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February 16, 2007

I’m loathe to start a speed link section like so many other bloggers, but I’m ensnared by the possibility that information that some readers might want to know about is passing them by while I wrestle whether to write a long or short post about some of these items. So here is my first attempt at speed-linking with brief explanations.

  • Brian Bailey has a new book called The Blogging Church: Sharing the Story of Your Church Through Blogs. I’m really looking forward to getting this and reading this as soon as time, money, and family allow. Thanks to Merlin Mann for pointing this out. Merlin is a contributor to the book.
Posted in: General & Blogging & Management & Music
November 20, 2006

Just got an email from Lee Macenczak, Executive Vice President of Sales and Customer Service. Delta seems bent on insulting my intelligence. Maybe everyone’s intelligence. With a title like that, Mr. Macenczak’s email smells full of spin and farce. They can always fire him, so I imagine that is why no real operatives at Delta signed their name to this public relations workhorse.

Posted in: Management & Saving Money
November 06, 2006

You gotta wonder about Delta SkyMiles. LifeHacker recently turned me on to a great new site called Points.Com. It allows you to easily swap and redeem points earned from one program to another. The site has garnered the cooperation of every major airline, and lots of major retailers, like Best Buy, Amazon, Target, and many others.

Ideally, when your crazy uncle gives you a gift card to a store that isn’t even in your town, you can now go online and swap that card for something you might more readily use. There are lots of online points earning programs that are exchangeable at Points.Com as well. I’m surprised no one has done this earlier.

Posted in: Management & Saving Money
July 21, 2006

You should hire me if…

  • you are looking for someone who is talented and a quick learner.
  • you are in need of a technical minded person.
  • you appreciate ideas and creativeness as much as you appreciate quality work.
  • you want a person you can trust to get a job done - someone you don’t have to watch every minute.
  • you want an employee who cares about his work and what it represents to the firm.
  • you are looking to grow a quality team with more quality people.
  • you believe teamwork is only as good as the individual contributions of the team members.
  • your company is a steady or growing company with good ideas and decent potential.
Posted in: Management
July 20, 2006

If you read my previous comments on an article called the Top 10 Ways to Motivate Geeks, you might be interested in Nate Kohari’s personal take on a little reverse psychology: The Top 10 Ways to De-Motivate Geeks. That’s right - to demotivate them.

Sort of reminds me of my favorite company Despair, Inc., who has for their website address http://www.demotivators.com/. They are sort of a Dilbert-esque take on the old Successories posters that were interesting for about 8 months before they got old. Despair, Inc’s posters are the ones I’d really like to see more often.

Posted in: Management
July 17, 2006

The Retrospector has posted the Top 10 Ways to Motivate Geeks at work. I couldn’t possibly agree more. I think I’ve finally realized why some employers hate me. They aren’t geeks! They want what geeks can bring to the table, but they don’t know how to manage geeks.

By this I mean that they want geeks to “fix” things in their little office world… make them more efficient, make their jobs easier, make them profitable, etc. But, they don’t want to pay us what we are worth - not in $$$ per se, but in these ten motivations listed by The Retrospector.

Posted in: Management
July 11, 2006

Techdirt recently wrote about some of the dilemmas facing movie theater owners. I thought I’d give away a few of my secret ideas. The rest stay in my head until some theater owner pays me for them.

I don’t want to give away every idea of mine, but since you are on the subject… here’s what theater owners need to do to fight back — and quit blaming Hollywood.

1. First realize we are in a ADHD society. Movie times like 7:40, 7:55, etc are for the 1960’s, not the year 2010. First theater owner who can GUARANTEE that every movie starts on EVERY top of the hour wins the city. No more calling those ridiculous recordings, looking at tiny invisible newspapers ads (who reads the papers?), and surfing your favorite ticket site (which is sometimes wrong). You just show up at 4:00 and pick a movie. Simple - and no advance planning needed.

Posted in: Management & Ideas
June 30, 2006

Allstate Floridian, a subsidiary of Allstate Corporation, was originally formed in 1996, in the political aftermath of Hurricane Andrew that struck Florida in 1992. It’s purpose was to be a stand-alone company that would help to isolate its parent corporation from severe catastrophe losses in Florida. After years of chaos in the Florida property market, the creation of a state-mandated and state-funded property market, and the insolvency of nearly a dozen property insurers (including others that left the state before insolvency), the Florida marketplace for property insurance was significantly desolate.

