Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Sound Of Expectation

Thoughts as the voices in my head are, this day, from a phone.
More precisely a business phone and the voices from all over the country running through it almost everyday. As time, and business, go on we talk to many of the same people, over the years, and in doing so, even though we have never met a lot of them, we begin to develop an image in our head as to what they might look like. No, let me change that, we formulate an image as to what, they SHOULD look like. Now, with the internet, often, we know what they look like because of a photo on the website or attached to their mail, but this is relatively new in the business world. In years past it was simply left up to our sometimes overly active imagination.
There it is, on the phone a luscious, rich, welcoming, and every once in a while sententious voice conjuring up magnificent body and facial images of the person on the other end. Over the years a familiarity grows with some of these people leading to more personal conversations and deepening the impression in our minds as to what they absolutely should look like.
It has been my experience over the years that our minds almost, and this is a ninety nine point nine percent of almost, never get it right.
Damn, this should not happen.
All of the years of expectation shot to hell with one meeting or with one photograph. It should not be like this but, with any luck we find out these days with a photograph because when this happens in a face to face meeting, and I have experienced this personally, it can be difficult and a little uncomfortable sometimes for both parties involved. Such is life.
As you can see from my profile photo I am nothing special myself, but whether we are male or female our imagination tends to run wild with an overly positive expectation in these situations of others.
That is not a bad thing.
So the thought today is I have, as far back as I can remember, never talked to another person on the phone, man or woman, and instantly produced in my head an image of a horribly unattractive person,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ongoing Recovery Jobs Jobs Jobs

Thoughts working my way through this payday are on employment.
We are getting to the point, in the year, where the media and the administration love to tout job creation. Unemployment claims have dropped, employment is up, according to the payroll companies. The government has to go to the payroll companies to get statistics because they are incapable of gathering or understanding their own agency data.
Looking around, as my salesmen and I travel through the months, there has been some increase in the job market BUT, and that is indeed a major league but, here is what we see.
Many of the small manufacturing, mom and pop type, facilities now have more employee vehicles in their parking lots, this is true. Many of the large production facilities, we visit, also have quite a few more vehicles in their employee lots. The reality, of this, is these jobs are for the most part entry level non-skilled low paying positions many of which are filled with overqualified employees simply looking for a paycheck, any paycheck. They have exhausted all of the government assistance, short of liquidating everything, or losing everything, giving up and resorting to welfare and EBT cards.
Now, as we approach the holiday season, there will be a flurry of hiring. It happens every year. The problem is these will be predominantly lower paying, even lower than entry level, jobs, and the vast majority, temporary positions but the administration, like they have done every year, will declare this some sort of victory, on the job front, because the job numbers will indeed increase.
This is not confined to this administration it is what the government media relationship has become. This administration and all future administrations will take any opportunity to tout any victory large or small, real or perceived, over the many facets that now make up our media.
Weather or not people believe the things they see and hear in the media is up to them. I can only hope most people have the intelligence to dig deeper into any report or story in order to find as much truth as they can, a lot of this involves simply looking around as we go about our everyday lives.
So the thought today is, for most of us, many of the answers, or the reality, of how our country is doing is right in front of us every day we have only to use our eyes and ears if we want to find the truth.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

There Must Be A Class

Thoughts eating lunch at work are on going to the dentist.
As most of us do, I have been going to the dentist as long as I can remember. The process is necessary and most of us become accustom to the inconvenience and the occasional pain involved. What crosses my mind today is, as an adult the dentist, or mine anyway, talks to me while I am in the chair and yes sometimes with my mouth full of tools and from time to time his fingers. His conversation usually ends in a question and the amazing thing is he can usually understand my answers to his question, as garbled as they are, with all of his work going on in my mouth.
Simply amazing. Is it similar to understanding different dialects, if you grow up around them, as opposed to someone growing up in an isolated community and having trouble understanding people as they wander into the world.
Is it a secret class they teach in dental school that no one is supposed to know about except dental students. Listening to the finals, of this class, would be quite amusing. The more words the student can correctly pick out of the patient's speech as the teacher adds more and more tools and more and more cotton, the better the grade. There would, certainly, be bonus points for complete phrases deciphered during the test.
I hate the fact this class is secret because I think a large number of politicians would benefit greatly from a class like this as the majority of them seem unable to understand what the average tax payer in this country is trying
to tell them.
So the thought today is I think my wife might have taken an abbreviated version of this class because, almost, every morning as I put the mouthwash into my mouth she, at that time, feels the need to ask me a question.    

