Workplace Tips From Our CEO Kyra Kyles and How to Not Get Fired

Workplace Tips From Our CEO Kyra Kyles and How to Not Get Fired (Artwork created by Pedro Vega Jr.)

In the Season 5 finale of Adult ISH, Nyge Turner and Merk Nguyen get into office culture and workplace dos/don’ts. Why did Nyge get fired from his old job? Who better to ask than Dorian Taylor, his ex-boss who had to let him go?! Then the co-hosts get professional advice from YR Media CEO Kyra Kyles on questions like, “Should you really tell someone hiring you that your biggest weakness is working too hard?” Be sure to follow us on all the socials @yrAdultISH! Our show is also brought to you by PRX’s Radiotopia. It’s also the Radiotopia Spring Fundraiser — your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories like ours. Donate today at!

Episode Transcript

Nyge: Merk, you know how in schools, as you celebrate the last day of the year, there’s a whole lot of excitement on that day and everyone breaks off for vacation? 

Merk: Oh yeah, and then the High School Musical squad comes out of a bush and they go, “It’s summerrrrrrr time yeahhhh!” And then you can go on vacation, yeah.

Nyge: Yeah, I just remember that, like, “Summer, summer.” I remember I was in sixth grade and I tried to start that chant. Didn’t go well but …

Merk: Oh man. 

Nyge: What do you think is the equivalent of that for the workplace? 

Merk: Hmm. I think that it’s every single Friday because you know, the weekend’s right around the corner. It’s kind of a celebration for all the work you did throughout the week and your mind suddenly goes into party mode. Yeah, yeah. I’d say that. Or a staff-wide barbecue, just somewhere where there’s lots of food. Why? 

Nyge: Because today is that barbecue day. It’s the symbolic Friday cookout because season five finale of Adult ISH produced by YR Media, a show where we do stuff with our aunties and flip burgers with our uncles. I am young Nyge Turner. 

Merk: And I am young Merk Nyguen. We have served up a lot of dishes in this season of figuring out our adult ish with you. We meditated, opened up about our experiences with mental health meds, cooked cabbages. 

Nyge: Merk came out. 

Merk: Ow ow! 

Nyge: We detoxed from the social apps. A big thing of the season was also opening up and owning up to our mistakes. So we’re going to end the season exactly how we started. We’re going to explore more of those mistakes specifically in the workplace. 

Merk: And that is why we’re calling this episode “OffISH Etiquette” to get into modern day workplace dynamics. You know, the office, what the office looks like for you now might look different from someone else. Your office could be inside your home. Maybe you’re back in the building with a few coworkers or somewhere outside working. Either way, today’s advice can be applied to jobs of all sorts. 

Nyge: Yeah, especially right now. Jobs can be pretty unpredictable for people in their 20’s and 30’s. You know, like these are the years where we’re supposed to have everything kind of like figured out and we’re supposed to know what we want to do for a living compared to like our teen years or whatever. And there’s a ton of pressure there to have jobs that we’re like passionate about and ones that provide enough or the things that we want to do in our life and our goals and things like that. But also on top of that, it can be hard to even keep jobs, which I unfortunately know from personal experience. That is right. In the past, I actually got fired from my after school tutoring and yard duty job. 

Merk: Ooo, yikes. Definitely want to hear more about that. And we will in a second, because Nyge is actually going to talk to his former boss about how that very same firing went down. And later, we’re going to talk with Kyra Kyles, our very own CEO of YR Media, about how to better navigate the workplace.

Nyge: Yup, so for the last time this season it’s time to put ourselves in the hot seat – or… just me because, you know, I got fired and yeah, let’s hear about it

Merk: Lit.

[Music Break]

Nyge: So I wanted to be fully transparent with the audience on this episode and show you that I definitely don’t have this whole adult stuff figured out. I actually ended up getting fired from one of my first jobs, and I thought it would be a great idea to have a conversation with my former supervisor who, you know, gave me the boot. So I wanted to welcome a good friend of mine. But not only that, the man that sent me packing, Dorian Taylor, thanks for coming on the show.

Dorian: Thanks for having me. 

Nyge: For sure, for sure. So first off, I wanted one of my first jobs. Dorian has known me since I was literally a baby. I asked Dorian to get me hired at his job and yeah, Dorian hooked it up. He hired me and one of my best friends Abe to work with him at the school district doing like yard duty and then also like a tutoring aspect to the job, later on, was incorporated. But so, yeah. First off, thank you, Dorian, for the hook up, for the plug. I appreciate that. 

