Saturday, March 30

Awww, Cmon - no way ...

It's too good to be true.

Right?  Maybe?
C'mon!! ... or Come on 

I received a phone call the other day, someone I didn't know wanted to talk to me about an opportunity. I personally am never one for passing up on new things, but I excepted this call with a mild degree of skepticism.

I've talked with many people about many different opportunities, I've worked with many dozens of companies, helping them market and convey their branded message in different ways. Just when you think you've seen it all, good and bad, someone comes up with something a little different that makes you stop and think.

My meeting took place in my stocking feet, in a rather elegant house along the Connecticut River, with a gentleman in his later years, and was obviously not in need of additional revenue. He was soft-spoken, low key, but he had a passion about what he was talking about, a new and different opportunity. If this were Star Wars. I would refer to it as a "convergence of the force"

All of the elements in this opportunity where there, the right product, the right time, and an inelastic consumer need, something you can't live without these days. So what was the catch?

The only catch, was having the ability to open my mind to a different way of doing things, looking at things that were changing in front of me differently, because I had looked at them the same way for decades. As the book says, the cheese was moving, and it was growing… Growing very fast, but it was in a different part of the maze. I just needed to look around the corner from a different angle to see it.

I guess the lesson learned is within reason, don't pass by opportunities that are reaching out to you, because you don't understand them. Don't let the past guide your future, because the past stays the same, and your future can change. I'm changing my future for the better, in my family and my career, by looking differently at the future, one day at a time.


Monday, March 25

Two slices please - with whipped cream

On Sunday, I spent about 3 1/2 hours, having lunch, dessert, casual conversation, a few laughs in a relaxing time with my ex-wife and kids.

Yes, with my ex-wife… And kids.

To say that my ex and I have under communicated in the past few years is an understatement. I can point a finger at her, but then 3 fingers point right back towards me, and the thumb… You know where that's been.

For those of you who missed the memo, I'm an alcoholic, and quite frankly I love it! In the past few months I have learned so much about myself, gained such serenity, calmness, comfort in my own skin, understanding, and so much more, it's been great. Humble pie never tasted so good.

Don't get me wrong, I know I have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust in relationships, only having been sober, not just dry… But truly sober for a little over 5 months, in every sense of the word. The way I look at it, I spent the last 3 decades, impeding my progress with alcohol, I'd like to spend the next 3 decades enhancing my progress without it.

In just a few short months, I've learned serenity, how to manage my expectations do not develop any anger in the first place, and how to truly listen, understand and care about others, and their feelings.

It's amazing how much more you can see and hear when you get your head out of your ass.

I just thought I'd share this little snippet of my life, it's all good. I'm focusing now on rebuilding wealth with a new opportunity I found last week…  But like everyone else, I'm just taking it all in, and dealing with living life... one day at a time. PF

Friday, March 22

Blue Male - Check

Did they miss the memo?

I'm pretty sure, that the rules today are that all men and women, regardless of race, color, height, baldness, amount of hair on back (men and women) are to be treated as equals when it comes to employment opportunities.

Why is it that at the end of every job application they want to know your ethnic background? Do we actually count how many Eskimos and Native Americans are applying for jobs? And if so, why. I am a white male, Irish? French? German? Italian? Russian? Slavic? Israeli?… They don't ask that question. Why not?

We also feel compelled to track gender, why is that? The nature of my genitalia won't affect my ability to perform that office job. Whether you have man breasts, or woman breasts shouldn't matter at work (however, some men, quite frankly, could use a little underwire help, especially in IT). I think that's one question we could do without.

If they're going after gender, why not just ask them what their sexual preferences are? Or maybe the next logical sequence would be religion. I think we need a few more government agencies to track all of these new numbers.

It seems to me that if we spent all the time and energy we waste on tracking these numbers on fixing the problem of any quality, we'd be better off.

I guess my point is, there are many flavors of human beings, we really don't need to count them all, just enjoy the variety.

Wednesday, March 20

Fastener your Customer Service Belts!

Working on a signage project recently, I needed some clips to hold components together. I remembered a company I used to work with years ago called Fasteners for Retail, they carry all those cool gadgets you see in retail land, holding signs, dangling and making you buy things you don't need.

It was a Saturday, normal office hours were closed, so I hit the web. I found what I needed and ordered a sample quantity of 10 for about $13. Order was processed, received, clips worked great, until. I noticed my credit card was it for 2 charges, one for the $13 and another for almost $15. I sent an email to the customer service person, Heather,  who explained the latter charge was for freight.

When I ordered the clips, I had requested a catalog also. Their catalog weighs about 3 pounds (a great bathroom reader, by the way). My clips weighed about 3 ounces, so being shipped with a catalog. My assumption was that they were billing the freight for their catalog, which didn't seem right.

I sent an email questioning the bill, received a response saying it was freight, I replied. It didn't seem fair that I was paying for distribution of their marketing. Then I received a phone call. Heather, a customer service person apologized for calling 1st, explaining that after rwo  emails she feels the compulsion to pick up the phone and deal with the problem directly… Great idea. She explained to me that the web was more for bulk ordering, the freight charge was a minimum, and that they had a great sample department that was very liberal with supplying what I needed for testing, for free. She then proceeded to credit out the freight on my order and apologized again.

