DASM: University Orthopedics

My latest Dumb Ass Stupid Management Award goes to Dr. Manuel Dasilva and University Orthopedics, here in East Greenwich, RI. I had an appointment for a problem with my hand. At 11:30, the appointed time, I was shown into a small examining room. At 11:50, I poked my head out and asked a woman, “How much longer will it be?” She replied, “I don’t know, I just came back on from break.” Surly. She then returned to tell me, “At …


Dumb Ass Stupid Marketing

I received the email below a couple of days ago (I’ve changed some names so as not to give them any publicity whatsoever):   Hi Alan, My name is Sherry Useless. I’m the administrative assistant for Michael Loon, co-author of the book, “Don’t Pay Any Bills: The Proven 9 Step Method To Legally Avoiding Financial Obligations”. Michael asked me if I could reach out to the owners of a few quality sites to see if they would be interested in …


Dumb Ass Stupid Management Hall of Fame

I’m proud to announce the first entrant into the DASM Hall of Fame, and recipient of the concurrent I Didn’t Come In Here And I’m Not Leaving Award: Verizon!!! We returned from Puerto Rico to find a threatening note on our door—”second notice, service may be discontinued,” written by hand—indicating that Verizon was changing to fiber optics, no charge, but we must make an appointment for the work to be done. The number provided was available until 9 pm. I made …


What the Hell Is Wrong with Jet Blue? (Dumb Ass Stupid Management)

I normally fly only first class, but Jet Blue has the only nonstop service from Boston to places like West Palm and San Juan. I don’t like changing planes in the winter, and people convinced me that Jet Blue was quite comfortable and attentive. Based on four flights to and from San Juan (Feb. 2 #661, Feb. 9 #462 and the same flights on Feb. 9 and 25) here is my experience, I think cut rate airlines tend to have …


Can You Say “I’m Sorry”? DASM

Some guy named Mark sends me a very long spam email. Some guy I never heard of published a book about a subject I don’t care about, and old Mark was the ghost writer!I He addressed me asl, “Dear Alan,” and told me why I should buy the book and promote it. It was obviously a mass missive from an inappropriate list. When I asked him who he was and why I should care about this book—who knows, maybe I was wrong …


Design This, Ralph Lauren

I dine in the finest restaurants in the world. Even the best can have a problem or an off day.  But I never suffer rudeness gladly. The Ralph Loren Polo Lounge in New York, the latest “hot” place in which to be seen, has ghastly service. If it had a coat of arms it would be a shield of bombast on a field or pretentiousness. My cousins and I had a 9:30 reservation. When we inquired at 9:30, a condescending …


Volkswagen: DASM (Dumb Ass Stupid Management)

In my consulting experience, most unethical conduct I found was on behalf of the company. It wasn’t so much a case of an individual’s self-enrichment, but more of a crazy rationalization that if the act were on behalf of the greater good of the company it could be justified. I suspect hundreds of people were party to this when the Volkswagen organization placed software in 11 million diesels to fake the emissions tests. That’s hardly something that can be kept …


Dumb Ass Stupid Management: CVS, Who’s Minding the Store?

In East Greenwich, RI, where I live, the CVS store on Main Street has had one of its drive-through pharmacy lanes out of action for about three months. The lines at the store register snake into the aisles until the cashier wakes up and calls for help. When I ask why she didn’t do it earlier, her surly reply was, “I just did.” I’m constantly told “There you go” and “No problem” instead of “Thank you,” as if spending money …


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 …


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 …