Dorian: It’s no problem. I mean, it was right around the corner from your house, too. So you were set and everything. 

Nyge: It’s actually was the elementary school that I went to. 

Dorian: Oh that’s right. 

Nyge: When I was growing up. Yeah. 

Dorian: I saw you in the yearbook. I was like, “Okay, look at that. Little Nygel there.” 

Nyge: Yeah, they knew me. They knew me well up there. So Dorian hooked it up, plugged me and my friend Abe with this job. Yeah, I’m not going to paint you as as the bad guy, Dorian, because to be honest, I will say I wasn’t the best employee. You had to put up with a lot working with me and Abe. But I think there’s valuable lessons in the situation for both of us. So let’s start at the beginning. How were me and Abe as employees from the beginning? 

Dorian: Man, like when y’all came in from the jump, like all the kids loved you. You all were just running around. Y’all had more energy than the kids. It was, you know, they were like always falling behind. Like “Nyge, Abe, wait up! Show us this.” So, you know, y’all had it popping. Y’all were doing real good, made everything easier for everybody else around … at the beginning at least. 

Nyge: Yeah, nah I remember going to the Playworks trainings and everything like that and we were spending like all day at the trainings. 

Dorian: Man, the trainings. All the older people, they were trying to get us to do everything because we were about 20 years younger than everybody there. And they had us just, “Y’all go run around, let’s go do that.” “Eh, it’s your turn. We cool, right here. We chillin’.”

Nyge: So exactly, we left the Playworks trainings like the top of the class. I would say all three of us, everybody was like, watch what they do when they get unleashed on the school. 

Dorian: Little did they know. 

Nyge: We could get to that part. So where did things take a turn for the worst for you?

Dorian: I will probably say it was probably when Abe stopped coming because, yeah, first he was in it and then he just didn’t care anymore. And then when he stopped, it was just me and you. And then you just started slowing down, coming in late,  you know, doing your own thing and then kind of just disappeared for a little bit. And I’d see you like once a week out of a five day work week. I’m like, “Hey, Nyge, you coming in? Like what’s going on, man?” But I would say that’s kind of where things started, like going down hill is I think he started it off for you. 

Nyge: I was kind of just like I don’t know, like I don’t know if I really want to, like, do this anymore. Like, I’m pulling up, like by myself. Also, I was in school too at the time. And then on top of that, it was a lot of stuff going on at home also. That was around like the time that my mom had first got sick too. And so I was just like, “Man, I don’t even really — I’m not trying to really do anything.” And so I had yeah, I just stopped coming in. It was funny because, like, thinking about it, it’s like, “Oh, like why did you get fired?” I know exactly why I got fired. You can’t not come to work and expect to keep a job. But on the root side of it, like even before I started not coming to work, I kind of just stopped being excited about the job. I lost like the joy and the passion. And I think that’s what originally got me hired. And so they wanted, like, a lot of, like, young excited energy like coming into the place and then I was bringing very opposite vibes at that point. 

Dorian: And that’s one of the hardest things, though. It’s like if the job in which you like is is hard to have that energy, though. 

Nyge: Yeah, I just started coasting for sure. And it was like, you know, late elementary school kids, so like the third and fourth graders and stuff like that. And like, you know, they’d be trying to like, roast you. 

Dorian: Yeah, attitudes for sure. 

Nyge: Maybe have an attitude, maybe try to roast you. And, you know, this is my job, so I can only say so much too so like (laughs)

Dorian: All of a sudden, one of them go back to their parents, like, “Hey, you know what, Nyge told me. He called me …” 

Nyge: Yeah, exactly. I can’t even really come with the jokes. So I was like, “Man, why am I keep showing up to this job?” Kids keep roasting me. I can’t even roast back. And so, yeah, I say the exact same thing you said, like that’s when it really started just dwindling down. And then you was hitting me up. And then eventually it was just like, “Yeah, that’s it. It’s done.” And when I found out it was done too, like I wasn’t like surprised or anything. And it was just like “Yep, I wasn’t doing a key component in staying employed.” 

Dorian: Yeah. 

Nyge: From that situation, moving on to other jobs, what do you feel like I needed to work on or learn to just be better? Like what lessons did you hope that I would learn from this whole situation? 

