Pick Up the Check

I’ve had people in my workshops order internet in the conference room so they had access and attempt to put it on my bill! I’ve had people who ordered special food—lattes, or eggs—to augment what I was offering, and charge it to me. I had one guy, who thankfully left my community for good when he was ostracized, try to order Louis XIII when I offered after-dinner drinks on one occasion (it goes for $250 a glass). I’ve seen people …


Before and After the Fall (Prelapsarian Fun)

I used the word “prelapsarian” (before the fall of man; Edenic times) this week in my Monday Morning Memo. Sure enough, some clown who received the FREE newsletter writes me and tells me that using the word was pretentious. So let’s review: • I used the word as a metaphor for how long something had been going on: “The prelapsarian goal, from then to now, of any buisness is to have customers.” I find it an apt metaphor is one …


These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

• A woman takes issue with one of my weekly Monday Morning Memos—a FREE newsletter—and tells me that if I don’t write more consistently with her point of view, she’ll cancel her subscription. (She had been reading it for over a year.) • A man writes a venomous email because I wrote a column in a FREE newsletter about the special nature of my mornings in Nantucket. He wrote that if I can’t provide him with ideas to improve his …


Conspiracies and Paranoia

I’m reading more and more from people who believe there are vast conspiracies preventing their success. The conspirators are usually the government, drug companies, the media, the United Nations, the wealthy, and so forth. (Any notion of a government which can’t keep the tiniest secret engaging in decades-long conspiracies is comical, but I digress.) A widespread believe in conspiracies is paranoid. Here’s the definition of paranoia: a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically elaborated into …


2015 Enigmas

Amy Schumer is bold, off-color, risk-taking—and not very funny. After hearing so much about her, I watched her HBO special (directed by Chris Rock, no less, but how do you “direct” a standup comedy routine?). I laughed three times over the course of an hour. When will the other candidates realize that Trump grabs headlines because he’s refreshingly different in a process where everyone is vanilla and bland? Who on earth thinks that automated phone calls will convince someone to …


When I was young, my friends and I spent a lot of time trying to stay OUT of trouble. Our parents would yell from the windows if we played ball in the streets (we’d move around the block), or if we were in a fight, or if we were making too much noise, or whatever. Our teachers would scold us for talking in class, sending notes, not completing assignments, making fun of classmates, and so on. Store owners would warn …


Meta-Worry

Some people talk about talk, which can be healthy. A psychologist would call it “meta-talk,” examining the words and phrases you use to talk to a spouse, for example. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We can call that meta-fear. I find that many people are engaged in meta-worry. They worry about worrying. They become consumed by their worries: financial obligations, social responsibilities, job requirements, non-financial debts owed, child-rearing, and so on. They can …


The Walking Dread

Self-absorbed: Being overwhelmingly concerned only about yourself and your own well-being, no matter how trivial, irrespective of the impact on others. Example: The person who stands in the doorway of the theater to discuss the play, while others are trying to exit. The person who stops at the bottom of a moving escalator to chat. Any person who discusses anything during a theatrical performance. Recent sightings: • At an omelet station in a buffet, a woman directs the chef on …


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 …


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 …