DASM First Place Award for 2017!

I’m please to announced the winner of the Dumb Ass Stupid Management Award for 2017. Despite the multiplicity of candidates, my criteria covering disregard of customers, arrogance, greed, and cluelessness have demonstrated that one company exceeds all others: Mont Blanc. I had purchased a $1,000+ Mont Blanc roller ball in Europe. The same model is sold in the U.S. It is quite common. One day while changing the refill, the lower segment of the casing disappeared. Some day I’ll find …


Traffic

We’ve just returned from a 300-mile round trip drive to Tarrytown over two days. Not that long ago, I drove about the same distance in Italy in a car not nearly so powerful. In Italy, on two-lane roads, drivers stay on the right except to pass. Everyone is polite. The trip is fast. Very rarely do you have to flick your high beams to remind the person in front of you to move over. It’s simply a reflexively polite driving …


Odds

If two people in a hundred complained to you about something the other 98 liked, I’d simply ignore them. If one person in a hundred is the only one to do six figures of business with you after something you’ve done, I’d consider that a great success.



RIO: Rhode Island Oddities

Rhode Island is more a state of the mind than a state of the union. It has snowed in these parts for at least 10,000 years. Yet every winter, a disproportionate amount of time is spent by the media on snow, as if it’s Haley’s Comet showing up unexpectedly. They even harken back to past storms, although many people here weren’t even born “during the blizzard of ’76.” Nonetheless, here’s what going on this morning, while it’s snowing: • People …


100%

I’m at an old-fashioned hardware store here named Salk’s Ace Hardware. It has aisle upon aisle of tools, lightbulbs, screws, barbecue accessories, garden stuff, etc. And there are a dozen people in red shirts to help you. It’s far more accommodating than Home Depot or Loew’s. However, their weak point is checkout. There are only two stations, one staffed by a young woman and the other by a woman older than I. They are clearly the regular cashiers. On this …


Options

If you give someone a “take it or leave it” offer, your chances aren’t any better than 50/50. Some people will reject it just on the basis of feeling trapped. If you give someone options, you increase your chances dramatically. “Our room rate is $895 per night, no exceptions.” “Our room rate ranges from $495 to $2,400 per night, depending on the accommodation, frequent guest status, advance booking, and length of stay.” By the way, the higher your ultimate option, …


Podcast – The Uncomfortable Truth – Episode 22: Agendas

An “agenda” is no longer a harmless work aid. Find out why. Transcript: Hi, welcome to The Uncomfortable Truth. Did you hear those insects? Those insects are people with agendas. This is The Uncomfortable Truth about agendas. People with agendas turn anything into their cause. You like Entenmann’s coffee cake? By the way, Entenmann’s coffee cake is great. Well, they’re owned by a Korean, Obama would have used diplomacy with North Korea to disarm their nuclear bombs, but Trump will blow us all up. Yeah, that started from coffee cake! And …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/11/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Depending on the source you consider, what I’ll dangerously call the “Christmas Season” generates something like $650 billion in spending in the US economy. About three-quarters of that is in the purchase and exchange of gifts. One hundred percent increases are usual in businesses such as bookstores, and almost two hundred percent in jewelry stores. Seasonal businesses, from Christmas Cards (two billion) to Christmas trees (21 million) are wholly dependent. Many retailers earn two-thirds of their profits in the fourth …


The Dog Star: Fabulous Fetching

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition) Bentley tears across the yard and down the hill, looks up for the Frisbee, then times a leap so that he catches is about five feet off the ground, lands on all fours, and stops his momentum. He’s like the Great Gretzky, skating to where the puck will be, not …