Dorian: I would kind of say, like, you always want to get a job that you like because, you know, they say, “If you find a job that you like, that you want, you never really working” type thing. So that’s always what you strive to get, but that’s not always easy. And that may not always or that’s most likely not going to be your first job or your first couple of jobs to get to that point. So it’s kind of like you got to, you know, not really pay your dues, but you got to just make the money. You got to survive. You got to get through it until you can get to that point where you find that thing that you love and you don’t have a problem working for, working towards, working with, doing it basically. And so with that, you know, I’m not even at that job anymore because I was just there until I found something better myself. But it was like I had to stick with it. And like for you, anybody would basically have to stick with the job that pays the bills, that makes the money until they can get to the point where they find that thing that they really like, they really love, they want to do. 

Nyge: I definitely learned a lesson from working with you because I was just like, I really learned what you just said, that I need to do something that I love. And so then after that, that’s when I started working at like basketball camps and things like that after that first job because I like playing basketball with the kids. And so I was like, so let me take that one thing that I really enjoyed about like that job. And then I went over and started working with them. I was a little too dedicated to that job, so I think you have to find a good, healthy balance between those two things. And that’s what I found now in working here. But I wanted to know before you go, what advice do you have for other young people starting their first job so that they don’t end up like myself or my good friend Abraham?

Dorian: You know, first thing is you got to not be like Abraham. You got to respect authority. That’s the first thing because it’s like they have the power over you and they can control, in a sense, your destiny with that job. So you got to learn to respect them as your employer, your boss, as the authority above you. And they’re there to help you out, teach you things, have you learn from them and all that will go forward with you as you progress to different jobs. So that’s the first thing. And the second thing you have to kind of just, you know, find something within the job that I guess you like, that you can endure, that you can deal with, so it can help you to not get burned out, to help you to stay enthusiastic to keep wanting to come back to that job. Because if it’s your first job, most likely you’re not going to like it. But if you find something you like within it, it can keep you moving forward, and that’s the whole purpose is, the whole process, just keep moving forward, one step at a time. 

Nyge: That’s how you really got to take it. And I think coming out of school, a school setting, a learning setting and then going into like the workplace, it’s a shock, you know, because nobody is going to hold your hand through work. You’re missing school. You’re doing all these things. You know, your teachers sometimes will be like, “Hey, you got to pick it up or you’ll get like some emails and they’ll be like, ‘Hey, you know, we got to do this. We got to do that.’ This is what we could do to get better in this area, yada, yada, yada.” And then you go into the workplace. Some people like right after high school, and it’s just totally different. And everybody expects you to just get it. And if you don’t get it, then like this is how you learn by losing that job. My grandpa used to always say, “Life will teach you all the lessons that you don’t learn on your own. You’ll learn it the hard way.” Yeah, but all righty, thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for talking to me about this. And yeah. Thank you for the opportunity. Again, I apologize for that whole thing. I know that was difficult for you because we were two people who you vouched for and then we didn’t come through, so I really apologize about that. 

Dorian: It’s all good. You know, it’s all part of the process. It was fun while it lasted. 

Nyge: It was good while it lasted. And I really like that last point. Now, it’s all a part of the process. And that’s what we’re doing here, is just figuring out the whole adulting process. So thank you, Dorian, for being on the show. We really appreciate you. 

Dorian: Thanks for having me, Nyge. 

Nyge: Dang, glad you got to finally close that door, get some job closure there. 

Dorian: Thank you. Thank you. It was nice. 

Merk: Okay, so now I got to ask, would you have apologized, Dorian, if you didn’t have this recorded chat with him? 

Nyge: I’ve actually apologized to Dorian before, just like casually because we are basically like family. I do see Dorian a lot. And so I think I’ve said it before a couple of times, actually, just like, “Hey, my bad.” But this is my first time apologizing to him, like in kind of a serious way. 

Merk: Okay, so do you have any regrets about leaving how you did? 

Nyge: I definitely have regrets about leaving how I did. I just … that’s not how you leave a job, especially a job like somebody like vouched for you to like get and I just stopped coming like I didn’t turn in, like a two weeks. I didn’t let anybody know. I didn’t even let, like, Dorian, my supervisor know, like, I just stopped coming and showing up to the job. And then me and Dorian would be like playing basketball and stuff like that over the weekend together. He kind of casually be like, “Yo, like, what’s up? Like, yo, you coming to work this week? Like, what’s going on?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I’ll be there bro. I’ll be there.” And then, like not show up. So yeah that wasn’t cool at all. Like that’s, that’s not how you should leave a job, especially in front of people that you work with too, like on your team. 

