Tim’s Rants

If It Doesn’t Fit, You Can’t Sit

When the Bible said, “And God created man in his image,” I never took that to mean to be just plain stupid. But, this past weekend I had reason to question our existence as intelligent beings on this planet.

I have already written about my trip back home from Syracuse to Boston. This a continuation of my most recent post. It is something I had to add, just to get it off my chest. Let me start by asking a simple question. Why do we do stupid things fully knowing that they are stupid?

Flying today has to be one of the least enjoyable methods of modern transportation. I have never had to pleasure of travelling in Europe on their trains but, from what I have read and what people had told me, it is far better than our domestic flights.

Flying domestically, has become a pure test of our endurance not to mention our willingness to subject oneself to an essential level of embarrassment often for the amusement of sadistic people who work for the TSA. You cannot convince me these people are at all interested in making sure we have an enjoyable flight. I have come to believe it is a requirement to be a borderline cretin to work at the TSA. Ok, not all TSA employees are that bad, but it is akin to Diogenes quest for an Honest Man. But enough about the TSA I think you get my point.

My rant has to do with people who fly and know that their carry on will not fit in the overhead bin, but make a Herculean effort to force it in.

On my return trip I watch a woman do everything she could to force her oversized bag into the overhead bin. The minute she placed it in the bin, it was obvious that it would not fit. It was obvious to all the people behind her it would not fit; it was obvious to the flight attendants it would not fit (why they let her try was mystifying) It was evident to everyone but her.

Finally realizing she was fighting a losing battle, she announced she needed a ticket for her bag. This meant she and her oversize bag had to squeeze past all the people she was delaying, and go to the front of the plane to have her bag checked. While watching this spectacle, I found myself asking, why was she ignoring the obvious, her duffel bag wasn’t going to fit, and she knew it.

I realize that I will never get the answer to that question, but, I realize this, God is a jokester at heart, he gave us the ability to think, but far too many of us never seem to engage our brains, thus giving him some great laughs.

© Timothy A. Wilson All Rights Reserved


Does Flying Have To Be So Bad?

Let me start by saying something that I’m sure most people know, flying commercial totally sucks. Now having said that I have to follow it up with this, it is because we want cheap air fairs, and more flights are the reason flying sucks.

Yesterday I was coming back from Syracuse. I had to take a Jet Blue flight from Syracuse to JFK and a connecting flight from JFK to Logan. Both flights lasted all of 45 min flight time. But it required a two-hour layover at the JFK airport. Fine, I can deal with that. After all, that is what I paid for. There are no direct flights to Syracuse from Boston.

But, when I found myself in desperate need of coffee and something to eat, this is where the height of craziness set in. Long lines to get to Dunk’n Donuts®. Yeah, I get it everyone likes their coffee. But there are no cashiers just order takers. It was the same line for those who wanted a sandwich from Boars Head Cheese. Why not separate lines, after all they are two different businesses offering different items? Then there was the checkout line. It moved along ever so slowly.

When I got close enough to see why, it was because only one person was at the cash register. But, and this is where it really makes no sense, there were five unmanned registers. The checkout line is getting longer and longer, and one young lady at the only open register. She is working as fast as she can but barely keeping up. Finally, another person comes sauntering along talking on her cell phone and opens a second register. Now, there are two registers open, but, the line is getting longer by the minute. I know there is a process in queuing theory that talks about optimization around the number of registers and the length of the queue. But theory be damned, take care of the paying customers, open all the cash registers.

JFK is one the busiest airports; it stands to reason plenty of people will want something to eat, it makes no sense for to have only one register open for what will be a constant flow of people streaming through the get the sustenance they need to tolerate the wretchedness of a domestic flight.

People are already irritable from the treatment they suffer at the hands of the airline they are flying on, why add to it will stupid dumbass management decisions to have as few lines as possible open to take money?

I guess that is what you get when all management cares about is the bottom line and not real customer satisfaction.

© Timothy A. Wilson All Rights Reserved

HAPPY NEW YEAR – Goals not Resolutions

I remember when I was younger time seem to pass ever so slowly. Always wanting and waiting to be older than I was. Now that I am in my sixties time flies by ever so quickly and I just want things to slow down.

