwise for years (that damned K-12 had awful hours) or that some of my jobs didn’t require apple-cheeked perkiness at an hour when I’d have preferred collapsing into, instead of climbing out of, bed.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, writer Krithika Varagur observes that because of the pandemic-caused work-at-home mandate, “…many jobs have never been so untethered from the 9 to 5 paradigm. And a lot of night owls, who do their best work later in the day, are thriving.” Nevertheless, Ms. Varagur points out that a number of those night owls “are navigating how to balance their habits with bosses and colleagues who work on more traditional daytime schedules.”

Since I work alone, you’d think that last part wouldn’t be problematic. The trouble is that my 18-and-a-half-year-old cat, Osborn the Magnificent, sometimes forgets that neither he is nor I am a morning creature; consequently, he begins to howl at seven a.m., even though his landlord of record had hit the hay only three hours prior. And for the record, I don’t mean “meow loudly.” I mean HOWL.

Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence and I’ve found that the best way to keep it that way is to have Osborn join me to watch old movies into the wee hours. He really enjoys westerns, especially if there’s a scene of a posse pursuing bad guys or of cattle stampeding. He seems to like things being in motion, no doubt because it’s a change from watching his aforementioned landlord. To clarify: If I were French, I think my given name would have been Ennui. I believe this is the much lazier form of Henri.

By the way, my owlish schedule once nabbed me a gig hosting a 1 a.m. talk show on the first cable-TV station in Long Beach, California. This was in the early 1970s, the Pleistocene Era of non-broadcast television. I co-hosted a show called ”They Only Come Out at Night” (you can imagine what its non-licensed theme song was; my apologies to Edgar Winter). 

The producer of the show, which was seen by almost no one, insisted we have a call-in segment. Midway through a call the second week we were on, I looked across the studio to the sound booth, and saw the producer on the phone. I was nearsighted back then but I could still discern that his lip movements were an exact match for the caller’s words. The caller said he was ”Roy from Bellflower.”

ME: And are you in Bellflower right now, “Roy from Bellflower”?


ME: And do you realize that this station has no subscribers in Bellflower, Roy?

ROY FROM BELLFLOWER: You’re fired, Ed.,

I got home from the station a little earlier that morning and was in bed by 2:30. I wondered if I were about to become a morning lark.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President and CEO, Golden Pacific Bank

photo by Phoebe Verkouw

Alternative cryptocurrency? Get used to it because it’s coming.

Let’s face it: Some type of alternative currency is the wave of the future, and it’s not that far off. Countries in Africa, Asia and South America are far more advanced than the US on use of digital currency.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently said a new national digital currency payment system “could result in faster, safer and cheaper payments, which I think are important goals.”

We are all getting used to the idea that bitcoin, cloud coin or cryptocurrency of some form are up-and-coming players. Stablecoins are also a way to supercharge dollars with the powers of digitalization. But just as we moved from bartering, to stones and feathers, to gold and precious stones, to paper and coin without gold behind it, we get used to new concepts for exchange of goods and services. Bring it to the people and the people will adapt.

My friends Chris McAlary and Jeff Garon at Coin Cloud run a company that provides the world’s largest network of more than 1,500 cloud digital currency machines (ATDCMs) or two-way (buy and sell) digital kiosks. They are also quite active in setting up alternative currency in Brazil! Check them out.

I was surprised to learn there is a Coin Cloud machine right in my very own Sacramento, California neighborhood.

Change is on its way and I think it’s exciting. I hope I stay alive for another 50 years just to see how is all plays out.

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