Allstate, looking to keep its profitable auto insurance business alive in Florida, resolved to solve this problem with the creation of an entirely separately-capitalized company. It would have its own ratings, its own funding, and most importantly, Allstate Floridian’s losses would stay with Allstate Floridian - ideally, not affecting the millions of other policyholders around the country.

Posted in: Management & Florida Life
April 02, 2006

Under the “Why didn’t I think of this?” category, I found about this guy, Tom Locke, who decided to use a roll of stamps and mail letters to 100 different companies asking them for free stuff. He has received all sorts of things back, but what I find typical of mis-managed companies is what some of the companies wrote back in their rejection of his request. Amazing. Tom includes all the text of his letters, each individually tailored to each company he wrote to. My favorite letters of Tom’s are the ones he wrote to Energizer (hysterical), Subway, and Industrial Tool & Die. While some cool companies sent him a few coupons or a free product sample, a special few sent him some big time stuff. Fellowes sent him 4 cans of compressed air! What? I pay through the nose for that stuff. It’s like crack to a techie.

Posted in: Websurfing & Management & Ideas
March 24, 2006

I’ve noticed lately a trend on businesses to put a “No Soliciting” sign on their doors. It used to be that this sign was reserved just for very professional upscale offices where an intrusion by an unseemly “solicitor” just as that big shot client was waiting to be served could have an adverse affect.

However, now I see it on hair salons, delis, small insurance offices, and dog grooming stores. Oddly, I’ve noticed that the signs are actually more common in areas that are in older, smaller shopping centers. How do I notice these things? I have the mind of an eagle… or maybe a hawk… whichever one can see the field mouse from a mile away. A falcon?

Posted in: Management
March 23, 2006

It is pretty easy to get an email address these days. Almost too easy. Yahoo, Google’s gmail service, and MSN all offer free email addresses. Almost everyone has one even if they use another one as their primary address. Recently, I’ve dealt with about a half-dozen people, both in my personal and professional lives, who seem to think email is just for receiving. They either let email pile up and respond at a later day, or more often, never respond at all.

Posted in: Getting Things Done & Management
March 15, 2006

As we all know, we will be solicited by Blockbuster employees to join a monthly payment plan. The fact that we are in their store, money in hand, checking out videos is no longer good enough for Blockbuster. To offer a monthly payment plan for those who like that sort of thing is understandable. But apparently, the corporate monkeys at the top of the Blockbuster empire have instructed their employee to spare no customer the simplicity of just “checking out”. We are to be harassed. I probably go to Blockbuster over 100 times a year. When I have money. And check out a DVD or two (or more). But in the eyes of Blockbuster corporate, I’m scum. Pond scum. Rebel scum. Here’s why.

Posted in: Management
March 13, 2006

When I worked at Allstate, my first job in the insurance industry, they published something called the Agency Service Standards. Yes, we all made fun of the acronym, too. Anyway, the idea was to publish a set of guidelines that would create a sense of uniformity for customers should they visit different agencies. Like all good ideas, it eventually turned into a bureaucratic monster and we all half-expected them to tell us which way to part our hair.

However, they published some interesting stuff and I’ve kept this one for over a decade. Why? Because when I read it, I immediately noticed how true it was, not only in insurance, but retail and other businesses as well. What continues to amaze me is that in the past ten years I have not yet come across one business that takes this seriously. Here’s in part what Allstate said:

Posted in: Management & Small Business
February 27, 2006

I read Michael Dell’s book when it came out. Mike is no slacker. But as it goes, I doubt he understands the irony of what he is doing to Paul Dell who is being sued by Dell Corporation for his domain name, dellwebsites.com. Paul has agreed to accept financial support from folks who don’t like the idea of what Michael Dell is doing. If another Dell, let’s say “Ahmed Dell” for fun, had a big company making websites 20 years ago, when Michael was in college tinkering with computers in his dorm room, and Michael started “Dell Computers” on the net and registered dellcomputers.com and dell.com, wouldn’t he have been just a little annoyed to have Ahmed come sue him? I would think that Michael, an entrepreneur at heart, wouldn’t be so quick to buy into the feudal system of corporate America.

Posted in: Website Design & Management
September 29, 2005

Do you know what a “typical employee” is? Someone who just does enough to collect their paycheck. I’ve always thought the whole world should be paid on commission — even fast food employees. Let me take that back. Especially fast food employees.

I went down to Palm Bay City Hall to inquire about a business license. I had already read everything online, but noticed that to get a business permit for a “home office”, I could not be involved in the storage of “goods” at my home. The online information didn’t qualify what “goods”, so I wanted to find out what would be interpreted as “goods” since, technically, my “goods” were not for direct resale.

Posted in: Management