We are about to close out another year and start a new one, tomorrow it will be 2015 and hopefully it will be a year of good fortune for you and your family. It is my sincerest hope that the New Year will bring you joy and happiness in all your endeavors and that you accomplish the goals – not resolutions – you set for the year.

Starting the New Year out with a set of resolutions you know that you are not going to keep is just going along with a meaningless tradition. Why not change it and set one or two goals that will stretch you but are not impossible to reach. Considered a couple of factoids; 80% of U.S. families have not bought a book this year, if they have 57% of those purchased books are not completed.

Now, if you set a goal to read and complete at least one new book every month. You remove yourself from two statistics, not buying a book, and not completing it. But, here is the real stretch, writing a short book report for your own use on what you learned from the book, and how you might apply your newly gained knowledge. Think about that for just a minute. You acquire some new information and knowledge, that you can share at the office, at networking events, or when you are with friends and family. You become a more interesting person. You might even give the Dos Equios Most Interesting Man, some competition.

Resolutions, are for those who want an excuse and an easy way out for not wanting to commit to real improvement. Alan Weiss talks about improving 1% a day and in 70 days you will be twice as good. He calls it, “The 1 percent solution ™.” The basic idea behind his solution is working on improving yourself through enhancing your knowledge and skills by doing and participating in activities that increase your knowledge and establish you as an expert. Resolutions will not do that, clear goals with measurable outcomes will. In our example of reading a book a month and documenting what you learned from it, and then, implementing what you learned, is what will aid in you becoming twice as good.

One final point. As with resolutions we have the tendency to make a lot of them which is another reason why we never complete them. Setting too many goals can lead to similar outcomes. Best to limit the number to what you know you can realistically accomplish. Having a bunch of things written on a piece of paper may look good, but looking good on paper is not the objective. What you want is realistic completion. You know that level of satisfaction that comes when you have completed a difficult task. It is a feeling of accomplishment. You set out to do something and you did, it feels good. It provides the motivation to take on something even more challenging. So it is best to set a measured amount of goals for the year. Each one a bit more challenging than the last.

Ok, my annual rant about New Year’s resolutions. The most important thing about moving forward in a New Year is this, Stay safe and Happy New Year!

© Timothy A. Wilson All Rights Reserved

Tim’s Rant – Who Says You Have The Right To Recline Your Seat?

Traveling today is a real pain especially if you have to fly.

I’m old enough to remember when flying was a real treat. No problems with leg room, food was ok, service was excellent and on long flights the inflight movie was there for your enjoyment. Not today. The way airlines pack people on flights now, they can give sardine packers lessons. So it’s no wonder that air range has broken out on flights over reclining one’s seat.

Three flights were diverted because people were getting into shall we say, “Rigorous negotiations” over their inability to recline their seats because of something called The Knee Defender. A product when place in the seat tray prevents the seat in front of you from reclining. Around since 2003 and even though banned by most airlines it hasn’t stopped people from using it. You would think if this product has been in use since 2003 we would have had more than the three recent reports.

Why are people are becoming so enraged they feel it’s permissible to deprive someone of their right to recline their seat, or that throwing a glass of soda as claim by James Beach who was the center of the first situation, is acceptable behavior on an airplane. As I said at the outset traveling today by air is a real pain.

Those who regularly fly for business have more savory words for it. All I can say is those of you who fly regularly for your company you have to figure out a way to fly first class it’s the only way you’ll beat this and be at your best in front of the client.

I suppose I would say this to you managers who expect your people to fly on a regular basis for you, if you want them to be on top of their game and present the best image possible of the company isn’t it worth a few dollars more to pay for a first class ticket? Think about it you spend more on toner and paper for your copiers.

If not, then expect them to be late to appointments because what recently happen is the tip of the iceberg. We will soon see more flights diverted because of this pending pent up frustration. People who feel they have to work will want to protect their knees and prevent damage to their laptops by those inconsiderate passengers who mistakenly believe their paid for ticket gives them the right to recline their seat and relax during the flight.

