By Gregory Pings
Harold Meyerowitz, who made his mark as a sculptor, is talking about his grown children’s creativity despite the fact that none of them have pursued careers in the arts. His one-sided conversation stumbles to his daughter, Jean. It’s an early scene from the Netflix movie, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).
Jean, played by Elizabeth Marvel, points out that her co-workers at Xerox consider her the resident auteur because she makes funny movies. Step mother Maureen (Emma Thompson) interrupts and remarks that no one really knows what Jean does at Xerox. When Jean begins to explain that she is a facilities manager, Harold (Dustin Hoffman) cuts her off and redirects the conversation.
Noah Baumbach’s latest work is funny and thoughtful. I hope The Myerowitz Stories do well with Oscar as well as the Golden Globes.
But that outright dismissal of Jean’s work at Xerox?
Let me tell you a thing or two about working at Xerox.
Creativity here is rampant. It doesn’t matter if you invent new technology in a laboratory, service equipment at a customer site, or provide administrative support for a busy team. Evolving technology and the 24/7 nature of our business demands that we always be new and creative, regardless of our tenure.
For the past 23 years, I’ve written about our people, their jobs, and their contributions to our business as well as the communities where we live and work.
Each of us believes we have the best job at Xerox.
Let me tell you about a few of these people.
David Biegelsen, is a research fellow at PARC and a charter member of the famed Silicon Valley lab that practically invented the way we work today. Dave’s view of technology and the modern workplace transcends the conventional view of gadgets and their capabilities. He talks about the white spaces that allow people to solve the most important problems; the co-evolution of carbon and silicon; and how understanding affordances allows you to predict a technology’s success or failure. Dave explains what it all means. Read “A Silicon Valley POV.”
Sonia Panchal says her office is in her backpack. It carries two phones, an iPad, a laptop and charger, notebook, loads of pens and a small pharmacy during the allergy season. Her physical office in the London exurb of Uxbridge is an open space that encourages collaboration. However, her work is as likely to be completed there as in a coffee shop, aboard a train, an airport lounge, or a supermarket queue. Read “My Backpack Office.”
Aron Roberts saved a life while servicing a customer’s printer. He had never trained in the Heimlich Maneuver, but he knew what to do. It’s not quite all in a day’s work for this Riverside (Calif.)-based customer service engineer. With all the technology that makes Aron’s workday possible, sometimes all you have at hand are – well – your hands. Read “Customer Service Life Saver.”
More stories from the workplace
Each of these stories, new and selected, are from our Set the Page Free in the Modern Workplace archive. These articles feature Xerox employees as well as some of our customers and partners. They share their experiences and insights on technology and collaboration in the modern workplace. My favorite articles anywhere on Xerox Connect are the ones that allow us to tell the story from someone else’ point of view, which allows us to feel the passion they bring to their work every single day.
And yet, what is life without fantasy or imagination run wild? And how could we possibly “set the page free” if we couldn’t read it in the first place? That’s why Xerox collaborated with New York’s 92nd Street Y. Pursuing the cause of global literacy, our partners at the 92Y engaged 14 world-renowned writers to create their own stories of the workplace. The result is this free eBook, “Speaking of Work: A Story of Love, Suspense and Paperclips” (left). It contains, fiction, auto fiction, a song, a poem and a screenplay.
Read stories about how people – real and imagined – interact in the places where the work of the world gets done.
And good luck at the awards ceremonies, Noah.