Monday, July 27, 2009

Four Guys and a Shovel

We've all seen this many times.

A smallish Department of Public Works-type road project. There's an excavator. It's usually a fix on a water and sewer line beneath the road and then a repair of said road.

And there, in plain view, is one man working and- at a collective $70 to $100 municipal tax dollars an hour- three others contemplating either E=Mc2 or whether to completely clear the shelves at Krispy Kreme.

This incredible waste is not limited to Public Works projects. Every study ever done on the workplace shows the vast majority of white-collar workers spend most of their salaried hours engaged in everything from "Tweeting" about what Madison said on Facebook to crunching baseball statistics in order to effectively manage their Fantasy Baseball Team. It's brutal.

As with any human problem, the solution seems incredibly obvious but either will never happen or will happen in a time frame in which all vested interests get their pockets lined.

As The Pretender's Chrissy Hynde sang in the little ditty Back on the Chain Gang...Welcome to the Human Ray-eeeee-ace (Race).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Following Up...right off the cliff

Feel like slaughtering a sacred cow today.

Repeatedly following up with a "prospect" who has never bought a thing from you, 98 times out of 100, is a complete waste of time. That time and energy could have been spent trying to find someone who needs what you have right now or VERY soon. Politely bow out and move on.

The follow-up/tickler system file crowd will tell you how that "builds relationships". They'll tell you some stories about people who EVENTUALLY bought from them after months or even years of "touching base". That's horsepoop. They FINALLY bought from you because you FINALLY had something they needed.

Oh, sure, they might think you're a swell person and complimented you on your diligent "following up". Let me ask you this: What if they thought you were a nice person, admired your tenacity in your following up efforts BUT STILL didn't need what you had. Answer: NO SALE.

Relationships are what happens after business has been transacted. That's when everyone has skin in the game.

I'll end the post with the cow motif I started it with..another one of my favorite little maxims:

Stop trying to teach a pig how to sing. Not only are you wasting your time, you're irritating the hell out of the pig.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sky Chair

"You are sitting on a chair in the sky!!!" shrieked a comedian who calls himself Louis CK.

In this four-minute viral Internet video in which he appeared as a guest on the Conan O'Brien show, he humorously ranted about the incredible comforts and conveniences that people enjoy in the modern world. He ranted how we have these wonderful things but we incessantly complain ABOUT EVERYTHING.

(The quotation that begins this blog entry was about his fellow passenger on a commercial jet who got all pissy when the wireless Internet access temporarily ceased working).

The rest of the video short is more of the same and very amusing. Amusing because, like many funny things, it is true. We are living in a 21st century free market democracy, living like Kings but constantly whining like four year olds.

I've have had a front row seat with people very close to me who had real problems. Painful, terminal illness could take the steam out of you, right? Not with the people I'm talking about. They valued everything they had and dealt with what they didn't.

That turnip truck that just took a left onto Nine Mile Road...I didn't just fall off of it. I realize that for virtually everybody, "you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone" (Amazing, as famous as that song is, I challenge anyone to remember who penned and performed it...without Google, jerky)

So, please, remember. As you're sitting on Flight #427 non-stop to Atlanta and you're late because you had to sit on the runway for 25 minutes- not to mention the 800 other ways the world inconvenienced you today- YOU'RE SITTING ON A CHAIR IN THE SKY.