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Archive for the tag “common sense”

What do you think of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. pledge?


What do you think of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. pledge? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Mike Rowe is a well-known TV personality (e.g. Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch). As such he also had made a name for himself breaking the college mandate for High School students. He has been promoting blue-collar careers all along. Mike’s own work ethic scholarship program has candidate sign the above-mentioned S.W.E.A.T. pledge. How do you feel about it? See for yourself here: http://profoundlydisconnected.com/skill-work-ethic-arent-taboo/

“THE S.W.E.A.T. PLEDGE”

(Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo)

 

  1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.

 

  1. I believe that I am entitledto life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

 

  1. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.

 

  1. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.

 

  1. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.

 

  1. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.

 

  1. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.

 

  1. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.

 

  1. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.

 

  1. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.

 

  1. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.

 

  1. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.

 

On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements to be an accurate summation of my personal worldview. I promise to live by them.

 

Signed_______________________________________ Dated____________________

 

 

There are some folks who feel that this is going too far. Read about an example and Mike’s response here. http://mikerowe.com/2017/05/otwappalledbythesweatpledge/

I am not sure that insisting any new applicants and team members having to sign a document like this will help shape new habits. I have come to accept almost all of his 12 points as my core beliefs and values. I would not tell other people to having to make it their own just by agreeing to them by signing a document. That is so Baby-Boom and GenX like. If we want to make an impact that even Millennials want to buy in on than we have to create a work and school environment that is embracing, meaning demonstrating what is asked for here. That is done by asking questions using full transparency and collaboration – just do not stand in front of them telling them. If this is what new candidates find while attending Mike’s program I think that people have no reason to gripe. What do you think?

Ralf

How bad customer service is killing the product repair business


How bad customer service is killing the product repair business 

We are supposed to live in customer service heaven. When something breaks on household items, cars, electronics, etc it should not be difficult getting that repaired, right? Well, it appears that this industry’s general direction is more than troublesome in that unwanted, unneeded, and sometimes outright ridiculous staff is being pushed on to customers. Most simply lack technical and subject matter knowledge in order to prevent getting overcharged for needless stuff that is being hawked off as “value added”. The best tactic working for them is instilling fear in the customer that e.g. safety, efficiency, warranty, etc is being negatively affected. Before you know it you may have added 100s of not 1000s of Dollars to your bill.

Here is one of those incidents that happened to me just recently. I went to the local mall (yeah, some are still around) trying to get the battery changed in my watch. The friendly store clerk looked at the watch and then informed me that the battery exchange would set me back by 40 Dollars. Huh? FOURTY Bucks? Three times before I had gone to one of those mall hallway vendors and rarely spent 15 for changing out the battery. “It is 20 for being an expensive Swiss watch, and the other 20 are for making your watch water proof again. We are the only local area store that can offer this service.” I would have walked out after this, but I had a coupon reducing my total to 20 Dollars for the battery change.

The clerk pointed to a special machine – while pointing at it – for achieving waterproof status. I was totally puzzled what the contraption was supposed to do as the back cover of the watch has an o-ring that makes this happen. As long as the part does not sustain any damage no water will enter the watch there. It mystified me what else they could possibly be doing different from what the other mall vendor had done before.

I told her to proceed with the repair; I was willing to risk 20 Dollars and watching the special repair procedure. She took the back cover off and with it the o-ring. The latter was cleaned, greased, and re-installed. Then the watch was put under the glass globe of the special tool and vacuum was applied to it. After a little while she turned around and asserted that the watch will not hold a vacuum and that I should be careful not to put the watch into e.g. a washing machine and “don’t dive with it”. What happened to making the darn thing waterproof and “we are the only company who does this in the county”? It turned out that the special gizmo merely tested the watch, but it did not “make” it anything. In fairness she did not even attempt trying to charge me the extra 20 Dollars for this “service”. I left the store with a new battery in my watch and a giant smile on my face. I had avoided yet another extra charge for something that would not have added any value whatsoever. Grr. How many times do we get charged for nonsense like this? It is really frustrating and also no wonder that people would rather buy new stuff than getting the old stuff repaired.

I like to fix old stuff and if you do too than here are a few thoughts that can help protect you from spending extra money:

  • If the story sounds to crazy to be true, it usually isn’t.
  • Insist getting more info and get it in writing.
  • Insist on getting any old parts back after the repair has been carried out.
  • Do some Internet research and find out what other people may have experienced before.
  • If all else fails, replacing the item with a new one may be the better alternative.

