Things I’ve Been Thinking About

Lizard Brain
I have always taught my sales coaching and training clients that while experience is a wonderful teacher quite often other peoples’ experiences are even better.  They can save you a lot of time, money, heartache, etc. But with an exponential proliferation of opinions on all things (including mine) now available with a mouse click; I am concerned that people are substituting other peoples’ opinions for other peoples’ experiences. One is forged like a katana sword. The other is a personal viewpoint that may very well not be grounded in anyone’s reality.

With over 14 million Americans unemployed and many underemployed, I wonder why they aren’t screaming and marching in the streets. What’s different now from years past when people finally said, “Enough is enough!” and protested in huge numbers. It has never been easier to organize given all the social networking tools that we have today. And, yet, the unemployed are strangely quiet.  Have they given up as some pundits believe or are they waiting for things to turnaround? What’s your take?

Have you shopped for a mattress lately? The sales process is similar to how car dealers sold most of the last half of the 20th century. Cars were sold using a track system where customers were manipulated and passed from sales person, to sales manager, to finance and so on. Most customers came away feeling like buying a car was one of the most stress-filled and personally demeaning experiences possible. Sadly some car dealerships still use this system.  But it appears that all companies selling mattresses use something similar these days. Why is there always pressure to buy today when shopping for a mattress? And, why are there different prices and deals for different customers on the same day in the same stores? It’s all bogus! I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that the stores have their salespeople on straight commission. I understand we spend more of our lives in bed than our cars but it should not have to be the major, stress-producing decision mattress sellers make it. The first company that makes purchasing a mattress a pleasure is going to take over the market.

I was curious what would happen in the way of SPAM if I started using a different email address for most of my online activities. I found out very quickly. SPAM to that address went up at least 1000% I hope if hell exists that there is a very warm place reserved for spammers.

I wonder why so often the same politicians who sign Right to Life pledges are also the first ones to call for spending cuts to social programs and education once those children are born. Are they no longer of any value to them? Or is it they are no longer of any value politically to them. I believe it is the latter.

I’d like to move more of my coaching and education services to online video conferences. It makes sense from a time and productivity viewpoint for both my clients and me. But, I wonder about the nuances of body language that I’d lose with a typical Skype setup. On the other hand, I get an even closer look at facial expressions. And, since I use so many stories to teach, I wonder if they will still elicit the same attention and emotion that they do in-person. Who wants to test it out with me?

Reality shows are something I just don’t grok. On the other hand, I love catching the best reality shows in the universe from time-to-time. They are on YouTube. Friends send me videos of dancing dogs, wedding mishaps, bat-shit crazy politicians, insane musical performances, and the occasional ninja or zombie fighter. I never want for reality shows with YouTube around.

Have you made friends online that you can’t wait to meet in person? I’ve got a least a couple of dozen and my ideal way of meeting them would be to have all of them in the same place at the same time. I’d love to participate in and observe that party. Actually, I’d love to record all the conversations and stories. What a trip it would be. Can I make it happen? Absolutely! Get ready.

I have heard people say to friends and acquaintances “At least you have your health, “when hearing about something bad that has happened to them. I always thought it was a dumb thing to say because how did the person know the other person really “has their health?” They might be chronically ill and never show it. It happened to me over the last year or so and while I tried not to show how badly I was feeling; the last thing I wanted to hear was someone saying something stupid about my health. The good news is I’m feeling much better. And, I really appreciated the thoughts and actions of friends who knew and let me know they cared.

6 thoughts on “Things I’ve Been Thinking About”

  1. Re: rioting in the streets, we probably should be. Americans are bred & raised to prize comfort over freedom; even the unemployed have things they stand to lose. And most of us want back the very thing, perhaps, that caused a portion of the problem — our dependency on others, our ability to let someone else take care of our concerns and our path and our well being.

    Re: car sales, it gives me a thrill of glee to imagine never buying another car again, with all I’ve been using my bike to get around these days!

    1. I love the idea of electric bicycles and have been checking them out. The problem though with living where the horses and cow still graze are the distances I need to travel and the roads I’d have to use. We have a real car versus bike battle around here. In fact, there is a $25,000 reward right now for a hit-and-run driver who killed a guy riding his bike.

      You might be on to something with the idea that we are too dependent upon others. Waiting for someone else to take care of you is a recipe for creating a life of disappointment.

  2. Funny about the mattress, but scary in a way too. The last mattress I bought I planned to use in my van. The salesman, a young guy – maybe in his early 20’s and obviously uncomfortable in a plain white oxford shirt and tie – actually told me he “didn’t know if he could sell me a mattress I planned to put/use in my van.” He said, “I think that will invalidate the warranty.” WTF? I said, “Last I checked this was America and if I want to buy a mattress and put it in a tree-house, a tent or on a raft floating down the Ohio River I can do that and I don’t need your *permission.* He seemed confused. America is turning out sheep faster than we’re turning out the unemployed, which is why the unemployed aren’t protesting. They don’t know why they should, let alone how.

    1. There’s nothing to stop you from putting the mattress on a raft WITH some sheep. At least not that I know of right now but I could see PETA complaining.

      Speaking of sheep, here in Pennsylvania we have a new Republican governor, Tom Corbett, who was the previous Attorney General. He made all kinds of promises to get elected including enacting a 10 percent reduction in government administration operations. Instead of keeping his word, he approved a 10 percent wage increase over four years. He won’t meet with reporters, or the voters, and stays inside a bubble only coming out at public events where he knows the audience are his friends. And, he refuses to tax or charge any fees on gas fracking despite being the only state in the country not to do so and despite the fact the majority of PA residents want to see it happen. By the way, he has received millions of dollars in donations from the oil and gas industry but that has nothing to do with his “I won’t tax the gas and oil companies” stance that reeks from Harrisburg to Texas.

      Yet the sheep fall in line. Baaaaaaaa!

    1. Thanks Tom! All is well here. Speaking of sales people, I read an ad in our local paper just a few minutes ago for an “Interactive Sales Executive.” I love reading the sales ads in newspapers these days as they are always terrible jobs and most of them are jobs working for the newspaper itself.

      The one I read today calls for you to work from home (no support), travel 90% of the time and have “dependable transportation” (no mention of compensation for travel), and cold call continuously (no marketing support). And, you will have the pleasure of selling “integrated advertising solutions that combine targeted ads via Yahoo.” Whoopee! I bet there is a line for that job.

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