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Me (The Godfather) and my highly edumacated friends (digi, Ken, justuhgyrl) tell you what is wrong (and right) with the world today. Period. Basically this means current events, politics, business, bad business, corporate america, what we love, what we hate, capitalism, economics, why MBA grads are usually morons, (except us) Affirmitive Action, and so forth. To comment, just click on the "Comments" link and dont forget to subscribe to my blog by entering your email on the right.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Have you seen these two fools?




They killed a wife and mother of two to get a few bucks at a Bank of America in Roswell, GA. If you see them, kill them. Thanks.
Oopsie...

So as yall may know, I have been MIA for a while. Sorry about that. Every now and then the job picks me up and drops me off who-knows-where for who-knows-how-long. So I tried to make it up to you by posting a few blogs I have been thinking of, so hip hip hurray! You get lots to read today!

And don't forget to comment once in a while - I won't hurt you. I thought for sure I'd get some comments on the 'Top Gold Digger Cities' Blog (Oct. 16), but alas, no such luck. I am almost dissapointed, especially in our lady reading audience! C'mon ladies! Speak up! I know you aren't going to sit around and hear me blab about some city, and yours isn't on the list when you and your girlfriends spend 10 hours a week watching Sex In The City and plotting how you can further manipulate your boyfriends! I expect some jealousy here! Let me hear it! If you have a friend that has one man paying for her townhouse and another paying for her BMW, I really want to hear from you! Make me proud!
"No good city folk!..."

Do you ever get the vibe that small-town folk don't much care for city folk? For example, have you ever went into a small town in a really nice outfit and stopped at the local diner for some fried chicken? Ever paid attention to the looks you are getting? It is kind of scary. I had dinner once in Dublin Georgia on a business trip, and I really didn't feel so comfortable. For one, I was the only one there that didn't have a smear of Georgia clay on my clothes. For two, I was there with a black gentleman that I worked with. I suddenly felt like I was back in the throws of the Civil War where me and my Union Army buddies bust into General Lee's tent, sit at his dinner table and start noisely eating his food...

But, then again, have you ever noticed how city folk look down their noses at small town folk? They see a guy with a flannel shirt on, and suddenly he is an illiterate goat. I have come to learn something recently; the best-dressed people I know are dirt poor and living in debt up to their ears, and the wealthiest people I know dress like they don't have a dime to their names. Maybe its because they don't have to impress people anymore. Maybe its because they just don't care. Or maybe its because nice clothes are never comfortable. So maybe next time the guy who is still making payments on his credit card to pay off that suit he got at the outlet mall to look rich should think twice about judging the guy in the flannel... At least that flannel is paid for!

Thursday, October 30, 2003

What should be illegal...

Do you use DirecTV or Cable? Arguments can be made for both. I just got so sick of Comcast jacking up the prices on me over and over, so I finally caved and got DirecTV, and I have to say it has worked flawlessly up to this point. All the rain, wind, whatever, never affected the little guy, and I was quite happy.

Then, it happened. I flip on the idiot box to watch the Buckeyes play one Saturday and all I get is a blank screen. "Uh oh" I think, "Someone stole my satellite dish!" (Living in Atlanta, this is automatically the first reaction.) I open my blinds and sure enough, its gone. But alas, it isnt stolen, but rather sitting in a pile, wires, pole, and all, on my front porch. One quick call to my Apartment Manager clears up the confusion. Turns out the Apartment Company President came into town, and after 7 years decided he didn't like the way all those dishes looked. And that little handy-dandy contract they just signed with Comcast a week earlier seemed to seal the deal. So on his command, they tore them all out of the ground. No notice. No warning. No chance to order cable first. No nothing. Just a dish on my porch and static on my tv.

A quick call to the Manager solved nothing. She assured me that our owners were in no way profiting from the new exclusive contract with Comcast. That the reason to take down the dishes the week of that contract, after 7 years of dish-happiness, was pure coincidence. She did finally concede, however, that a little notice of the impending destruction may have been the nice thing to do.

So now I get to pay $50 a month for basic cable. When will the monopolies end? So now I have two choices for TV. Comcast or nothing. Wow, what a choice.
AFLAC!

...Is based in Columbus, Georgia. OK, they are gaining points with me....
Hey, We're Famous!!

Check it out! We actually have another blog commenting on ours (Oct. 29th posting), I feel so special! It is the Columbus, Georgia blog. I have to say, I'm kind of impressed Columbus has a blog. I mean after all, they don't even have a Starbucks... sheesh, I mean, my bathroom has a Starbucks....

Monday, October 27, 2003

Why I am sick of Atlanta.

Just look at these two jokers. I mean, look at those pics. That is pretty much 80% of the demographic of this city. Too bad that woman was not carrying her own weapon. Criminals prefer unarmed victims.

Friday, October 24, 2003

No! Esta los federales! Or however you say it...

Leave it to the Federal Government to get sooooo close to doing something wonderful, then screw it up and do it totally sub-par. So as you may have heard, on Thursday the feds raided Wal-Mart to arrest the illegal immigrants (the pc term for Mexican day-laborers) cleaning the floors. So, my question is, how many more illegals did you walk by on the way into the store ya morons?! Here's an idea, how about arresting the people that SHOP there! I mean good grief, have you BEEN to Wal-Mart lately?! I have not seen an English speaking Wal-Mart customer in Atlanta in 5 years. So you walked by 200 illegals to catch one. Yup, that sounds like the government.

Friday, October 17, 2003

What I am annoyed with today, Part II.

That stupid rule that forbids you from using "personal electronics" on a plane during take off. Do you really expect me to believe that my little cell phone and iPod screws with the plane's electronics, but the mega-watt radiation zapping cell phone and radio towers all around the airport do nothing?

