More than anything else, this shows the sheltered life I’ve led, but I think the most nerve-wrenching thing I did as a parent was drop my oldest (son R) off at Kindergarten, which happened 13 years ago tomorrow. I was so worried about him – would he do okay? Would he make friends? Would he be bullied? It was stressful and worrisome. I didn’t feel that way about my daughter L, not only because she was the second in line (we’d already done it so I knew what to expect) but she was much easier to adjust to things at the time. But, again, it shows what a privileged life I lead – there are people in USA who have to worry about their kids and drive-by shootings, etc. I did not go to a great high school (it was half minority in a poor area and there were problems with gangs, etc.), but I did not have to raise my kids in that. I feel blessed. And I wish I could make it so no one had to raise their kids in that. The fact we have that in the USA is really unforgivable to us, our Leaders, and our top 1% who have retired and spend their days in luxury.
Was reading about the co-investor brother who sued the CEO brother for raising minimum salaries to 70K but lost now has to pay the CEO brother’s 1.2M in legal fees. I love that the brother was willing to put himself on the line to raise salaries, so am glad to see from the distance that he won. Anyway, I was wondering when civil law suits started, so perused WIkipedia about this.
Ancient Rome had fairly comprehensive laws in place for the process for various civil suits. In time, this continued with the Byzantine (i.e. Eastern Roman) Empire, and continued into Europe into the Middle Ages. Germany and Anglo-Saxon cultures had civil cases, but in the case of English cultures the money went to the king as a penalty (and for extra revenue). If I understand the reading correctly, it was about the 18th century when civil lawsuits as we know them began to take shape.
It is so important – in Business Development as much as anything — to get into a flow at work, where I become highly productive with minimimal distractions. Part of the keys to doing this in Business Development is to get the ducks in a row — get a list of Decision Makers together, develop the message, anticipate the common questions and have collateral ready at the finger tips to send quickly if they ask before scheduling the next steps. Today I am in a groove – I am making calls, reaching out to people, have everything at my finger tips. It is awesome!!!
It is much harder to get into a flow with larger companies, where there is a tide of crushing emails taht arrive, where there are endless numbers of meetings and conference calls, and lots of reports. This is especially true in Sales, where so many Sales people don’t know how to actually keep things going through email, so want to have a “quick chat” that disrupts flow. I love email because I can let it sit until I have a moment to review it between other things, so in essence it makes it easier to have flow – not just for me, but for everyone. QUick chats are rarely just quick chats, and they often put a barrier between what might otherwise be flow.
Confession: I love Grand Theft Auto. It is the only video game I’ve played as an adult, and liked it so much I went out and purchased a used console and a new game. I play the open world, meaning I race Franklin around the city, making up little games for myself as I go. Tonight I made a game of chasing taxi cabs. It was wild — racing through the streets, ramming cars, cars exploding, pedestrians leaping out of the way, things on fire… It was hilarious… But here is the thing: in real life, I am almost always a gentle and non-violent person (I am even against the death penalty and refuse to watch porn since I believe it is exploiting youjng women that we should empowering rather than objectifying), but love racing my car through the streets of GTA, causing wonton destruction, laughing hysterically the entire time. I asked my therapist about it – should I be concerned that I enjoy the game so much? He pointed out what a kind and caring person I am, and if my outlet is a couple of hours of GTA, that is okay. So, tonight was a fun night of blowing things up, and tomorrow I return back to my normal kind/polite self. (Note: I am exceptionally polite, except when I am truly angry, and is something my therapist tried to tone down (i.e. to be less openly friendly and polite), but he finally gave up – it is how I am wired, and I have a hard time not being friendly and polite 🙂 ).
Today, on the way home, noticed one woman playing with her hair with one hand and holding her cell phone with the other – how was she steering?? At a crowded bus stop, 11 out of 18 people were heads down on their cell phones.
the orange clad preschool class I saw a month ago swooped into the bus in their way to another field trip. They were chanting and singing and clapping hands – how awesome would it be if adults were nearly as excited to ride the bus 🙂
As part of my ongoing attempt to walk throughout the day — not just in the morning — I walked to the local park, circled the park twice, then walked back. All told, it took 40 minutes. I’m not certain of the distance,, but so far today I’ve walked 6.7 miles so it must be a little over 2 miles, perhaps closer to 3. I eat my lunch at my desk so I can carve out the time to walk, and I love it.
