My Secret by Aggretsuko

What’s the difference between a bad job and a high-stress job? One of them’s a compound word! Cue the cymbal crash, the raucous laughter, an offer letter to open at the Laugh Factory next Thursday night… 

Okay, really. Have you ever worked a job that felt right for you, but it was simultaneously extremely stressful? It’s a hard place to be in. You might be extremely passionate about the career field — healthcare, music, construction, marketing, education, the list goes on — but the actual constraints of your specific position make it hard to enjoy your day-to-day workload.

This can happen for a thousand different reasons. Sometimes the company you work for is woefully understaffed. Other times you receive a promotion or change departments only to find that your old position was more manageable. And still other times your boss is breathing down your neck and making note of your every last mistake. 

That last situation is exactly what’s happening to our latest Character Coaching client, Retsuko. Retsuko works as an accountant at a firm that constantly gets under her skin. Her boss is too much, and the job itself is really hard. In order to cope with the stressors of modern living, Retsuko has turned to some unconventional recreational activities. 

Still, she could use a little advice. How can she effectively deal with her job and maintain a decent social life while simultaneously keeping her sanity? Let’s read her latest journal entries on the subject and see if we can help her find a path forward.

Retsuko’s first journal entry: my secret 

Entry One:

“Dear Jonathanz, I just finished school and I finally got my first job! It’s so exciting! As a junior accountant, I get to make sure companies have balanced financial statements and get their taxes in properly. I am a very hard worker, but I have an amazing team of people who I am becoming friends with like Fenneko and Haida. I am so proud of my… oh, who am I kidding. The job is so hard, and I hate my boss, Mr. Ton. He is so mean to me and my friends and makes us work until very late. Komiya is also always around making sure that we are following directions. If I ever make a mistake, which has been happening more and more lately, I get yelled at and called names. It doesn’t make me feel good. I don’t know how I am going to keep this going. I have never told this to anyone before… so please don’t tell anyone, but… every day after work I take a detour from the subway and go to this special karaoke room where I let out ALL OF MY EMOTIONS into a microphone. I know I can be good at my job if I just keep trying, but I am not sure how long I can keep this going.”

First impressions: out with the office, in with the music 

Oh, wow! What a fun and different pastime. I don’t know too many people who sign up for karaoke and scream their heads off to themselves in order to let off steam, but now that it’s out there, I’m more than willing to try it… 

As we take a closer look at Retsuko’s challenges, there’s a lot of different ways to construe her issues. Perhaps her greatest issue at work is her boss, Mr. Ton. Or maybe it’s Komiya, who seems to have their nose in everybody’s business. Both of them seem to berate and belittle Retsuko for her mistakes, which isn’t a very healthy work environment. 

At the same time, there are other things about this journal entry to consider — things besides Retsuko’s relationship with her work. For instance, while she’s found a way to cope with her problems, she doesn’t seem to want to share that part of her life with anyone else. I’d like to know why that is, and whether or not her relationship with her friends is strong enough to talk to them about something like that. 

Moreover, I want to know what “triggers” Retsuko’s need to go and sing her head off. Is there some kind of boiling point she gets to that makes her decide it’s time to let of some steam and scream? If so, who pushes her to that point? Knowing the answer to that might help us pinpoint Retsuko’s major issue at work.

Finally, I’d be curious to know what Retsuko thought of her career path before starting at her current position. What made her want to be an accountant back in college? Did her dream job look like the job she had today? 

We’ve got a lot of questions and very few answers, so I think it’s time to check back in with Retsuko and see what she has to say about all of our musings. 


  1. What do you look for in your feelings to decide if enough is enough?
  2. If you could go back to college when you were dreaming about the awesome job that you would one day get, what did it look like?

Next: finding the right role model


“Dear Jonathanz, Just thinking about deciding if enough is enough… is enough. I am so done with Mr. Ton and the way he treats my friends. There are these 2 powerhouse business women at my work who know how to handle it better, Director Gori and Washimi. They don’t take any attitude from anyone and I want to be like them in a few years.  When I think about the dream job, I guess I don’t know. I love my music, but does anyone want to listen to some cat screaming? I don’t know and that makes things even scarier! But if I were screaming with a band, people would come from all over the world to hear us play. They would know the words and feel the emotions.”

I’m glad we followed up on Retsuko’s previous entry. Now we’re getting a clearer picture of her office environment — we’re learning not only about the bad factors in her day-to-day life, but also some of the positive things that make up her day. 

As coaches, this is important for a couple reasons (cue my pedestal, where I get up and talk about the pedagogical implications of proper life coaching…). First, we never want to assume that someone’s first journal entry offers a complete picture of their current mental state. If we do that, then we’re bound to start giving advice that doesn’t actually represent our clients’ actual lives. 

Secondly, it’s just as important to expand the picture of someone’s life by inquiring about what’s working for them in addition to what isn’t working. Doing so can help people make better decisions about what they love and want more of, instead of simply focusing on what they don’t want, and putting all of their energy into those negative outcomes. 

Alright. Meta-coaching moment over. Now, let’s dig back into Retsuko’s second journal entry. What I’m noticing right away is that she’s got a lot of hopes and desires of who she wants to be, but hasn’t quite taken the plunge yet. 

To some people that might sound like timidness, but I see that as wonderful! That means that even if Retsuko hasn’t made the choice to change just yet, she knows what she wants, and that’s one of the most powerful tools available when it comes to reinventing your life in a way that feels authentic and meaningful. 

On another note, Retsuko’s situation is pretty similar to a lot of our own struggles. I’m sure some of you out there can definitely empathize with having a job you don’t necessarily love, but a hobby that you adore. Eventually, it starts to beg the question: why continue working at something you don’t love if there’s something out there that you do love? 

Alright. We’ve mused appropriately here. Now it’s time for some questions.