If my $300 iPod can bring down a 747, why are we speding billions on Airport Security?

Thursday, October 16, 2003

The top (and bottom) Gold Digger Cities.... Did yours make the list?

In all of my travels I have seen many things. I have seen the great places of US history, the sewer smelling streets of New Orleans, the purple mountains majesty..... but all of the traveling opens your eyes to a few things. Being a 20 something man, one of those things you can't help but notice is the different attitudes of the women across the country. Most notably the gold digger mentality of the women in our bigger cities. Its shocking and very very sad. These relationships are like business deals; the woman knows the man is there for her looks and fringe benefits, the man knows the woman is there for his money. Neither are particularly faithful, honest, or committed. They are just mutually benefiting from each other.

So, enough with the intro, here is the list:

10. Charlotte, NC - For the same reason as number 9, this is an old-money banking hub. Banking towns produce all sorts of rich families. Rich families produce rich daughters. And rich daughters don't marry poor dudes.

9. Columbus, OH. - Surprised by this one? Columbus is an up-and-coming white collar community with lots of money floating around thanks to Bank One, Nationwide Insurance, Limited Inc. (read: Bath and Body Works, Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie and Fitch, you get the idea). The Baby Boomer generation that built this very wealthy economy in the heartland have produced lots of daughters that liked their $1k per month allowance, new Jeep, and regular spa visits. They aren't about to give it up for some average Joe loser that only pulls in some measly $80k per year!

8. All of California minus LA - California is like a religion. People all over the world are magnetically drawn to its lusty image portrayed on TV and film. Lots of twenty somethings still dreaming to live the life of Beverly Hills 90210, and if not that, Clueless. The rich Daddy's Girls go to LA, the not-so-rich girls go to the rest of California.

7. Chicago - Full of small-town Midwestern girls that want more in a man than the small-town can offer. Like the idea of the New York environment without the New York.

6. New York - Would probably be number 1 if it wasn't for all of the upwardly mobile women that wouldn't even dream of taking a dime from some male capitalist pig.

5. Dallas - See number 3. Dallas is full of old money and oil. 'Nuff said.

4. Atlanta -
You would have to see it to believe it. The malls are full of spandex-clad blondes pushing around baby strollers. Only, there are no babies in the baby strollers, just bags from Gucci and Bloomingdales. Baby is at day care so mommy can shop and daddy can travel the globe cheating on mommy.

3. Houston - Almost a tie with Atlanta. Houston edges ahead slightly because of its reputation as the boob job capital of the world. All that oil money and fat old men in cowboy hats driving old Cadillacs with beautiful young wives... hmmmm...

2. Miami - If you have been there you understand. Miami is where the rich daddys girls go to replace daddy with a rich husband. And they understand that Rich Guy is looking for a tan and fit Gold Digger, not fat and pale Gold Digger, so Miami is the perfect place to sculpt that body while living off of a trust fund in a $2k per month loft apartment next door to Jose and his 20 cousins. Days are spent at the beach and rollerblading. Nights are spent at the ridiculously trashy Latin clubs where rich dudes with fake tans wear the requisite black button-up shirt, half unbuttoned and their Lucky Jeans with their black leather loafers. In other words, white Ricky Martin wanna-be's. Fortunately Gold Digger doesn't care what Rich Guy looks like - only what Rich Guy spends on Gold Digger.

1. Los Angeles - Duh. Kind of a no-brainer here. Money and fame is the top priority of pretty much all women in LA.

And now the bottom of the heap. You won't find a date here, let alone a gold digger:

5. Seattle - half the women here don't shave their legs, bathe, or even look at the opposite sex. They feel oppressed, and they make it known. Look out.

4. Kentucky - Happy to have a man that can read and write. If he owns a pickup truck, he has his pick.

3. West Virginia - See 'Kentucky'.

2. Oregon - The women here are too busy hugging trees, eating granola, staging sit-ins, and putting more 'Vote Green' pins on their North Face back packs to waste time with the opposite sex.

And the all time holy grail of No Gold Diggers....

1. The entire East Coast, except NYC - The East Coast is the haven of the ultra-left wing liberal femi-nazi bunch. The oppressed, victimized, 'Ill show you!' mentality. Just visit Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Amherst, Smith, Wellesley, and you are sure to see lots of dread locks, tie dye, and flyers stapled to every stationary object advertising the next lesbian man-hating poet that is coming to town, etc. Their career plans include volunteering for Green Peace, volunteering at NARAL, volunteering for the National Wildlife Fund, volunteering for PETA, or volunteering for GLAAD. In other words, daddy will have to pay for that expensive East Coast education while daughter begs for money in the streets to support her cause and her Birkenstock addiction.

And that does it! Let me know what you think! Just click on "Comments" below!
What I am annoyed with today, Part I.

Those stupid "10-10-987" commercials with John Stamos.

"So why haven't you tried it yet? What are you stupid?! Its just 3 cents a minute @#$% it!"

"But I don't have a home phone."

"Then go get one you dumb @#$%! I can say that can't I? You can call anywhere in the world! Pick up the phone and call someone, anyone! C'mon since Full House I have had to live off of my wife!"

Is some washed up hack from Full House the best talent they can find to hock their product? Now if they were using the Olsen Twins....

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

No, my feet don't stink!

OK, so if you have been reading this blog for a while, you probably read my blog about the middle seat on the airplane. So I had another bad middle seat experience today...Sigh...