Merk: Any advice for people who have a little bit more care and compassion? 

Nyge: I think it all comes down to to just being 100% honest all the time, and I think as long as you live life in like an honest way and you’re telling people like how you’re feeling, you’re telling people like what’s on your mind, you’re like accurately communicating with everybody through those conversations or whatever, y’all will come up with something if you’re telling them, like, “Yo, this is or whatever, this is how I feel. This is what I’m going through. This is what I need. This is what I’m going to do. This is what I want to change.” All those things. Then I think it just gives people context. I think that’s what everybody wants to know. I think you really just want to avoid people feeling like exhausted from the run around, you know what I mean? Like, if you’re letting people know how you feel, then cool. Now I know what it is. But if you’re like, you know, hinting at it or not really saying totally like what’s on your mind, then that is where it could go the wrong way. 

Merk: When we’re back, we’re going to have even more real talk on the workplace from the perspective of a CEO, our CEO, Kyra Kyles. 

[Episode Break]

Nyge: With us right now, we’ve got a CEO who’s all for diversity, representation and ‘90s R&B. She’s had senior executive positions at publications like EBONY and Jet. Been on NPR, CNN, Huffington Post, Folio Magazine’s Top 100 media executives. So we wanna welcome our very own CEO of YR Media, Kyra Kyles! Hey, Kyra, how are you?

Kyra: Thanks for having me. Although I have to correct you, sir. 90’s rap. Oh, that makes me sound soft. I’m hard. 

Nyge: (laughs) 90’s hip hop, R&B, and rap.

Kyra: Yes, music forever.

Nyge: Okay.

Merk: Kyra’s also the queen of generating high quality headlines and a skilled sender of Nick Jonas GIFs. So I got to thank you for that, Kyra. We also know that CEO traditionally stands for Chief Executive Officer but if you were to repackage the acronym to add your personal pizazz to it, what would the letters stand for?

Kyra: I would say coaching employees officer. 

Nyge and Merk: Ohhhh. 

Kyra: What always kills me is when people think, you know, I’m somebody’s boss, I’ve got to tell them exactly what to do. If you have to tell people exactly what to do, you’ve already lost in my opinion. What you do is you work with amazing talent and you find the supplies and the resources that they need, and then you give a little bit of guidance from the sidelines and then just you let them you let them go. 

Nyge: Very cool. Alright. We wanted to take some time to ask you about some office etiquette from the perspective of you, as a CEO, to have us, and our listeners better understand how to become better employees. So this segment’s called “Ask A CEO.” Ready to get into it?

Kyra: I’m ready. Let’s go.

Nyge: Alright, let’s do it. Let’s do it. So scenario one, there’s this question that we’ve all seen when applying for a job when it asks us what are your weaknesses. And lots of people’s stereotypical answer is like, “Oh, man, I just work way too hard.”

Kyra: And nobody says that, right? 

Nyge: (laughs) So from your perspective as a CEO, is that actually how you should answer? 

Kyra: I really don’t think so, because as you said, it’s so common. And so it’s just really kind of transparent that you’ve looked it up on Google. I think it’s fair to bring up a scenario where you may have learned something. I would recommend that people say something like, for example, I really wasn’t as comfortable with fill in the blank like maybe it’s some kind of software program, Google Sheets or Excel. But I was given this project and I was given an opportunity to really dig into it and learn from it. And even though I once considered this maybe one of my weaknesses, now, this is something that I really am able to leverage. And it taught me that I can always learn new things. 

Nyge: That’s what my parents always told me. Like I remember asking like on my first job application, I was trying to be a — I was trying to operate the scoreboards at the basketball games. And so I was like applying for that job. And they’re like, “Oh, like, what’s your weakness?” And I was like, “What do I say? Like, what do I say, my weaknesses or whatever?” I remember my mom told me she was like, “No, like, you better put that you work too hard. Like, that’s what everybody put for you so …”  

Kyra: That’s the traditional answer, so she was right but it’s like — I will say this, I think because of what we’re seeing with these issues with work-life balance, you really shouldn’t say that, because also like I said, it might make some people concerned, like I have met people who purposely seek out employees that they think will do all this work so that they can go somewhere and be in Fiji. So I don’t want that for you, for anybody, for anyone listening. So let’s retire that answer.