Follow-up Questions: 

  1. What is it in Director Gori and Washimi that you see and want to be?
  2. Are there people you would want to make a band with? Have you ever shown your vocals to anyone?
  3. Is there a position you could hold that’s music-related that still draws on your accounting skills?
aggretsuko screaming
Image Credits

The check-in: letting the secret out

Closing Journal:

“Dear Jonathanz,
I guess it’s their confidence! They just walk around so sure about their decisions and like they know what to do. They are the coolest!
No. I have never shown anybody my screaming before because I don’t think anybody would want to hear it. Is that something I should try? I guess it would be cool for my Haida and Fenneko to know what I do outside of my horrible job. It would also make me feel better not to hold a secret in. I think I’ll give it a try! Thanks Jonathanz.”

Way to go, Retsuko! I can already tell from this journal entry that she’s a little more confident and self-assured than she was when we started. More than that, I never once told her to quit her job or start a band — as a coach, I’d rather use our exchanges as a starting point that Retsuko can use to come to her own conclusions about what would make her life fulfilling. 

As it turns out, it seems like right now, the best thing she can do is show her friends her big secret. Letting new people into a very private part of her life is a vulnerable thing to do, but it’s also an opportunity for Retsuko to feel like her most authentic self in front of those she trusts. That’s a big moment for her, and I’m glad she’s experiencing it now. 

In fact, I feel like this might be the first step Retsuko takes toward having the same kind of confidence she sees in her role models, Director Gori and Washimi. It won’t happen overnight, but who knows… maybe Gori and Washimi had their own “secrets” that they had to let out in order to be the people they are today!

Of course, while this journal entry is promising, it’s important to remember that we’re all works in progress. Nobody is completely happy or healed after a few exchanges. If Retsuko continued to work with me, we’d dive deeper into everything happening in her work, and how she can live a life that feels like the one she set out to live when she was getting her degree all those years ago. 

Maybe you’re in that same spot. If you have a job that’s less than ideal, or a hobby that you’d love to share with others, I’m here to listen! Drop me a line and let’s see what’s possible. 

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Jon Rom: Character Coaching is an exploration of coaching principles applied to fictional characters by the host. Any likeness to real people or situations is coincidental and none of the advice given is intended to take the place of real coaching. Learn more about getting accessible coaching at

[00:00:21] Jonathan Friedman: I'm Jonathan

[00:00:22] Jon Rom: and I'm John. And, and this is character coaching, coaching, character, coaching, character coaching


[00:00:42] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, that's me

[00:00:45] Jon Rom: Jonathan. It's another episode, Jonathan.

[00:00:47] Jonathan Friedman: Already?

[00:00:49] Jon Rom: It's it's happening? We're here.

[00:00:51] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, damn.

[00:00:52] Jon Rom: Um, Yeah. So, so you know how we're always getting questions about, uh, businesses and people's, um, business ideas and how to start a business and, you know, just questions that I'm not super qualified for, but you are.

[00:01:09] Jonathan Friedman: I know exactly the thing you're talking about.

[00:01:12] Jon Rom: Well, so I called my friend. Um, he is, uh, kind of an entrepreneur kind of a big deal. Mm. Um, You know what? I'm just gonna let him speak for himself. Okay,

[00:01:25] Jonathan Friedman: please.

[00:01:28] Jon Rom: Uh, hello, my name is, uh, my name is Avi and

[00:01:35] Jonathan Friedman: hello?

[00:01:35] Jon Rom: Uh, hello. Uh, I would like to start, uh, start up with you. Um, and my, my, my credentials I was, or that I started, um, googling.

You've heard of Google, right?

[00:01:49] Jonathan Friedman: I, I I've heard of it.

[00:01:51] Jon Rom: Well, I started Googling well, you sell, you sell, eh, uh, foods that you don't want to eat, and it'll tell you how disgusting it is, uh, on, uh, writing from, eh, that,

[00:02:10] Jonathan Friedman: that, that's interesting. Where'd you come up with the idea?

[00:02:13] Jon Rom: Oh, I come up with so many ideas.Ie have, have you heard of apple?

[00:02:18] Jonathan Friedman: I've heard of apple. I've heard of it.

[00:02:19] Jon Rom: You've heard of apple. You've heard of apple. So I created, um, a crabple. It is the ugliest phone ever see, but it is indestructible.

Crab, apple or crabple?


[00:02:40] Jonathan Friedman: Okay.

[00:02:40] Jon Rom: But you another sound, what I say. Crapble.

[00:02:44] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. That you, you come up with really unique ideas, Avi.

[00:02:48] Jon Rom: Johnny. I, I, I, I put it in, uh, I put it in the sand in Tel Aviv. Nothing happened. I saw it. Uh, in the world of Jerusalem, nothing happened is perfect. Is best.

[00:03:01] Jonathan Friedman: Indestructible.

[00:03:02] Jon Rom: Um, Indestructible trust me on this. You know this.

[00:03:06] Jonathan Friedman: You, you seem very trustworthy of you.

I do trust.

[00:03:10] Jon Rom: You're welcome.

And I am going to be here to answer any questions that we get about the business, about startup, um, about, uh, making product, product, uh, generation, everything, everything I cover it.

[00:03:31] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, ly appreciate that. A you, that, that that's fantastic. You're the first, um, Non-Jonathan on the show.

And I mean, John must trust you too, to even based on that alone to bring you in. So, uh, we're happy to have you, you.

[00:03:50] Jon Rom: It's, I I'm so happy to be here, uh, but I'm going. I'm going to leave the coaching to you. I do not a coach. I am not a coach. I've never coached, frankly. I don't even, I don't even think. I don't even think the coaching is real.

I, I, I do. I, I saw my hands from this.

[00:04:07] Jonathan Friedman: You you?

[00:04:07] Jon Rom: I clean my hands.

[00:04:08] Jonathan Friedman: You're a products man.

[00:04:10] Jon Rom: I'm a product person. I am ideas, uh, uh, product generation, uh, uh, delivery, uh, uh, uh, postmarketing analysis.

[00:04:22] Jonathan Friedman: UX,

[00:04:26] Jon Rom: UI UPS, UX.

[00:04:27] Jonathan Friedman: All the US.

