And he’s had a “Failure Fest,” in which employees gathered in the huge headquarters atrium to focus on projects that didn’t turn out very well — or maybe not at all.
All this, needless to say, has caused much stress, angst and confusion among employees about what’s going on and about their own futures. (It’s much easier to toss senior people than the grossly overpaid mid-level staff, we were told. Still, when longtime vice-presidential-level people are hit, everyone starts to worry.)
So it was welcome news when the staff got a recent internal
e-mail declaring Sept. 10 a “Day of Mindfulness Meditation.” It was a full-day program in the atrium to be led by
Thich Nhat Hanh
, “an internationally acclaimed Zen Buddhist monk, teacher and peace activist.”
It’s part of a bank effort to help staff “manage and balance the stresses of daily life,” the
e-mail said. Not a bad idea these days.
Hanh, an 87-year-old Vietnamese Zen master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has been invited to address, among others, Google employees and lawmakers in Congress, Britain’s House of Lords and India’s Parliament, the invite said.
An updated e-mail said that “space capacity was filled very quickly” and that “managers are encouraged to allow registered staff to attend for the entire day” to listen to Hanh — who brought along about 20 other brown-robed monks with shaved heads — talk about “mindfulness practices” and “being mindful.”
We’re told about 300 staffers attended. “It was all very Zen,” one source observed.
There was also a “walking meditation,” from the headquarters down 19th Street NW to the Constitution Gardens pond a few blocks away. (Never done this, but we’re told you can keep your eyes partially open and you walk very slowly.)
Apparently a police escort hadn’t arrived when the walk started, making for some disturbing, tension-producing honking from drivers as the group walked. (The police escort on the way back allowed for a more peaceful stroll.)
Probably best if folks can chill out amid the changes.
Ted Cruz, sole survivor
In our ongoing coverage of filibuster footwear, we’re curious to find out what shoes Sen. Ted Cruz was wearing as he took up residence Tuesday afternoon on the Senate floor, where he vowed to talk “until I am no longer able to stand.”
Chances are good the Texas Republican wore what he called in a recent dishy GQ profile “my argument boots,” a glossy black ostrich pair that he boasted wearing for every case he tried as Texas solicitor general. (John Roberts, chief justice of the United States, apparently gave them his special blessing, too.)
A Cruz spokeswoman did not immediately return our e-mail.