Saturday, March 29, 2008

Be Prepared for Murder in the Skies

You have got to be kidding me!

My eyes glaze over as I read this article and yearn to smack the jubilant gentleman in the photo. Airlines are one of our last cell-phone-free safe havens and the evil forces have begun to penetrate our holy space.

Of course, we all want to be 24/7 connected to everyone, but there comes a time when is becomes ridiculous. Think about it, it is already chaotic enough to have the crying baby two rows up, behind you you have the kid kicking your seat, and directly to your right the gentleman leaning into your personal space, now slap into the equation a person with a cell phone?! Houston, we have a serious problem.

Let us indulge in the pros of this first:
1) For the business travelers, they will be able to continue to be tied into their jobs. If there is a sudden change in proposals, quotes, news, they will not have a 2-5 hour empty window, so, ideally, productivity is increased.

2) I'm sure cell phone companies will find some way to make even more money off this, I'm not sure how yet (other than usage), but they will.

3).... Um, I do not think there is any, even #2 is a stretch. Please let me know if there are any others?

Let us eyeball the negatives:
1) As we become more and more connected, there has been talks of the law of diminishing returns. We are quickly approaching, if not all ready, the point where we are so connected we are not as efficient as we once were. With all the distractions that bombard us through the work-day, we lose track of what we're trying to do. For example, if you're on the flight and working on a proposal or even sleeping and your phone rings, who knows how long the conversation could go for and afterwards you will probably be side-tracked.

2) It is already bad enough when babies are crying, your neighbor to your left is drooling on you, and now, your neighbor on the right is going to be talking to who-knows-who about who-knows-what. Let's be honest, some of the topics people discuss in public now is stuff I do not want to hear about. What if your neighbor is a loud talker? Eek!

3) You may get assaulted. No more needs to be said.

Overall, on the business side of things, there are some potential benefits. Who knows what kind of events could transpire within those couple hours in the air cut off from the office. Having access to a phone could have huge perks, but when we begin to approach the line of overall respect for everyone and keeping a peace of mind, we have issues. Always being connected is not always a good thing, especially when it is not businessmen next to you, but the 16 year-old girl with boy problems...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

An Essay for a House?

Forget trying to earn the "A", earn the house!

As it seems every article we read, every news anchor's lead story, and every real estate agent's whine, the housing market is awful. People are not buying homes because they cannot sell the one's they currently reside in, it's expensive, or, they do not want to move into a cookie-cutter dwelling.

Thus, if you're supposed to be moving because of your job, need to escape your current locale, or your kid is so devastated by a school incident (getting pant'ds), you cannot, you are stuck. What are you to do? Your boss needs you on the other side of the country, the air in your area is causing you to choke, and your kid is no longer acknowledging you in public.

Have you considered what J.J. Rodgers has done? Her mindset after three tedious years of trying to sell a home in Colorado is of a "mix-it-up" approach.

"We don't have anything to lose," Rodgers, 45, said. "If we're unsuccessful, at
least we did something different from what we've already tried."

Rodgers strikes a very good point. Now, first off, if things were bad for a couple months, I would not totally agree with this mindset, but after three years of no-such-luck, this is great. "If we're unsuccessful, at least we did something different.." While Rodgers is not in the real estate business, her next move was something successful business owners embrace, making lemonade out of lemons.

I mean, with statistics like these:

The glut has battered sales volume and prices. Sales of existing homes dropped
to the slowest pace on record in January, with the median price sliding to
$201,100. New home sales in January also fell to the slowest rate in nearly 13
years and the median price tumbled to the lowest level in more than three years.

What is someone to do who wants to be successful? Dwell in pity and blame everyone else? Heck no, they do something so crazy that it just might work. I mean, instead of tearing away from a loaf of bread, someone decided to slice it up!

As I would simply love to dive into my opinions of the housing industry. *Quick Glimpse* Basically, building ugly, cheap, waste of resource, cookie-cutter homes is ruining the industry and desensitizing our tastes in homes. I am originally from New England and growing up with colonial inspired homes is amazing. Meanwhile, my current neck of the woods has cheap homes popping up everywhere.

Anyways, sorry for my tangent, back to the main point of my entry; breaking free of the norm when things are not working and taking a different/abstract approach to doing business. Heck, if I were not so busy working right now, I would write an essay myself and win my first summer-home for cycling/fishing/camping.

All in all, it is ideas like these that should inspire business owners in times of trouble or despair to try something new/bring attention to themselves. It may just be crazy enough to work...


(Happy Easter)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thanks for Spewing the Flu...

Don't be "That" Co-worker: Office Respect

I was recently housed up due to the fact I was malled by the flu. This occurred after my entire office was attacked by the winter bug. Now, when most of them got sick, what do you think they did? If you think they stayed home and rested, you are WRONG! They came into work coughing, hacking, and spewing whatever they had. Making those around them very susceptible to getting sick as well. And, this leads me to my topic today: co-worker respect and your health.

One may think he is being a trooper coming into work and trying to accomplish his job, but in reality, big picture wise, he is doing more harm than good. If you are in a team atmosphere, do you feel eager to work with your sick cohort as they cough and spread "the sickness"?

