In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking….

Are you telling me that we can create particle accelerators to find elements that exist for a nanosecond, but we can’t create a sealed product that can be easily opened with just a pull on a tab? It takes a peregrine falcon to open a package of blueberries. Did the people who produced True Detective’s first season have talent removal surgery prior to producing the second season, which is ludicrously bad, with more unintentional zombies than the Walking Dead? If …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 8/10/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: My personal feeling is that people deserve respect. I don’t meet someone with a belief that they are “broken” and need to be fixed, and I don’t write my books with the idea that my readers need remedial help. The antipodal position is that of the bully, who berates people. Psychologically, bullies are highly insecure and have inferiority complexes. Their bullying behavior is an attempt to compensate for their perceived inferior status by physically and/or emotionally …


Hold the Crowd Back for the Person We Don’t Want You to See

I was walking into The White Elephant here in Nantucket to meet my wife for brunch after parking my car a quarter mile away. As I approached the main entry, a Massachusetts State Police SUV pulls in, followed by a high-end Mercedes sedan, followed by another, private SUV. A civilian woman hops out of the police vehicle, and stands with arms folded in front of the rear passenger’s door of the Mercedes. A guy gets out and hops into the …


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 …


Wind

I’m in the study of our house in Nantucket, the breakers 30 yards away. It’s 6:30 am on a cloudy, blustery morning. The flag, down near the water and waving from a 40-foot pole, is taking a beating. The hammock on the deck is roiling like a restless sleeper having a frightening nightmare. Even the waves are losing their crests to the unforgiving winds. Meanwhile, a rabbit sits a few feet away on the lawn studying the breakfast options surrounding …


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 …


Great Presentation Skills

Victoria Labalme is one of the finest presentation coaches in the world, and helps people “knock presentations out of the park.” People I’ve sent to her rave about her help. I’ve been modestly involved in growing her business over many years. Here’s her upcoming offering, and you’ll get a discount if you mention I sent you:   http://www.victorialabalme.com/presentation_skills/elite_group_experience.html