Now, I shouldn't have to tell you this, but apparently I do. Guys, listen up. Blue jeans and dress shoes with no socks, is not in style. It never was in style. It was bad taste then, it is bad taste now. You know who you are. You wear those stupid tapered leg blue jeans that stop at your ankle, and then your hideous black or brown penny loafers or other no-lace dress shoe. You look stupid. You do not look rich and cool. You look like a wannabe. You are either married and your wife stopped caring, or you are a bachelor looking for a Gold Digger to buy off.

Should you find yourself in the above category, it's ok, you can change. Until you force yourself to chuck those shoes in the trash, here is a pointer. Never, ever, ever ever ever ever ever, for any circumstance, ever, take those shoes off on an airplane. Particularly if you are in the middle seat. Your feet stink. Yes, I can smell them. You may not, but we can. What is it with people and their feet. It's just like people in their dogs. No matter how much people cringe, hold up their noses, turn away, vomit uncontrollably, they swear up and down that they don't stink. Trust me, your dog stinks, and so do your feet. Do what you can to spare others what you cannot recognize.

So the middle seat guy today strolls up with his tshirt, sport coat, high-water 1980 tapered leg jeans, and black loafers. As soon as he plops his yuppie butt down next to me, he takes the shoes off. For the next two hours I try feverishly in vain to adjust the little a/c thingie to blow some fresh air into my face, but it only seems to blow more stink my way. Finally I just decide to sleep. After about 20 minutes I wake up thirsty. I look down at my bag under my seat, and guess what I find... Stinky dude is rubbing his naked cheesy feet all over my Nalgene bottle!!!! I was about to fashion a shank out of my toothbrush and jam it into his neck when the flight attendant pulled up with a Coke and a smile and saved the day, and fashion-deprived stinky dude's life.

Friday, October 10, 2003

I scream, you scream, we all scream.... about our stupid bosses!

Today's blog REQUIRES some interaction! That's right folks - it's vent time! Below this post you will see a "Comment" link. I want you to post something your boss did this week, month, year, whatever that just made you wanna put anthrax in his/her double latte. I have enough bad experiences to blog for a year, but we want to hear from you. I will get us started... Feel free to leave me sympathy, or your own ridiculous story.

Back in the ol' AT&T days I had a real winner for a boss. This guy was the total ex-football player that never actually played football, you know the type. Every last stinking meeting was sports analogies followed by the classic 'I-have-authority-and-power-over-you" beat-down session. I thought I was at a forum for ESPN announcers that weren't quite good enough to broadcast the overnight Squash tournaments live from Bulgaria. Ill give an example of a typical line:

"You guys, this is all blocking and tackling. If we want to win the big game we need to score. You cant always hit home runs. Base hits win the game. If we hustle we can get to the finish line first."

This supposed cheerleading session was typically followed by this:

"And of you little @#$%ERS don't start selling something I am going to kick your @#@ES right out of here! You should be thankful you have this job, because I can take it away, and I'll see to it that you never work for this company again!"

Gee, now at what state of morale do you suppose we left this meeting with? A strong desire to make our boss happy, or a desire to drive next door to Home Depot with just enough money to buy six feet of rope? Or perhaps to buy a bullet and rent a gun?

But enough about me. It's your turn. Let us hear your stories so we can all remind ourselves that we aren't alone! Post away!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

It's the Flux Capacitor, Stupid...

Imagine you go back in time to the 1960s. You gather up a group of business people to tell them about the future and see what they think. Imagine you tell them that they will have a telephone small enough to put in their pocket, and that they can carry it around with them everywhere they go! I am sure they would be amazed and impressed!

Now tell them that by the year 2000 everyone has one, and now they are expected to carry it. When your boss needs you, he will call you on your portable phone, and you better have it with you. Same with your wife, mom, friends, co-workers etc. They will all call you everyday and get agitated if they cannot find you. No matter where you go, you cannot escape the phone, the office, or the home. You will be in direct contact with the world 24 hours a day. Sure you can turn the phone off, but then in this new culture, people will get upset with you. You could even get fired for it. And some of these phones even have technology called GPS. This allows your boss to track you anywhere on earth instantly! That's right! He can see where you are, how long you were there, even how fast you are driving! Don't believe me? Check it out!

And all of that paper on your desk and intra-company mail; that gets replaced with something we call "email" and "personal computers." Every desk will have a computer on it with unthinkable power. These computers are all connected to each other so that you can write a letter and send it around the world instantly. Gasps, mouths agape. Your sixties audience is in shock! What a time saver! Imagine the boosts in productivity!

Now tell them that you will have a computer you can take with you called a "laptop." Whether you are at the office or on the road, you can be contacted via email and your portable phone. People will call you, and when they cannot get a hold of you instantly, they will email you. Since you have your laptop, you will be expected to reply instantly. Emails will quickly grow into the dozens per day. Each one cluttered with information that is expected to be replied to instantly. This culture is one of instant gratification and paramount impatience. You better answer your phone and reply to your email or you will be frowned upon. But wow, what a productivity booster! Just think of what it will do for business!

Everything has an opportunity cost. As technology improves making us more accessible, privacy and personal time go away. The 9-5 workday doesn't exist anymore as long as you have a laptop or a cell phone. Your family, friends, and even your co-workers (bosses especially) have expectations. The expectations are that since you have a cell phone and laptop, you should be instantly accessible. No matter what the reason, no matter what the time. This technology has made us more productive, but at what cost? That is easy to answer - a cost that does not affect the business that benefits from the productivity gains. It's a perfect scenario for business. The benefits affect the business, the costs affect the employee. Productivity and personal lives are in many ways indirectly proportionate.