Happy repairing!

Ralf

Get busy living, or get busy dying


Get busy living, or get busy dying 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser, Resistance to change. Do not get stuck on the left side of the “U” – for long

Life is too short for long pity parties. This week made me think of my best college friend who passed away too early due to cancer. She was such a fighter. When your life suddenly changes because you have just found out you have a challenging medical condition you can either keep feeling sorry for yourself, or you can already see the new path and plan that goes along with it. Some folks just get stuck in the anger, grieving, and resistance mode: “Why did this happen to me?”, “I just do not believe this!” It can lead to a state of utter confusion and self-pity. And it is a pity when you do not get out of that mode.

Feeling sorry for yourself however wastes time and lets your brain go on a down spiraling path to severe depression. Neither is helpful if time is of the essence. I will never forget the incident where my mom was sharing a hospital room with a woman who was exactly in this state of mind. Her illness was severe and her outlook on how long she was to live did not look great at all. When nurses and doctors asked her what she wanted to do she constantly changed direction. When she was alone with my mom or visitors she was constantly complaining about the medical staff, her condition – nothing seemed to work out right for her. It was painful to watch, especially when she snuck out the room to go downstairs for a quick smoke in order to “calm her nerves down”. Calm your nerves down, but stress your body even more with the effects of smoking? The woman went in a circle of self-destruction – she got really busy dying.

Compare this with my mom who had been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer 9 months prior. At the beginning of her journey of the long goodbye that is cancer, she had been given a few weeks to live. Not our mom, nope, she would have none of it. Hope and faith let her go through the anger, grief, and resistance time period really quickly. Plans were made to see specialists, treatments, and she even got new glasses to be able to see and read better. She had not gotten new ones in decades.

In the end cancer finally claimed her life 10 months after diagnosis. At the time the above mentioned story happened things were already not looking good at all, but my mom found the time helping the woman with advice, thoughts and prayers. The irony puzzles me to this day. Bottom line though was that mom was always busy living.

When things look bleak it may be easier succumbing to self-pity. Two processes are at work here. One is how a sudden major change goes through a U shaped process (explained here in more detail) and what you are going through is normal: Resistance, anger, grief, etc. That is the downward side of the U on the left. There comes a time when you hit the bottom of the U (figuratively speaking). You can either swing back up to anger etc, or start looking at the upside to the right leg of the U. It is the onset of careful optimism, hope, and exploration of opportunities. The other main process is that you have a choice. Are you choosing to get busy dying, or are you choosing to get busy living? What will be your choice?

Ralf

10 telltale signs that you are stressed out and a few way to bust stress


10 telltale signs that you are stressed out and a few way to bust stress 

Stress leads to all sorts of health problems and if at all possible we should avoid getting into stressful situations. Sometimes it is a little difficult to distinguish if and how much stress you are experiencing. I have a short list for you to enjoy, which will illustrates situations that were caused by too much stress. At the end of that list you can find a few ways reducing that stress.

You may be under too much stress, if:

  • you sit down at your desk and your colleagues give you a funny look. You were supposed to be off and you went to work anyway.
  • you drive “home” just to realize that you went to the house you used to own.
  • you put your trash out on a Sunday thinking it is Friday – the actual trash day.
  • you are halfway out the driveway on the way to work when you notice that the neighborhood is way too quiet. You find out it is Saturday.
  • you get off the airplane and your luggage does not arrive on the belt. You pay a ground support person $10 to check the aircraft and he appears with the suitcase. You rush out the airport as you need to catch a flight at the next terminal when you realize that you got off the airplane one stop too earlier and you should have gotten back on the same plane.
  • you rush through an airport and make a quick restroom pitstop. You sit down and look to the left and right and notice high heel shoes. You are a man.
  • you attempt punching in a telephone number into your computer’s keyboard and are unsuccessful in making a call.
  • you try making a phone call trying to key in the telephone number into calculator on your desk.
  • you go to the back to school night of your kids and you try remembering the school entrance door key code because you think you are at work and are now stumped that the code does not work.
  • you go back to the airport parking lot and have no idea what level you parked your car.

Funny, huh? Sadly enough these are my own real life examples of occurrences when my stress level was too high. Lesson learned was to keep slowing down and having enough down time once and a while. What really helps is exercising, sleeping long and well enough, hanging out with friends and family, and in general not taking yourself too seriously.

Ralf

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