@Forbes: Fired Before Your First Day: Lessons Learned From Khristopher Brooks http://bit.ly/HDAjKd
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Archive for the ‘Brain Droppings’ Category
Tags: career, jobs, journalism, workplace
@Forbes: Fired Before Your First Day: Lessons Learned From Khristopher Brooks http://bit.ly/HDAjKd
Barbie’s never represented reality and she’s not supposed to. I mean, who wants to play with irritable bowel syndrome Barbie?
@HuffingtonPost: Why Barbie may be going bald http://huff.to/yPSaES
Tags: Apple, Business Managment, Business Reading, Steve Jobs
One of my favorite reads is Jim Collin’s look at how good businesses become great businesses.
In Built to Last, Collins uses a series of case studies and research data to highlight leadership criteria which appear to help companies achieve longstanding success. Collins points out that among companies in business 100 years or more, their success, in part, can be attributed to a company CEO who toils away behind the scenes and trains a successor who does likewise.
It appears the “celebrity” CEO, one who is highly visible and largely in it for his/her own notoriety can be the cause of the organization’s downfall when they leave. Upon their departure, the relationships they established evaporate and nobody is left behind to pick up where the previous management left off. One example of a celebrity CEO is Chrysler’s Lee Iacocca. During his reign in the 1980s, the names Chrysler and Iacocca were nearly synonymous.
In the case of Apple, Jobs was a celebrity. His face graced the cover of magazines in life and death. He packed annual meetings where people fought for seats in his audience. People wanted to be in his sphere of influence.
But we really have a hard time gauging the strength of the succession plan for the company he founded and which consumed almost every waking minute he had. Jobs didn’t plan on dying when he did. And while I didn’t know him, I suspect I know leaders like him. They have a bit of an invincibility complex. Apple was Jobs company. He planned on living a long time and providing guidance to his company – his reason for living. In the end, that attitude could be the very downfall of the organization. Let’s hope that Jobs’ successor is toiling quietly away somewhere, working on Apple’s next big thing. It’ll be a tough act to follow.
Tags: Belle Tire, poor customer service, tires
The car I drive has sensitive tires to say the very least. During the past five years, I’ve returned to the same place time and time again — often joking with the manager that all the new tires and rims I was buying would put his kids through college.
I defended people who avoided going to the particular chain.
But in an instant, all of their previous good work was lost. A few months back, I had the shop order a cap for my tire. They lost the order and put it on for no charge.
Inconvenient, yes. It happens. I’d get over it.
With a busy week coming up, I made time today to get my brakes done. Headed back to the local shop and checked the vehicle in before 10:30 am.
Couple of hours, I was told.
At 1:30 pm, I decided to take myself to a movie. My vehicle was next in line….and yes they promised to call me.
So you can imagine my surprise when at 4:00 pm the movie ended and I hadn’t heard from them.
I gave them a call from the theater before I set off on foot to make my way back to the garage.
Guess what? My lucky day. My vehicle was next to be serviced!
I expressed my disappoint and was met with “Sorry.” Did I still want them to look at it? They wouldn’t have time to do the work though.
ABSOLUTELY NOT, I said. Put the car back together.
My heart sank. Was this how you respond to a repeat customer? Or any customer for that matter?
I had made it clear that I was waiting for the vehicle. Had I known they couldn’t squeeze it in, I would have rented a vehicle or gone somewhere else.
When I returned about 4:15 pm, I discovered they had lifted the car up to take a look….against my wishes.
Oh. So I didn’t want them to look?
Keep in mind I had no other vehicle, they closed at 5 pm and now the rental places were closed.
As my colleagues and I sometimes say, I took a lap.
They brought the car down. The assistant manager walked silently over to me and handed me my keys.
And that was that.
Sadly, I’ve recommended this place, defended them and shot out positive tweets when they did some thing right.
Today they wasted SIX HOURS of time I did not have because they couldn’t communicate with me, or provide realustic wait times.
That’s a lot of billable time I lost today.
Worse yet, I feel let down.
Does anybody know a good mechanic?
Tags: Brady Bunch, housekeeping
Growing up my parents subscribed to the philosophy that if we (their five wonderful children) did well in school, we couldn’t be expected to have a heavy load of chores at home, well really couldn’t be expected to have any chores. School was our job. And admittedly, the philosophy belonged more to my father than my mother. She begrudgingly went along.
My parents also told taught us that we had to learn to ” do it ourselves or be able to pay someone to do it.”