[00:04:28] Jon Rom: Yes. Uh, USS central enterprise, everything

[00:04:32] Jonathan Friedman: USA.

[00:04:33] Jon Rom: USA. Okay. So I leave it to Jon.

[00:04:36] Jonathan Friedman: Thanks, Avi. We appreciate that.

[00:04:38] Jon Rom: Yeah. Thanks. Thanks Avi. We really appreciate that. You know, it's nice to have someone on the, on the call, um, who does everything like, it's not just not just, you know, it's not just the, the big ideas, but also the nitty gritty, the product management, all that stuff.

So, uh, uh, he's gonna come back whenever we have a business question.

[00:04:59] Jonathan Friedman: Wow with it. I love it. That that's really helpful. Thanks for, uh, introducing us to him, Jon, that's. Uh, fantastic.

[00:05:07] Jon Rom: Uh, well, you're welcome. So now that I've completed, uh, 80% of my job, uh what's uh, what's on the docket today. What do we have?

[00:05:16] Jonathan Friedman: Well, we do have, a nitty-gritty journal, uh, from a Retsuko. So that's, uh, pretty exciting. I'm excited to dig into that. And, uh, we also have a listener question today, so, uh, that's the morning report. That's the agenda. And, um, if it's fine by you, Jon and Avi then, uh, we'll, uh, we'll dig right in.

[00:05:38] Jon Rom: Well, Avi's not on the call anymore.

Avi, uh, Avi had to go. He, uh, he said he had a new business venture that he wanted to look into.

[00:05:45] Jonathan Friedman: What would that be? Colds?

[00:05:48] Jon Rom: Um, uh, yeah, jew.

[00:05:53] Jonathan Friedman: Well, bless you.

[00:05:55] Jon Rom: yeah.

I don't know what it is. You just said that it's uh, yeah. jew.

[00:06:05] Jonathan Friedman: I was thinking about one when he was talking, um, 'cause I have a lamp on my desk, so I was thinking he'd wanna make lamp. It's like a lamp, but it's glittery. So it sparkles, you know?

[00:06:15] Jon Rom: That's a good business idea, sparkles it's sparkles. Uh, I, we shouldn't, we shouldn't, we shouldn't make one of his accent.

He, um, uh, that's not, you know, that's not cool. Let's just, uh, let's just, let's just, let's just get right into it, man.

[00:06:31] Jonathan Friedman: Perfect. So this journal is called my secret by Retsuko.

"Dear Jonathans. I just finished school and I finally got my first job. It's so exciting. As a junior accountant, I get to make sure companies have balanced financial statements and get their taxes in properly.

I'm a very hard worker, but I have an amazing team of people who I am becoming friends with, like Fenneko and Haida. I am proud of my, oh, who am I kidding? The job is so hard and I hate my boss, Mr. Ton. He is so mean to me and my friends and makes us work until very late. Komiya is always around making sure that we are following directions.

If I even make a mistake, which has been happening more and more lately, I get yelled at and called names. It does not make me feel good. I don't know how I'm going to keep this going. I've never told this anyone before, but so please don't tell anyone. But every day after work, I take a detour from the subway and go to the special karaoke room where I let out all of my emotions into a microphone.

I know I can be good at my job if I just keep trying, but I'm not sure how long I can keep this going for"

and that, that that's a journal that, that that's a journal.

[00:07:49] Jon Rom: Preach,

preach. Preach of man.

[00:07:54] Jonathan Friedman: What, what, what, what are your first, so what's relatable about it.

[00:07:59] Jon Rom: Just, just, you know, the, the the pressure of it all, you know, you know, you go, you go into the workforce and, um, you really hope you're gonna crush it for the moment you go in there, but it's hard.

It's hard. There's definitely a, a, a learning curve that you have to, uh, you have to go through and, and it's, it's even harder when you have, uh, uh, uh, a lot of pressure put on you from the beginning, 'cause you're expected to be a high performer. Um, What I, I, I wonder, did, does any of this speak to you, Jonathan?

[00:08:42] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, for sure. Um, I mean, I've definitely had, uh, I mean, we don't know much about Mr. Ton yet that boss or Komiya who seems to be, uh, making sure the work is getting done the expeditor if you will. Uh, but I definitely worked in, uh, situations where you have that hardcore boss who, when you make a mistake, they're, they're, they're pretty abusive actually say mean things.

And it's not nice to go to work were really, um, especially I imagine accounting and accounting during tax season, you're spending most of your life in that office. So having a boss who is just yelling at you, barking orders, calling you names, uh, it mustn't be nice.

[00:09:27] Jon Rom: Yeah, it seems like it seems like not a, it's not a super, emotionally supportive, uh, supportive environment.

It sounds like, but it also, I also know that when things are, are high stakes, everything seems really amplified. Um, you know, I know, I know, even, even when I was younger, whenever we would play sports, just like casually with. It was about 15 minutes in when all my friends would get super, uh, uh, competitive and excited and they would tell me, like, what are you doing?

Pick up the ball, or you gotta hit it here. And I, my, my, my poor little fragile heart would be like, I'm doing my best. I'm sorry. I'm bad.

[00:10:15] Jonathan Friedman: You're just doing the best you can sports.

[00:10:17] Jon Rom: Yeah. You know, and, and you, you might not be bad necessarily. Uh, uh, your job, it might just seem like everything's high stakes.

And so the things that people say to you are, are very intense, but it, it could be either way. It, it could be a sensitivity thing. It could be that the environment's not super supportive. Uh, we don't know, we don't have enough information. I think, um, I, I think that's where good question asking comes in and where we get the story.

We get uh, what, what are these relationships, uh, like if we had more information about them or if we had a better understanding of what does, what did she think Mr. Or he, or she think Mr. Ton or Komiya wants, uh, from them?

It, it would, it would make more sense.

[00:11:11] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. We have to be careful as coaches, not to sort of project our own know feelings of the soccer court, if that's what that's, where you play soccer, soccer court, right?

[00:11:19] Jon Rom: A court of soccer?

Yeah. Come gather around the soccer court.

