Thursday, November 30, 2006

True Love

A very dear friend of mine divorced his wife years ago. Two children were given life as the result of this union. While the marriage did not last their love has endured and grown.

When she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he moved back in with her and their two children to assist his family with this phase of her life. This while working in this dreadful insurance business. He works all day then rushes home to relieve the home health care nurse.

He is being strong for her and their children. This process has been hard but he never complains. You can hear the stress in his voice. He always assures me that he is fine and that it will be over soon as his vioce trails off....

(Her life expectancy is six to eight weeks.)

Then he reminds me that she had become his best friend after their marriage ended. Funny how that works sometimes.

I pray for him and his family daily. I am blessed to know this man.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

His vision

Eighteen months ago, my boss of the hour arrived on the scene. According to both of my outgoing bosses, "he has an impressive resume" and will be "great" for me and the company.

It wasn't the first time men have lied to me.

His vision included the streamlining of processes and cutting expenses. He never bothered to evaluate these procedures, his vision dictated these changes. His vision became my personal nightmare.

The collateral damage of his vision were the loss of institutional knowledge, talented staff, lost friendships and a 30% loss of revenue.

He summarily dismissed everybody's marketing plans. He wouldn't get mired in messy practices such cold calling or any standard forms of business development, because he had a vision.

He came in as the Chief Operating Office of two companies, was reassigned as a President of one company. His current role is Chief Account Executive of a product line.

The past two days he spent time in my office, his stated purpose was to discuss our marketing plan for the upcoming year.

I am convinced he retreated to our location to hide from our boss, the CEO.

After droning on about the new owners and upper management for two hours, he sat back in his chair and ask me who are the target markets and what is our message....

What is our message?

The only thing that prevented me from jumping across the desk and beating the crap out of him was the thought of ruining my new suit.

I just glared at him. Our services have not changed since he has joined our organization and this jackass is basically starting at square one.

I did not think he could surprise me. We have not had a dedicated salesperson for this product line for the four years that I have been here. What a shock! The only new business has been the low-hanging fruit.

Our pipeline has been retention.

My boss brought in one of his boys, who was supposed to be the answer for new business. They both have brought in squatta of new business but took down three times as much money as I find in my own check.

We are going to spend 100K on remodeling and I can only give my staff a 3% raise.

My best friend talked me down on my way to my massage. She reminded me that she could not find any job.

Reality check.

The pay is nice but I am on the front line and have had to implement the changes that my boss of the hour comes up with while daydreaming.

He speaks of all of his contacts who have made a lot of money. It is not lost on me that they are not working with him and no one took him along for their ride.

He is a wrecking ball with an impressive resume that will include the damage that he has done to his latest victim: our division.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

What I am thankful for........

Thanksgiving officially marks the the start of the holiday season. Most people spend time with the folks that they love. If they are lucky, they like them too.

I must admit that I do enjoy cooking on Thanksgiving and Christmas, the only days that I committ to cooking. My Mom still brings her creamed mushrooms. My daughter prepares the mashed potatoes. When my kid brother lived closer, he prepared a killer cornbread stuffing. I took over the bulk of the duties from my mom, in time I will pass the baton to my daughter and her new family.

Dad will bounce in the kitchen and test everything to make sure it is OK. My Mom will yell at him for doing so. It is what they do.

We will eat too much, watch football and resolve the problems of the world.

Most stores used to close on this day. The supermarkets and convinience stores would open buit close early so that the employees could eat dinner with their families.

To my horror Kmart is open ALL day today. I am not much of a shopper but I think this is a little much. How much will you really save? What about the folks who have to work?

I am thankful for my good health, family and friends. I blessed that I have a job with benefits, a luxury in today's economy. I am blessed that my daughter, nieces and nephews are not in the military.

I very grateful that I do not have work for Kmart.

The Philly Hope

Ryan Howard has been named the National League MVP. He is a perfect match for Philadelphia. He has a working man's ethic coupled with a 1000 watt smile. No baby mama drama, no sit ups in the front yard, no posse, he just shows up to work.

Thank you Ryan for giving me something to look forward to in the spring. I wish you good health and continued success.

Spring training here I come.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Invade first, talk later

Rape is a violent assault. There is an aggressor and a victim. At times it is a random act of violence or there is a serious communications problem, with both parties leaving the encounter with a different interpretation of events. If the terms and conditions of the "act" are clear to the consenting parties, the experience can be a beautiful. Failure to engage in such diplomacy before the "act" can lead to serious complications.

Kissinger is now saying that that a military victory in Iraq is impossible. Is he suggesting diplomacy? Wasn't he the one freely welcome in the White House advising Georgie Boy to stay the course? He is either floating a trial balloon for Pappa Bush's HazMat team or he is joining the friends and advisors who running from Bush who lead the assault on this country. The victims are our brave soldiers, their families and the private citizens who just happen to be living in the wrong part of the world.

Damp, dreary and awful

At the beginning of the season, I predicted the Eagles would go 10-6 for the season. The down side of that prediction, is that I would have to suffer through six loses.