From time to time (beginning two years ago) my right arm will start acting wonky: it will twitch, the fingers will start closing on their own, etc. When it first happened I called the doctor and he wanted to see me right away but was full so referred me to a peer. She examined me at length and it was determined it was related to my C4 vert, which has spurs, probably related to my Ankylosing Spondylitis. Sometimes the arm is fine, but today it is twitching pretty badly, my fingers in particular. It is impacting my typing speed, since I am typing random keys when I type so must make a lot of corrections. 🙂
Meet John G. Five years the firm I was working at hired him as the Director of Operations, and put all of delivery and recruiting beneath him. He had previously been an unemployed Tester before moving into Test Management a few years earlier. Now, he was in charge of my delivery teams when I had a 7M book of business with several important clients.
From the get-go, he was a horse’s ass. After two months, we had no clue what he was doing, he made no commitments other than it might take up to a year to see changes, and he was calling in sick at least every two weeks. Then he started attending our three Partners’s weekly lunches, and everything began to change.
He hired a random consultant to start generating reports. Suddenly, what used to take a few minutes, took 15 minutes since we had numerous fields we had to complete. Then he had us go back two years in the system to implement changes. I complained to the owners, stating I was trying to generate revenue, not reports. We started getting data, but no improvements to delivery.
Then he implemented twice a week meetings, took away my dedicated Sales Engineer, and realigned all of delivery so they had specialties, which made 1 or 2 people happy (the ones with good specialties) but alienated the rest of delivery. Then he started changing our pricing structure, which impacted my sales efforts.
Then he took away my consultant (one that I hired) and assigned to one of his projects, but in doing so he alienated my clienbt, and this client canceled our project. Then, a month later, after I told this John G point blank not to give pricing to my client he did anyway, and because sales is a finesse game where you have to build credibility over time, he spooked the client by presenting a large price at once and they cancelled the budget.
I complained to management, but nothing changed. Still, everything might have been okay, I probably could have gotten rid of the guy, except I was diagnosed with lung disease and put on prednisone in the midst of all this. Now, what I didn’t realize is how much prednisone messes first with your brain, then with your energy, and suddenly I was too foggy headed and exhausted to think clearly although I could see whwat he was up to.
Frustrated (the entire staff was actually) by his destruction, and probably because I was stoned on prednisone, I quit. THe next week, I’m certain because I’d left, they whacked several members of the delivery team, primarily the ones I’d endorsed.
In the near term, of course, profits skyrocketed. After all, they were still billing for my clients, but no longer had to pay my compesnation. But that was temporary, of course, and before long John was in hot water. But leveraging his trumped up success at this company, he somehow talked himself into a Sr. Dirctor position at a midmarket firm before he could be fired. Two years later, he is still there, in no small part I am sure because he is spending his time keeping his job rather than providing value.
The lesson here is a few fold. Primarily that good things can happen to bad people, although some day it might catch up to him. And that in Corporate America, it is not necessarily about working hard or being valuable — it is about positioning. WHich is part of the reson I am loving my current role working with a specialty and smaller firm — far less politics and backstabbing.
Trump is in Everett today, which at one time was dominated by Boeing. But there are rumors that Boeing will start making planes overseas. We have so many working poor, yet continue to funnel business overseas, which costs US jobs and allows a few Execs to pocket the profits at the expense of the average American. Additionally, globalization can’t be great for global warming and our food supplies (like the Ocean). So at some point, this will end. Humans will die from global warming or there will be war that shuts it all down, so that hopefully centuries from now this is seen as a short-term blip – or not remembered at all since we store all our records in cyberspace, which means a catastrophe will eradicate all these files. Anyway, I continue to feel discouraged but also encouraged that the world will survive the greed and this isn’t sustainable beyond a few generations.
As the men prepare to attack Peilelu (spelling?) in With the Old Breed, I am thinking about the movie 60 Seconds Over Tokyo, in the incredible scene where the pilot is dreaming while his leg is being amputated. He is dreaming of Christmas (I think), and outside the window in his dream his family is cutting down a tree, a symbol of his leg. It is a powerful scene and symbol, and one of the many reasons I love movies, for their ability to develop a walloping yet subtle image. I first watched that movie at my dad’s dad’s house with my sister and grandpa; I loved staying with my grandpa, since even before the days of VCR and on-demand television he had a knack for introducing my sister and I to old-and-wonderful black-and-white movies in general and war-films in particular. I still remember watching Beau Geste with he and my grandma just a few short months before my grandma died – I loved that film.