At that point I stopped her, it was 9 o'clock on a Monday morning. I told her I really appreciated her picking up the phone and we had a great conversation, and I learned a few things. I appreciated her efforts on behalf of her company. She replied, it's what I do. She then further explained that she has a passion for keeping your customers happy, and email is good for some things, but talking with people directly, hearing their tone, their inflection and attitude was critical.

I told her I couldn't agree more. I thank Heather very much for her efforts, and her great attitude, she made my day. I hope to repeat this story, and remember it with the people I deal with, my customers, every day, one day, at a time.

Monday, March 18

Golf Tournament Sponsors

Looking for Sponsors for Non-Profit Golf Tournament

Businesses in the Windsor, CT Area

Corporate Sponsors and Local Businesses, levels from Gifts of $5 to Title Sponsor of $5,000. For more info contact:

A great cause that helps tens of thousands of local residents annually.

Sunday, March 17

Good ISMs and Bad ISMs

I recently discovered that alcoholism has been a part of me, and will be a part of me for my entire life. Like diabetes or cancer, it’s just something you live with and do your best to control it. This is a bad “ism” that can lead to a lot of family pain, great losses and death.

One of the cures for this ism is another called spiritualism. The teachings of AA focus a lot on this, making a part of your everyday life. From this, I personally have found great serenity, humility, and a heightened awareness of self and others.

I wish there were more isms, like TV ism, Facebook ism, work ism, text ism, coffee ism and more. All of those activities and habits that can at times be taken to excessive levels, distracting you from important isms like family ism or health ism.

Most times, managing your isms can be quite easy once you identify them. I start my day with a little bit of spiritualism, then I float that into my thoughts for the activities that I need to do, make sure that everything I plan to do aligns with the good isms that I want to be part of my life. When you break it down like that, it’s not that hard, just take care of your isms, one day at a time.

Sunday, March 10

So many clocks, so little time

Well, it's that time of year again. The hunt for clocks is on, and time is running against us.I estimate that I spend about an hour a year moving clocks in my life back-and-forth. If I live to be 80, that's almost 2 weeks worth of work vacation I wasted on changing clocks. Time well spent?

It's amazing the amount of clocks and time pressure that we put on ourselves. Clocks in the bathroom, clocks in the kitchen, clocks in the family room, clocks in your car, clock on your wrist, clock in your phone, clock in your computer… Does anyone know what time it is? I do, it's time to get rid of some of these damn clocks.
Why is a there a clock on a coffee maker? If it's time to make coffee, you know it. You don't need an LED readout of what the real-time is, it's coffee time. Someone along the would be a good idea to put a wake-up timer and have the coffee maker be an alarm clock and start making coffee for you in the morning. Dumb idea. Half the fun of making coffee is walking out half awake, and going through the motions of filters, scoops, water and waiting. Then the aroma…, The fruit of your 1st morning's labor begins to permeate the room, and the anticipation of the 1st brew. Do we need a clock to help with that?
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about being on time, time management, budgeting time, quality time, personal time and time well spent. That's why I'm an a mission to eliminate every superfluous clock that I own.
I am going to set my clock's ahead 1 hour as mandated by law once again. This Spring, I am also  going to set my personal timer even further ahead, an extra  30 minutes. This time will be spent every morning organizing my day, my thoughts, my priorities, and reminding myself that time is precious and how to best use the time wisely for that day.
So,  to save time, eliminate all those clocks with the annoying tick tock, those that add stress like the one next to your bathroom mirror, reminding you you're running late. Enjoy your hours and  days, make the best of your time, one day at a time.

Thursday, March 7

Where's the damn bread?

Last week, I was traveling back from some errands with my father, about ready to have lunch with both my parents. We decided to grab some fresh bread on the way and stopped at a grocery store that neither of us was familiar with.

We walked in, to our right were bagels and donuts… Close, but not a loaf of fresh bread like we were looking for. My dad thought the bread was at the other end of the front of the store, so we walked over there (this was a large grocery store. We found only prepackaged breads, no fresh bakery bread.
Deciding to hold true to mail tradition, we refused to admit defeat, refused to ask for direction, and proceeded to walk the whole perimeter of the store in a quest for bread.
We eventually found in the back right corner a wonderful selection of fresh baked loaves, made our selection and headed to the checkout. Being near lunchtime, this area was very busy, and that the 15 and under item aisle was well attended. The woman in front of us had a card with 14 1/2 items in it, she looked at us with her one loaf of bread and motioned for us to get in front of her. Before we could move, a cashier lunged into motion in the very next aisle and like a quarterback signaled for us, loaf of bread talked like a football in my father's arms for a speedy checkout.

In recounting the store episode to my mother over lunch, I noticed my fathers main story focused only on the frustrations of having traversed the whole store and search for bread. My thoughts were on the unselfish woman in line with the 14 1/2 items who was first, aware of her surroundings, not focused on herself, and willing to put others ahead of her. I also noticed the cashier who recognized a need, and quickly offered her services to help.
Same experiences, same time, same situation, with different perceptions of the event. It's not the frustrations in getting your loaves of bread, but rather the people that helped you along the way, with awareness and willingness to put others before themselves.
And yes, maybe asking someone where the bread was in the store would've been a great idea. But that's a 'guy thing', not likely to change any time soon.