The Eagles are 5-5. On paper the Eagles should have be at least 7-3, going into the Colts game next week. Donovan McNabb is out for the season, AGAIN. The Eagles have not looked wonderful with the Syracuse Savior. When he wasn't throwing up at critical points of a game, he did manage to make something out of nothing.

The Titans struggle against the run, what does Reid do? Take a QB who has not played all season and utilize the West Coast offense. The Eagles version continues to be offensive. It was 7-3 when journeyman Jeff Garcia entered the game. THE RUN would have given him time to get in a rhythm.

The two killer running plays that Jeff Fisher's offense shoved down the once feared defense sealed the deal. Even the heart of the team, Brian Dawkins dropped a possible interception, which could have shifted the momentum.

When Automatic Akers and the field goal unit walks on the field, you can bank on those three points. Not today. A high hike?

Fisher did begin his coaching his career under Buddy Ryan here in Philadephia. But instead of giving the young defensive coordinator a shot, Brahman promoted Rich Kotite....I digress.

Fisher's young team was prepared to exploit the weaknesses of this team.

Reid's team struggles to do the basics, catch passes, run the football and make tackles.

The Colts lost to the Cowboys (BOOOOO) today, ending their streak at 9-1.

The money men at the networks moved the Eagle v Colts game to prime time expecting a great game. They sold their sponsors the same bill of goods, that the Eagles sold their fans.

Unfortunately, this year my beloved Eagles are not ready for prime time.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rajun Cajun

I am appalled by Mr. Matalin's behavior. Dr. Dean's 50 state strategy worked. If the time and money that was fueled by Dr. Dean's losing strategy was diverted to an independent party, what would Mr. Matalin and whomever he represents do?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Two Score and three years ago

My beloved Eagles finally showed up on Sunday and beat Washington 27 to 3. I was enjoying the win, until yesterday.

I am painfully aware of the fact that it has been two score and three years ago that ANY Philadephia sports team has won a Championship. I love the Daily News sports writers, but did they have memorialize this in a front page pull out section.


Hidding in 'Nam

It is Shakespearean that Georgie Boy is running to Vietnam as the mess in Iraq is getting worse.

Maybe if he went to "Nam at taxpayer expense the first time, he MAY have learned something.....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Employee Misconduct

Two hundred and thirty years ago brave men seeking freedom from an oppressive King converged on Philadelphia. Jefferson and company were well read; open to other ideas; and showed a willingness to change their minds when presented withh new information.They debated their philosophies and prepared a business plan for democracy. An organizational chart and the policies and procedures were created to manage our country. Each branch has clearly definded roles and responsiblities.
Like risk managers they anticipated the damages if there were not clear separation of powers.

It was as if they divined this moment in our history.

The current adminstration admonished anyone who did not agree with them. Or worse they were labeled unpatriotic and emboldend the enemy. The only enemy that was emoldened resides in the White House. Before the election, American citizens were afraid to discuss the failings of this administration out of fear of retribution."

Actions speak louder than words. American citizens sent a very clear message to this adminstration. "You are not a king and we are no longer afraid of you." They voted most of the folks who supported this President out of office.

A mere four days after the election, a group of concerned citizens, including yours truly, gathered at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to discuss impeachment of the vice president and the president. Radical stuff.

Before the discussion began, I struggled with where I stood on this issue. My practical inclination was why bother? Georgie Boy's daddy would find a means of getting him off the hook. The country is a mess. Time and resources should be committed to cleaning up the mess he created.

After listening to the speakers such as Cindy Sheehan and seeing the Veterans, I thought, how can we not?

Madame Pelosi does not have the authority to take impeachment off the table. This is not like the coveted voluntary sex act between two consenting adults. If Georgie boy's conduct does not fall under the categories of treason and/or high crime or misdemeanor I do not know what does. When an employee engages in misconduct or shows incompetence, an employer has procedures to rehab or rid the company of the corporate problem. If you or I lied and performed this poorly, our employers would not keep paying us.

Our founders gave WE THE PEOPLE, citizen employers, the mechanism to deal with a problem member of the executive branch. It's called Impeachment. There is plenty of evidence our citizentry can stomach a real impeachment proceeding.

Like a new manager taking over a division, a thorough assessment is mandatory before making any changes. How can the DEMs take our country in a new direction without investigating how the country ended up in its current state?

Impeachment hearings are the procedures available for Congress to perform their assessment and employee evaluation.

Yesterday was the beginning. The next step is writing to the folks that you just put in office; contact the MSM; and by all means sign the petition at Impeach for change.

Impeachment is mandatory in reclaiming our Constitution and Country.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Your life is not a reality show

It is no secret that the Bush Dynasty takes care of their own. Throughout Georgie Boy's life, when he managed to get in a bind, the family came along and made it all better.

