Facing Facebook

Starting your day on Facebook can be even more depressing than the slanted, early morning news. Here are some of the tropes that are widely used and also useless: • Why can’t we do that in the US? This usually cites some social welfare approach in a country that could fit into Central Park and ignores the impracticality of doing it here (or the stupidity of the idea). • We don’t do this because we’re too busy building missiles. The …


Enough Is Enough

Anything taken to an extreme is usually dysfunctional. Barry Goldwater, Republican candidate for president, lost the election by saying things like this: “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.” He said that in his convention acceptance speech in 1964. He lost in a landslide. Too much excellent food will cause problems. Too much work, vacation, exercise, entertainment—you name it, is going to cause stress, low productivity, anxiety, physical problems, alienation. Too much “service” in the restaurant causes interruptions, not …


Circumlocutions

Why do people insist on going around the block to get next door? In a restaurant, “Are you still working on that?” (or “Still enjoying that?”) when my dish is obviously empty is  more than silly. “May I clear?” seems appropriate. I also love, “The chef will be preparing….” as opposed to “We have filet mignon tonight” (and of course it’s “cooked to your liking,”—would it be cooked to someone else’s “liking”?). On the airlines, “final descent” is more than …


On Sterility

The guy next to me on the flight from San Francisco to Boston meticulously uses sterile wipes on his seat, seat back, shared arm rest, seat back in front of him, TV screen, and tray table. Then he proceeds to spill his Bloody Mary all over himself. How many of you have meticulous computer backups, notes, navigation help, and technical aids—and then don’t have the correct language to use with the buyer? The buyer doesn’t appreciate all the neatness, only …



Discretion

On the shuttle to the airport this morning in San Francisco I sat among two pilots and a flight attendant from American Airlines. They were discussing the best places to drink, with the cheapest liquor, in Las Vegas. I was happy to be flying United.


Podcast – The Uncomfortable Truth – Episode 36: Eradicating History

How do we deal with cardinal sins and venial sins? Do we take all accusations seriously?  There are people today, and you can’t make this up, who want to ban Gone with the Wind. They feel as though the movie and the book portray stereotypical and horrible racial traits. But, a lot of art portrays what was actually the case at the time. Instead of banning things, shouldn’t we be aware of what the worst of us once was?


Let’s Hear the Other Side

A complaint does not meant the subject of the complaint is somehow wrong or needs help. The non-routine behavior is the complaint. Examine that, first. Three people complaining about a manager doesn’t necessarily prove the manager is deficient. You may simply have three unhappy people seeking a target for their discontent. Never take action having heard only one side of any story.