Nyge: That’s cool. I have a follow-up to that, too. When you’re looking at a job application and you’re looking for some authenticity in a candidate and not just them presenting this image of themselves that they’ve created over their career or whatever, when you’re looking for who that person actually is, what question or what section of the application are you looking at? Like what type of question is really giving you a feel for who they are? 

Kyra: Well, you know, that’s a great question, but it’s also a trick question. So I think on paper, anyone can make themselves look like anything, right? So what I tend to do is because I am a journalist and I like to interview people and talk to them, because I feel like that’s the way you get at the truth of the situation. It’s almost like if you’re going on a date, you’re out with this great person. The person’s like, “Yeah, I love kids.” You get in the restaurant and they’re like, “Don’t seat me next to those children, I want to hear them.” You know what I mean? It’s in that moment because on paper, yes, you said you love kids, but when we went to the restaurant, you looked like you were ready to die when you saw some children had been allowed into the premises. So I don’t really even necessarily listen to what people say. I listen to the reaction. I look at the body language, you know, almost — I try to do it, as I mentioned, in almost like a journalistic interviewing style versus just this here are these questions that I’ve just pulled up. But I do ask them questions and I offer information about myself because I feel like if I’m honest and authentic in an interview with them, then they will be honest and authentic with me and just see their reactions to different things. Like I give them scenarios like you all are doing, which is awesome because you learn a lot more from somebody in a scenario that if you ask them one of those traditional questions that everybody has an answer to, you go on Reddit and find all the intel that you want. So I like to get, “Hey, if this happened, what would be your reaction or what’s your style in handling this?” versus asking these questions that they probably have already researched two days before they show up on the Zoom or in person once that’s possible? 

Merk: Yes, this is actually our interview for you to become the new host of Adult ISH, by the way. 

Kyra: Oh, is that right? Well, I can tell already I’ve got this job. 

Merk and Nyge: (laughs) 

Merk: Devoted, and devotion is in this next question. We want to know what type of devotion are you looking for out of your employees? Because we know that going the extra mile is appreciated. But that can also mean working after hours and just putting lots of extra effort into a project or task. At what point does it become unhealthy? 

Kyra: Well, I would say there are going to be occasions, I think, in any role where you might have to go the extra mile, work late or come in early. But I really feel like that should be sporadic. Unless you’re working in a situation, I feel, where you’re saving lives. And even then there should be relief. There should be somebody that comes that covers you so that you’re not working 24 hours. I think that when people expect that all the time, and I mean employers in this case, I think it’s wrong, because the reason why we have jobs is so that we can have lives. Right? We’re working so that you can have enough money in many cases to sustain yourself. But if you’re working, you have money and you can’t spend it because you can’t go anywhere. You can’t meet your friends for drinks, you can’t hang out, you can’t binge. What like what is it for? It’s just really just pure materialism. And I’ve had a job where I went in at 10 a.m. and came out at 10 a.m. that next morning. So I would never want that for anyone else. Like I — it wasn’t all the time, but it was enough where it really does change your personality. Like you will find yourself being very nasty to people that love you because they’re not going to get it. They haven’t been working like that. And then you have no enjoyment. It doesn’t matter how much you make, you will not be happy if you are working like that. So for all this foolishness on Instagram, if people like work hard, hustle 24/7, I just laugh when I see that kind of nonsense. I’m like, first of all, unless you are a clone that was made by Elon Musk, you will be miserable if you really do that. So I think that, yes, maybe — I’ll just give a number — of, I think, maybe three to four times a year if you find yourself in a crunch, that might be something that happens. But if you find yourself doing that every single day and you hate waking up on Mondays and you’re just miserable and you can’t wait to see a Friday and just talking about your job makes you sad, please get out of there. I also think that I still wouldn’t recommend — and I know this is a very privileged kind of discussion, because I think it’s important to note there are some people that really can’t just say, hey, I don’t feel like doing this. You know what I mean? Like, I think we have to say that because that’s real. And I don’t want to discount that. But I also feel like if you do have the means and if you do have support, like evaluate all the levels, but don’t just accept like work is supposed to be horrible because it really isn’t. And one thing I think I don’t think there are any positives. I’m not going to say that of the pandemic, but I think it has caused a lot of introspection and a lot of thinking about it. Like things are, you know, things reached a point no one thought that they could reach. It really makes you think about like, what do you value? Like what do you value as a human being? And I think people are prompting themselves. They have answers and not just accept this thing, that you go to college, you come out, you do a job you don’t like, you work, you save money, you get to go on vacation for two weeks out of the year. I think that scenario is over. I could be wrong, but I really feel like it’s over, because if this doesn’t cause you kind of evaluate everything that you’re doing, I don’t know.

