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"Why Choose Between Fun and Content When You Can Have Both"

Would you like your check sir?

“Would you like your check, sir?” said the waiter who came over to my table at the O’hare Bar and Grill the other day.

I had been seated at the table for about 20 minutes waiting for someone to come over to me.

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“Don’t you usually take someone’s order and let them eat before you offer them their check?” was my response.

He was not amused. I was very amused.

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He finally went on to trash the Maitre D’  and the other server for not taking care of me. Now there’s a great example of teamwork. And an even better one for the customer experience; letting people know how inept your co-workers are. People……….STOP DOING THAT!! If your team screws up, just apologize and do what you can to make it better. I already know they are inept! (Or maybe it was an honest mistake?) As a customer I really don’t want to hear about your internal problems. I just want to eat.

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My chicken sandwich was delivered about ten minutes later.

Mad Money release I wonder if he spit on it. Yes, restaurant people do that. I have good friends who own and work in restaurants. The stories they tell me……….

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Traded, Demoted, Furloughed or Let Go?

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So, here are your choices……………..

  1. You can be traded to another department or operating unit
  2. You can take a demotion within your existing department or operating unit
  3. You can take some furlough time
  4. You can take a severance package

What would YOU do? I’m watching this play out right now with friends as well as some of my clients.  

Companies (and that includes municipalities) are doing what they need to do to cut costs. Some are being reactive; some proactive. For some it is too late. But what I am seeing is an attempt to keep as many people on the payroll as possible by trading, demoting and furloughing. I think this is a good thing. So then what seems to be the problem?

Is it poor employee morale? Diminishing employee engagement? Lack of Innovation and Creativity. Corporate Greed to the max?

Nope. (although the above is probably happening) It is often about EGO!

Yep, egos are being bruised in the latest version of musical employees at many companies. Employee Worth is being questioned. Employee Contribution is being questioned. Every person’s value is being questioned. The job you thought you were doing; the job which was the glue to keeping the company solvent (in your eyes only) is going away; sometimes overseas; sometimes just going away.

Or maybe what is really happening is the company is doing whatever it can to keep you off of the unemployment rolls – which would most likely be an even bigger ego crusher. And maybe the worth, value and contribution thing is more of your issue.

Maybe you should have a meeting to discuss what you can do about this?

1 out of 5 Dentists Don’t Recommend Sugarless Gum

It was an ad for Trident. It said “4 out of 5 Dentists recommend Sugarless Gum for their patients who chew gum.” I had the TV on in the background and smiled with this memory from my “youth.”

Years ago I would have been impressed with the 4 and probably started eating sugarless gum. Last night I wanted to know about #5. Who was he or she? Why didn’t they go along with the herd? Is #5 rogue? Is #5 right? Is #5 crazy? Does #5 know something that the other 4 do not? Was number 5 ahead of the curve? Did #5 think the whole study was ridiculous and didn’t matter one way or another? I really want to know more about #5.

I was listening to this commercial while preparing handouts for a presentation next week with a fast food giant. While most companies are cutting back and spending less money on staff development and employee training, this giant thinks that even in lean times keeping employee morale high, sharpening employee skills, and celebrating success should still be high on the priority list. Keeping employees motivated to succeed is more important than ever. So next week we’re taking a Recess.

Naturally I couldn’t agree more with the fast food giant; now more than ever organizations need to be doing whatever possible to keep people loyal and happy while working hard for you. I’m also thinking that management at the giant and that dentist #5 could be good friends.

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I was chatting with a friend yesterday who was telling me how long her To-Do list was. Like most people the list keeps getting longer; the list of accomplishments keeps getting shorter.

Forbidden Warrior hd In this world where we are trying to get employees to be more productive, engaged and efficient I have one simple piece of advice.

Stop Making To-Do Lists. Instead, make Today Lists.

What do you want to get done today? Make a list. A short one. Do this every day. Instant Success. Instant Productivity. No more aggravation.

You’re not impressing people with a list that could fill up a jumbo roll of toilet paper. And you’re only getting yourself sick.

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I was exiting the highway today behind a slow poke; so slow that I was able to read the lettering in the rear window. It said:

I CAN SHOW YOU HOW TO MAKE A LOT MORE MONEY! CALL 1-800-123-4567

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The car slowed down to a stop as the ramp curved to the right.  As I approched becoming part of the back seat I noticed the side view mirror on one side was missing and the other side was being held on with duct tape. 

