Johnson & Murphy is a shoe brand I long associated with wing-tips, 1950s bank executives wearing vests, and something you keep shining and wearing for 30 years, regardless of style. For dress shoes I prefer more contemporary, designer options. I buy casual shoes whenever the mood strikes me, and some catalogs have terrific offerings, which I associate with the catalog, not a shoe brand. I recently bought a pair of loafers so comfortable and perfect for the summer that I …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 7/20/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: One of the major differences I’ve seen in people’s choices of careers, often unconscious and unspoken, is affiliation needs. If you don’t need people around you, a solo career suits you fine. But if you do, it can be enervating to work alone. I can work with people but I certainly don’t require it, and I’d see employees as just so many “baby chicks” to be fed constantly. However, some people derive ideas and strength from …


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 …



Try To Remain Calm, I Want To See How Sick You Are

CVS, as have many pharmacies, has a blood pressure machine to provide an easy way for customers to check their own blood pressure. But it ain’t what it seems. The store logistics experts have placed the machine well out of the way—in a corner. The person inserting an arm is staring at two walls in very tight quarters. Around the contraption, people are agitatedly waiting for their prescriptions, complaining about the cost of drugs, and asking indelicate questions about bodily …


The Power of the Shore

The garage door opens to a temperature of 70 degrees at 7 am, a briny air, a crisp stillness. A cat wanders by, its night’s work completed, seeking some sleep. I drive through deserted streets, obeying the obsessive traffic lights with no traffic in sight. Mechanics are adjusting rides powered up with invisible riders on the boardwalk. City workers empty meters guarded by an armed officer, but they take time out to spread the food they brought with them for …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 7/13/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: We’ve made our annual pilgrimage to the Jersey Shore. There are thousands of people here in the water, on the sand, walking the boardwalk, enjoying their families. Fishing boats and dolphins make early morning forays for fish, gulls make continual raids on unprotected food, barkers call to you for games that are hard to win and prizes that are silly if you do. This is the American middle class vacation, and a wonderful thing it is. …


Modern Times

Comedian Louis C.K. asks why we complain about airline service when we’re able to sit in a chair and ride in the sky. I’ve heard people complain that their cell phone call to London, while walking down a street in New York in the rain, has poor reception. I’m at the Jersey Shore, and there’s always traffic on the Garden State Parkway. Yet today we have air conditioning, zillions of music choices, iPads to occupy the kids, and GPS if …



How To Be In The Way

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)   I notice that Bentley will eschew a dog bed to lie on the hard floor of the hallways, particularly at intersections. At first I thought this was just to be a nuisance, or part of a game, or some kind of alpha dog behavior.   But then I remembered …