What’s In It For Me???

I receive calls and emails weekly from people who want to “partner” with me. They bring zero to the table. They want to use my brand and my community and relationships to sell their crap—and it is almost always just that, crap. This ranges from publishing articles on my blog to using my lists to promote their products, or using my name to attract people to their offerings. Many of them have “internet learning platforms.” Their stupidity in assuming a …


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”….


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 …


A Bight of the Apple

You’ve got to love people already complaining about the new iPhones without even having them in hand as yet. If you don’t like them, don’t buy them. But don’t sit there whining that Apple hasn’t made its new product exactly as you’d like it. People with this attitude allow it to pervade their lives. They don’t like the way the seats are set up in a concert, object to the rules about food on the beach, want the airlines to …


Prison (Dumb Ass Stupid Management)

The Liberty Hotel in Boston is a fascinating property. It’s a former prison, so their “do not disturb” signs say “solitary,” and the bars and restaurants are called “The Clink” and “Alibi” and “The Yard” and so forth. Very clever. The prison closed in 1990, and apparently that was also the end of good service. Despite constant conversations with the general manager and senior people, they couldn’t persuade the chambermaids to conduct their normal turndown service. The orange juice was …


I Didn’t Walk In Here and I’m Not Leaving

Some people want to unsubscribe from my newsletters, which is their inalienable right, and, consistent with the laws, there is a link on every one to unsubscribe at the bottom. It’s not hidden, it’s in plain site. I have very few unsubscribers, but at least half of them complain that there’s no link and they want me to do it for them. I suspect the same visceral reaction to unsubscribe because they’ve actually seen something that challenges their thinking is …


Piggish Behavior

A woman walked down the beach with a huge pig yesterday, complete with a string of pearls. When people approached her with questions, she was a real pill, apparently recovering from a personality removal procedure. When you walk with a pig, expect to be approached. Otherwise, stay home with your pig.


Get Your Hands Off Of Me

People are upset with United Airlines for dragging a customer up the aisle to evict him, but we’re “dragged up the aisle” every day by banks that are charging nickel and dime nuisance fees, airlines charging for baggage (they made $4 billion on this last year, a charge that didn’t exist several years ago), and health care copays. Why are we only upset when it’s egregious? Dragging is dragging….


Client Service 601

We’ve all been exposed to what I call Client Service 101, an amateurish training provided by inexpensive firms to equip phone representatives to better deal with outraged customers, that outrage being caused by deficient products, services, and/or delivery procedures. It goes like this: • I know how frustrated you must feel. • This must be very difficult for you. • I’ve experienced this in my dealings with companies myself. • I don’t blame you for being so upset. It’s like …


Ha, ha, an epidemic, ha, ha

I’m in Mill Valley outside of San Francisco, and in the early morning there is a news show on KRON4. It resembles the traditional “happy talk” news, but it’s actually “stupid talk” news. The female anchor laughs and giggles through everything, trying to be humorous despite the context. At one point she laughed right into the next story on an infant’s death. She also announced that a woman had pled guilty to several felonies, stopped, stared at the teleprompter, and …