Why the Canadian Postal Service Would Make A Fourth World Country Embarrassed

Dumb Ass Stupid Management A friend in Canada did a nice favor for me with a referral, and knowing he likes cigars, I asked my local tobacconist to send a good box of Davidoff’s. The price was $525. They checked with customs, and were told it was permissible in the US mail. My friend told me that the Canadian postal system added a duty of $457.71, excise tax of $805.82, GST/HST (?) of $232.51, and handling costs of $9.95, to bring …


The Great Debate

All of the Republican candidates looked like Lincoln compared to the three-person circus that Fox News put on the moderator’s stand: Brett Baier, Megan Kelly, and Chris Wallace. Mr. Baier looked as though he was just pleased as punch to be there and couldn’t wait to join in the fun. Mr. Wallace seemed ill-at-ease, probably wondering what his father, a serious newsman for seven decades, would think of this brand of amateur journalism. And Ms. Kelly proved that you can …


DASM: Diversify This

I get an email from a guy I’ve never heard of who wants to interview me on his podcast. I get these requests weekly, and politely turn down 99% of them. This guy’s specialty is international cultural diversity. He lists his former guests, of whom I’ve never heard. He describes his audience, which is tiny and composed of people who are not my buyers. He tells me to go to an automated link to program my interview slot! When I …


Faceoff

Facebook has become one of the largest organizations in the world largely because it doesn’t have an intelligence test to qualify members. This morning some moron posted that we have to become like Canada in the US: triple our union membership percentage, raise the minimum wage by 50%, and escalate taxes “on the rich.” By all means, let’s become a country one-tenth our present size and find a much larger country with which to share a long border that will …


SHRM

Some people may thing SHRM is the Society for Human Resource Management. It is not. It stands for the Stupid, Hardly Relevant Mess. I’ve thought for a long time that HR in general is a vestigial appendage, to the extent it makes an appendix look useful. Transactional stuff (benefits, relocation) can be outsourced for economies of scale, and transformational stuff (restricting, change management) can’t be done by internal HR people 99% of the time. Apparently, nor can removal from mailing …


Brian Williams Is Still Lying

In an interview with Matt Lauer, one of the few tough ones Lauer has generated (too bad he couldn’t manage it with Tom Cruise and Scientology), Brian Williams never used the word “lie.” He talks around it, over it, and under it, but his “rehabilitation” clearly hasn’t been effective. He can’t say the word, and won’t admit to the other (documented) times he’s done it. The man was making $10 million a year and, while he won’t make that at …


Get Off This Avenue

I received a call from someone named Sara at a place called Avenue. She claims that they are doubling in size frequently, and provide three-minute videos to clients using others’ intellectual property. The profits are split. My air raid warnings sounded. There’s a lot of nonsense going around about technology that guarantees passive sales (I think Lightspeed, for example, is pure hype). It became clear quickly that Sara was quoting from a script. I kept interrupting her. She told me …


Hypocrisy Unleashed

There’s a squeaky wheel talk show host in Providence by the name of John DePetro. He went to Boston for a while, but was fired when he called female protestors “fat lesbians” on his talk show. In Rhode Island, he was excoriated for calling patrons at a local bar, who are not disruptive or disrespectful, “white trash,” and called for the bar’s closing. I believe he felt they were too close to his car. On the show this morning he took …


Speaker Beware

I was informed of a situation this week where a professional speaker was represented by a bureau which informed the speaker her normal fee couldn’t be met, but a client would accept a lower fee: $8,500. The speaker said, “Okay, deal.” While talking to the client in advance of the speech, the speaker discovered that the bureau was actually charging the client $11,000 in addition to taking 25% out of the speaker’s $8,500. When confronted, the bureau admitted it and claimed …


Frauds and Thieves

Today I received a notice from the International Patent & Trademark Office in the Czech Republic (of course) that I owed $2,225 (nice number) to continue the registration of one of my trademarks internationally. I receive a couple of these a month originating  from various small countries in Europe. These are fraudulent, just as much as the Nigerians who tell you that a great inheritance awaits you if you just send some money first, and the hackers who use others’ …