Just remember Ms. / Mr. Manager, the cost of a diverted flight may be in your future.

© Timothy A. Wilson All Rights Reserved

People It’s Just Snow

It’s snowing outside. Why is that important? It isn’t, but you wouldn’t know it from all the fuss most local TV stations are making over this current storm. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact they come on to discuss local travel conditions and point out that if we don’t have to travel it’s best to stay home and allow those plowing to do the jobs unencumbered. But, to repeatedly be talking about this storm, for that matter any storm, the way they do is a bit much.

Perhaps it’s the fact that the roots for many here in Massachusetts is that of farming that so many are obsessive with the weather. Or as told by friends, the reason so many meteorologists love working here is our constant changing weather patterns. Whatever the reasons are, I only have this to say, it’s just snow people. It’s winter and during winter you have snow. Sometimes a lot of it, sometimes not so much. Since we live in part of the region that snow is common, unlike Atlanta, we should be used to the fact that during the month of February it’s going to snow.

At this point I have to be honest. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to snow, I grew up in Syracuse. We have a saying there, ‘you put your garbage cans out in October and might find them in April.’ Growing up in Syracuse during the fifties, we would get regular blizzard 78 snow falls. This amount of snow currently talked about would be considered a dusting and would only get a brief mention from the weather forecaster. As far as, closing schools, it would never happen. The belief was if the snowplow could get through kids could go to school. I prayed for school to be closed during a snow storm, but my prayers always went unanswered. I remember a storm so bad I was sure the powers to be would call a city-wide school closing I didn’t study for a test. Let’s just say I failed the test.

Ok, I’ll admit to little bit of embellishment, Ok, a lot, but, I still don’t get all the paranoia by all the local TV stations with the their constant coverage of the snow storms, regardless of how much of the white stuff is left behind. This is New England, not Atlanta, we should be used to it by now, and after all it’s just snow.

© Timothy A. Wilson All Rights Reserved

My Rants

This is the second month of the New Year and I have yet to rant about anything well here are just a few things that have gotten my goat up.

Rant 1: The time spent on being upset that Beyonce lipped synched the National Anthem at the inauguration. Why was this even an issue, especially when it has been done by a number of people? Are our memories so short that we forgot that Yo-Yo Ma used a recording when he played at the President’s first inauguration? People didn’t get upset about that, so why so much time both in print and on the air spent on this? How did endless discussion about this advance other issues of importance of say, unemployment, the need to fix our failing infrastructure?

Rant 2: I realize it may be too much to hope for, but, can we have a moratorium on the reporting of stupid conspiracy theories. I realize there those who want to blame the president for everything that is wrong, but attributing the 34 minute black out during the super bowl to his push from green energy is beyond ridiculous. It’s amazing that this hasn’t happen sooner. With ever increasing needs for electrical power it’s no wonder that our entire electrical grid needs a major overhaul. We have 11.5% of our highway bridges that are structurally deficient. Meaning that 1 out the 3 major components are rated 4 or less, with 9 being the best score for each component. So the next time you’re driving over bridge you might want to ponder that instead of wasting time on these ridiculous conspiracy theories.

Rant 3: Dell is going private. I need to be careful about this one as I’m typing this on my Dell laptop, as there may well be some software I don’t know about that will suddenly shut down my computer if I say anything bad about the company. Well, secret software not to worry because I have good things to say, as I’m happy with my laptop and when needed found the service to be great. But, I can’t wonder now that it’s been announced that the company will be going private what the employees will be thinking and how they will be dealing with customers. When you have the level of turmoil (and Dell has had its share) it impacts employees. Their focus is more internal (like 85%) and less external. This move may stave off Wall Street but, it doesn’t relieve the employee’s anxiety level, and that will be transferred to Dell customers. I already read a number of comments on this announcement and most where critical and dismissive of customer service. Mr. Dell needs to address his customer service issue even while this deal is being finalized. We don’t know what his plans for the company are, but they best include revamping customer service according to the comments I read.

