“We expected better results” Dumb Ass Stupid Management

This morning’s papers reveal that Macy’s, Sears, and Barnes & Noble are all experiencing slowdowns, with extreme measures being taken by the first two (closings, layoffs, divestitures). One Macy’s executive commented, “We had expected better results.” In what world would you expect better results from old-time, brick and mortar operations with no zest and no appeal? On those occasions when I’ve been in a mall with a Macy’s,  it is always the dullest, most depressing of all the large stores. …


Blues At the Blue Moon Fish Company: Dumb Ass Stupid Management

In Ft. Lauderdale, four of us arrive for dinner at the Blue Moon Fish Co. with two more about ten minutes behind us in another car. The two hostesses snootily inform us that we can’t be seated until “everyone is present.” I was a guest, not the host, but I asked, “Why can’t you seat us now, the restaurant is empty?” And the airhead hostesses reply: “Because it makes it smoother for the wait staff and kitchen if you’re all …


The Wrong Stuff

I flew to Tel Aviv in a 747, the sole resident of first class. The plane was old, but it was like a huge private cabin. However, I looked forward to the return on a new Triple 7, though I suspected first class would be filled. My plan was to have dinner in El Al’s first class club and sleep for five or six hours on the plane, then do some writing, and have breakfast before we landed in Newark. …


DASM: Growth Is Based On Investment

I’m spending one night at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey before flying to Japan. This used to be one of my favorite hotels. Now it’s simply another Marriott property and I won’t be back. (I holed-up here for a while during 9/11.) The erosion of the Ritz-Carlton brand under Marriott cost-cutting and management is a study in stupidity. You don’t cut your way to growth. I’ll be at the Four Seasons in Kyoto and Tokyo. They know how to …


Dumb-Ass Stupid Management: Model Trains

Here’s a nominee for the DASM Hall of Infamy. I’m considering buying a property to have a new train layout built. As some of you know, I’ve built a couple in my home, but now all our rooms are assigned other uses and I want a professionally built layout, not one where my wiring might blow up the town. As you can imagine, money is not an issue. Logistics, relationships, trust, and so forth are. I wrote to eight companies …


All Aboard! (Dumb Ass Stupid Management)

The stereotypical plaint is that government doesn’t treat small business well. While that’s occasionally true, the larger problem is that small business owners often don’t know their gluteus maximus from their synovial hinge joint. Recently, I wrote to four builders of model trains (electric trains). My intent is to take my large collection out of storage and have professionals build a new layout in a property I buy or lease for the purpose. I built my first two, but it’s …


DASM: CVS (Once Again)

I’m at the register paying my bill when the nearby theft protector goes off at the door as two people walk out, and a recorded voice asks them to stop until store personnel arrive. I ask the two employees nearest me if they’re going to go over there. “Oh, no, we have to see them take something,” one says. “The system is there,” I tell them, “because you can’t see people stealing things in the aisles. Why don’t you ask them …


Amazon Refuses to Post Review of “Ego Is The Enemy”

Apparently Amazon wants to protect some of its  best selling authors, and refused to print this review, so here it is to warn the rest of you: IT TAKES CHUTZPAH TO WRITE EGO IS THE ENEMY (by Ryan Holiday)   This book is so incredibly poorly written and supercilious that I scarcely know where to begin. It’s like it was written to support a TEDx talk. And how much ego does it require for an author to explain that ego is …


Dumb Ass Stupid Management: UPS, Amazon, Chase

Here are three examples of arrant stupidity:   UPS I’m informed someone has hacked my account and I should change my password. But when I go to do so, UPS has already invalidated my current password. When I input my user ID to get a new password, I’m told that it doesn’t exist, although I’ve had it for 20 years.   I go to an online “chat,” have to go through THREE different agents, none can help me, and the …


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 …