Now imagine you ask your audience what they think. Do you think they would be excited for the new technology? To give up privacy, quiet, time alone, structured separation between work and personal life? I doubt it. What happens to the work/life balance when the two lines become blurred? What happens when the 8 hour workday goes away because of technological advancement and the resulting culture dynamics? The technology that helps us often ends up a curse disguised as a blessing. Indeed too much of a good thing can be bad, but only for the workers, not for the business that incorporate it.
Getting Involved...

Because of some technical problems around our "Shout Out" links to leave feedback, we have switched to another service. From now on please use the "Comments" link to read and leave comments and feedback. Hey, this blog is for you the reader just as much as for us to vent, so get involved! Let us know what you think! We will be leaving the Shout Out link up temporarily so you can read recent comments.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Why Business School Prof's know nothing about business....

So, have you ever sat in a college class and listened to a Prof ramble on about something, all the while knowing in the back of your head that this can never work? Well, there is a reason for that. The reason is fundamental and goes all the way back to the admission practices of Top University Business PhD programs.

The PhD by its very nature is a research degree. This is good and bad. Research is very applicable in scientific fields. Fields where experiments can be done in a controlled environment and the results recorded, repeated, recorded, and so on, until regularity can be established. For degrees in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, etc., this makes perfect sense. Business, however, is totally different. Business is the science of people, culture, trends, economics, and politics, and changes everyday. What worked in 1999 certainly does not work today in business. What worked in physics 5,000 years ago is exactly the same today. The Laws of thermodynamics are the same. Science and Business are completely different schools of thought, the research and PhD degree programs, however, are approached in the same ways.

So what does this mean? What it means is you have professors teaching in business schools based on their research, not experience. Just take a look at the Business School Faculty Page of Stanford University, certainly one of the world's most prestigious business schools. One thing to note, for professors that are teaching BUSINESS, there is no mention of any work experience for any of their professors! If this does not bother you, it should. PhDs telling people how to run a business, that have never worked in one.... Hmmmm..... "Do as I say, don't do as I do." I mean look at this woman. Are you bloody kidding me?! Her research interests are listed as:

Culture and persuasion (e.g., understanding the dynamic role of culture and its impact on attitudes), self-expression (e.g., identifying dimensions of brand personality and exploring how brands are used for self-expressive reasons) and emotional experience(e.g., examining the creation and impact of emotional experience).

Gimme a break... Oh but she has a lot of papers published. Is that what it takes to educate a Manager or Entrepreneur on the in's and out's of successfully running a business?

The problem with the Business Professors starts with the Business Schools' methodologies for recruiting, admitting, and compensating PhD candidates. Let's start with recruiting. There are virtually no part-time PhD programs. Certainly none at any respected University. PhD programs recruit only at other Universities. They want to bring students on board, not business people. Staying with Stanford as an example, here is a complete list of their recruiting locations in 2003:

George Washington University
Atlanta Universities Center
Emory University
Princeton University
Harvard Business School
5 Colleges, Amherst College
University of Illinois

Notice anything funny here? They are all colleges, and gee, look at the list... Emory, Princeton, Harvard, Kellogg (Univ. of Ill). Gee, all Top Tier Business Schools. I do not want some Princeton blow hole with an MA in English telling me how to direct corporate strategy.

Admissions follows the same philosophy. Admission is weighed heavily on GPA and test scores. Stanford's Admission page for PhD Students measure many applicant statistics, but does not measure work experience. Again, proof they are recruiting professional students trained in theory, but not practice.

Finally is compensation. Stipends for PhDs typically average around $20k per year. Good luck getting a top notch successful business person to leave his career and teach his success to others for a $100k per year pay cut. Many PhD students provide valuable research and teaching duties to their respective Universities, and this pay amount is very humiliating to a business professional. To professional students used to living off of student loans, free tuition plus 20 grand seems like hitting the jackpot. Therefore its easy to see who is running into these programs. In America, success in business means having a good income. It logically follows that Business PhD programs must not want to recruit people that are successful in business.

PhDs and MBAs are completely different degrees. PhDs are based on research, and are typically pursued by students who have never had any real work experience. MBA's are based on case study, practical application, and are pursued by business professionals looking to advance their careers. The problem is, these MBAs are taught by the PhDs who a) have no relevant work experience to refer to in their teaching and b) are teaching a degree program that they have never went through themselves (most of the time. Some PhDs do indeed also have MBAs).

The result: MBAs that learn and apply business philosophies and ideologies that seem great on paper, but may have no real-world practical application. These philosophies are taught by Business PhDs that can not relate to their students. A lot of Business PhDs still think that Communism makes the most sense. Need I say more? And Miss Aaker and her "identifying dimensions of brand personality" reeks of jargon-fueled research that sounds impressive but isn't functional in practical application. PhDs are granted their degrees when other PhDs with equally non-existent work experience determine their research has simply followed scientific methodology.

How to fix it: offer part-time PhD programs in Business. And even before that, recognize that Business PhDs are different from Science PhDs. Business PhD research can be drawn from real-world experience from someone who maintains a job while pursuing the degree. Do that and the compensation issues goes away. I would get my PhD today if I could do it part time. Do you really expect me to give up a six figure income for $20k a year?! Are you nuts?! And that is too bad, because I would make a good professor. Why? Because I have been there. I have seen what works, and what doesn't. I have created strategies, and put them into practice. I don't have a 4.0 undergrad GPA, I did not get a 750 on my GMAT, but I have been in the trenches like so many other business professionals that are refused the chance at a PhD simply because we are unable to go to class full-time.

Get off your ridiculous, arrogant high horse that "The PhD program is intellectually rigorous and requires full-time attention." Refocus that attention from books and interviews to the office. Recruit successful leaders. Get some credibility for cryin out loud. I don't care how many degrees you have from Yale, or how many languages you speak, if you have never led in the business community, do not tell me how to lead it.
Who Can Believe It...Looks Like Arnie's In!

Well as I write this, it looks like Arnie is going to be taking over the mansion grounds on the governor's estate in California. Our most liberal state turns out in droves (the approximate I read from exit polls was an astounding 64%) to vote for a definite recall of seemingly-now-debunked governor Davis. And it also looks as though our action hero is going to try his hand at a new game: state politics. How do I think our big bear will fare? Horribly! Arnie has inherited a huge deficit and its consequences: namely a horrible economy. The California legislature, in my guess, is not going to be to helpful with this novice political child who is like a stray dog a long way from home; and the answers he is going to have to come up with will be for questions that he cannot even understand. Way to go California, you have elected a moderate Republican just 11 months after a re-election vote for your now-ousted governor. A moderate Republican, novice politician, non-American bodybuilder to be the governor of a state with about the 6th best economy in the world, but with a huge debt, oh and by the way it's also the most liberal state in the union (as is proven with the 2nd gubernatorial recall in American history today at the California polls). This should be fun to watch...
The Unemployed MBA's
I've decided I'm going to start a band called the Unemployed MBAs or maybe the Dead MBAs. I'm looking for band mates, anyone interested?? I need a drummer and a basist and someone who can write music. I really just want to own the naming rights and play my strat. I think we can generate a huge following of closet, wannabe punk-rocking corporate types... hey, it could work... We could be like Blink 182 and instead of complaining about being a loser in college, we can complain about being loser MBAs in corporate America... I think people could empathize with that.

I've really got nothing better to write about today other than my fascination with being a rock star (i'm a closet wannabe myself).... See you on tour!

Monday, October 06, 2003

Hack Hack... Sniff Sniff....

OK so I am sick today so I am not posting. I know its a bad excuse but oh well... you can read out other posts below. Sorry!
Microchip Immune Deficiency Syndrome
"MIDS: A disease that can afflict any bloated, overwight, sclerotic system in the post Cold-War era. MIDS is usually contracted by countries and companies that fail to inoculate themselves against changes brought about by the microchip, and the democratizations of technology, finance and information -- which created a much faster, more open and more complex marketplace, with a whole new set of efficiencies. The symptoms of MIDS appear when a country or company exhibits a consistent inability to increase productivity, wages, living standards, knowledge use and competitiveness, and becomes too slow to respond to the challenges of the Fast World. Countries and companies with MIDS tend to be those run on Cold War corporate models -- where one or a few people at the top hold all the information and make all the decisions, and all the people in the middle and the bottom simply carry out those decisions, using only the information they need to know to do their jobs. The only known cure for countries and companies with MIDS is 'the fourth democratization.' This is the democratization of decision-making and information flows, and the deconcentration of power, in ways that allow more people in a country or company to share knowledge, experiment and innovate faster. This enables them to keep up with a marketplace in which consumers are constantly demanding cheaper products and services tailored specifically for them. MIDS can be fatal to those companies and countries that do not get appropriate treatment in time. (See entries for Soviet Union, East Germany, and Pan AmM.)"

-Friedman, T.L. (2000). The lexus and the olive tree. New York: Random House, pps. 76-77.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

The Old Regime vs. The New Republic (No, I am not talking about Iraq):

We are experiencing a major paradigm shift in business today (Sorry for the MBA BS Phrase). The generation currently leading Corporate America today is comprised of our parent's generation. The Baby Boomers. The "go-to-work-right-out-of-high school/college-and-stay-there-your-whole-life" generation. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with this practice, it is fundamentally different than the philosophies of the next batch of leaders, ie, the current workforce. The future leaders and current leaders are at odds with each other. We have very different ideas, goals, strategies, and tactics to get there.

Like it or not, we are not going to work for just one company. We are not going to work for just 4 companies. We are going to switch jobs as needed to better ourselves and our careers. The era of a career being treated like a marriage are over. (Or perhaps they are more alike now than ever, 4 jobs and 4 wives isn't too uncommon anymore.)

I had a great professor early in my MBA education. He was the former CEO of, believe it or not, one of the largest insurance companies in the world. The last person on earth I thought would have this type of suggestion. He asked the class to raise your hand if you had been at your job more than 1 year, then 2 years, 3 years... At three years, he told those still raising their hands (about 10% of the class) to go get new jobs. He told them that they are underpaid and underappreciated, and he assured them that their new job offer would pay more than they make today. It was an experiment, they had until the end of the semester to get a new job offer. Now, granted, a lot of things play into what defines a "good job". Being happy is certainly one of those things. But in this class, most of us were not particularly "happy" with our jobs, we were upwardly mobile. Young and successful. We wanted money, status, and power. Period. Being happy is for the weak, so we thought.

So as you can probably imagine, most of those who still had the same job, were able to get several new offers, with substantially more money involved. Some accepted and moved up, others stayed in their current position. Perhaps because they are risk averse, or perhaps because they were truly happy, at any rate it proved his point - that companies rarely if ever pay employees what they are worth over the entire course of their career.

I have often been asked by members of the Old Regime why I have switched jobs as often as I have. My answer is always the same, why wouldn't I? Why turn down more money, more responsibility, etc.? Unless you are in your perfect job, why turn down a chance to move up the ladder? I have always maintained the opinion that employee turnover is the company's fault, not the employees. If an employee quits, it is probably because he got offered more money/power/responsibility/benefits/happiness, that his current employer was not providing. Therefore, he was not paid what he is worth. He may have been the day he was hired, but the value of experience and education often appreciates much faster than the pay-raises his company gives. The conclusion: the reason I switch jobs is the fault of my past employers, not of my own. I am not dumb enough to turn down 25% pay increases. And my company was not paying me the market demand rate for what I supplied.

