Customer Service is an Art

It’s an art that doesn’t pay that much hence the artists are often not of Rembrandt calibre.

This past Friday, I thought hmmm, let’s stop into xyz hotel and get a glass of wine and maybe dinner after work. Great, the lounge menu at reception mentioned a special on the house red at $5.50 and I thought….that would work.  We’ll stop in and see what’s also on the menu.

There’s like three parties in the whole place of which I am one.  Couple of gents sit down at the next table over and one seems to have a cold.  I’m none too impressed having just got over one.

Linguini was average at best.  Guy next table over isn’t exactly protecting others from his germs.  I figure – okay I’m outta here.  One server has three whole tables to work but I find myself standing for an inordinate amount of time at the till waiting for him to show up.  I figure okay…..he has other tasks on a slow Friday night.  Upon tracking him down out in the restaurant area he comes over and rings up the bill.  He tells me the tab and I ask, “are you sure that’s correct.”  He says yes.  $9 for the wine and $16 for the linguini.  Oh. So you are certain you are correct.  He says yes again.  I say – hmm.  I thought I read $5.50 for the wine on the advertisement at the entrance.  Then he walks over to check it and comes back and exclaims, “oh you are right – I never work Friday nights”.  I can’t even describe the tone in his voice the first time he exclaimed he was right.

I know…you can’t count how many times this has happened to you.

Lance Armstrong Debacle

Since he keeps showing up in the news, let’s pontificate the Lance Armstrong debacle.  This man lied consistently for years and apparently would never have come clean had he not been caught.  He can apologize all he wants but this was not a misstep.  It was the ultimate in a calculated effort to cheat himself, his competitors, his sport, and his country.  He had children stricken with cancer believing he was a hero and a model member of society worthy of emulation.  Most want to forgive transgressions but I’d leave bicycling and competitive sport to those who have trained clean all their lives in pursuit of an athletic dream free from performance enhancing drugs and / or treatments.  Armstrong will be in a much better position to receive redemption in a contribution to society that no longer involves sport. 

Corporate Culture Revisited

Looking back on an old corporate culture is never the healthiest way to grow your business but there are lessons you have taken forward and there are delights to pontificate from past work environments in which you will never again be required to tolerate.  When you call the shots, there are people you have left behind.  There were those who gossiped incessantly.  There were those who had a snooty disposition strutting a one upmanship display of ego.  There were those who skipped basic training in etiquette.  There were those who thought they knew so much but hadn’t read from a book of n0n-fiction in years.  There were those who treated others indignantly and then sought respect.  There were those who did the work and there were those peculiarly familiar with management.

The entrepreneur despises a corporate culture of dysfunction…so much so that if heeded positively can turn into a primary motivating force precipitating a life long journey of commercial liberty.  “The pilgrims with Columbus did not board up on three ships and come to America to get a job.”  – Dave Severn

Washington Gridlock

I’m not really sensing that the Republicans are heeding the election results given the continuing saga of Washington gridlock.  The U.S. is due to raise taxes on 98% of the populous come January 1, 2013 yet the perpetual feet dragging remains.  The scuttle butt on Capitol Hill has everything to do the words of one diplomat on a Sunday talk show instead of a solution to this impending fiscal cliff.  I suggest that these overpaid bickering politicians get off their rusty dusty and start solving the nations financial affairs because as of this day every man, woman and child owes less than friendly nations something in the neighborhood of $55,000 and counting every single day.  Liberals will argue that this is sustainable.  Right wing radicals will complain that the slightest tax increase to those earning over $250,000 per year will be a curse to the trickle down economic theory as espoused by them to be the magic bullet which will ultimately relieve the nation of its fiscal woes.

The political establishment and its cronies which spend too much time giving an ear to corporate lobby groups and too little time drafting simple common sense legislation that works are now in a quandary because the legislative houses are still split down the middle again with too little power granted the President as a tie breaking convener of the people.  It’s ironic that every single U.S. politician I’ve ever witnessed who has commented on the founder’s intention and the mastery of the constitution has basked in the brilliance of the document but here sits a nation in financial peril with much blame assignable  to Washington’s dysfunction at the legislative level.

Could the United States of America go broke?  Is it already broke?  What are the consequences of default?  Is the monetary system as we know it going to collapse? There have been many bright alternative economic prognosticators who have been asking theses questions since the first noticeable uptick in the gold prices.  Now it appears that the mainstream economic think tanks are finally starting to give credit to those who have been beating the drum of fiscal responsibility for years even prior to the Iraq war.

I’m currently reading James Rickard’s Currency Wars.  This fellow had been retained by the CIA to conduct war games given the hypothesis of a destabilizing world monetary system.

