Has Wall St. completely killed the social good of corporate america?

October 31, 2014 Leave a comment

For the past two-weeks, I’ve been battling a virus, possibly a norovirus. I never really get sick, I might be uncomfortable forimages (8) a day, maybe two. That’s about it. I get sick days, just not paid sick days. I get 3-weeks vacation, 2 of which are paid, and then I also get unpaid personal days. Yes, I get health insurance too. The co-pay is all the way up to $35.

I’m actually pretty healthy, I usually bank my paid vacation day for emergencies, or a bad commission month. Dealing with this virus and feeling as my throat was swelling up to the point of not being able to breathe (an emergency room visit is $150 and I have a Disney vacation coming up), I deal with this discomfort and after day 2 of struggling through work and self medicating, I call my primary care doctor. I get a swab, a blood test and a prescription for prednisone.

doctorI feel great until the last two days of being weened off prednisone. The symptoms return and I’m back into the doctor’s office. She explains that I can’t have more prednisone and that it just my body fighting off the virus, possibly a norovirus that can take up to 3-weeks for the body to conquer. She explains that dosage of Motrin to take for my body weight and sends me on way back to CVS. Within 4-hours, I’m feeling better and can breathe, unrestricted again and crawl through the rest of my day of work.

I’m lost about $400 in pay during this two-week period, not to mention the meds and copays. On top of that, I took a 1% pay cut. So total I’m down $650 this month, this is the month that I was supposed to make spending money for my family’s Disney World Vacation, probably our last, and pay for heating oil. Don’t cry for my Argentina, I’ll survive. My moral sucks right now.

As I’m trying to get a gauge and comp for what I’m doing this month, one things sticks out. I’m making less, yet the top line I’m making for the company is considerably more. To be honest it’s a wash, I’m might be down $1500 for the year, after taxes it’s really not a big deal, except the perception of I’m producing more income for the company, but getting less of a share. Wall St. says you need to cut cost by 1% and increase production by 5%, fuck the middle class. It ends up being a wash, trust me.

Here’s the thing. Paid sick days. I know, you’re thinking if you give paid sick days, it encourages people to take extra days off even if they aren’t sick, or just hung-over. I worked for a company that gave paid sick day and if you didn’t use them, showed up to work as planned, you got a check at the end of the year (around christmas time) for your 5-paid sick days images (9)with an extra days pay.

This is what this policy did. For a new employee after their 90-day fire-at-will period, they would normally use up their sick days first, which is a huge inconvenience to the supervising manager, they planned a day for 8-employees and only 7 show-up. Say you have 2-newbies, now the supervising manager is getting stressed, but it’s still doable. 3-newbies and now the supervising manager has to take the place of those missing links. If the culture is right, the team can handle it, but is pissed off along with a few clients.

images (10)So it’s Christmas time and there’s no overtime, Your supervising manager and 4 of the employees get a check for 5+1 sick days, the single mom who used her sick days, made it up in overtime – my kid’s sick on Tuesday, i can work Saturday for straight time – by covering for the newbie who called in sick. The newbies, being their first year, complain about not having enough money for Christmas.

Some “get it” and stay, others go. That’s how you create a rewarding culture with accountability.

Has Wall St. become so numbers driven that they don’t see the social good in paid sick days?

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Seriously?! You love being a serial entrepreneur?

October 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Without getting to deeply into my background, I enjoy what I do. I enjoy my life. I enjoy 95% of my work-life-integration life style. That’s includes calling my manager back on my day off, or stopping by the office for 20-minutes to clarify a few images (6)items, hence the word clerical work. Google it, am I wrong?

I do really do want to help you Uber-like starts-up out with all this labor and regulations laws and penalty stuff, but I blog for free and it’s usually not about me.

So back to my story. I was talking to a serial entrepreneur, who was the last person I would except not to understand twitter, he was getting his toes wet, but didn’t quite grasp it. As I explain my job what I do, the ebb and flow of my work flow, I may have thrown in the story about my divorce, and how I’m just comfortable dealing with the supporting cast of big corporate for now.

