Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 9/15/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: I was detained in Heathrow Airport on Friday by a security supervisor, constable, two counter-terrorism agents, two dog handlers, and two dogs. (Read about it here: http://www.contrarianconsulting.com/not-so-sweet-dreams/). The cause was the machines detecting explosive or chemical residue in my bag, later determined to be “Quietude,” the spray provided by the Haymarket Hotel to help you sleep at night! The entire affair took an hour, which is why I show up everyplace early: the theater, business meetings, …


Westin Copley Plaza Boston: Dumb-Ass, Stupid Management

My  most recent award goes to this Boston hotel which plays an endless loop when you call their “express service” personnel, then a rude guy answers, and he puts you back in the queue instead of finding the person you ask for. Happened twice in a row, no third chance, I have better things to do, like find better service elsewhere. Stay away from facilities where management doesn’t shop the system, the procedures are stupid, and employees are simply putting …


Not So Sweet Dreams

A Play in One Act Dramatis Personae:   Me: A seasoned traveler with about 4 million air miles, approved by US Global Entry, a man the police would call an “upstanding citizen.”   Katrinka (KT): Security supervisor at British Airways Terminal 5.   The Inspector (IN): British police inspector called upon when possible bomb materials are detected.   Plain Clothes Counter-Terrorist Official #1 (PC #1): Called by an inspector when there may be a serious threat.   Plain Clothes Counter-Terrorism …



Why I Love London

• The cabs are clean, can hold 5-6 people comfortably, and the drivers know where everything is. You’re lucky if you get a cab driver in New York who knows where the Empire State Building is, and the cab will stink while he yaks in a foreign language on a cell phone. • No one honks car horns. The city is bustling, streets are crowded, but the noise level is very low. • Harrods. • Tipping is not an issue. …


The Express Life

Up at 4:30, I found the limo idling outside at 5, both dogs oblivious to its presence, too intent on their deep sleep. I slipped into the clothes I had readied the night before like a firefighter donning turnout gear about to jump on an engine.   I read the papers in the penlight of the car’s rear illumination, traveling through the dark as if on a fast train. As we approached the expressway on the final leg to Boston, …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 9/8/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: My track coach (I was a sprinter) taught me how to stay low coming out of the starting blocks and lean as I approached the finish line. My dog, Bentley, trots by moving his legs alternately on each side, but sprints by moving his front legs together and then his back legs through the opening in the front ones. We have to change our form when we desire speed. If you want to write something quickly, …



The Irrelevancy of Fresh Pupperoni

Bentley and Buddy Beagle adore Pupperoni and dog bacon strips. Not too long ago, I noticed the bags were different. They enabled me to tear off the top, but then reseal them with a locking mechanism such as you’d find on the cold cuts you buy in the supermarket. It never occurred to me to keep the dog treats “fresh.” The dogs loved them equally when they became somewhat harder in composition, I’m assuming (neither dog would sit for an …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 9/1/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Labor Day is dedicated to the contributions of workers in economic and social development. It was formalized in the U.S. in 1887 and about 80 countries celebrate a similar theme sometime during the year. “To labor” means “to work hard.” Traditionally associated with manual work, we know that today the work required is often mental, creative, and innovative. We need both kinds, carpenters as much as programmers, masons as much as actuaries. But the point is, …