Final rant of the day: Verizon. When I call to check on something, please stop trying to sell me stuff that I don’t want or need. I’m calling for a specific problem, not to order a new case for my phone that I can get cheaper from Amazon.com. I just want you to deal with the problem I’m calling about and not try to up sell me. To Verizon management, this is not good customer service it’s annoying. Find some other metric to measure your call center people on, the customers deserve it and so do your employees.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2013. All Rights Reserved

The End Of The World Mayan Style This Time

Either by the time, you read this you will be in heaven enjoying the fruits of heavenly bliss or – as I expect most people will – going about your normal business completely unaware that you missed the most important event in mankind history, the end of the civilization as we know it according to the Mayan calendar.

The hype around this event – death and destruction – is similar to announcements that leaders make about changes that are to take place in their company. Often these announcements are preceded with a lot of hype and fanfare attempting to convey things will be different.

We all have been involved with the announcements about a new product or service that will make things so much better. You get the communication roll out, the write up in the company newsletter, and the company president extolling the new features and benefits of the system. Only to have it be a total dud, and everyone begging for the old application to be brought back. Think New Coke.

It’s amazing how an interpretation of an ancient prophesy told to a group of individuals who ripped out the hearts of not only their enemies, but friends and family just for good measure, has got so many accepting their interpretation of an event that may or may not happen. Quite a few have given up all their possessions and waiting for the end of the world to happen at midnight on December 21, 2012. When the event doesn’t happen as predicted, there will be a whole lot of people disappointed, angry, and feeling foolish because of being lied just like those who listen to 89-year-old Harold Camping who predicted the end of the world last year.

Leaders have a responsibility to communicate effectively with their people, but they have to do this honestly and minimize the hype and present things in context of truthfulness.

On the 21st of December I will be flipping through the channels and don’t expect to see any major disasters taking place unless I happen to see one of the best monster movies ever Gorgo – you have to keep in mind I was 11 at the time, check out the clip http://youtu.be/jf9lQ7OvRYY. Now there was some world-class destruction.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2012. All Rights Reserved

I’m Back!

I’ve been missing in action for the past several months. It’s been six months since my last post and I am sorry for that. I could say that I was taking a long vacation, traveling to exotic locations. But those who know me know that never happened. However, if you deduced he was caught up in the election, then you would be correct.

I spent too much time reading everything I could about this last election. I even considered turning my blog into my personal political rant pages. But I didn’t for a number of reasons but the foremost was, my political views are mine and mine alone, it’s not for me to foist them on others. Having sat through a number of conversations about politics and religion, I learned at a young age, you keep these two subjects to yourself. Besides, you can learn a great deal just by listening to what is and what isn’t said. But, the election took me off my game and caused me to lose sight of my reason for starting this blog, which is to simply share my thoughts and ideas on management and leadership.

Now that the election is over, I will be looking to continue on my original goal of writing about management and leadership. However, the election does provide ample examples of both. So, from time to time, I will be making a political reference but not in the manner of support or non support for either candidate, but just as examples from which we can learn.

Also, some recent developments have inspired me to move forward on a set of projects I’ve let languish for some time. I will be posting more on becoming a corporate star in 90 days along with thoughts on diversity in the workplace.

Be assured there will be the occasional rant after all it is my blog.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2012. All Rights Reserved

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 4 other subscribers

  • Calendar

    July 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « May    
  • Now Reading

    Planned books:

    Current books:

    • Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It

      Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It by Marshall Goldsmith

    • A Stake in the Outcome: Building a Culture of Ownership for the Long-Term Success of Your Business

      A Stake in the Outcome: Building a Culture of Ownership for the Long-Term Success of Your Business by Jack Stack, Bo Burlingham

    • The Leadership Challenge, 4th Edition

      The Leadership Challenge, 4th Edition by James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner

    • Million Dollar Coaching: Build a World-Class Practice by Helping Others Succeed (The Issues Collecti

      Million Dollar Coaching: Build a World-Class Practice by Helping Others Succeed (The Issues Collecti by Alan Weiss

    • World Class Diversity Management: A Strategic Approach

      World Class Diversity Management: A Strategic Approach by R. Roosevelt Thomas

    Recent books:

    View full Library

  • Copyright © 1996-2010 T.A.Wilson & Associates. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress
    %d bloggers like this: