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

Train and trust your people and they’ll do great things.



This was the scene at the bagel store at lunchtime (12:30) today. No bagels.

I asked if any more were coming out. No.

I asked what time they closed. 3:00 PM.

I asked what they were going to do. We don’t know; the owner isn’t here; he is out shopping.

I asked if one of the three workers was going to be brave, make an executive decision and go make some bagels. They said they didn’t know how.

I asked if one of them was going to call the boss; people were walking out. Now this is the picture I should have taken; the one of fear across their face; the one of those nervous laughter smiles. Come to think of it I don’t see the same faces working at this place very often.

If you are not gonna train and trust your people your business is doomed to fail, you’ll forever be dealing with turnover issues and smart customers just might not want to do business with you any longer.

It’s called Customer Service; not Company Service

This one can only make me laugh. Hope it makes you laugh too.

Company sends me someone else’s order. I call to let them know. They ask if I wouldn’t mind returning; they would send me a UPS shipping label. No problem.

I visit UPS website to schedule a pickup. A few screens in is where they ask for the shipper’s account information. I don’t have that (would be nice if I was asked this first; but hey). I pick up the telephone to call UPS. Press 1 for this. Press 2 for that. Press 1 to get even more annoyed. What is your zip code? 06716

Oh, we have you in Baltimore MD says the voice recognition system.

Clearly I have a speech impediment. I hang up and call the company. I tell them what is going on and let them know that I am throwing this back at them. The package is outside my door; and they can arrange for pickup.

And then she says……… “Well is there a drop box in the area that you can bring it to?”

I reminded her that this was their error and I have been trying to help and that I am not going to look for a drop box.

She says okay and hangs up.

Still trying to be helpful and thinking that the person I spoke to was clueless I called back and asked to speak to the person in charge of customer service. I let her know what was going on. She told me that it was not her department.

After I finished laughing I told her the package was outside my door and to have a nice day.

Not having a hard time seeing how I could have received another person’s goods.

Recess At Work should remind us to thank others

So how cool is this! I opened up my mail yesterday and found these……………Gifts from the folks at Taconic DDSO. They wanted me to be a part of their Recess At Work Day celebration. And check out the rubber duckie with a beanie cap! You know that’s my favorite.

But here’s a question………….what are you doing to keep your customers, vendors, suppliers and friends engaged in your work? What are you doing after the fact to thank people?

But I’m a little confused. I get the rubber duckies. I get the funky bracelet. But what’s with the pens? Sue, help me out here!

I need 1,000 people who are looking to do a good deed & lose weight

I stopped doing weight loss motivation work several years ago. It was fun and I really enjoyed the people I met but it was time to move on to something more meaningful………helping organizations get the most from their people. Workplaces are hurting. Morale is in the toilet. Employees are showing up to work but not IN their work.

But years later I still get emails or calls from people begging me to return to the world of weight loss. While flattered; it’s not what I want to do any longer. What I will usually do for that person is email them the workbook below as a free gift for making my day – making me feel loved, missed and wanted.


Well I don’t do that any longer either. I believe that we all have to give a little.

Some of you know I started a nonprofit a few months ago to help feed the hungry. I now tell people to buy the eworkbook above for $3 (normally $12.95) and I’ll give all the proceeds to the nonprofit, One Less Meal Inc.

If your weight is on your mind………..Today I am asking you to help yourself, help a friend struggling  with weight, and help the hungry by purchasing the ebook. It’s the most impactful $3 you might ever spend.

Click on the picture above and let the good feelings begin. And please tell a friend how they can make a difference in their lives and the lives of a hungry person. I’m hoping to find 1,000 people by June 30, 2010. That should be easy since 60% of the US is obese or overweight. Let’s do a good thing together.

Employees are playing while at work. Employers are not taking advantage of it??

Think about this……………..

Employees are Tweeting, Facebooking, LinkingIn and YouTubing while on the company dime. I know it. I see it as I monitor my Social Media accounts during the day.

I guess the good thing is that employers clearly aren’t upset about this. The terrible thing is they’re not asking/suggesting their employees to occasionally talk/mention about where they work and the products/services they offer. Or perhaps worse…..the employee might be embarrassed of the products and services their employer offers.

There’s the IT guy who never mentions his company or what they do. The big electric conglomerate gal who never tells me about the latest and greatest appliances. There’s the hotel guy who never reminds me what chain he works for. And the transportation trio who never remind me to take the bus. I know for a fact that all these people are sharing all kinds of personal things online with me; which I like. Now I am not dissing these people; you’re my friends. Just making an observation.

So it seems that Corporate America is okay with employees being on Social Media sites during the workday (or they haven’t cracked down yet); but they clearly have missed an opportunity to get their people engaged with potential new customers.

Must I point out everything?

Apparently Tiger Woods NEVER learns a lesson

I’m not a fan of golf; have no interest in it; the only iron I care about is the one in the hotel closet to get the wrinkles out of the purple shirt I’m about to wear before I present. But the other night, while visiting family, I found myself watching the end of a golf tournament. Now the whole time I was sitting there (maybe 25 minutes) all I could think was when this was going to be over. I’d rather be sitting in the movie theater watching Sex and the City which I narrowly escaped taking my mother to see.

Anyway, Tiger Woods lost.