Merk: I think one of my friends had told me we spend a third of our lives sleeping and then the other chunk living and working. And if a lot of that is working, then do something that is worth it. 

Kyra: Yes, absolutely, and there’s volunteering. There’s all types of things you could do to supplement. Like if you’re like, wow, I’m a, I’m an attorney and I’m working in corporate, I really don’t feel fulfilled helping rich people swindle people who have less privilege. A) Yeah, you could look at going into a different field of law or you could take those skills and volunteer. Like, I think there’s no like one answer, but I think people need to think more about it instead of just accepting this nonsense because these these jobs ain’t loyal, you know. So you’ve got to be thinking about yourself, too. And what makes you happy. 

Nyge: We’ve had other friends talk to us about being pretty scared to talk to their CEOs because they’re a little more removed from the workplace. And, you know, they are head honcho, there’s a chain of command in place. And also they’re just, they’re just busy. So when it comes to communicating with your employees, how do you appreciate them approaching you, like when it comes to getting a promotion or even like things like one-on-one and have time to connect with you, or things going on in the organization? 

Kyra: Yeah, I think people are pretty weird with that, that they like these like other CEOs who think people shouldn’t approach them. Like what is this like the Mafia or something or a scene from Godfather of Harlem, like what’s happening here? I think that what I would do, though, if I were approaching someone who’s like the head of an organization. Yeah, the chain of command is good. And I guess only in the way that it maybe there are some issues that could be resolved before it has to get to that level. You know, like maybe it’s something that if you can talk to a manager about it and resolve it, that’s good. But here’s the thing. If you can’t, I think you should be able to speak to whomever you need to speak to. What I would recommend, though, is just have solutions. I think one thing that really just bothers people in general is just complaints without any kind of thought about what to do to fix it, because then that’s more like a rant. You know, hey, you know, it’s miserable here. People hate it. They hate you. Like, okay, how do you start a conversation with someone like that? But what if you said something like, hey, you know, this is a great place to work. We’re doing work that means something to us. But you know we don’t really have a lot of opportunities to connect with our colleagues and wondering if you think we could do like some kind of fun, like, trivia night, or if you think we could do or let’s say trivia afternoon, because I don’t want to be bothering people in their off hours, like, “Hey, guys, come party with me.” I think if someone came with some ideas, I think it probably lands better, especially on those that are more narcissistic. Unfortunately, and there’s research that proves that a lot of people that lead organizations — and I’m hoping this isn’t me, y’all tell me if it ever is — that are just you know, they think they’re living on some other planet, looking down on people. I think that’s awful. And it should be stopped. 

Merk: It’s not you. 

Kyra: Thank you. But I do believe that that in order to connect with someone like that, coming to them as I’m trying to improve things, I’m trying to make things better is a good way to go. It shouldn’t take all that. You shouldn’t have to make one hundred appointments or beg somebody, because this is so-called, this is again, a coworker of yours and a colleague. And because we treat people like we pedestal them when they’re at these levels, I think sometimes they start believing that. But as someone who has worked at all the levels right? You know, I don’t separate myself. I see that, yeah, I can’t get involved in every single thing because that’s also annoying and doesn’t allow people to do what they need to do. But I really do appreciate when people come to me and I think you’re going to see a shift in that when you see everything that’s going on right now with jobs and people wanting to leave and people wanting to change roles and things, I think even the most hardy of the CEOs will say, “Wait a second, if everybody left, maybe I’m doing something wrong.” Some of them, it’ll take them a really long time. I’m not going to name any names, you know what I mean? But I think when I see some of them on social media, like, sit down, you know, like that’s literally what I want to write back. Sit down, because without these people, you wouldn’t be doing anything. You wouldn’t be able to get on a private plane, you wouldn’t have an island because you’re not doing all of this work. And I think that that hopefully we’re going to see more democracy in the way workplaces are because everybody contributes. And if you can’t see that, you probably shouldn’t be the leader of anything. 

