#47: Social Worker Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

This interview is intended primarily for listeners of the Manic Mommies podcast. Recently, an episode of that podcast “disappeared.” (This could happen to anyone. There are a lot of buttons to push.) Anyway, one of the conversational gems lost to the ether was a work-related chat with social worker Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe. Kristin’s career path sounded interesting, so—with a nod from Manic Mommies co-host Kristin Brandt—I recorded a brand new interview with Beckstrom Radcliffe.

Production note: for some reason, this new recording also has a few sound glitches. (Working theory: Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe is actually a mermaid and at least part of her voice has been captured by an evil sea witch. Again, just a theory—and thanks in advance for using your imagination when the occasional word gets swallowed.)    

About Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe: Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, currently in private practice. Her wide-ranging career started out in Child Protection Services. She has also worked with delinquents, provided support to military families, and held school-based counseling positions. Kristin is the wife of a retired military officer and a mother of two, which may or may not explain why her bio photo includes several reptiles.

#46: David Plotz, Editor of Slate

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

The online magazine Slate produces a lot of excellent podcasts; the ones I listen to religiously are the Political Gabfest, the Cultural Gabfest, and the Double X Gabfest. And as I listen, I almost always have the same thought: how wonderful it must be to have your life’s work—your actual job—involve freewheeling discussions about the key political and cultural topics of the day.

Talking to Slate’s editor David Plotz gave me the chance to ask: is this just an outsider’s naive view—or is the job exactly as awesome as it sounds? The interview also inspired a new Work Stew essay: “Skeptics and the Jobs that Love Them.”

About David Plotz: David Plotz joined Slate when it launched in 1996. Before becoming editor, he served in a variety of other roles including feature writer, political columnist, and media columnist. Prior to Slate, Plotz was an editor and writer for the Washington City Paper. He has also freelanced for many publications and is the author of two books: The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank and Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible.


#45: Goat Wrangler Tammy Dunakin

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

Work-wise, it’s easy to get in a rut, to think that you can’t do anything other than what you’ve done in the past. But of course people reinvent themselves all the time—sometimes by choice, often out of necessity. One of Work Stew’s goals is to capture these stories of reinvention, and I particularly like Tammy Dunakin’s: for about 20 years, Dunakin worked in the fast-paced, high-stress realm of emergency medicine. Today, she wrangles goats for a living, and it’s every bit as peaceful and pastoral as it sounds—except of course when it isn’t.

About Tammy Dunakin: A former paramedic, Tammy Dunakin is the founder and owner of Rent-a-Ruminant, a Seattle area business that provides eco-friendly vegetation management services. In other words: goats. In addition to managing her own large herd, Dunakin helps newbies to get started via Rent-a-Ruminant’s Affiliate Program.