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, …


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 …



If You Don’t Agree With Me There’s Something Wrong With You

It’s fine to tell someone you think they’re wrong about an issue, and demonstrate why you feel that way with evidence and reasoning. It’s not fine to tell someone they’re damaged just because they don’t agree with you (“You don’t get it,” “You’re a ‘denier,’” “What else can we expect from someone with your background?”). When you simply condemn the opposition, you demonstrate your own insecurity about your position on the issues.


The Fallacy of the Second Meeting

In successful projects I’ve had among the Fortune 1000, I estimate that I was able to get approval for the buyer to receive my proposal by the end of the first meeting about 85% or more of the time, The other 15% required a second meeting. I can’t recall an instance of going to a third meeting for a successful project acceptance. When a true buyer puts you off, reschedules, or asks for more time, it’s tantamount to a “no.” …