Merk: Well, our last question is regarding attire at video meetings, sweatpants or not. In other words, what’s your recommended dress code for those of us who are tuning in virtually to work? 

Kyra: Why are people — again, I’m going to do my patented “sit down.” First of all, leave people alone, okay? Leave people alone, all right? We’re still all just trying to learn how to people. Secondly, video meetings are trash. Let’s just say that. Let’s just get that out there. Garbage. You’re on mute. Oh, there’s a bird chirping. It’s already annoying enough. You can see, like, people’s shoulders. What does it matter what they have on? You know what I mean? Like, please be dressed, I’ll say that. Please put some clothes. You know, let’s not be silly. Please utilize camera privacy if you’re not, okay? But I would say whatever you have on, as long as you’re paying attention, as long as you are participating and try to make things better, leave it alone. And here’s another thing we can all do off-cam. Everything doesn’t have to be on camera, like what happened to phone calls? Do you remember when … 

Merk: The good old days. 

Kyra: That’s one thing I look forward to as we come out of this. Meetings that could be on phone. Meetings that could be emails or Slacks. How about that? Let’s just get back to the brass tacks, because these video meetings aren’t it. But I will say the only thing I think people really need to be careful of, though, with these videos, because it’s like being video bombed, like tell your family members and friends to stay out of it. When people show up, “We forgot to buy milk.” It’s like, “What’s happening right now?” Like you wouldn’t do that under any circumstance, if you saw somebody on a work phone call, you wouldn’t come up and whisper, “We forgot the milk.” Don’t do that. You know what I mean? Like, pay attention to your surroundings. That’s what I’m saying. If we abolish the calls, that won’t be a problem. I’d say let’s create a safety line so that friends and family know I’m in a meeting. Don’t walk across to tell me that we’re out of Captain Crunch. 

Nyge: People don’t care. I mean, when you work from home, like everybody assumes, like you’re at, like, work and it’s like, “Yo like, why are you walking in the back of my meeting? I just told you I was like, I will have a meeting.” Alright, cool. 

Kyra: That’s what I’m saying. Like why are you here in your red bathrobe? You know what I mean. I’m like please. You know, crawl or do something please. 

Nyge: To learn more about Kyra, follow her on all the socials @thekylesfiles or check out her site You can also read up on YR Media at our site at

Kyra: Yay, that was fun.

[Music Break]

Nyge: Today’s top takeaway number one is: you need a healthy respect and commitment for the place you work at and the people you work with for it to last. If that isn’t there, you will slowly but surely drift away from that job. 

Merk: And takeaway number two: be confident in what you are capable of. Don’t let rude, unavailable leaders with big egos make you feel less than you are. They need you, so make sure you advocate for yourself.

Nyge: And with that said, let’s get these credits rolling! Adult ISH is produced by YR Media, a national network of young artists and journalists creating content for this generation.

Merk: Huge thank yous go out to our producer Georgia Wright, Executive Producer Rebecca Martin, the young people at YR who contributed art for this episode and our intern Kalen Luciano who has helped us out so much this season with socials, interviews and transcripts that you can check out at, where you can also get access to our past episodes. Thanks again Kalen!

Nyge: Yes, thank you Kalen! If you haven’t reviewed our show on Apple Podcasts yet, make sure you do. However many stars you’re thinking, hopefully it’s 5… You can follow us on all the socials @YRadultISH or personally. I’m on Twitter @nygelt and Merk’s on IG @ultraraduberfad.

Merk: Yes, we’re also proud to be members of Radiotopia by PRX. An independent listener-supported collective of some of the most hard-working shows in all of podcasting. Find them at

Nyge: Finally, we want to thank YOU, yes, YOU, our listeners, for sticking with us this season! Your support and listenin’ ears mean the world to us. 

Merk: Honestly truly! We are so grateful for you. This show really does exist because of you!

Nyge: But hold up, hold up, hold up. We can’t forget next week’s out of context clip!

[crickets sound effect] 

Nyge: Oh yeah… The barbecue’s over. Any last words?

Merk: This was delicious. I’m very full and now I’m gonna let alllll of this digest.

Nyge: Same here. Have a great summer, y’all! 

Merk: Bye.

Support the Next Generation of Content Creators
Invest in the diverse voices that will shape and lead the future of journalism and art.
donate now
Support the Next Generation of Content Creators
Invest in the diverse voices that will shape and lead the future of journalism and art.
donate now