[00:11:28] Jonathan Friedman: That was the first time in, in the history of the show that I knew exactly what was gonna happen. The second that came outta my mouth.

[00:11:35] Jon Rom: The surfs in the, out, in the, in the, in the left side of the field. Demanded better wages. What, what say you? In soccer court.

[00:11:44] Jonathan Friedman: Their heads.

[00:11:46] Jon Rom: Let them kick balls.

Wait, that sounds wrong. Let them kick. Nope. I mean, that troubles I don't know how else to say that.

[00:11:56] Jonathan Friedman: I mean, You pointed to the time peperiodnk of soccer courts.

[00:12:03] Jon Rom: Well, thank you. Everything I know everything I know about the soccer courts I learned in, uh, fourth grade, uh, during, during my trip to medieval times.

[00:12:14] Jonathan Friedman: Did you have a trip to medieval times then too?

[00:12:16] Jon Rom: No, no. I, first time I went to I've I shared the first time I went to medieval times on this show,

like two months,

[00:12:24] Jonathan Friedman: I wasn't, you went with school. I would've been surprised If our school took you for mutton, you know?

[00:12:30] Jon Rom: do you think they serve mutton at medieval times?

[00:12:33] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, I do.

[00:12:34] Jon Rom: Nah, they serve like a whole ass chicken.

[00:12:38] Jonathan Friedman: Whole ass chicken.

[00:12:39] Jon Rom: Not like the whole season.

[00:12:40] Jonathan Friedman: Like the whole chicken butt chicken butt.

[00:12:42] Jon Rom: Chicken butt.

I think we've got, we lost the plot again.

[00:12:46] Jonathan Friedman: We lost the plot. So what I was trying to say is you shouldn't project. As, as coaches, we're not here to project our feelings from when we were in, uh, rough situations onto our clients.

[00:12:58] Jon Rom: Mm-hmm.

[00:12:58] Jonathan Friedman: We're trying to just take a step back. Think about the questions we want to ask and see where we can take Retsuko here.

So for me, um, I wanna look at resilience. I want to know when is enough enough for Retsuko what's the boiling point. And also you could go back to college when you were dreaming about that awesome job that you would one day get, what did it look like? What was exciting to Retsuko about becoming that accountant?

What, what did it look like to Retsuko in their head? Did you have any questions, Jon?

[00:13:38] Jon Rom: I guess, I guess. I guess I want to fill out the picture a little bit. So I wonder if there are any, um, positive interactions that, that, uh, Retsuko has at work. You know, if there are any positive relationships, um, uh, uh, she said she's becoming friends with her amazing team Fenneko, Haida I wonder if there's anyone else that she looks up to, or, or, or resonates with her.

[00:14:09] Jonathan Friedman: I think those are great questions. It's good to know how all of the dynamics in a workplace work, not just the ones that kind of suck, right?

[00:14:20] Jon Rom: Yeah. I mean, it, it's easy to focus on the ones that suck 'cause they end up, uh, bringing in your attention, but then you, you missed te, the great opportunities to develop friendships and mentorships if, uh, that's all you ever focus on.

[00:14:35] Jonathan Friedman: There was a brief pause before you gave an answer. And I was like, where's my validation. And it just I'm like, is it not gonna happen today?

[00:14:43] Jon Rom: Uh, I only validate, I only validate parking. That's my job on, uh, on, in the soccer court. I'm the, I'm the parking validator.

[00:14:52] Jonathan Friedman: So for the, for the guests who watch the soccer battle in the court, you validate their parking or for the players?

[00:15:06] Jon Rom: I, I, I, I, uh, I come out, um, during, uh, the gestures dance and go around, uh, uh, giving a stamp, um, and the Royal seal, uh, on people's, uh, parking tickets. Uh, and they, uh, don't have to pay for parking in the court.

[00:15:30] Jonathan Friedman: You know what the Royal seal says.

[00:15:35] Jon Rom: Oh,

God I'm. So I, I know exactly where this is going. All right. Yeah. Jonathan, what is the Royal seal say?

But he has a, he has a, he has

a trumpet that introduces.

[00:15:52] Jonathan Friedman: It's a bugle. It's a bugle.

[00:15:56] Jon Rom: Yeah, you're right.

Like that knock loose song..

[00:15:58] Jonathan Friedman: That's what.

[00:16:02] Jon Rom: This is, this is stupid show.

[00:16:04] Jonathan Friedman: I remember what we were learning about medieval times.

[00:16:05] Jon Rom: I like it.

[00:16:06] Jonathan Friedman: In, in history, in like elementary school. And they said Royal seal.

And that's because of how much cartoons I watched. That's literally the first thing that came into my head and I couldn't unhear it. They're just that, that's what it was now.

[00:16:21] Jon Rom: Royal Seal uh, sounds like someone who, someone like, like a Marine biologist.

Marine biologists. Well, whoever's in charge of like watching seals and learning things about them, uh, uh, watched one and said, you know, that one would look great in a crown.

Why don't we just, why don't we call this entire species Royal seal, which is almost exactly how biologists named things. They're just like, uh, how am I feeling today? This is this, this is a, this is a very Royal looking butterfly. I think we're gonna call it a Monarch butterfly.

[00:17:01] Jonathan Friedman: Is that how they name things? Like for real?

I guess if you're the person who discovers something unnamed.

[00:17:08] Jon Rom: Who's gonna, yeah. Who's gonna tell you otherwise.

[00:17:10] Jonathan Friedman: There, there, I guess as far as science goes, there's not so many opportunities to be like, you can be creative in how you think about things, but you can't like be like to like wildly, like weird thought creative all the time.

[00:17:27] Jon Rom: It sucks. It sucks that we came up with manta shrimp, but we decided to call our species human

bad name.

[00:17:34] Jonathan Friedman: You be like mantis apes.

[00:17:38] Jon Rom: I wanted to be called, um, like upright monkey boys...

[00:17:47] Jonathan Friedman: Probably not that, that sounds like a band from the, from like the early sixties that was like up to no good.