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At the end of the ramp the car got in the right lane; I pulled in to the left. I needed to see who was driving this car. I needed to know what the person looked like who was going to help me make more money, yet couldn’t get their mirrors fixed.

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And then I started thinking about first impressions – specifically with sales people. I started thinking about people who appear successful and those who are not. I started thinking about people who are true to who they are and what they do and those who are not. I started thinking about companies who hire me; companies who tell me I look like I’m fun and in all my dealings with them from the initial conversation to the thank you I send after the program I try to be all about fun (and value, of course); because that is who I am.

I just couldn’t see this person helping me make more money. What about you? Is the first impression people have of you truthfully who you are?

Calling in sick of ________?

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My friend called in sick today.

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  • Is he sick of the nonsense?
  • Is he sick of deadlines that cannot be met?
  • Is he sick of being treated poorly?
  • Is he sick of budgets that are so unreasonable?
  • Is he sick of watching people abuse and use the system?
  • Is he sick of feeling under appreciated?
  • Or is he really sick – as in ill?

TImes are getting tougher and tougher in organizations. While a lot of companies are cutting staff and looking to save costs, they are forgetting one thing – the talent that remains. The people who are left are being asked to do even more with even less – and to do it with a smile. Easier said than done.

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Employee Morale continues to plummet at work. More employees are becoming disengaged. Smart companies are recognizing this and are doing something about; are allocating monies for staff development and training – even in these hard times. Is yours? Should it? Do you have the guts to share this post with someone who needs to read it?

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I've got to stop inconveniencing people

I was going to paint my office myself; but then  I realized I don’t want to do it. I’m also probably not very good at it. (Probably? You suck at painting Rich!! Except when it comes to spray painting colorful boulders in the yard. Then I’m good.) 

There’s a reason why people are paid to paint, paid to speak, paid to landscape, etc. They are good at what they do; have an expertise and spend time perfecting their craft.

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So I get in touch with a friend who I know loves to paint and loves extra money.

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Is his response:

  1. Sorry, I’m too busy right now
  2. Thanks for thinking of me; let me come over and see what you need done
  3. You couldn’t call me 2 months ago; I’ve been doing nothing all winter

Darkness Falls movie full Go ahead and guess before reading.

Did you guess?

Don’t lie. You know how I feel about liars.

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Of course the answer was 3.

So it got me thinking. I just seem to never get it right. My car needs repairs when the auto mechanic is very busy. My office needs remodeling when the painter is not sitting on his butt. I have been told “too bad you weren’t sick last week; the doctor is not here this week”, and I wasn’t in my office to take a call when you called.

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Customer Service on Steroids! I don't like it.

I’m redoing my office. It’s quite the undertaking, but also a lot of fun. Should I paint? Wallpaper? One color? Several? Tile? Carpet? Blinds? Shades? Pergo? Hardwood? Decisions. Decisions.

So I went to Home Depot yesterday to look for some inspiration and ideas.

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I walked in the door and was greeted by three people who all wanted to help me. No thanks. I know where I’m heading. (I’ve been there numerous times.)

I rounded a corner and there was another associate who couldn’t wait to ask if I needed help.  No thanks. I know where I’m heading.

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At the end of that aisle, yep you guessed it…………… another I-can’t-wait-to-help-the-customer Home Depot Associate. No thanks. I know where I’m heading.

Okay, I’m all for customer service but this was starting to annoy me. This was customer service on steroids!

I decided to make a game of it rather than get annoyed. I went from the paint department to the flooring department to the lighting department and then on to the garden center. Fifteen more times – yes, fifteen – I had to say……………….No thanks. I know where I’m heading.

The Replacement Killers on dvd So were they bored because the recession is hurting business? Is this the new Home Depot Policy? Were they being this helpful because Lowes (a competitor) opened not far away? Were they being this helpful to increase sales as a mandate from the home office?

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I don’t know what the answer is or was, but I needed to get out of there – and fast. I’m all for hanging around with positive, helpful and friendly people; but this was enough to make this motivational speaker want to puke.

I grabbed the couple of items I needed and headed to the the self-checkout; I just wanted to be left alone!

The machine jammed as it was giving me my change. Sean came over to assist. They were determined to help me one way or another!

Today I went to Lowes.

Could This Be A Great Idea?

 

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An innovative idea? The next wave of weight loss programs? A message about what is important to us will not be easy? Or just a funny cartoon? Probably just a funny cartoon; but have you ever stopped and thought about the real messages cartoons just might be offering?

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What's Your Best April Fools Joke? Either played on you or one you played on someone else?

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Comment here:

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