Assurance

I’m in the doctor’s examining room for a scheduled checkup and my eyes wander to the safe needle disposal system you see on every wall. The instructions say, “Lift panel to assure disposal.” Minor detail, perhaps, but the word should be “ensure.” I’m wondering what such vagueness might be affecting, oh, I don’t know—prescriptions, dosages, diet instructions? At least it didn’t say “insure”….




What’s That Sound?

If all you do is boast of your successes and never share your failures I’m not very interested in your successes. I call these “drive-by brags.” Someone you rarely hear from zooms in, tells you their latest great feat, and disappears. Down the road and out of sight they’ve probably crashed into a tree. Those are the people who, in the absence of an audience, tend to applaud themselves. Their voice mail is something like this: “I can’t answer the …


The Emmys (AKA Self-Aggrandizement)

         I waited for a day before writing about the Emmy Awards on Monday evening. They generated the lowest ratings in the history of the event. I didn’t want to be rash. But…. I saw a room of mostly smug, white millionaires, engaged in endless self-congratulatory nonsense and their pride at “inclusion.” As usual, the “patter” of the presenters was scripted and insipid. Just present the award! Worse, the inability of the award recipients to engage in …


Podcast – The Uncomfortable Truth – Episode 16: No, You Can’t

Transcript: “Some lessons in why your telling yourself you can might wind up in finding out why you can’t.” Transcript: Welcome to The Uncomfortable Truth and the uncomfortable truth today is, “No, you can’t.” That’s right, no, you can’t. Remember Sammy Davis Jr.? He was that extraordinary entertainer. He had a book out called “Yes I Can.” That’s because he overcame great odds. He was black. He had one eye because of an auto accident. He was married to a …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 09/18/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I believe there’s an inverse proportion between profanity and vocabulary. The more of the former, the less of the latter. I understand “shock” potential, but I don’t understand vulgarity that’s completely gratuitous and adds nothing to the point. Routinely, I unfriend people on Facebook who write obscenities as adjectives and adverbs. I wouldn’t look to spend my mornings with such people, so why do I want to read what they have to say? And the slippery slope increases in declivity. …


You May Be Wrong, But You’re Also Annoying

I asked a woman at a pro bono speech I was making what kind of value she provided. She stammered and then said something uninteresting. I suggested some ways to change her approach and mentioned four elements. “Oh, I don’t agree with with two of those,” she said, “I’m an expert in this field and those approaches don’t work.” It was clear she had zero idea of what she was talking about, yet her defensiveness was world class. She heard …


You Talking to Me?

I receive letters daily because I’m in print, on video, and on audio in so many places. I’m also on three social media platforms. Most communications are kind, some are angry, and a few are sociopathic. But what intrigues me is that so many people spell my name wrong. My name is, obviously, “Alan.” My parents were far too poor to afford more than one “l.” Yet people mangle it with “Allan,” “Alen,” “Allen,” and, worst of all, “Al.” (Do …


Iceland the Myth

Trigger Warning to those in Ivy League schools: This might mess with your preconceptions of things you’ve never experienced. There are about 330,000 people in Iceland (Rhode Island, by comparison, has a million), and almost three million sheep, about 10 per person, give or take. There is also a plethora of horses. They look really happy, but then I found them on dinner menus. The tourist trade is by far the major industry and the country’s strong economy right now …