Ceroc in Calgary

It’s been very fun to learn ceroc in Calgary.  Beginners are welcome to every class of this U.K form of modern jive every Monday up in the Thorncliffe community centre and at the Barn in Shawnessy on Tuesdays.  Darren and Claire have a colorful history giving lessons back in England.  Calgary is lucky to have them and you will too because ceroc can be danced to so many genres of music.  It’s all predicated on an eight beat even count and there’s a tremendous variety of tunes that fits this rhythm.  These easy going instructors promote basic patterns at the start of every session.  Then there’s a breakout to more intermediate moves once the hall starts to whisper with the whirl of dancers gliding to the delight of select medleys prepared by Darren.

Come alone because partners rotate throughout the evening or bring that special someone whom will thank ye for a great night out.

Ultimate Autonomy

As you know, at a “job”, they’ll only pay you the least amount it takes to retain you. Employees are on the wrong side of capitalism and they will never be paid what they are worth working for someone else. Blooming entrepreneurs are the ones at work that consciously ridicule the water cooler gossip. They are the ones that see problems as challenges. They are constantly looking for better ways to do things and get more productivity out of the day. Blooming entrepreneurs compete to win and stand front and centre in the face of adversity. They fight for what’s right and have a concise vision for implementing common sense solutions. Their sense of esteem is unwavering and unyielding. Their leadership qualities grow in the context of inevitable criticism directed from the contented class. Emerging entrepreneurs begin to learn the satisfaction in nudging the train from its course and ultimately arrive at a destiny shaped by their inner self rather than circumstance of the work place.

 

Are you an emerging entrepreneur? Below are some signs.

 

  • You are an enigma, isolated at times
  • You still cringe upon witnessing displays of office politics
  • You believe you can do things better than management
  • A little voice continues to ask why you make such compromises
  • You scheme in your mind while executing the tedious tasks
  • Your spouse senses dissatisfaction in your being

Proud To Be in the X Section

The Stampeders game last night was something to behold. I’ve never seen fans like those carrying Rider pride from Saskatchewan. They pretty much consumed our X section at McMahon last night….and they got just what they came for. It was looking a little bleak for them after a touchdown was called back with time becoming dear in the closing minutes but with the wind in their face, a well time throw put a galloping wide out in the end zone with a mere minute left on the clock and a one point margin of victory. I didn’t envy the event staff attempting to banish the rider pride flag waving.

The wind gusts that blew down the stage at Camrose’s Big Valley Jamboree last night briefly hit us in the stadium albeit with less intensity. Condolences to families affected by the event’s stage collapse at Big Valley and also the parents of the toddler downtown Calgary whom lost their young one due to falling building debris.

Thanks Anita

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”~Mother Teresa (Let’s Follow Her Lead). Thanks to Anita for her update.

Subscribers to Twitter are fabulous at digging up some stunning quotes. I appreciate their efforts. It’s a place for the banal and the brilliant depending on whom you “follow”. It’s remarkable the press that this new social cyber tool has attracted lately.

As a loyal follower to the Korelin Economics Report, I’d also like to congratulate Jay Taylor on the launch of his new radio program on Voice America. Jay appears regularly on BNN up here in Canada and his model portfolio (resource stocks with an emphasis on precious metals) has performed exceptionally well during this period of market instablility. This is a fellow that articulates his positions well and I look forward to seeing him live in Calgary on the weekend of April 4th when he appears at the Gold Show.

Settlers of The Cariboo

While sipping on a Sleeman last night and thinking about settlers of the Cariboo I pulled out an old book that I’ve been meaning to flip through that gives an historical account of the Wells /Barkerville area of B.C. Bill Hong took up the hobby of compiling his memoires in the ’70’s much to the appreciation of folks that follow the early days of gold mining. Things were a lot different back then. There weren’t the environmental laws on the books that now prevent alluvial excavations. “And So..That’s How It Happened” will likely be out of print now but it has some great old photos from the town of Stanley which no longer exists. Bill highlights some old tales of how the gold miners kept themselves entertained. He depicts all the different working in all the various creeks disbursed through the Barkerville region. In 1905, there were about 500 people in the town of Stanley during the summer months, 200 of which were of Chinese descent. Bill point out in his foreword that “the significance of the role of the Chinese have not properly been recognized” in the settling of these small mining communities.

Economic Excess

Mar 3, 09
Jaw dropping aberrations from capitalist norms have inundated the pysche of politicians, regulators, and market analysts alike whom have been examining economic excess. Who would have thought – other than legendary Richard Russel (founder of Dow Theory) that the indexes would see these levels today? On second thought, I guess that Ian Gordon has been talking this up for a good while along with Jim Willie and Doug Casey. I know – good chance you’ve never heard of them because they were all considered unworthy of attention due to some screws being loose. Funny what unfolds away from the fold. The only mantra that hasn’t yet come to fruition for these mavericks of market musings is skyrocketing junior gold share prices and consistent four figure bullion. Obviously still a developing story.