[00:17:53] Jon Rom: Yeah.

The upright, the upright monkey boy. No, it's like it's, it's jot Rob and the upright monkey boys gang.

They gotta steal all your money.

[00:18:02] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. They're just playing, you know, that, that, uh, Non abrasive rock, but because of our hair, all the moms think we're the bad boys.

[00:18:11] Jon Rom: Yeah. And we, we go on a tour and we think we're gonna be as big as the Beatles, but like three people come tour.

[00:18:18] Jonathan Friedman: We, we, we predate Beatles. Let's be, let's be real. We predate them.

[00:18:24] Jon Rom: We hire them.

[00:18:25] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. We, we created them that they came to our concert and heard our song go, go, monkey, go. And then they wrote their first hit.

[00:18:38] Jon Rom: Back when, when they, when they were the journeymen. Okay. This is we've lost the plot again. What, what? Just setting off the question.

[00:18:44] Jonathan Friedman: You saying we've lost the, the plot is as bad as me saying we need to organic segue to break. Oh, that was good.

[00:18:53] Jon Rom: Which is a pretty good organic segue of break.

[00:18:56] Jonathan Friedman: That that's the best I've ever done.

Okay. So non surprisingly, we've received a journal from Mexico because we are.

[00:19:22] Jon Rom: Wow.

[00:19:23] Jonathan Friedman: We are me.

[00:19:23] Jon Rom: Oh my gosh. The confidence.

[00:19:25] Jonathan Friedman: The best coaches in the world. So I'm gonna go ahead and listen.

[00:19:29] Jon Rom: I, I guess, I guess

[00:19:30] Jonathan Friedman: you better read Jon.

[00:19:32] Jon Rom: Project, your project, project, your confidence of the world and, and see what comes.

[00:19:35] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. I'm not gonna project my anger from the soccer court, but I will project my confidence.

[00:19:39] Jon Rom: Who, who would you be on the soccer court do you think?

[00:19:43] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, uh, striker.

[00:19:49] Jon Rom: Strike car?

[00:19:50] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. Well you validated me, right?

[00:19:52] Jon Rom: Okay, go ahead.

[00:19:57] Jonathan Friedman: Like, I can't do anything else other than play guitar in the upright monkey people end?

[00:20:05] Jon Rom: I'm not saying it's the only thing you could do. It's the thing I thought you would wanna do on soccer court. Okay. Fine. You're a strike. Okay. Alright. Okay. Who am I? You know what? You're right. You're a striker. You're a striker striker here. You hear you. That's that's rarely and yay. Um, and so on and so forth right here.

[00:20:24] Jonathan Friedman: You hear you here is our journal from Retsuko:

"Dear Jonathan's just thinking about deciding if enough is enough, is enough. I am so done with Mr. Ton and the way he treats me and my friends, there are these two powerhouse business women at my work who know how to handle it better, director Gori and Washimi.

They don't take any attitude from anyone. And I want to be like them in a few years. When I think about my dream job, I guess, I don't know. I love my music, but does anyone wanna listen to a cat screaming? I don't know, and that makes things even scarier. But if I were screaming with a band, people would come from all over the world to hear us play.

They would know the words and feel the emotions.

The emotions. Ah, I wonder if cat screaming is legitimately a cat screaming. If that's, you know, have you ever heard of that band Caninus where it's like death metal, but there's a dog barking. I wonder if it's in that kind of vein.

[00:21:30] Jon Rom: You know, sometimes, uh, uh, Jonathan will say, have you heard of this band? And then go to describe what sounds like something he mad. I don't think I've ever checked his work. I don't think I've ever checked if the band is real, which means he could just totally make something up.

So if, if you're lost, if you're listener to this podcast and you wonder if that's a real band, go, do, do your due diligence, go look it up. Cause I promise you I will not look it up.

[00:21:58] Jonathan Friedman: There's also, I forget what the parrot band was named, but there was definitely also.

[00:22:05] Jon Rom: The parrot band.

That's that's Jimmy buffet.

Uh, what, uh, what, what, what did you get from this journal, Jonathan?

[00:22:15] Jonathan Friedman: So I think there's obviously this sort of duality, right? So there's reco at work who wants better things from work they're done with Mr. Ton but kind of see if they stick it out for a few more years of build that confidence. They can be like director Gori and Washimi who I'm guessing are, you know, upper level management, that kind of thing.

But at the same time, when we were asking about the sort of blue sky, what would you do? Like what, what's the dream job? Um, it's kind of getting more into that music. We know that every Retsuko shared that secret with us, where every single day after work to sort of let off steam, um, they go to this karaoke room, this special karaoke room where they let out all of their emotions.

So I'm wondering if. Well, I'm not wondering if that seems like that's, what's exciting to Retsuko what did, how about you? What did you get?

[00:23:13] Jon Rom: You know what, well, well, so what strikes me is that how this feels such a similar, a familiar situation where you're, you're very overworked and you're over work and you have a hobby or a, or a thing that you do for fun that brings you so much joy and you just think, well, why am I, why am I busting my butt doing this thing that I don't, really like my chicken butt, uh, that you eat at medieval times? Why am I busting it so I can do this thing that I don't really like when I have this thing that I love to do and I wait all day to do, and then I go, I go and I do it.

And I, I, I would, I would wonder. For for, um, Retsuko if they think, if they believe that if they turned their passion for music into a job, if they wouldn't hit the exact sort of, um, walls, or if they would just overcome them because of their love of what they were doing. Cuz music is, music is so much fun.

It's, it's not a particularly easy profession and you can obviously speak more to that than I can.

[00:24:33] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. But at the same time, I think if it's, if that's what you wanna do, it's important to give it a try. And there's lots of different avenues in music that actually are more businessy and you can have a band and also be working as an accountant for, you know, um, a record label.

Or work with a production studio or something like that. There's a lot of different avenues within music, more so than just the traditional, uh, rockstar, screaming, cat approach. Um, yeah, it's it, it, it's interesting to, I, I think there's that, um, we go to school and we ha we get this training to do a certain thing.