After he lost Tiger was asked a brief question by the sports commentator out on the course. I don’t remember the exact words but basically he was asked if anything good would be taken away with this loss. In other words……Did he learn anything?

Tiger’s response was “NOTHING.” He talked about three mistakes and if he had not made them he would have won.

Hey Tiger, you lost! You made three mistakes. How about telling us what the three mistakes were. How about telling us what you/we can learn from those mistakes. Although in the grand scheme of things he’s probably got bigger mistakes he’s trying to learn things from these days.

I’m absolutely fascinated and amazed by people who become the supposed “best” at something and then they think they cannot learn anything or take anything good away from an upset, defeat or loss. Or worse yet, when they cannot see the teaching opportunity available to their fans when they screw up.

Now on the flip side at least he admitted that there were mistakes made. He didn’t blame the wind or the sun or birds or someone heckling him in the crowd. He made mistakes. People do that. I don’t know about you but when people who are the supposed best in their field; on top of their game; make a mistake, I want to know what they did. There is clearly something we can all learn from it. I’ll even go as far as to say as “the best” owe it to people.

So here are my two thoughts for you today:

  1. When you are the supposed best (or even just really good) at something you have an obligation to teach others. The day you can’t turn an unpleasant experience into a teachable point is a very sorry day; even if you’re Tiger Woods. And if you’re not the best at something here are some things for you to ponder as well:
    • What are you doing to become better? Even if it is something you’re good at. How are you educating yourself? Or better yet….how are you changing the world in which you play?
      • When I designed The Meeting Playce Mat it came as a result of people telling me that they were on meeting overload. They were telling me that they had too many meetings; they weren’t paying attention, or they just were bored. The felt trapped into endless meetings that were just no fun. So I came up with something that engages people in the meeting and makes it fun. That is why people turn to me; to add some fun to their meetings and events while providing a learning experience or learning tool. Sometimes I get to do it in person, other times via a product. But in the end I looked at the opportunity I could provide others; an opportunity to take what was a perceived unpleasant experience and change it; make it into something else. That’s all. When you hear phrases like “that meeting sucked” or “what a total waste of my time” or “did we all really need to be there” I see an opportunity to make that experience better; to force people to look at the role they played in the meeting – or in most cases, didn’t play – even when the meeting sucks. What product, service or idea can you offer the people in your life who are whining about things?      
  2. Don’t be a Yes Man (or Woman)! When you’re asked a question how about answering it. I don’t know, yes, no, and nothing are not answers. As I watched the commentator interview the other “losers” at the end of the tournament they all spoke for a few moments; Tiger…..about 15 seconds; if that. When I am asked a question I take the stance that my opinions matter and that the person is asking me either as the expert or as a trusted source of an answer. Give people what they are expecting from you. Make a commitment right now that one, two and three word answers are no longer a part of your life.

So I guess that 25 minutes wasn’t a total waste of time after all. Probably like some of those meetings a lot of you complain about.

DIY is not for everyone!




Now unless you’re under a rock you know that DIY means do it yourself. Here’s the issue with DIY………….

Most people don’t know when to DIY or LSEDI (let someone else do it).

Here’s an example:

The glider part of the zipper came off the window of my convertible last week. I figured how hard could it be to put back on. So one night last week, along with a friend, I spent an hour trying to get the stupid glider back on. As darkness was approaching we stopped.

This past Friday afternoon I attempted to fix it again. This time I broke the glider (see picture). So after about 45 minutes I drove to the fabric store to buy a glider replacement. They didn’t have one. I went home. At this point I’m about 2 1/2 hours into this project.

Saturday morning I called the place that put the top on the car when I had to replace it a few years ago. They referred me to an upholstery shop.

I left my house at 10:00 this morning. At 10:20 the zipper was fixed. Cost: $5

DIY is not for everyone and not for all projects. What problem/project are you working on right now, spinning your wheels, trying to prove to someone or yourself that you can DO IT YOURSELF.

Stop already. Learn from my stupidity. That’s why I’m here.

Or better yet, who in your organization probably has the expertise to help you, but you’ve not considered seeking their help because “that’s not the job they were hired to do?”

Dear Universe, Thank you for Fridays

Dear Universe,

Thank you for Fridays; the last day of the work week (for most).

Thank you for Fridays; the day when people in the office seem to be more jovial; as in contrast to Monday when the mood is not always the greatest.

Thank you for Fridays; when we really see how productive people can be as they diligently work to get things completed so they can head out the door for the weekend.

Thank you for Fridays; which often times include bagels, donuts and a shortened day for summer hours.

Thank you for Fridays; tomorrow I can be glued to my Blackberry all day long to answer emails – but at least I don’t have to get dressed and show up at the office.

Thank you for Fridays; tomorrow I will be yelled at by my spouse/kids/significant other etc for being glued to my Blackberry all day long.

Thank you for Fridays; Happy Hour!

Thank you for Fridays; it’s my time to recharge, rejuvenate and reignite myself for Mondays at no cost to my employer.

I guess Mondays were your cruel joke.



Take a break today from the customary activities of engagement!


Visit Recess At Work Day website for last minute ideas!

Great Ideas: It’s all in how you position them

So tomorrow is Recess At Work Day and I know that some of you are still trying to figure out how to convince the boss to allow you to take a Recess. Perhaps this will help………………


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