The story’s title says it better than I can

Career Week

Boy feeds family photo to shredder
Boy feeds family photo to shredder
Source image by Freepik Ingram

DR. ATTICUS ROLLINS commanded five hundred an hour, double booked sessions, didn’t take insurance. He didn’t even attend the sessions; he had assistants for that. As long as he popped his head into the room for three seconds every half-dozen sessions, shook the parents’ hands and told them how well their child was doing, clients would fill his schedule until he retired in 2043. A date marked on his calendar.

What drew rich suckers to his office for vague platitudes from Ph.D assistants making seventy K a year? The Rollins Method, his three-tiered formula for success:


If you’d lower your expectations, others would disappoint you less

Career Week

Child shows off suspisciously brown painting
Child shows off suspisciously brown painting
Source image by Cookie Studio

BLAIR PRESTON WYATT WOUND THROUGH CLUSTERS of gallery patrons during the grand opening for Chicago’s latest cause célèbre. He ignored the wisps of conversation that drifted from the crowd:

“What a marvelous use of a monochromatic palette.”

“With mono values as well.”

“Amazing that he produces the pigments he uses to paint.”

“This piece moves me the most. The texture, the use of foreground space, the way she combines hand and brush to create his palette.”

“The perfect title: Movement, April 19. I feel it viscerally.”

“I know. It grabs your bowel.”

Wyatt paused at the back for a glass…


Yes, you’re your own best advocate, but it doesn’t help when you’re your only advocate

Career Week

Source image by MacroVector

BIG BOB, THE SCHOOL’S FOOTBALL COACH, slapped a hand across Craig’s shoulder and dug his fingers in. Much like he would squeeze Craig’s fingers until every finger buckled whenever they shook hands. His voice reminded Craig of John Wayne, and not the hero John Wayne, but asshole John Wayne in True Grit. “Well, the best man won, Pilgrim.”

The best man being Big Bob, who won both the District championship and Teacher of the Year. For the fourth year in a row, which Craig knew he should expect. …


If you over rely on your secret ingredient, sooner or later it will stop being a secret

Career Week

Bowl of Cocoa Krispies in fine restaurant
Bowl of Cocoa Krispies in fine restaurant
Source image by Rusian Shrambo

ERICA’S PHOTO ON THE COVER of Food and Beverage filled her dreams. A photo of her holding forth her signature dish, the dish which made her a household name, like Gordon Ramsey, and earned her restaurant four stars from Zagat. A dish she’d nurtured from childhood when she first poured marshmallow sauce on her Cheerios and discovered she had a git with recipes.

Better yet, her mother had nothing on Erica. Sugar and milk with Cocoa Puffs? What a joke. Cocoa Puffs with Carmel sauce and hot fudge? Priceless. Grilled cheese sandwich? Boring. Cheddar and Spaghetti-Os sandwich grilled in Cheez-Whiz…


The best metric of success is what you can claim on social media

Career Week

Woman being hypnotized with one-year chip
Woman being hypnotized with one-year chip
Source image by Wave Break Media

CARMEN CHECKED HER INSTAGRAM POSTS and followers. Her One-Year-No-Smoking Chip posts went viral over night. Three hundred people signed for online hypnotherapy and forty more for special personalized therapy sessions, with even more coming in each day.

All because of her newest promo, thanks to a little inspiration from AA, where, to be fair, she managed to earn her twelve-day chip before she realized the twelve-steps were a non-profit scam using the chip as bait. People would do just about anything for that damn chip.

Carmen managed to earn her twelve-day chip before she realized the twelve-steps were a non-profit…


Virtual museum celebrates four-year war on America

Trump and Melania show off their concentration camp
Trump and Melania show off their concentration camp
Drumpf and Melania welcome visitors to their new virtual holocaust museum at Mar-A-Lago. (Sgt. Ashley Marble)

HAVING PROMISED FOLLOWERS he’d be politically resurrected by Easter, and having fallen flat on his face again, Drumpf and former First Enabler Melania announced 45Office, their virtual museum to celebrate the four-year holocaust over which he presided as America’s most spectacular failure in its quarter millennia history.

The site, dedicated to “putting America first for real Americans” includes images and videos of Drumpf’s most successful gifts to American Patriots, including 637 miles of “complex strategic barriers” to immigrants (of which 50 miles were erected during his term of office (of which 47 miles have been compromised by immigrants with ladders…


Delete your messages immediately if your loved ones know your password

Home Spun Tales

Source image by Keus1

Long day at work, longer thanks to the two-hour meeting to plan tomorrow’s marathon meeting to plan for next week’s in-house training, followed by the quarterly personnel assessment, followed by an hour-long meeting with the head of IT about his future, which, he realized, no longer included his promotion to systems manager.

Followed by a stop at Drop Kick’s commiserating with his work pals who were more interested in stuffing dollar bills into g-strings than listening to Seth whine about his lousy day. …


Always check both calendars to make sure your spouse doesn’t have competing plans

Home Spun Tales

Tea steeping next to arsenic bottle
Tea steeping next to arsenic bottle
Source image by Azerbaijan Stockers

Cuthbert opened the kitchen blinds and stretched in the morning sunlight. Beyond the window, a cardinal sat in the old oak that had shaded the yard since his parents bought the house fifty years before. He’d cut back the limbs five times since his marriage to prevent roof damage.

When he was a child, the tree spread enough shade for him to sit under the branches on a summer afternoon and read his comics without feeling the heat. Now the tree shaded the entire yard of their quarter-acre lot.

This morning would begin the best day of his life, even…


Your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your sense of entitlement

Home Spun Tales

Source image by jcomp

“Salad for dinner? Again?” Bo had registered the same complaint at the same table since Sharon began serving his dinner for three weeks running. No more dinners of hamburger helper and mashed potatoes, or tuna casserole crusted with potato chips. Or their Friday night brisket with potato salad from Buddy’s BBQ with their two-for-one pound-o-beef special.

She didn’t even serve beer with his salad, but gave him herbal tea. Sharon hadn’t brought home a twelve pack of Bud since she launched her salad crusade. …


Just because your goals conflict, it doesn’t mean you’re heading in separate directions.

Home Spun Tales

Source image by Freepik

Sue never doubted that Dan loved her, and she loved Dan. At least until the day Dan left his phone on the kitchen counter and she dropped it off at his office. The day Sue stood at the receptionist’s desk waiting for the slacker to get off the phone with her mother and let Dan know she was waiting in the lobby. The day his business partner Todd returned from a client appointment and introduced himself.

Sue remembered every detail of that day, how the rain clouds broke the moment Todd walked into the lobby and sunlight flooded the room…

Phillip T Stephens

Living metaphor. Follow me @stephens_pt.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store