It is simple, your company does not appreciate you. If you think they do, you are living a dream. Treat your job for what it is - a job. A paycheck. If a better paycheck comes along, take it. When it comes time for THEM to make more money, you will get a pink slip. So when it comes time for YOU to make more money, do it. Control your own destiny.

OK, so I don't get a lot of angry emails, Ill put in this disclaimer. If you work for a small company, have your dream job, or are just really happy, than maybe some of this does not apply to you. This is targeted at us corporate America folks that sit in cubicles and have lived through downsizing and job hunting. If that doesn't apply to you, consider yourself blessed.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Digi's random quote 'o the day
"when i was seventeen, I drank some very good beer... I drank some very good beer I purchased with a fake I.D., my name was Brian McGee... I stayed up listening to Queen.. when I was seventeen..."

-homer simpson
"I don't even own A gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack."

It's Debate Time! Today's Topic: Private Gun Ownership

Ok, we need to get some lively debate going here. We have enough regular visitors now to make this work. Today's topic is Private Gun Ownership. More specifically, should law-abiding American citizens have the right to own and carry firearms? If so, why? If not, why not? And if not, are there any circumstances you would suggest it is ok?

To post your comments, just click on the Shout Out link below this post. Let the fun begin!

To start the debate, I feel that any law-abiding American citizen has the Constitutional right to own and carry on his person, a firearm. I am fine with laws requiring that firearm to be concealed as to not induce panic, since in today's society when panicky people see someone not in uniform carrying a gun they tend to freak out. I think this law needs to be federalized since it is based on the US Constitution, and no state should have any right to dis-allow it, which is the case today. For example, today you can carry a concealed firearm in over 40 US states with a government issued permit. Drive to a state that does not allow it, and you can be arrested. I think there needs to be some uniformity to the law.

But don't guns kill children? No. Guns are dumb machines. Guns don't kill children any more than cars kill children. Gangs and drugs are what kills children, and if you examine any of the gun-related statistics closely, you will see that "children" often goes up to age 20, and that most of the gun-related deaths are crime related.

OK, I am not going to rattle off the million stats saying how the murder rate has INCREASED in the UK since their sweeping gun control legislation or anything like that here. I want to hear from YOU. Post away!

Why the RIAA sucks
Has there been a more hypocrytical organization in the past half-century than the RIAA? A couple come to mind, ACLU, etc, but that's another post... These people missed the friggin digital revolution circa 1990-1994 and are scrapping to get back in the game. Guess what RIAA, it's too late, you're out, you missed it! Let's break this down to what the RIAA witch hunts really amount to - jealousy. Why else would you sue your own constituents? Here's why, they're pissed because they weren't capable of seeing the long-term implications of Napster years ago and now the cat is out of the bag and it won't come home. RIAA had two simple options back in the 90s... 1) Drop the damn price of CDs or 2) Establish a comparable P2P service at a marginal cost to download. Why would customers (today) buy a CD at $17.99 when we all can goto Best Buy and see that a 50 pack of discs is $5!?!?! You can't tell me it's worth it RIAA!
Charge a $.05 a song, and I can buy my discs at Best Buy and still come out on top of $17.99... this isn't rocket science!

You missed the boat, be a man about it, pull your damn trousers up and stop suing teenagers and grandparents for your systemic digital ignorance!
The Godfather's 'Did he really say that?!' Quote of the Day!

"The primary challenges include a lack of near-term growth in the number of deaths and an increasing trend toward cremation. Although the United States Census Bureau projects that the number of deaths will grow up to 1% annually through 2010, modern advances in medicine and healthier lifestyles could reduce the numbers of deaths during this time."
- Robert Waltrip, CEO, Service Corporation International. One of the nation's largest coporate funeral companies.

Wow. You know your company has some serious problems when advances in modern medicine and a decrease in the death rate are bad news for you. This is a fundamental problem in owning stock in a drug company. You either a) want to lose money or b) want more people to get sick. Yeesh. No thank you.
Don't Let Them Fool You....

Home offices stink. I mean they really do, especially if your boss works in a home office also. The problem goes back to the fundamental problems of micro-management. One of those fundamentals is that Micro-Managers crave control. They need it. By managing your every move, it makes them look busy, and better yet - important and needed by the organization. If you are filling out more than one report a week for your boss(es), you know what I am talking about. And what makes it even better? Your boss always bragging to you how "hands off" he is, and how he just "doesn't believe in micro-management" when the next sentence out of his mouth is "we just need to setup a plan for you to succeed."

So let's talk about the home office. Boy, when you first find out that you will be working from home you think, wow, what a sweet gig. I've got my TV, I can take long lunches, work in my underwear..... But suddenly after you start this new engagement, reality sets in. You see, your boss now has an employee that he can't visually SEE working. And unless you are truly blessed by God Himself, this opens up a whole pandora's box of problems. Since your boss cannot SEE you working, you must not be working. Your boss will call you constantly, just like he would in a normal office, except now he expects you to answer the phone on the first ring. Don't answer it and your voicemail will sound something like this: "Johnson! Where are you?! Give me a call when you get this." You call him back, this is how the conversation goes:

"Hi Boss its Johnson."
"Hey, what are you working on?"

How do you answer that question?! "Umm, Im working on talking to you. Oh and filling out my 37 TPS reports." Just think about how many times you saw your old boss wandering the office, glancing at you to see what you were doing. Now imagine replacing all of those glances with an email or phone call.... you get the picture. And at my company, we are forced to be on Instant Messenger the entire day. Thats right. Don't answer the bosses IMs immediately, then you must be slacking off, oh and prepare for the "I need more regular contact with you" conversation. Oops! Sorry I had to take a pee!

