Although I would occasionally write an article or opinion piece for our website over the years, it was not until August of last year that I “officially” opened my own blog, “From Bob's Cluttered Desk”.  It is hard to believe that it has only been nine months.

Over that short time I have poked fun at state agencies, ridiculed ridiculous decisions, skewered fakers and malcontents, alienated or offended a multitude of people, and made new enemies across this globe. I have to travel under an assumed name in Arkansas, Ohio, Virginia and Illinois, and if I ever visit North Dakota, I expect I would never be seen again.

I mentioned that last observation to people in my office, and they bought me a bus ticket to North Dakota.

I was also honored with a designation as a “Top Blog” for Workers' Compensation by LexisNexis. Apparently it was a very slow year for blogs.

For better or worse, my blog continues to grow in popularity. I believe we are up to 3 ½ regular readers now. One person is considered ½ because he is not sober much of the time. I have noticed, as the blog has become better known, people are beginning to treat me differently at conferences I attend. There is a palpable change. People, who did not speak to me because they did not know who I was, now do not speak to me because they know who I am. They may just detest me or they might just be afraid I will write about them in my blog.

At a San Antonio conference last week I met an attractive young woman named Virginia. There were several of us sitting around a table at a cocktail reception, chatting casually. Virginia soon discovered that I wrote a blog. I am not sure how this happened. I probably blurted out “Virginia, I write an award winning blog!”, or some other suave and sophisticated statement designed to mask my many deep seated insecurities. This happens often when I am speaking to attractive young women (See related article, “I Have a Problem with My Brain”).

When Virginia learned of my blog, she was immediately concerned that I may write something bad about her. And when Virginia realized that she had actually read my blog, she seemed even more concerned that I would write something bad about her, well, badly. This surprised me, as having just met Virginia, I had nothing bad to say, even if I were to do so badly. I assured Virginia that I would never write about her in my blog. After all, I am not “60 Minutes”, looking to ambush unsuspecting ne’er-do-wells. So, Virginia, don’t worry. I am a man of my word. If I tell you I won’t write about you in my blog, you can take that to the bank, Virginia.

This trend lends itself to a greater issue, which for me really comes down to common sense and helps me maintain my basic sanity, what little of it I have remaining. That is why I address it here. People have nothing to fear from me. I am just a normal guy. I may occasionally express an opinion, but I am not looking for trouble. No, if you see me at a conference, you have no reason to fear. Buy me a drink. Then buy me another. You’ll find I am harmless. You’ll also find I can’t hold my liquor, so bring an extra pair of shoes.

Yes, Virginia, there is a sanity clause. I don’t write bad things about people I randomly meet. It’s safe to speak with me. As I said, I am just a normal guy, struggling through the workday like everyone else. But Virginia, if you happen to screw up in the course of your workday and end up in news that comes across my cluttered desk, all bets are off.

 

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