Archive for the ‘Just for Fun’ Category

Everything Is Amazing (Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!)

I never tire of this segment of Louis C. K. on Conan O’Brien’s show back in 2009 and his gut-bustingly hilarious reminder to be grateful and conscious about the absolutely amazing times we live in.

As Louis C.K. says, all of us should be constantly shouting, “Omigawd!!!! WOW!!!!” for all the extraordinary access to technology and the unlimited possibilities, choice and opportunities we have to captain our own lives.

May you have a warm, fuzzy, deliciously abundant and grateful Thanksgiving!

Adding to that Thought

In our group last week, I shared a fun story from the blog of one of my favorite marketing guys — Mark Merenda — about the cost that do-it-yourselfers and micromanagers incur in their businesses.

A sign his auto mechanic keeps in his shop illustrates the light-hearted point perfectly:

Labor — $95 per hour
If you watch — $125
If you offer advice — $150
If you worked on it already — $175

How many clients have we all known who need a little sign like this from us?

I took this idea a step further and added my own twist:

If you want me to show you how to do it yourself — $5,000 tuition and $500/hr after that.

This is sort of related to my post last Friday (That Is Not Your Client’s Burden) where I was talking about the real reasons your fee is your fee and why what it costs you to be in business shouldn’t be part of your conversation with clients.

You can’t put a price tag on all your years of unique talent, experience, training, continuing education, etc., that went into (and continues to go into) you being great and smart and expert at what you do.

And, for me at least, I’m not in the business of training.

If that’s what I wanted to be doing, that’s what I’d be offering in the first place. ;)

Phone Fights

Over on our members forum, we’ve been discussing our motivations for being in business.

And as stimulating conversations often go, there have been interesting twists and turns brought up throughout the discourse.

One of the fun tangents we got into talking about were some of our boss horror stories.

Another theme that was brought up was having to deal with catty coworkers and fights over the not being the one having to cover phones.

I thought the fights over phone coverage topic was quite interesting because just about everyone who had ever worked in an office, myself included, all shared the same sentiment: they hated it!

When I was still in the working world, I remember just about every single place I worked there was always contention when it came to phone coverage. It was one thing to answer your own calls, but when it came to overall coverage for the office or lunches, no one wanted to act as receptionist.

I’m sure there are lots of reasons for this. For one thing, in cases where the role fell to one specific person, I think the person who got “stuck” with this duty often felt demeaned by the role. By the duty not being in their official job description and not being equally shared by the other colleagues, there was an implication that they were the low person on the totem pole.

Another reason I think no one wanted phone detail is because they became chained to their desk. Everyone that I’d ever worked with hated being tethered in this way.

Similarly, another reason most people can’t stand answering the phones is because you can’t get anything done except the most mindless of work. If you had work that required serious thought and concentration in order to do well and not make mistakes, you just had to save it for when you could get away from the phone or were allowed to put your calls on Voicemail.

Phone were such a point of friction at just about every place I’d ever worked, it’s amazing to me that these companies didn’t brainstorm to come up with a better way.

For one thing, they should recognize that employees who are in roles where critical thinking and concentration are necessary cannot be expected to also answer phones during those times. It’s like expecting mere mortals to be able to walk around all day rubbing their tummy and patting their head at the same time.

They also could have hired one central reception person or team whose first and primary (and valued) role would be to answer phones. That way, they wouldn’t have competing priorities for their attention and when it was the specific role they signed up for in the first place, there wouldn’t be any feeling of being demeaned.

Another solution that would have alleviated the “enslaved to the desk” syndrome would be to employ mobile phone units where they could get up, go where they needed, if they needed to, and take the phone with them at the same time.

I thought it was an interesting discussion which I just love. Did you have phone fights when you were still an employee? Were they ever resolved? What are your solutions?

Ah, Sweet Memories of the Corporate World

It seems I never have time to keep up on my blog reading anymore. I mostly follow business blogs, but I also have my recreational blogs that I simply can’t live without.

So I was catching up on one of my faves, GoFugYourself, and one of their posts reminded me of an episode from my days working for corporate.

One year, during a three-year period when our company went through a merger with a sister company, the manager I worked for went on vacation. That left the manager from the sister company, who had recently moved down to our building from Seattle with her department, in charge.

She and I did NOT get along. Mainly because she and just about every other woman in her department apparently thought it was good idea to dump whole bottles of perfume over themselves before coming to work each day.

Seriously, it was a total culture clash.

Our company was very environmentally conscious and sensitive to the health issues of its employees. We had several employees with environment-related allergies and illnesses, and I myself was desperately allergic to perfume. To this day, it gives me incapacitating migraines.

So prior to the merger, we had many people-friendly health policies such as encouraging folks not to wear perfumes and colognes to work.

Well, that manager and her department didn’t feel the need to comply and it was a constant problem. At one point, I had to ask not to come around my office if she was wearing perfume (which was every day), and after having to raise hell about it, we arrived at an uneasy truce. She stayed out of my way and I stayed out of hers.

So, when my boss went on vacation, this woman decided it would be a wonderful opportunity to abuse her authority. She began by insisting that I wear nylons to work.

Now, mind you, our department did not work with the public and our dress code had been business casual for years. Although the company manual hadn’t been updated, nylons were never enforced. I hated wearing nylons and almost no one else wore them at the office either. I was usually tan anyway, so you couldn’t even tell.

Anyway, after days of being harangued by her, she insisted on exerting her “bossness” over me. So I complied. I sure did. I came to work the next day wearing the sheerest pair of nylons I could find.

That morning, she came over to see if her will had been obeyed. She literally came charging into my office and BENT DOWN to examine my legs to see if I had nylons on, and accused me of insubordination when she wasn’t satisfied!!!

I couldn’t believe it! The gall!

So I bent down and plucked at the nylons and showed her that I had them on. I was in compliance and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it.

At that point I was furious and I soooo did not care what happened.

I stood up and “towered” over her (I’m only 5’4″, but she was only about 5″) and told her, Look it, I’m not some piece of cattle from your herd you can just come over and poke and prod and inspect. I don’t give a crap what happens. I’ve had it with you. I don’t report to you, and if you got a problem with me, you can take it up with MY boss when she returns. Until then, you leave me the hell alone or I will come in to work tomorrow with loudest, gaudiest Mickey Mouse-themed tights I can find.”

Her jaw literally dropped. I was actually pretty stunned I had let loose on her as well. But I really had absolutely had it. And when that happens, hell be damned. She didn’t bother me the rest of her tenure.

The funny thing is, later that year, she stopped wearing perfume, started showing me and everyone else a little human respect, and eventually asked me to do her resume (for which I charged her $200).

Ah, the sweet, pleasant memories of the corporate world. NOT! LOL