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Goodbye Goodbye Goodbye

Thoughts with summer coming to a close is on saying goodbye.
As we travel around the country, or the world in some cases, we sometimes encounter people on the same schedule or staying in the same place as we are.
You can meet the nicest people on vacation because most people on vacation are in a good mood and are in a particular place to have, well, fun. This makes it easy to strike up conversations and sometimes make some good temporary friends.
Eventually every vacation comes to an end and in many resort areas this can happen, for quite a few guest, at the same time because of airline schedules. The first few times, this happens to you, you are quite unaware of how this works. Here is the scenario I have seen, and experienced, over and over, it goes something like this.
You are at the resort, in the waiting area for the bus, this is usually a small van, to take you to the airport. There, as you are waiting, some of the people you have met and possibly had dinner, or hung out, with will show up for what is, in many cases, a different bus. This happens because different tour companies contract with different independent companies for their shuttle contracts. So, as the various shuttles appear you say your goodbyes and begin to make your way home.
You arrive at the airport, make your way through security, find the gate and there the same people are again, sitting in the gate area along with you. This is, most of the time, a little amusing. When the airplane boards, realizing your seats are far removed from the other folks, you say your goodbyes, again, as you board the plane.
If it is an international flight you enter into the US and as you come to the customs line you, inevitably, end up in line near or continually passing by, the same people as you weave back and forth, in the lines. This is, for me anyway, when it begins to get a little awkward. Once again saying goodbye as you gauge, what you think may be the last time you see them, while passing through the customs agent area.
At this point you truly think you will never see these people again. Everyone is headed to different destinations, spread all over the country, it has been fun but goodbye. Hours later, everyone on different flights, you arrive at the airline's hub. By this time most people are starving and you go looking for some food during the layover, by now a drink is in order as you will, indeed, be home and back to reality very soon. You finally find the place to grab some food and as you go to sit down, there, at a table not far from you, are the same people you have already told goodbye multiple times. This is always, to most people, even more amusing, but to me, at this point is when it becomes extremely awkward and YES at some point you will have to say goodbye, AGAIN.
No, I will stop there, anymore would become just a tall tale, but you get
the idea.
So the thought today is I know it is probably just my overactive head, that finds these things uncomfortably awkward, but when I say goodbye, I like to mean, GOODBYE.    


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

If I Get Like This Shoot Me

Thoughts as work happens through the day are on costs.
My partner and I are at work, as a matter of fact we are eating lunch. People who need something from a business do not care if it is lunch time or not, but, my lunch is going to get cold, they do not care they need this item. Do you have one of these, they ask, as if they are in a hurry and their lunch is getting cold. BUT we are not a walk in retail business, can you not see, I am trying to eat lunch.
At this point I have, kind of, lost my focus, this blog was not supposed to be about lunch interruptions. Let me get back to the story.
An older gentleman came into the shop asking if we sold this tiny little belt. A small rubber belt from some type of sharpener. We do not, as we ask if he had to have it today. He said, no, he had another machine that was still running. Looking at the belt it clearly had a number and a brand printed on it and our suggestion to him was get on the internet and look this thing up. He told us, quite in disgust, he had indeed done that and someone did have the belt in stock and for only two dollars, the disgust part, for him, was they wanted seven dollars to ship it. He had no intention of paying seven dollars for shipping and handling for a two dollar belt. We told him we could probably get the belt for him but it would end up costing more than the nine dollars. Off he went down the street to hunt for someone who had the belt, he felt sure he could find it somewhere.
This man was going to spend the better part of a day roaming from business to business, spend probably ten dollars worth of gas, or more, spend hours fighting traffic, and was not going to find anyone locally with this belt in stock.
I told my partner if I ever reach this point, in my life, with the complete inability to rationally see the obvious answer to a problem similar to this, just shoot me. Please.
So the thought today is I know common sense is genetically disappearing from the human race, generation after generation, but is it possible to lose it as we get older, or, maybe this old gentleman simply never had any to begin with.