There's a, a lot of times, especially when we go to school to study something, there's a certain pathway that's laid out as I, I'm not an accountant, but I imagine, you know, you, you go to school, you get your CPA, you work as a junior accountant for a while. You're busting your chops to get to the top. You work your way up in a firm, or you start up your firm.

Um, those are kind of the different models about how you, how, how you can kind of go about it. Um, but maybe it's not as exciting as it was in school. And I think it's cool to explore something that's a little less structured, like music is, um, I'm wondering who else would be in this screaming cat band?

Would they get the upright monkey boys?

Would they?

[00:26:10] Jon Rom: The upright monkey boys? Yeah. Brett monkey bow is I feel still feel like it's a gang that like steals money in the 1920s. Yeah, it would, it would be a pretty good band name. Okay. So, o, uh, I mean, I mean, if you compare, if you compare us to, I guess I'm the more, I'm the more conservatively minded of us.

And, and, and when I, when I coach, it's why I try not to give, um, uh, advice so much as try to unlock what the person's thinking about, because, you know, word me, I would, I would. Keep my head down and go and try to become the most confident at this job that I'm already at, but that's not necessarily what's right for everyone.

And if someone loves their music, um, you know, kind of like kind of like you do, Jonathan, I, I, I think, I think there is, there is a lot of merit in pursuing it. Uh, uh, no matter what, or at the same time as, as, uh, uh, doing your, your day. Um, uh, that, that's the thing, I guess I'd ask, um, where's where' the baby step?

What's the first thing that, that record could do to let, um, let people into this secret that she has that, that, that, or, or that they. That they, that they love this type of music and that they love singing and they love, uh, just leaving it all out there in the karaoke room, which is a thing that people say.

[00:27:53] Jonathan Friedman: Uh, we, we, we do that all the time. Um, and I, I love those questions and I think those baby steps are important. So for me, as far as the accounting role goes, I want to know what is it in director Gori and Washimi that they see and want to be. And then also, are there any people who Retsuko would wanna make a bandwidth? Has Retsuko ever shown, um, those screaming cat vocals?

Because in the beginning, at the very beginning of our experience with Retsuko. Retsuko just said that nobody knows about this. So getting from the karaoke room to a stage in front of people, that's a big jump. So I want to know.

[00:28:37] Jon Rom: That could be the that could be, but that could be the first step. Yeah. It, as he steps, to get there.

[00:28:42] Jonathan Friedman: It could be. So that's kind of where I would want to go with it. So I'm gonna go ahead and, uh, send off our questions over to Retsuko and, um, see what comes, see what the cat drags in. Um, that was inappropriate.

[00:28:59] Jon Rom: Folks we don't, we don't pay to advertise the show. We don't send postcards in the mail. We don't, um, we don't hire an airplane to the skylight, uh, listen to character coaching with the Jonathans. 

Uh, we don't, um, we don't do any of that. We rely on listeners to spread the word, to tell each other to post on, on social media, and to tell their friends and to, and to hire their skywriters. And, and when you do that, dear listener, You, uh, you help, uh, increase the listenership of the show, but you also, uh, you put a smile on Jonathan's face and isn't, isn't the smile of a Jonathan worth about a thousand dollars the US?

[00:30:05] Jonathan Friedman: Just with this exchange, I would say so.

[00:30:09] Jon Rom: Yeah. So if, if you have, uh, if you them the, if you have it in your heart to leave us a review, Uh, uh, on your, on your, on your podcasting app of choice or to, uh, to tell your friends, Hey, I listened to this show and it made me grow my hair back and it, uh, taught me the meaning of Christmas. Uh, we really appreciate it cause cuz that's how we grow our, that's how we grow our show.

[00:30:38] Jonathan Friedman: That's very, very true. And if you or anyone, you know, is looking for sweet sweet, sweet, sweet coaching. And you can check us out at and book an intake call to learn more. And, uh, let's uh, we, we, we got a, we, we, we, we, we, we, we got, um, a journal from Retsuko which is super exciting and, um, yeah, let's, uh, let's jump right in.

What is this? What is this?

[00:31:11] Jon Rom: Like? Where are you? Are you deciding as you're talking, if we're gonna jump in or not?

[00:31:17] Jonathan Friedman: No, I just, I was just trying to be, uh, smooth and roll right in

[00:31:24] Jon Rom: as smooth as someone slipping on a banana peel.

[00:31:27] Jonathan Friedman: We are the upright monkey boys.

[00:31:30] Jon Rom: We are the upright monkey boys. The upright monkey boys strike again.

[00:31:34] Jonathan Friedman: Unfortunately, based on the cannon we've created in the show.

If they were around in the early sixties, that would make us probably in our mid-seventies. So listeners, uh, take what you will

[00:31:47] Jon Rom: checking your math there. Uh, yeah, we're in our mid-seventies. Well, we are young-sounding 70 70-year-olds00:31:56] Jonathan Friedman: So we got this journal from Retsuko.

[00:31:59] Jon Rom: It's okay. See? Jonathan Jonathan in his old age has gone deaf, so he probably missed all of that.

[00:32:07] Jonathan Friedman: It's uh, it's my big thousand dollars smile over here.

[00:32:12] Jon Rom: All right. We do journal

[00:32:13] Jonathan Friedman: Dear John.

[00:32:15] Jon Rom: Retsuko's journal.

[00:32:16] Jonathan Friedman: You just interrupted.

[00:32:19] Jon Rom: Sorry.

[00:32:19] Jonathan Friedman: "Dear Jonathan's I guess it's their confidence.

They just walk around so sure about their decisions and like they know what to do. They are the coolest, no, I have never shown anybody my screaming before, because I don't think anybody would want to hear it. No, I have never shown anybody my screaming before, because I don't think anybody would want to hear it.

Is that something I should try? I guess it would be cool for my friend HEDA and Fenneko to know what I do outside of my horrible job. It would also make me feel better not to hold a secret in. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks. Jonathan's."

Wow. Way to, way to go. Retsuko I love that. Given it a try.