The next problem with the home office and the home office boss, is the break down of the normal work hours. When you go to an office to work, you work the hours you are in the office, therefore, when you have a home office, you work the hours you are at home. This is truly the logic I am dealing with. That means, you WILL get a call at 8pm. If you do not answer, you will get the standard voicemail from a boss worried that the person he hired is not working hard enough. When you call him back, he gives you a project that absolutely, positively has to get done that night! Not at home? Out with the misses? Emergency apendectomy? Cancel it!

Alas. I thought working from home would be a blessing. Turns out it is a curse. I never thought the day would come where I would long to sit an hour and a half in traffic each way to work, to sit in a cubicle for 8 hours, drink generic coffee, and use public restrooms with men who can't aim. What is the world coming to....

Friday, October 03, 2003

ARNIE TOUCHED ME TOO...

Granted, he didn't touch me the way all those women say he touched them. But good old Arnold touched me as a kid - with the sound of gunfire! Who can forget Predator and Commando!?! And now Arnie has jumped into the scene and touched me once more...touched me with amazement that the state of California can be full of so many people who think that the Schwarzeneggar camp is the one that should be cleaning up the disgusting cesspool that California has become. Remember folks, Arnie makes destruction, he doesn't clean it up! But we must give credit where credit is due...it was real nice of Arnie to apologize for fondling all those women; but if you really want my support Arnie, you're gonna have to apologize for that movie 'Junior', until then it's back to the box office with you...
Random Quote for the Day...

"Ah, Alcohol. The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."
- Homer Simpson
B of A BS King of the World!

Wow. Check out this internal memo sent to Bank of America employees... I have highlighted each MBA BS phrase that we will discuss below...

By now you have been introduced to the Bank of America Spirit through the Associate Engagement Sessions and Making It Real team huddles. We are well on our way to making the Bank of America Spirit the driving force of our culture. We have been equipped with the tools to assist us in demonstrating our commitment to Operational and Service Excellence. Now it is time to make the Spirit come alive by applying those principles to everything that we do.

There are a number of things we can do to show our Bank of America Spirit. As Technology & Operations associates, we should demonstrate the expectations of Common Courtesy and Show when onstage. Each interaction should be viewed as an opportunity to create a memorable experience for every customer, client and associate every day. Our four standards of excellence should be weaved into everything that we do. Accuracy and Efficiency should work together to create Operational Excellence, while Courtesy and Show combine to make up Service Excellence.

Beginning October 1, Technology & Operations associates are expected to wear a Bank of America name badge whenever they are onstage. You are onstage while:

- Working at any Bank location with other associates, or in customer view.
- Conducting business face-to-face with a customer, client, or prospect
- In a meeting with business partners, other T&O associates or external vendors
- Attending classroom training, Knowledge Channel broadcasts, or a similar group event
- Conducting interviews with new hire prospects

You are onstage whenever you are wearing your Bank America name badge or any other Bank of America clothing or accessories. Remember, your actions and behaviors while onstage are a reflection of your company culture and values. If there is any concern about demonstrating Higher Standards, please remove your name badge and other Bank of America branding when not on bank property.


Holy MBA BS!!! Let's review:

Associate Engagement Sessions: I don't even have a guess as to what this is.
Making It Real team huddles: Huddles?! Huddles?! Just another in a series of STUPID sports analogies used in business. This is what happens when dumb jocks actually graduate from the local state university. They apply sports to every aspect of their life.. work, relationships, sports... "Hey Baby, wanna score?!"
equipped with the tools: This is one of my all time favorites. The only "tools" I work with is management.
Culture:Another classic. In management speak, this one means to mold every employee into management's image of an ideal employee, which means trained monkeys that arrive early, work late, don't ask questions and do as they are told.
the Spirit come alive: Just in time for Halloween! I don't know if I want the bank Spirits coming alive. They are probably out to steal our souls, banks steal everything else.
onstage: This is a new one. It is defined later in the memo. Maybe this is an attempt to get the most boring people on earth (bankers) to actually put on an act that they actually have a personality.
Accuracy and Efficiency should work together to create Operational Excellence: Ummmm yeaaa...
Courtesy and Show combine to make up Service Excellence: Show? Show me why you charge me $4 to use an ATM. Now THAT would be Service Excellence.
If there is any concern about demonstrating Higher Standards, please remove your name badge: Quit wearing your name tag at the strip clubs! We have customers there!

Congratulations Bank of America! You are our new MBA BS King of the World!
Digi's Picture

Wow, I am all that and a bag a chips! BB we're going to have a little chat about posting my pic on the net!
Organic Growth....

Just another MBA BS phrase, and what is happening to our blog. We are three days old and already getting over 100 unique visitors per day - wow! Thanks to everyone! Ken and Digi are up and running and adding their perspective on things. I added a bio section over to the right. From this point forward you should see (almost) daily updates from all three of us, so the blog should stay current and exciting with some differing perspectives and backgrounds.
Telemarketing and Peace of Mind

