With a story I read today that pizza delivery places may start using self-driving cars, my first thought is another job that is taken away from people. In Sci-Fi movies and stories, machines doing all the work means humans have free time, bu the reality is it means 99% of humans work more since they can’t find work and the money crated from those machines pools at the top. They need to tax the shit out of machine automation for social programs.
My dad is a reasonable tipper, giving 20% as a rule. He also does the little things: once without saying a word, he quietly slipped to the front of the line to pay for my unemployed aunt’s sandwich. But he tells me I am an overtipper, which might be true. For example, he gave me 50 bucks to gamble on our vacation and luck was in my favor and that 50 turned into 200 or so, but I probably tipped away 50 of that through betting for the dealers, tipping them after I left the table, etc. And it is true that money is tight for us at times these days, since my illness depleted much of our savings. But the reality is I have so much to be grateful for, including the 50 bucks my day throws my way on a vacation he paid for. So I am happy to tip when I can, since we all should be sharing the wealth, not giving dimes when we have extra dollars but giving a dollar when we have two…
Daughter L made a friend on one of our days ashore. They spent the entire day talking, laughing and swapping stories. But at the end of the day, they forgot to exchange contact information, so all she had was the person’s first name, age and country of origin. But she wanted to reach that person again. What to do?
We called Guest Relations on the boat. Could they help us? No, they said. But we could try the Excursions desk. So I called the Excursions desk but we were put on hold. I tend to hate the phone anyway (I’d rather do face-to-face or by email), so I walked down to the Excursion desk. I told the story and asked if they could help us track down this person? No, the person said, only if we had the first and last name. Ugh. Later, that night, I went back to Guest Relations, and tried a final time. “We have the first name, age and the person’s nationality,” I said. “Isn’t there any way to search the database that way?” The young woman at the front desk thought for a moment. Let me try a few things, she said. And she took 5 minutes to search through her computer. “I think I found it,” she said. “There is only one 20 year old from that country on the ship.” She explained she couldn’t give us the name or the cabin number, but that she could call on our behalf or deliver a message to the room. So I sent our contact information to the room.
(Note: if this is a different format, it is not by choice 🙂 – I think I hit a random button that changed formatting for this paragraph). A half hour later, there was a knock on the door, and it was the friend. My daughter was happy, and it turns out the friend was happy – they were having the same dilemma and wanted to reach my daughter, and in fact had been searching the shiop for her. Both were happy, life was good, and all because one of three people took an extra effort to help us. She cared, she took 5 minutes to search, and she took 5 minutes to relay the message.
10-minutes is nothing. It is the time it takes me to shave, brush my teeth, floss and rinse off in the morning. But so many times it is difficult for most people to find an extra 10-minutes to go the extra mile for another person, especially when we are disgruntled with something else. But it is so important, not only for customer service and business, but primarily on a human being level – we all want to same like our needs matter.
I am very grateful to that person who helped us, and I sent a note to her employer that I hope expresses my apprecation in some small way,.
My parents attended a lecture on the history of Edinburgh (Scotland), and learned that (like many European cities) plague ravaged Edinburgh in the 16th and 17th centuries. At one point, Edinburgh asked people to stay inside and to hang a sheet on the door if they had the plague, so the plague doctor would know to visit their house. But the doctor died of (what else?) plague. So the city advertised for a replacement plague doctor, offering a lot of money for anyone willing to accept the role. One man did, and before stepping into homes designed a special leather suit with a breathing mask (a long beak stuffed with cotton with air holes at the end) to wear while treating patients. The doctor survived, and eventuallly the plague abated. But the city of Edinburgh was unable to pay, since they had expected the doctor to die of the plague so had not set money aside. The doctor never did receive his money.
Source: Lisa Didier, History of Edinburgh Scotland (lecture), 2016
Our ship was sailing out of the Netherlands, and for an extended stretch a two-lane road ran along the waterway. A man and a passenger trailed our ship on a motorcyle for the entire stretch, matching our pace. And for that entire stretch, the passenger on the motorcycle waved at our ship. I loved whoever that man and his passenger were, for taking 10 minutes out of their day to wave to fellow human beings they will never see again. It was a touch and human moment I’ll never forget. If I were a painter, it would be a scene I’d paint, and title “Ode To the Man On a Motorcycle In the Netherlands.”
Nick Saban is highly respected in the football ranks, and I read about him a little bit in The System and other sources (Google Search)…
He is known for his attention to detail – if a player is expected to put his hand on the line, he puts his hand on the line — period. He highly values conditioning, and has four strength and training coaches at Alabama while having intense conditioning work outs. He emphasizes that recdruiting starts with deciding who they should recruit, and has certain profiles he looks for. He is highly engaged on the field, making the rounds, and expects perfection. He is not afraid to bawl out a coach for not expecting perfection from the players, which in turn keeps the coaches tuned into the players. He is efficient, and has coaches down the ranks who scrutinize specific aspects of film looking for trends and schemes. He also flat out understands football.
I have fairly high energy and I like people who have high energy and good work ethic. But I have always been 80-90% on detail, figuring that for most things 80-90% is good enough,// and I’ll compensate for the 10% with extra work effort. In all honesty, I could not — and would not — want to be Nick Saban, to man the details so closely in a football game, to spend most of my life worrying about a football game. I have a hard time taking life — and silly man-made details in life — that seriously, and enjoy a little more balance in life.
But I do respect that in NIck Saban. But then again, I am not sure that means he should be paid 5M a year. No one should be paid 5M a year. 🙂
There is a glass manufacturer who I’ve called into a few times, and the receptionist who answers the phone is a crack up. She sighs with annoyance when I ask to be transferred to a person, and the one time I didn’t hear what she said the exasperation in her voice was palpable. First, why the heck is she so rude on the phone — I’ve been a receptionist before and part of the the job is to answer phones. It is like a car mechanic getting annoyed if someone brings a car into the shop. 🙂 Second, why the heck is her employer putting her on the phones? She isn’t exactly making me want to buy my glass from her company 🙂 True, I am a Sales Guy by day, but then again, I am (at least I am rumored to be) a human being after my work day is done. Third, why would anyone want to be rude to people? Isn’t it easier to be nice and cheerful? It is exhausting being rude, in my book. Still, she does crack me up – I chuckle every time I have to give her company a call. And I feel sorry for her – it must be hard to go through life feeling annoyed all the time.