[00:33:04] Jon Rom: The confidence.

[00:33:05] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. Yes, yes, yes.

[00:33:08] Jon Rom: Confidence was there all along.

It's it's early days. It's early days 'cause you know, we, sometimes we have people who we coach on the show and uh, we, we only, we give a, a, a peak peek what it looks like when we've been coaching them for a long time. But this is like, this is, was a pretty quick exchange that you had with Retsuko, and, uh, it sounded like it didn't take all that much encouragement to get them to at least take that first step into, uh, relieving the pressure that the secret causes. And it makes a lot of sense because there's so much pressure at work. Why, uh, why add more pressure into your lify, by holding back who you really are from your friend?

[00:33:53] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. And at no point in this conversation, did we say, oh, you know, if Mr. If you don't like Mr. Ton, go off and do your own thing. We never gave a directive statement. We said, well,wh n it is enough, We were kind of using Retsuko's own conversation as sort of a starting point for our coaching conversation. And that gave a lot of room for Retsuko to think about what they wanted, but that's not to say, Hey, you know, like we're, we're, we're leaving our job.

We're gonna go start the band. Um, a as we mentioned before, getting from that place where you're doing karaoke by yourself to getting on stage is big. So I think taking the time to show Haida and Fenneko those things is really great. And the other thing that it does, it allows Retsuko a chance to sort of explore the confidence that she so admires in director Gori and Washimi.

Um, whether that's in the accounting firm or in the heavy metal universe, um, confidence is a great thing to have and to explore. So I think it's awesome that Retsuko is gonna do that, but yeah, it's absolutely early days. And, um, even though maybe this portion of the conversation is done next week, we're gonna be sending Retsuko a conversation starter and getting right back into it to see, you know, how did that showing Haida to and Fenneko the music go.

Maybe it was hard. or Maybe one of them didn't show up. Maybe it didn't go as planned or maybe it was awesome. And Retsuko was already on the path and building a tour for herself.

[00:35:35] Jon Rom: People's people's stories never really end. And, and it's not, it, it's not as easy as, you know, wrapping things up in a, in, in a title, nice little package. You gotta, you gotta be willing to kind of follow up on these, on these developments. And if, if someone uses your coaching, uh, uh, to, to reveal to themselves, what they really want and how they want to go about it.

You gotta follow up and you gotta be willing to find out how did that go? What, happened? What were the challenges? What went well? Did it go like as you expected? Uh, so I love that. I love that, uh, the, the progress that Resco is making and, uh, uh, I feel like she's gonna be, uh, a real fun coachee to coach.

[00:36:25] Jonathan Friedman: A real fun

screaming cat, which is now.

[00:36:28] Jon Rom: Real fun screaming cat.

[00:36:30] Jonathan Friedman: And that's a phrase we use in the, in the court of soccer. book ends.

[00:36:36] Jon Rom: Soccer court is jerk.a  Oh yeah. We never talked abouthe t soccer court being the court of law, but

for soccer.

[00:36:44] Jonathan Friedman: Well, we'll save that bit for next time because we have a listener question done.

[00:36:50] Jon Rom: Um, um, but tell me, um,

[00:36:54] Jonathan Friedman: So we, we do have a listener question, Jon, and, uh, I think this is, uh, a pretty relatable one.

So the question is how do you deal with technology addiction? When do I know if I'm spending too much time on my phone and that's the question? I think that's a good question.

[00:37:13] Jon Rom: why did you, why did you say it like that?

[00:37:20] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, my phone.

[00:37:22] Jon Rom: Oh man. You, you know, you know, you know, you've been spending too much time on your phone.

[00:37:27] Jonathan Friedman: Your question, mark.

[00:37:29] Jon Rom: You talk your question marks are commas. Yeah,. Oh man. Um, This is, this is a difficult question to answer because it depends. I mean, I think every single answer we've ever given,

[00:37:47] Jonathan Friedman: like here, let's, let's take the super broad question about like mental health and let's, uh, par it down to a five-minute segment.

[00:37:57] Jon Rom: I'll tell you what, it's a problem I'm gonna use. I'm gonna use, uh, the rules, the rules that the DSM lays out. The diagnostic, uh, statistics manual, because when you're diagnosing a problem in psychiatry, you always have to question, is this ruining the person's life? If it's ruining your life or it's interrupting your ability to function in your life, then it's a problem.

Then you're on your, then you're on your phone too much. But for many people, phone, technology has become their way of engaging in their life. You know, that's, that's their way that they work. That's the way that they talk to their friends. That's their way of gaming and relaxing. It's how they watch the news.

It's how they do just about everything a phone can do is going to be impactful and how you live your life. Um, uh, and, and in, in that way, sometimes I treat a phone, uh, like, like a pair of glasses. You know, it, it lets you just access your life easier as opposed to its own thing. What do you think?

[00:39:09] Jonathan Friedman: I think this is definitely one of the things that COVID has changed for many. If you think about, it especially us here in Ontario, we spent basically two, like a good year of the past two years in lockdown. And having technology has been a great way for us to keep being social and to keep being connected, especially.

You know, uh, I know I was locked inside, not locked, but I was inside locked down in a basement apartment for most of COVID and that's that that's hefty and having ing the gy to access and spending a lot of time kind of makes sense. But I think that idea of how technology affects your life relative to your life.

If you're somebody who needs to be on a screen because you're a web designer and you're on screen all day and that's what you need to do for your work. And it's not addiction. It's, it's a function of the job, but let's say you have a relationship with a partner and you're having a conversation when all of a sudden the conversation goes silent because somebody's scrolling through Instagram and Facebook and seeing, you know, what their favorite influencer is up to.

It kind of becomes that mindless scroll and your relationship is being affected as a result. I would say that's closer to that. Um, destructive addiction sort of piece as an example.

[00:40:38] Jon Rom: But I also see that as a function of your relationship.

[00:40:41] Jonathan Friedman: How so?

[00:40:42] Jon Rom: Um, I, I see, I, I see it's a fun, like, and sorry, it's, it's, it's a symptom of your relationship.