His love for his lot in life is what I gravitate to, he is just happy in what he does, his marriage, his kids, flying, images (4)and now…bee keeping.  He’s a self-starter, go-getter, everything I’m not.

If that’s how you view yourself, shame on you. He actually has that love, that vigor, for starting something new, something anew, along with the supporting staff at home, his high-school sweetheart!

I’m more in that big corporate atmosphere and he’s in that entrepreneur stratosphere, we have nothing to gain from each-other business wise. I’m bugs, he’s medical. Great guy, I always go out of my way to shake his hand. He’s happy, I’m happy. I’m happy, He’s happy. Only once was this compromised.

We both can talk intelligently about why we enthusiastically love what we do. Why we love our work-life-integration.images (7)

My last blog, driving home from a 5th-date. Reminded me of this cat. I was just trying to figure out how to become a success entrepreneur if this corporate gig didn’t work out. So here I sit on an attic board wondering how I’m going get back down to the ladder, that I had to jump up from to without breaking my neck. I give him a call.

The chances are good that I’m going to break my neck once I jump, and the chances are good he knows a doctor that can fix me, once I do.  It’s all about that Golden Hour.

What’s the first thing that I think to say, “I think found you wife’s sister”….


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Slow down, you need to slow down.

October 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Many years ago, I met a man named John, on a Saturday as I forgo a healthy commission, I stop, listen, listen, johnlistened a little more, added my half-a-cent (.005). I was young then, I didn’t have a 2-cent opinion to offer. Among the many lessons he taught me – my favorite was how he was crazy for buying a house (with a 2nd build-able) lot on Martha’s Vineyard before Clinton was number 42 – He taught me to just take in the moment. This moment. Stop thinking about the next moment. John has that knack for making me feel relaxed, as I’m thinking about how I’m going to make my quotas, my commission, my bills, the boat home! John taught me how to trust the Universe, how to be what Brene Brown would call vulnerable.

I wonder if he’s going to let the wife’s family stay in the new home on that build-able lot free of charge,  His son watched me and asked enough questions, they probable don’t need our services anymore to catch a mouse, but maybe, just maybe to hear the in-laws, honest opinion.

download (4)The Saint Michael in my stories are of this John and another John both remind me to slow it down (you need to slow it down) He talks my ear off, My OCD – compensating for the companies inadequacies – scheduling doesn’t have a chance in hell to get done today. John and I talk, I finally get to get my 1-cent in, and tell a story (it’s 5-years later) which reminds him of a 6-cent story, Again, I’m making no money here, but gaining a wealth of knowledge, just like 5-years ago. Feeling Blessed, I offer another story, then the wife pulls in yapping on the phone. Which after she communicates the problems of the house, our talk now extends to man cave talk about the definition of work… then he reminds me of time and grabbing a couple vodka’s with the wife on a Friday night.

Both of my Saint Johns have found their match, their soul-mate, whatever you call it. michael2

Of the 3-stops I couldn’t complete on that Friday, because I spent it talking (listening) to John – once again – I completed 2, during my on-call Saturday, since nobody called, except a single soccer mom who was kid free at 11! The other stop I couldn’t complete works into my Thursday schedule after a quick google maps search. (update: I actually did it today on my way home)

With these mentors/angels at my side, not to mention all the 2nd marriage couples on Martha’s Vineyard that helped me through my divorce, (Yes I went on another date to comp her to)

Driving home, it’s as if I left heaven.

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#DomesticViolence it’s not her, it him and the drug addiction. #al-anon {undedited}

October 17, 2014 Leave a comment

In one of my previous blogs, I wrote about how a pastor from a local church gave my tenant a check for the amount that she was short for the month, after her baby daddy(my handyman) was arrested and put in jail. Like clockwork, it was the 1st of the month and he went out on his monthly drug-binge. It happens. If I look back at my books, I think she is $676 behind on the rent. (A tank of heating oil that is included in the rent.) strippers

It’s gotten to the point where I have to go out of my way to collect the rent, not to mention that her boyfriend isn’t keeping up with his end of the deal for that extra bedroom that was included. Never-mind his portion of the rent, she doesn’t her portion of the rent either. Of course as I confront her, she is high as all hell. She gives me a story about how her boyfriend took her part of the rent money from her, if you didn’t have the rent you would be too.

