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’ …


The Hypocrisy of the Media

Britt McHenry, an ESPN reporter, was caught on camera berating a towing company employee with comments about missing teeth, education, weight, and so on. It was an exercise in self-absorption and self-importance of volcanic measure. ESPN suspended her for a week. (A TV poll showed that 84% of viewers thought she should be fired.) Imagine a politician doing that? He or she would be hounded for weeks and perhaps forced to resign. The media outlets would seize on it. But …


Who’s Behind the Curtain in Oz?

I used to think Dr. Oz was a personable, articulate, brilliant medical doctor when I saw him on programs showing emergency room treatment in hospitals. When he got his own TV show, he seemed to become Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He slowly transformed from provider of pragmatic medical device to hawker of potions and pills, with clearly questionable medial underpinnings. Finally, some fellow surgeons at Columbia have publicly protested his behavior and asked for his ouster as vice chair …


WHDH Boston’s Lack of Class

I’m in Boston for meetings, and this morning at 5:50 (Thursday) on WHDH (NBC) the weather guy (Jeremy, I think) it the midst of his “happy talk babble” actually said the weather today “blows.” He didn’t say the wind was blowing, he said the weather “blows.” I realize it’s an age where lousy comedy writers insert “suck” and “douche” into every other line because they have no greater wit than that, but this is a newscast and it’s a simple …