There is nothing wrong with parents providing love, wisdom and where appropriate guidance. But there comes a time in normal families that a child is taught responsibility. If you engage in inappropriate behavior, there are consequences. The most powerful lessons are learned by screwing up and dealing with the fallout. It is called life. Clearly Georgie Boy was spared the rod and denied hugs.

The citizens have spoken by throwing out the Republicans. Rummy is gone, Cheney is shooting ducks some place and the military is periously close to a coup.

He behaved like a petulant child from the beginning. When they stole the second election, the next day he came out talking serious smack. A surprising attitude coming from a cheerleader. 51% is not a mandate. Looking at his resume' what has he done well? Nothing comes to mind. Our democracy was Georgie's latest toy.

Once again the matriarch of this horrible family will change his diaper; kiss him on the forehead and assure him that Poppa will make it all better.

Memo to Georgie:

41 will still like Clinton more than you. He will resent you for, once again, cleaning up your train wreak of a life again. Rest assured a Thanksgiving dinner invitation will not be forth coming from Jeb. Because of your need to get your way, you ruined his chances for a shot at the Presidency. Your goofy sister wrote a book to get some Daddy time on a book tour..
The Hulk Hogan reality show is less painful to watch. When it gets too ugly, changing the channel makes them go away.

Your life is not a reality show. Changing the channel does not make the problems that you created and/or ignored disapper.

I trust the White House's benefits plan makes an EAP program available to you. I think the average taxpayer would not mind paying for you to work out your unresolved family issues by going to family counseling. It would be a lot cheaper than how you have dealt with them to date.

Poll watching

I decided this year to take my role as a citizen more seriously. I joined DFA and I financially supported a handful of Congressional Candidates and signed up to be a poll watcher for the Sestak camp. With the shenanigans that have been reported in previous elections I figured that I would be useful in this role.

When I woke up at 5:45am, I questioned my desire to save the country. "I can't believe I agreed to this" I mumbled to myself.

I grabbed a large cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts and a couple of newspapers. Our community had become so polarized I was not sure how I would be received. What shenanigans would I have to deal with? How would I respond? Too much to obsess about at such an ungodly hour.

I arrived at the local library at 6:10am. My neighbors were busy assembling the booths and performing the preliminary checks. I presented my official poll watcher certificate to the Judge. Introduced myself to the other volunteers, ran through the procedures and settled in.

I was a rookie. The more senior volunteers were old enough to be my grandparents. I am sure that I brought the median age down to 82. They shared with me the anticipated stretches of down time. In addition to my newspapers, I had my blackberry to deal with possble boredom.

Boy were we wrong. From the time the polls opened at 7 am until my shift ended at 6 pm, we barely had enough time to breathe. We were averaging 55 voters per hour. Everyone was stunned.

The drama was kept to a minmum. I was one of two Democratic poll watchers. The rest were Republicans. But we worked together to get our neighbors through the process. We did not have an electronic system or the dreaded chads. Our ballots were scanned.

Only a couple of folks showed up at the wrong location. The Judge was helpful in redirecting them.

What surprised me was the turnout of young and first time voters. They came with their parents or their friends. That did my heart good. It was an event.

The only thing that people complained about were the calls. They simply wanted them to end. One lady who appeared to be a doctor or nurse, said that her voicemail had 40 calls after a twelve hour shift. She looked more perplexed than annoyed.

According to some reports our precint had a 56% turnout from the living registered voters. Not bad for a mid-term election.
BUT where was everyone else?

Young people historically sit on the sidelines, turned out. They are paying attention. The state of affairs is their problem. Good for them. Good for us.

Poll watching was exhausting but I am glad that I did it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

Politicians and sports stars have a lot in common. When do you walk away? It is a difficult decision. You are generally criticized for whichever road is taken. How many times did Michael Jordan retire? How dreadful was it watch Joe Montana in a Kansas City uniform after being a hero in San Francisco? Eagles castoff, Randall Cunningham found new life in Minnesota. The Giants running back, Tiki Barber is being criticized for walking away at the end of this year. His decision being labeled a locker room distraction.

This brings me to John Kerry and his flubbed joke last week. He was trying to help the party. Unfortunately, his nuances made him come off as an intellectual snob. In my opinion, the only person who should be apologizing to the troops is Georgie Boy. The situation that he put our brave soldiers and Iraqi civilians in is unforgivable. But that was lost in the fervor of the Kerry flub. After he was pushed under the bus by everybody, he quietly returned to safety and solitude of a very quiet D.C.

I attended two rallies this election cycle. You can see how the politicians soaked up the love being offered up by those of us in attendance.

In a sporting event, when an athlete performs well that same love is showered upon him or her. When was the last time your peers cheered when you filed a report? Or performed an endzone dance when you landed a new account?

Walking away from the spotlight and cheers is very hard to do for these competitive high achievers. You have to respect those who walk away at the height of their career. On the other hand, it is heartbreaking to watch a very public implosion when they stick around after their time has come and gone.

Eagles managed not to lose

My beloved Eagles managed not to lose this weekend. The fact that they did not play this weekend is a minor detail.