If your relationship, uh, upon any silence makes you feel like you need to jump to a distraction, I think that's an inherent thing to work on. Uh, not necessarily what the distraction is because I would feel the same way if the person used the five seconds of silence to, to go and, uh, uh, uh, do their nails or, or start, you know, playing Sudoku or taking out Tarot cards. It doesn't matter what the distraction is. I, I think that needing need to distract yourself, not wanting to, but needing to is worth looking into, but I feel like technology gets a bad rap just because it is the most available thing that we have. Um, and, and, and we, and we're looking at the wrong side of it.

It's it's why, what, ws triggering Escaping Zone not what are you escaping to?

[00:41:48] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, I, I, I totally agree with that. Um, it's, I, I guess it's how the technology or any sort of, well, really how the technology is working against what you're looking for in your life. And if it's, you know, taking away from the things that you would normally do or would rather be doing, right.

[00:42:13] Jon Rom: Mm-hmm.

[00:42:14] Jonathan Friedman: Closer to that.

[00:42:16] Jon Rom: Is, this is, I feel like this is a conversation we're also gonna get into a lot, uh, in, in, in, in the many, many, many episodes to come, because I feel like, I feel like there's been, there's, there's a lot of misconceptions about the word dopamine addiction be gets thrown around a lot and it's, uh, which is a whole, which is a whole lot of unscientific nonsense, but like the.

The relationships that people have with technology are something that's been around for as long as humanity has been around because it is part of our, it is part of our social system is to use the latest technology to its utmost in our lives. We just happen to have super, supercomputers in our hands now.

So it's a lot more glaringly obvious when we are spending, uh, a good chunk of our day. Using it, but I bet the I'll tell you what, Jonathan, I bet the Abacus was pretty hot shit when it came out.

[00:43:17] Jonathan Friedman: Yo man, look at these numbers.

[00:43:21] Jon Rom: Look at these sliding tubes. Oh my God.

[00:43:25] Jonathan Friedman: Oh my god. But, uh, be before we wrap it up, um, if, uh, Um, anybody experiences a, you know, an attachment to technology that they don't prefer?

What, are some tips you would give them to sort of start to move away from that to try other things instead?

[00:43:45] Jon Rom: I think time limits are a good idea. I think that having, uh, uh, set amount of time that you can use technology for a purpose outside of work. Uh, is important or, or even limiting how much you work.

Cause it's, it's not great if it's 9:00 PM and you're still on your phone, uh, uh, filing tax reports or whatever it is you do, cuz you need sleep. Sleep is important too.

It, allows you to, do your job.

[00:44:16] Jonathan Friedman: You need to go to the karaoke.

[00:44:18] Jon Rom: That's inherent. Do you n to go to the karaoke room? Yeah. I, I say time, I say time limits.

That's the first thing that occurs to me. What about you?

What do you think?

[00:44:26] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, I, I like time limits a lot too. I think often we look for the sort of like cognitive solutions to behavioral problems and I think there's a case for that, but I think when it comes to addiction, um, especially for something like technology, I, I like starting with a bit of a behavior approach.

Like, are you able to set a limit on it? Are you able to say, you know, Um, you know, I've been working on my screen for eight hours today? Now I'm gonna go for a walk. Um, is that available to you? And I would experiment around with that first. I agree.

[00:45:02] Jon Rom: I'm also a firm believer in spending like 10 minutes a day, just staring out in space

[00:45:06] Jonathan Friedman: hundred percent.

Let mine.

[00:45:08] Jon Rom: Underrated.

[00:45:09] Jonathan Friedman: My, my partner, Cassandra will sometimes come home and she'll, she'll look at me and she's like a rough day. And I'm like, yeah. She's like, do you need to stare at a wall for half an hour? I'm like, yes. yes. That's good, that's a good idea.

[00:45:22] Jon Rom: It's so good though. Your brain, if you let it go, will just play an entire, uh, uh, a movie for you. If you just let it go and nod and not think about anything.

[00:45:34] Jonathan Friedman: For sure.

[00:45:35] Jon Rom: That's great.

[00:45:36] Jonathan Friedman: And you know what else is great, John? Is, uh, how many different platforms, speaking of technology addiction, if you're scrolling through your technology.

[00:45:48] Jon Rom: What an organic segue, this is, go ahead.

[00:45:50] Jonathan Friedman: Um, if you're scrolling through your technology, um, wanting to listen to, um, you know, pretty, pretty dope podcasts at work, um, we're, we're everywhere you can find character coaching at, um, On Instagram, on Spotify, on apple podcasts, you can find us on Google podcast, Stitcher on our website,

Uh, you can find us on Instagram with some, you know, some of our little clever tidbits from the show and some other fun videos at the journal that talks back on Instagram. Um, we're, we're everywhere and.

[00:46:31] Jon Rom: Your friend, your friend Jimmy's mom's phone. We're on that phone. Go check that phone. That's we're on there.

[00:46:36] Jonathan Friedman: It's a good phone. We'll have a friend named Jimmy.

[00:46:38] Jon Rom: Good phone. Yeah. Yeah. Or James.

[00:46:43] Jonathan Friedman: I, I guess those are two different names.

[00:46:48] Jon Rom: Are they?

[00:46:49] Jonathan Friedman: Jimmy? James? I think Jimmy is short for James. Is it not?

[00:46:55] Jon Rom: You know, I've never questioned the fact that there's a whole place called Jimmy Johns as if that's a real name.

[00:47:03] Jonathan Friedman: Isn't it?

Why can't it,

[00:47:06] Jon Rom: Jimmy, John?

[00:47:07] Jonathan Friedman: can it be like one of those two-part names?

[00:47:19] Jon Rom: Character Coaching is a production of The Journal That Talks Back a product at Frame of Mind coaching. To get accessible coaching for just $200 a month, book a free intake call at Our music is The Swindler by The Original Orchestra featuring Ian Post. Our editing is done by one of the Jonathans on the show, which one? We'll never tell.