Turns out I did listen when my parent spoke and it’s the reason I no find my self at a across roads. I dislike doing anything domestic. I’m not good at household tasks. My talents are better spent elsewhere. If I cut some corners, i could probably afford it. More importantly, I just don’t wanna!
So I need an Alice. You remember. The housekeeper from the Brady Bunch. She cooked, cleaned and she grocery shopped. She also dispensed sage advice.
Where’s the problem you ask? Well I had a friend who several years ago hired a housekeeper to come in once every other week or so. As tends to happen on occasion, she let slip in conversation about trying to get a key to this woman. Now my friend kept her personal life pretty quiet and was humble, but whispers behind her back quickly started.
Apparently, it offended her co-workers that she could afford to, and actually had the audacity to, hire someone.
While I generally don’t care what people say, I can’t help but wonder what all the fuss is all about. In life there are things we should invest our time doing. It’s up to our individual personalities to guide us as to what those categories should be. If we enjoy spending time on our career and earn enough doing so that we can displace some of the other tasks in our lives we’d rather not do or take substantially less pleasure in doing, what’s the problem?
I suppose some of this springs from years of my clothes magically appearing clean and folded on the foot of my bed after I dropped them in the hamper, dinner appearing every night ….never mind. I just don’t want to.
Bet most of my readers don’t change their own oil. It’s not that they can’t learn how. They’ve just figured it’s not worth the headache. So they opt to pay a tech to do it.
So you see, I need an Alice. I’m trying to justify it…am I making a strong argument. . .? Can I get some support?
Photo credit: TvAcres.com
Funny look at how adults and kids view the same objects.
Tags: crazy cat lady, living single
You’re undoubtedly familiar with the stereotype of the “crazy cat lady.” She’s the person who women of a certain age often wake up in terror after dreaming about. It’s the woman they are afraid they will become if they don’t find that someone special by an age they have pre-set for themselves.
There is some variation, but for the most part the crazy cat lady is thought to be a librarian. Fairly drab in appearance. She lives in an apartment by herself and has several cats who keep her company when she is at home-which is most evenings after she finishes her shift at the library. She has few visitors, other than those who come to take a closer peek into the rather “unusual” life of this woman. And it’s thought she lives a rather sad existence.
The crazy cat lady came up in a conversation among a group of friends last week. Several single members of the group quickly professed that they’d just never buy a cat-hence bypassing the ominous moniker. The friends shared stories-one was a fairly new homeowner and had just been told (after about 6 estimates) that she’s have to spend $11,000 to have a drainage and basement problem fixed. Others shared stories of their dramatic love lives and how other people’s behaviors were impacting their lives even though they weren’t directly involved.
Never one to take a standard view, I began to think about the crazy cat lady that generations of women (and some men) have pitied. Was she really so crazy? Or did she really have it together? Did she have one up on us because she knew secrets we had yet figured out?
The crazy cat lady owns an apartment. No $11,000 surprise expenses and no snow shoveling or grass mowing (and who knows…maybe her apartment complex has a really handsome maintenance guy). She’s past the guy drama stage and is able to subsist on the other personal relationships she has developed over the years. People are a little wary of her-well who wouldn’t be-after all, she bucks most of the cultural norms. She doesn’t care if you like her or she’s invited to your party. Her blood pressure is probably spot on as a result.
She has her cats to greet her when she returns home from work each day, eagerly awaiting her and always glad to see her. She’s got some routine in her life. Routine can be good. Worried about keeping up with the latest fashion trends and spending big bucks to look her best? Not the crazy cat lady.
While I’m not a fan of cats and will never own one (chuckle, chuckle), I think the crazy cat lady does offer us some wisdom. Do your own thing. Be who you want to be. And people who tell you renting an apartment is throwing money out the window many just not understand the benefits to renting, among others (and again, they may not have met the maintenance guy).
I will admit to thinking the crazy cat lady is missing out on some of the fun of life. While the drama creates stress, it’s what makes us feel alive. The drama gives us those secret smiles we break out into in the middle of a quiet day for no apparent reason other than our mind is wandering back to some other time and place.
No need to pity the crazy cat lady. She is who she is and as my friend and colleague Lauren Herrin is fond of saying the crazy cat lady has found her “happy place.” Embrace your inner crazy cat lady.
Tags: Christmas, SNL, Steve Martinm Christmas Wishes
Christmas may be almost over, but I haven’t been able to get this classic Steve Martin clip out of my head. Here’s to another holiday and all that comes with it. Enjoy!
To view clip click: Five Christmas Wishes