So here are some other side-effects of coming in despite being at Death's Door:

1) Prolonging Sickness
By over-exerting oneself while being sick, it takes much longer for one's body to build up the anti-bodies to fight the virus and recovery quicker. So, ignoring the fact you are not in the office, the more important thing, one's health is at risk. Think about it... by not being healthy and well, doing one's job is a lot harder and being able to come to work down the road might be at risk. In addition, mental stamina plummets too. We've all been physically and mentally tired and it is not fun... Add in being sick and we have problems.

2) Angering Everyone Else in the Office
Trust me, when people are sick and come into the office, I am basically down right insulted. I hate to be blunt, but I am and lots of other people share this same sentiment. Basically, a sick person coming to work non-verbally says, "I don't care about anyone else's health. This is about me and I need to come in."

However, I will say, upper management can have employees so scared about missing work that they feel they must come in to keep their jobs. If that is the case, it is hard to do, but by standing one's ground because of health is critical. I don't know about your health care, but my health care costs bank on me being healthy or I am paying quite the pretty penny on being treated. Don't risk becoming worse because of the boss. I know it's hard to do, but remain strong. You owe it, first of all, to yourself, and second of all, to your co-workers.

3) Quality of Work Suffers
Stuffed sinuses, tight chest, aching joints, disheveled looks, and glazed over eyes... these people expect to be productive? Not being 100% affects: productivity, quality of work, the joy of work, and mental stamina tires ten-fold. The chance of errors increases. The ability to think clearly is affected, which could lead to not-making the proper decisions. Why risk messing up a project because you were too busy chugging Day-Quil?
Who wants a Day-Quil stain on that proposal??!

4) Spreading the Epidemic
Finally, coming into work is a catalyst to spreading the germs to more people and affecting the entire office, which then affects everyone's productivity and grounds to do business. Do you want to be blamed for that? I didn't think so.

So, the next time you come down with something, do your co-workers a favor, stay home, but more importantly, you get better quicker. Sure, you may feel like a trooper if you come in, but in the long run, you are affecting the overall office's workings and opening yourself up to a long-term illness.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Recession Looms and People Spend on Movie Tickets?!

I'm back baby! The Flu kicked me around for a little bit, but I'm almost revived!

Ah, the joys of the movies... A box of popcorn, over-priced candy, if I'm a lucky a lovely female at my side, and hopefully a good flick to immerse my mind into. Now, if I am ever strapped for cash, movies are always the first to go in my budget. Over the past five years, I feel like I can count on two hands the movies I have seen in the theaters (All the Bourne Series have been seen the-day-of..Matt Damon.. the man).

But, let's be frank, the quality of movies has just plummeted miserably. Gigli? Are We Done Yet? Any Halle Berry Movie, etc etc... And people pay to see this stuff? Hollywood's kool aid is only getting stronger and it scares me that these people are making millions of dollars. But, for that, I also have to applaud them... they have found the formula to draw the consumers into their theaters.

Now, bringing myself back into focus on the article and the business relevance. Movies do give a sense of mental relaxation. You can simply sit there, eat some candy, and listen to the annoying teenager whose cell phone goes off every 10 seconds, despite the plethora of signs instructing someone to turn off the phone.

Back in the days of the Depression, movies dominated life. It did in fact give an out for people. Plus, like the article touches upon, there were so few options back then that "4.6 billion" tickets were sold at that time... still clobbering numbers today.

Yet, despite all the years of change, the movie industry has always survived and adapted. (um, hello? Ordering your tickets online! Reclining chairs, oversized cup holders)

"We don't want to wish recession on anyone or hard times on anyone, but we certainly have done very well during recessions," said John Fithian, president of the theater owners group, who planned to touch on Hollywood's recession-proof history in a speech at ShoWest's opening Source

What Mr. Fithian says is good and all, but he runs a business. It would be pretty funny if he just came out and said what he is really thinking. (I'll leave that to your imagination). One of my clients is in Hurricane disaster recovery. It may sound evil, but he needs Hurricanes and damaging storms so he can remain in business. Society may think they are mean and selfish people, but someone has got to do it and survive as they do it.

But, you cannot simply say revenue was high because of higher ticket prices. Attendance is increasing as well. My reasoning: Population increase. Not because Hollywood is produce great art.

In closing, this post is disjointed and I'm not really sure where I wanted to go (see, I can admit where areas can be weak at time), but that is how Hollywood makes me feel. My frustration is more aimed at Hollywood. High prices on the "experience" and then I have cell phone bandits ruining it. Movies may be a way to get away from the "troubles" of the world and give someone an outlet. All I know, this Guru's wallet stays closed for movies unless they actually have some merit. Sorry J. Lo, Ice Cube, and now Will Ferrell (he's overstaying his same comedic welcome), your movies are awful and I will not pay to watch them, no matter how bad the economy may be.

~A Flustered Guru

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Flu Claims Another

The Guru has been hit with the flu....

Posting will resume at a later date.

And, no, that is not actually me. But that is how I feel.