I personally believe that she and her boyfriend are trying to pull the wool over my eyes. I. AM. A. DICK.

He gets arrested. The church steps in, writes $200-blank check and gives it to this single mom. I feel, they are enabling her. We have a friendly bet. She, knowing she is in arrears for back-rent, puts my name on that blank check.

I pass that money along for repairs to a recovering addict. Honestly, the church is winning this bet.

Not a bad bet to lose. It’s a low priority to do list for me on my end. Either you relapse or you don’t.

The church is hitting is out of the park! She goes out her way to deliver the rent, buys the batteries, finds the missing smoke detectors, and then installs them. Then still has the extra $10 for cigarettes, normally they, she is asking me to borrow money for cigarettes.

Having $10-cash for cigarettes on the 16th the month is a fucking miracle. I offer a reprieve (from being a cynical dick), I buy the cigarettes, gather my laundry, include my laundry detergent , then place the basket at her door with the her original $10 and a pack of cigarettes.

That’s a day’s pay and 2-hours of work for her boyfriend, that’s a weeks worth of pay and 2-hours of work for her.

He’s a drug addict. He will scrounge up anything that he can sell, steal, beat out of you, if need be, just to score a drug hit, sometimes it’s just over the last cigarette. Most times it’s over the pills.

He – his drug addiction – is a leach on society. Worst of all, he’s a leach on his daughter’s future, Why buy her a $300 iPad, when he would just sell it for a $25-drug hit.

Which without the fear of being hit and the support of the church, She was able to pay her full portion of the rent, budget her money, then ask if you could buy her cigarettes with this $10, instead of asking to borrow $10 for cigarettes.

Pretty sure, I lost this bet. Can we put a Pastor into low-income communities and remove the violence?

Is this Scalable?

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Dealing with the brush off…

October 12, 2014 Leave a comment

The-Boys-Playing-Arcade-GamesHave you ever been brushed off? You went out of your way to meet someone and they brushed you off, they didn’t live up to your expectation on how the meeting should go! You prepared, did you research, had your a, b, c, d and e questions all prepared. You got the inside scoop on this CEO, Celebrity, Rock Star, Top Architect to IBM Watson, maybe even a savant, or it might just be a date-night with your wife. Trying to get your foot in the door (rekindle that spark, if it’s the wife), you ask if you can just tag along.

They- having nothing to hide – allow you access. As you give up your family day and your wife is pissed off, you finally meet this man or woman, spending a sSaturdaywith his kid. He explains the repetitive nature of the motorcycle game that his son is playing (almost like he designed it) then brushes you off and mentions someone you should talk to…

Do you contact that person, or focus on the fact that he brushed you off?

Me, I had a great conversation about bugs, apple products, and life with a friend 600 or 6000, or is it just 6-miles away, that was facilitated from this brush off friend, who found time to meet me, while spending a day with his son, me with my daughter.

We understood each others brush off, (I’m trying to be a dad, him too)

While our parenting skills over-lap, our one-on-one tech skills not so much, our networking befriending skills seem to assimilate. This is fun for us.

How sensitive are you to the brush off? Are you interesting in the repetitive nature of an arcade game? then ask questions. If not, just be yourself and listen, they’re explaining something that they enjoy. I can’t hack, but I know enough about hacking to know if you’re bullshitting me. That’s why I don’t worry about being hacked on snapchat.

Every blow up a meeting because it didn’t go the way you planned?

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Things happen as the should, when they should. Accept it.

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

As much as I’m enjoying my life – learning about the Orthodox Jewish culture – I am still with no question a Universe man. I believe in Karma, the greatest good and all that stuff. I write fables too, it takes one to know one. After all the bullshit I’ve been through, I have a quiet escape, well it’s more of a rendezvous, than an escape. download (2)

A time set aside to quiet our minds,  As the Orthodox Jews meander outside the home, the uncanny moment when you realize that you have an awful lot more in common that just sex. (we got that over in the first 10-seconds) Around the 3rd Netflix episode, (we keep talking here and there) we got hungry, go out for a meal and a beer, as we talked some more and more. Repeat.

