The sad secret employees rarely reveal

How would you finish this sentence?

I’m a shameless...

Star Wars fan

After dinner flosser

Long bath taker...

I’m a shameless black coffee drinker, book reader and F-bomb dropper.

Whatever yours is, you’ve decided to say to the world, 

“I do this and I love it and I’ve decided you can’t make me feel bad about it.” 

"They" say, the key to uncorking shame of any vintage is saying it out loud. 

Yesterday via podcast, I "met"  Artist Paula Williams, who created a way for people to do that through her interactive exhibit, SHAMEBOOTH.

From the website: 

SHAMEBOOTH What started as an idea to outfit a phone booth with a classic phone and invite people to record the things they are ashamed of has developed into a movement, with a booth that travels, a podcast, a website and more.

That’s it. You step into a refurbished phone booth, close the door and tell your story into the phone releasing what you feel shame over. 

One of my fav podcasts featured a few of these SHAMEBOOTH recordings, which is when I heard this one.

From the SHAMEBOOTH website.

Here goes...

When someone steps into the booth and picks up the phone, this is part of the intro that plays. (They play it in the podcast.)

"This is Shame Booth, an opportunity for you to speak your shame. What is it that you’ve been carrying around that’s been weighing heavy on your heart, that you want to get rid of? Please do so after the beep. And walk out of this booth with your head held high, feeling lighter and shame free."


Right after the beep, you hear the voice of a youngish woman whose confident tone and staight-to-the-point approach make you pretty sure she’s smart. 

She doesn’t waste anytime getting down to the source of her shame.

This is a transcript and excerpt from her one-minute recording.


Hi I am… I’m ashamed when I’m not successful enough at work.”

Um, whenever the guys I know in my job don’t succeed, they seem to be able to ..without any problem.. at all, blame it on outside circumstances and say 'Oh well that was against me…. And this was unfair… and that was you know ..that’s just bad luck…'

and I just can’t do it.

For me it’s always, ‘well if only I’d been better. I shouda been better. I shoulda done that better. I shoulda done that better. I should’ve known better. I should have already KNOWN what to do.'

And you can’t ask for help because you’re supposed to know already.

Cause you’re anidiotif you don’t already know. 

Anyway, that’s what I’m ashamed of.

I’m ashamed when I’m not good enough at my job and it makes me sad, because I f*cking love my job.

Anyway, thank you very much. Um, this is a cool project. I appreciate it. Bye-bye

{sound of phone hanging up.}


Doing what I do, I see and hear a lot ofpeople experiencing shame in their career caused when they believe they are or were supposed to know something they don't know.

"I should've known" is the silent mantra of almost every professional I meet who's struggling - in their job, their pay or their happiness.

"I should've known" is poison because it's often silently paired with, "It's too late to learn."  

So work becomes the thing that makes you sad, even if you love it, cause it's associated with all that mess. 

Job demands vary, but we all have to manage our career and find work.

For the record, you're not just “supposed to know."

You “should’ve known” is one of the costliest professional hustles around.

It keeps MBA enrollments high, and salaries low.

It steals your joy along with your ability to capture the learning from your mistakes cause you're too busy beating yourself up over them.

No one is born with this knowledge and it changes all the time.

It's 100% learnable. 

Those things you “should’ve known” are part of what’s on in this Wednesday’s Free Career Workshop. 

Join if this sort of thing interests you. 

No shame either way.

You can reserve a seat here.


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