With the current legal battles surrounding the now-controversy-laden 'Do not call' list, I feel this is a good place for me to put in my two cents (oh wait the economy is down so it's more like a shekel or something...) on the whole issue. I accept the fact that no matter where you go, what you do, you are going to be the subject of a barrage of advertising. Some of it catches your eye while some of it you never even notice. I accept the fact that in order to bring any visual entertainment into the television that I never use, I must sit through advertising in the middle of programs. That all makes sense. Competition fuels progress and that is the bottom line. That is all well and good. Interrupt my entertainment with commercials, interrupt the landscape of a highway with billboards; but don't interrupt my LIFE. When I am at home and I don't want to see commercials, I can turn the T.V. off and be done with it...but if the phone can ring at any time, I cannot simply discommunicate myself with the whole world every time I want to be undisturbed by corporate America! If I have the radio off, the T.V. off, the computer off and the windows closed - it means I want my time AWAY from the world; it does not mean this is the perfect opportunity to call and remind that I can SAVE SAVE SAVE at Rip-Off World Insurance if I switch policies right now - all I need is my credit card...
No my friends, the attacks on the 'Do Not Call' list cannot stand. Legally they have some merit, we must admit. The current battle with the most teeth seems to be a First Amendment argument that the statute is preventing people from making a living. Good argument. The right to free speech is an undeniable fundamental right of every American...but thanks to substantive due process and the expanded definition of constitutional liberty Americans also enjoy another right - the right to privacy. The right to enjoy the peace and quiet of your home without undue intrusion. In order to impede on any fundamental right, the government must show that they have a COMPELLING interest that they are trying to protect, and the statute must be SPECIFICALLY TAILORED to meet the goals of that interest...It's hard to guess the ultimate court decisions, but what we are looking at is whether or not the telemarketing community's right of free speech outweighs the right of every American to have privacy...to ME the answer is obvious. Sorry telemarketers, this is a democratic republic after all...and you seem to be outvoted.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Work/Life Balance

Your humble Blog host... What follows is the picture I included in my resignation email to my boss at AT&T...

Digi's MBA Phraseology of the Week
Boss: Why don't you just do a pareto analysis and chart your results in a matrix schema.
Digi: That's cool.

Ummmm yeah, let's circle around at 50,000 feet, download offline and level-set at 0700.

What many folks don't realize is that an MBA might as well be a degree in German. Learn the language and your golden. Well, at least it's worked for me. May you all be so inspired.

digi

SOX in a nutshell
"Sarbanes-Oxley is the most ridiculous thing I've seen. We are spending more time doing certification processes that don't improve internal control or the quality of anything. It is a letter-signing activity that appears to lower levels of management to be blame-assignment as opposed to change in corporate commitment to integrity. If shareholders could see how much money is being spent to say 'I'm honest,' they would be appalled."
-John Gibson, president and CEO of Halliburton Energy Services

He's absolutely right. I spend most days geared towards 404 rather than anything that would be more productive.

MBA buzzword of the day for digi - Pareto
MBA Word (phrase) of the Day...

Best Practices

RE: "How About A Billboard that Says No Fat Chicks?"
BB- I say we put a business model together, complete with capital requirements, for a "300 and over" airline company. We'll get a couple of modified jets (wide seats/isles), hit the major hubs/cities, and grow it from the ground up. Hey, if Hooters can do it, why not?

digi

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

"How About A Billboard that Says No Fat Chicks?"
-Homer Simpson

Don't you hate the middle seat? Man I do. It never fails, at some point anyone who flies is going to get stuck in that middle seat. So basically when the nice lady at the counter breaks the news to you that the next few hours of your life are going to be miserable, you can only hope that your misery is lessened by sitting next to interesting and/or attractive people. Let's face it, that never happens. I have set by them all, annoying, smelly, loud, puking..... but nothing is more annoying than sitting in a seat that is already half full thanks to your neighbor's robust physique. It doesn't even need to be the middle seat, any seat is a nightmare in this situation. And I am not talking about someone who just needs a diet, has a few dozen extra pounds... no no... I am talking bout the person who washes themself with a rag on a stick. The person who eats by the pound. The person whose nose sounds like a train whistle when they breathe. The person who gave up any chance at a love life in the Carter administration... you know the type.

So what happens now? My question is, why do I have to pay for a seat that someone else is sitting in? If my seat already has a patron, that patron should pay for it. Oh, Mr. Tons-Of-Fun is willing to suck that gut in. Yea that lasts for two minutes, and now I'm pinned against the wall, or God forbid if I am in the middle seat, between TWO people. Ick. Look, I am all for being polite, helpful, and accommodating, but you have to draw a line people. I mean gimmie a break. Either upgrade me to First Class for the inconvenience, refund my money, or at the very least let me move if another seat is available. If airlines are unwilling to accept the controversy of charging customers for what they use, then they should be willing to compensate the passengers who are very inconvenienced. Let's use some common sense here. I know it is not politically correct, but that is ok. If I had to be politically correct all the time I'd drive into a bridge abutment.

Sorry for the negativity today... but this is what Columbus Georgia does to me... man I need to get out of here! I have been here two days and I am already losing it! Dude, this town has no Starbucks! I mean how am I supposed to handle this catastrophe?! I had to drink Duncan Doughnuts coffee this morning..... this just cannot continue! Wow. I am such a yuppie......
New Blog Name and how your company steals your lunch...

So you may be able to tell already, but I renamed the blog. The old name was just too long and hard to link to, etc. This one has more zing! Digi prog and I came up with it a while back, seems to express our feelings... I am in a meeting as I write this and the speaker is giving me funny looks. Maybe I shouldn't be blogging on company time.... Or, maybe my company shouldn't have "lunch and learns", which is my MBA BS term of the day. Defined, "lunch and learn" means: How to get an extra hour of work out of an employee for the mere cost of two slices of crappy pizza.

Once I get back to the ol' motel, I will do my official post for the day.... I am tossing around a few ideas.... Fat people on airplanes comes to mind, or maybe the macroeconomic impacts of diverse weather patterns brought on my shortened monsoon seasons in pan-Asia economies. Hmmm, I think we will talk about fat people. Or wait, I mean, health-challenged persons.

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