I drive home, turn on my fog lights so the Orthodox Jews can see the cross walk. I am truly happy.

I visit the home of a client who is like me an Universalist/Buddhist, we normally talk for hours on end. She’s been trying to set me up with her divorce niece. If nothing else, just so I can tell her my story about my divorce and how it all worked out for me, my ex-wife, my beautiful daughter, and our village. (Baby Bella yelling in the background)

I get busy, being the summer and all.

michael2So I walk in, the is niece downstairs. My client had a stroke! Lucky for her, she was teaching a yoga class and wasn’t alone, she’s six-months away having her full speech back, if she gets pissed, she speaks perfectly (it’s a different part of the brain).

She being no-nonsense, asked me what I think? I tell her, “if you were alone you’d be dead.” You’re really doing great 6-months after a stroke …she has all her motor-skills, (it takes time for the brain to recoup).

This is my Universe Buddy…(I really don’t need a date right now)

Being on point, she insist that I meet her divorcing niece, the niece comes upstairs and her aunt explains to us, “that we don’t have to become boyfriend and girlfriend, but we need to become friends.” (pitch perfect)

I trust her and the universe. This will happen.

Thinking back on my life, I remember a grandfather (not mine) that taught me how to ride a 4-wheeler and grabbed my crotch, I was outspoken then and said, “no!”, what a horrible smokers death he died, his daughters some with boys, passionately by his side.

That was water under the bridge, he never molested me, just tried. Man, his final years were horrendous. (ask me, I tell you the story in person, not in a blog, no worries.)
images (3)

Back to my story, she was immediately cared for, instead of being dead, or being Dick Clark, she has a good chance of being back to normal within a year. While I wasn’t able to be her niece’s knight in shining armor, it made perfect sense for her niece and her daughters to move into her aunt’s big house and help care for her.

Plus. I’m still around at their beck-and-call to help navigate through the divorce and her aunt’s stroke, which doesn’t always happen after a single date.

I’m, you’re, not alone. [the photo may, or may not represent me, the video; a couple's story, not mine]

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The trophy wife: You’re looking at it all wrong. #onlinedating

October 5, 2014 Leave a comment

If you read any of my blogs, or tweets, it’s no secret that I’ve been dating again. Being a single dad, whose friends are home with their families on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. I usually spend my weekends with my daughter, or texting and messaging my friends, other times I stop by for a couple of beers after work. We don’t go to bars that much.victoria

Hence, my dive into the online dating world. I’m fluent in twitter and tweet-ups and meet-ups, so this was easy for me. There’s a lot of tech savvy people on twitter, so I didn’t have to worry about being cat-fished by a murder. So here I go…

One was too big, one was too small, one was too fake, and one…was just right.

PokerBearsShe was just right, what else do you need to know?

Here’s the thing, as I’m hedging my bet, trying to out-jinx the jinx.

I’m reading another online profile, a girl struggling with her “ideal” weight who needs to go the gym to maintain her weight. I read people for a living. She’s post college, has a decent job, but never had a post college, meaningful relationship. How do I know? She wants her new partner to accompany her to the gym for 2-3 hours. Anyone whose been in a meaningful relationship knows, we need that 2-3 hours to ourselves to make the relationship work! (she was around 30 with no kids)

I’m still wondering, why, if you’re at a gym for 2-3 hours a day, are you bothering with online dating, you have your sea of fish.

Me, I’m a single parent, somewhat of a homebody, maybe in your eyes, I’m not your idealistic trophy husband, that really doesn’t matter to me.

Life Rule #1 Don’t Judge a Book by its cover.

Life Rule #2 Read the first ten pages. Then judge.

Back to out-jointing the jinx, fuck it, I’ll just let this run its course.

Speaking of running, don’t give completely give up on on-line dating, but you’re at the gym for 2-hours, practice making small talk, your both at the gym an awful lot, What’s your favorite strength exercise? You least favorite cardio?

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