Tag Archives: Business

Women in the Workplace

Here’s an interesting link for a topic that is often avoided: the way women interact in the workplace. In an age of sexual discrimination lawsuits and hypersensitivity to how corporations treat female employees, apparently the taboo subject is how female co-workers treat each other. For another interesting discussion of women in the workplace and how men and women are truly different check the book Sexual Paradox: The Real Gender Gap by Susan Pinker. Any one have any thoughts?

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Filed under Books, Lifestyle

The New Vogue Style: Frugality

Apparently name brand businesses reduced costs on their chic products to bring lower priced quality products. Why did this take so long? People, like me, stopped paying in excess of $2 per cup of regular coffee in favor of making coffee at home and Starbucks lowers the price. Who knew? I spend less than $6 for a bag coffee that will provide about week to a week and a half of caffeinated goodness. Why would I go back to spending $4 a day on coffee? 

Whether the shrinking profit margin will improve sales is the question now.

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Filed under Economy

Service Industry?

As the economy tanks, people working in the service industry start to believe that tips are an entitlement. Quite frankly, a tip or gratuity is not part of the payment required when eating out. Lately, the service I’ve received at chain restaurants has been hit or miss. Best I can tell, the restaurants create the situations initially by stocking people back to back like firewood. Then, waitstaff overwhelmed by the work, fall far short of expectations. 

Unfortunately, orders are entered wrong, people are human. But those of us who choose to eat out instead of cooking for ourselves expect that our orders will be completed properly, that our drinks will be served and be refilled in a timely manner, and that our server will have some clue when the order exits the kitchen incorrectly.

I am tired of my comfort and enjoyment being secondary to the expectation of gratuity. Gratuity should be earned. In the economy my money and time have value. My angry decision is that servers will be judged based on their work. Tips will range from 1% to 20%. Formerly, the minimum I would leave is 10%. But some service is so bad that 1% may be deserving.

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Challenges of an Instant World

As oil prices rise and a bank fails, people line up for days to purchase the new Apple brand Iphone which has technical glitches that may inhibit the immediate use of the phone. Senator Barack Obama earlier this summer criticized a proposal by Senator John McCain to suspend the gas tax for the summer. In fact, Obama called the proposal “pandering.” Today, Obama seeing the merit of giving money to people who have increasingly less, proposes an “Energy Rebate.”

What would prompt a Democrat to seek to give money back? The realization that the people of this country have been conditioned to instant gratification. Obama and other liberals decry that new drilling would take too long to affect the price oil immediately. BUT none of them bothers to consider the LONG TERM. Leaders who lack vision caused this problem. 30 years ago domestic oil drilling was proposed. Had the drilling begun then, we would not be in this position. Thinking about the future instead of focusing on solving the immediate problem with a bandaid.

Obama’s new position exemplifies the challenges of 21st century campaigning. Citizens, accustomed to getting what they want, when they want it, and how they want it, demand politicians promise the world to solve the immediate problems. Americans lack the ability to plan, to consider the implications over the longer term. No, Americans will stand in line for an Iphone but they can not be bothered to put money away for retirement.

How did this happen? Initially, fast food: Have it your way. Then the big box stores: everything you could want IN STOCK. The trend even effected the news. First, USA Today purveyor of bite size mini news shortened the time necessary for reading the paper and omitted all the heady details from news. Then, cable news fed us news 24/7. All the news, whether it’s fit to air OR NOT.

Instant Gratification! A politician must dispense all things to all people whether he can deliver or not. The remake of Ocean’s 11 supplies an interesting contrast to instant gratification. Ocean and his team spent two weeks mapping out everything, monitoring schedules, essentially working out every detail of their heist. While I do not endorse burglary of any kind, the attention to detail and patience necessary to accomplish that burglary or any goal have disappeared from society.

Planning, thought and understanding of consequences enter the minds of few. This country was established by people with vision, people who could see the value of a new system of government. No one in government has vision of forethought these days. They only seek to gratify the populace’s immediate needs and expectations. 

Don’t blame the politicians. You voted for them.

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Filed under Economy, Media, News

Security System Search: Day 3

Yesterday, one company returned my phone call. He gave me an estimate over the phone without seeing my home and assessing it for vulnerabilities. Not inspiring. While on the phone with him, I was placed on hold or held on while he spoke on another phone at least two times. I can’t help wondering is that how their monitoring works?

Today, a third company was scheduled to meet me in my home at 2:00 p.m. It’s now 2:25 p.m. I’ve not seen or heard from them. Reliability is important in a security company isn’t it? 

Now, I’m beginning realize why I’ve not done this before now. The entire process is intolerable.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment

Valuable Resource: Consumer Reports

Following my burglary and a home invasion a few blocks down the street, I’ve decided to purchase a home security system. My first stop-consumerreports.org and thank God for them. The advice of consumer reports was beware of “van ready to install your system today” and “be wary if the rep does not take time to assess your home’s vulnerabilities or does not discuss alarm system details, alarm notification procedures or the company’s call center.”

Boy, my first experience did not inspire faith. The very nice man got out of his van and removed two boxes. As it turns out the boxes are self-contained “security systems.” You don’t really need all that wiring this has two motion sensors and key fobs…and two door sensors…Yep. Although he was nice, he fit the cliche. I may be in vulnerable position, I’m not stupid. He didn’t even make a cursory look outside or inside the house. I watched as he missed my driveway and had to come back. It’s not as though he examined the house before coming to the door.

The price was right but was the security monitoring company. I don’t know. Probably won’t find out.

In an age where were need security systems to protect ourselves and our stuff, these companies can exploit the unprepared, uneducated and desperate. Consumer reports provided valuable information that I wouldn’t have otherwise had.

I’ll be updating this search under security system search: by day number.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Economy

Bad Jobs can Kill

People forced to endure unpleasant jobs and unpleasant people in their jobs suffer from an increased stress level, according to UPI, today.

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2008/05/16/scientist_smiling_can_hurt_your_health/2772/

Maybe bad jobs do not kill immediately, but workers do suffer adverse stress consequences which carry over into other parts of their lives. So here’s news, if you hate your job, quit and find one that is less stressful for you. Your health will improve along with your outlook on life.

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