The Slow Train

We had to catch an early Sunday train to New York and the only option was the Amtrak local, no Acelas until after noon. We had a “business class” car, which essentially meant a little extra leg room. The train stops everywhere—like a Greyhound Bus, you can wave it down in your driveway or backyard. But it’s clean, has a decent café car, and the staff is quite courteous. We departed from Providence two minutes late. Here are my observations: …




Dear Friend, Send Money

I just read a Facebook post by a guy who said his new book is coming out in a few months, but if you send him $20 now he’ll send a digital copy, an autographed copy, and will include the purchaser’s name in the “acknowledgements” as a “friend and patron”! In other words, any stranger with $20 is acknowledged in the book. I wonder how much would buy co-authorship?


Take It Or Leave It

I’m told that Cisco takes 120 days—four months—to pay its venders and suppliers. Of course, there’s no sound reason for that except to maximize their cash flow by taking advantage of small businesses for whom cash flow is even more critical. But Cisco apparently isn’t interested in partnerships, just in being the 2,000-pound gorilla. There’s a word for that: bullying.



Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 06/19/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I saw a woman in the lane next to me texting as she drove at about 45 MPH. I was behind her at first and watched her driving on the shoulder and at erratic speeds. I didn’t want to be behind her and, as I passed, I saw what she was doing. I’m sure she felt she was so adept that she could multi-task like that. I don’t object to her being personally foolhardy, but I do object to the …


How Can They Do That?

When I was chair of the town planning board, we visited a cul-de-sac where a property owner was protesting a new subdivision that would create a road through the cul-de-sac. To make matters worse, he had chosen to build his house in that exact corner of his two acres. “I can’t help you,” I said. The town provides a right-of-way here for land to be developed beyond these woods, and your deed clearly stipulates that the right-of-way exists and can …


A Case for A SWAT Team?

On the outskirts of Providence, right next to Interstate 95, is a giant blue bug on the roof of an exterminating company. It’s a termite, 427,000 times larger than life. (I am not making this up.) The company which was once called something like “New England Exterminating”  officially changed its name to Big Blue Bug Exterminating. Traffic reporters use it as a landmark (congestion around the Big Blue Bug) and when Interstate 195 was rerouted at a cost of tens …