How can you correct Doomsday?

July 30, 2014 Leave a comment

The biggest mistake a CEO’s, VP’s and Board members make is not getting out into the field, it’s actually pretty easy these days. I best part of you dayremember, the hike I would make each day, to Martha’s Vineyard to kills bugs and make small chat. It was actually pretty invigorating.

I still remember a client bragging and telling how he got them to lower the price, “I really stuck it to them!” I thought to myself, “I’m on commission asshole.” Communication. Along with his wife’s advice about kids, he told me how he got them to lower the price. I walked away not so angry. I had a lot to learn back then.

I’m front-line. Still am. Only now I don’t have to travel to Martha’s Vineyard to communicate to a CEO, VP, or Board Member like I did 10-years ago. They don’t have to travel to Martha’s Vineyard to get a beat on have things are really going on the Front-Line.

I remember talking to a guy who sat on the same board as my former CEO. He called it. He said it was a hot-air campaign sell job. What does he know, I was pulling a dead rabbit out of a crawl space, noticing that his contractors never installed the vents. He was right next to me in that crawl space asking questions. You’d probably complain.

Then again, do you probably don’t know that a $5-million home cost 10-15K to maintain? I do.

He’s the thing, Social Media and our 10-year relationship makes it possible for us to keep in touch. Instead of 3-months he can get instant access to the how things are “really going on the front-line,” Can you or are you to busy selling?

Make no mistake “selling is still an art, a beautiful art when done correctly.”

Here’s the problem.

All the logistical solutions that we have  “technology” for,   wait for it in the sales pitch “technology!” it was a sell job from a sales culture focused on buzzwords. You went private and still didn’t didn’t fix this simple logistical issue. Your Human Capital was smarter than the “technology” that you were sold on 8-years ago. Yet you ignored them. Cut they’re pay, increase their hours, added manpower to make this “technology” work? We pushed this CEO… or was he just a President out after he destroyed another division, which we sold off, it eight years later and just saying the word “technology” doesn’t cut in during a sales pitch.

I guess that’s what the Harvard MBA program Taught him…

Thankfully, that’s not the Harvard I read today.

So here we are, a public company that didn’t fix shit when we when a private company during the great recession.

Grasping at straws, because our logistical “technological” investment did nothing but drive out clients away. It’s July (our bread and butter month) and we don’t have enough work. Nobody’s calling back. Meanwhile we just raise prices 19%, and want to focus on client retention by reduce our front-line tech commission by 1% for 80% of the techs.

I’m guessing you’ve never done a favor-for-a-friend.

Does the guy who said we should go to an all call-center format still work for us? Clients fucking hate that.

Every local phone number that is responsibly for my territory should have 4-rings to answer my clients phone calls, if i have to travel farther than a neighboring town in a single day, I should be notified, ideally having the client, CSR and client nailing down a time a day.

Not to mention that our scheduling system can’t identify that a client is home a 11am every Thursday.

I traveled 40-minutes, forgoing servicing 3-to-4 clients ($400) in order to satisfies a  (low margin/no margin) client request that I could have done tomorrow with an improve NPS score. Only if his phone call was directed to the right CSR that could confirm the appointment with me.

I can charge my neighbor $50 to make up for that commission. Splitting wood is Splitting wood.

Which this logistics system, we not only fuck for July but you really fuck over the techs for this winter.

the price point is what can you afford over the course of a year. we maxed out at 237/187 …105. I actually got a lot of returning work at this pricing. Not this year though. Just 1-time services with the 237/187…129 price.

It’s time for me to start over. At this rate, I’m better of returning home doing pest control on the side.

We had the answer, the techs already have the answer. We can do our own scheduling. (It takes 3-years to learn the route: clients, houses, street to memory) Keep the old school technology(we’re talking before the  iPhone) for the techs in their first 3-years.

After that they should be able to answer client questions, and do their own scheduling on an iPad.

After taxes, other than May (which was because of mother nature) even with the 1% pay cut. it’s $200 a month pay-cut (I pay $1200 in child support, so that $200 hurts.) I do put 10% away for the winter. This winter I’m going to need it because with no client growth, I’m going to have to find a second job. You Don’t Pull Work In July!

My only saving grace is that I was able refinance this year – with no help from my employer after 6-years of pay-cuts – which will bump tax return to carry me through another with of poor management.

40K, I’m so thankful that I just have to scrounge up 40K this year and next year and the year after that….hey bartender!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Asking the right questions.

July 27, 2014 Leave a comment

So much of life is about asking  the right questions, ever meet someone who just has a knack for knowing what to ask? It’s hit or miss for me. Sometimes I do, other-times, it’s just empty space in this head of mine.

The other day I pick-up my daughter, like I always do, I explain it’s late, we can’t go shopping or to Friendly’s, plus she won’t be able to play with Donna this weekend. She agrees. father-daughter-quotes3

After a little bit on the trampoline, she comes back in without Donna.

I ask, “where’s Donna?” she replies, “she wants to stay on the trampoline, I don’t want to.”

After a little bit she says, “her belly hurts, it’s been hurting since she woke up, but now it’s hurting more.”

She was at a sleep-over last night, so I ask, “Did anyone have a stomach ache?” she responds, “No, just my tummy a little bit.”

Then I ask, “When’s the last time you went poop?” she replies, “it’s been weeks,” I comeback with, “you mean days, a few days..”

We get into the whole discussion of weeks, days, hours, she’s pretty confident that it’s been a week. You never know with kids.

Meanwhile, I’m watching an episode of Modern Family where Al is having his step-son diagnose his stomach pain on webmd, He ends up in the emergency room with appendicitis telling his wife, “I wasn’t over-reacting, your son was right!”

I tell Maddy, “you might just have to go poop.”

We go into the bathroom, no luck. It’s the middle of Summer, I have her drink water. A little later, this time she’s tired and cranky, we try again, he belly hurts when she pushes, in her pouting child mannerism, she jumps off potty and says, “I don’t have to go!”

Thinking she has a stomach bug, I say, “let’s go to bed early”, since I know I’m going  to have a puking kid in the middle of night and will be dongi the whole striping of the child, the bed, the washing, the finding of clean clothes and then putting on clean sheets.

As I lie with her to make her fall asleep, her belly is really preventing her from falling asleep. I press on her belly button. She says, “that hurts”, then I ask, “is the pain right in the center or to the left or right?”, she replies, “right in the center”.

We talk about if I every had a stomach pain like this, Will it go away when I wake up in the morning (more like when you wake up at 2am and puke all over the sheets).

After this discussion, she says, “I want to try to go poop again”, She drops a deuce, (that’s 2lbs, if you don’t know french).

Her belly still hurts, but not so much. We go back to bed, she says, “Her belly doesn’t hurt, I love you”, then gives me a kiss goodnight.

The moral of the story: Dad you’re right. The word of the day: Constipation.

That was my Weekday Visitation Day after 12-hours of work, spending a couple of hours before bed and before work with my daughter.

Priceless.

You have bills to pay and don’t that kind of time, Don’t Fret. The Lord with make time. Most likely, sitting in an Emergency Room for 4-hours waiting for a doctor to tell you that your daughter has UTI, got cranberry juice?

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

“I want to be the leader, the boss” Step 1: Listen.

July 22, 2014 Leave a comment

In the mist of my summer time controlled chaos, I missed a “team meeting”, running low on supplies, remember than I’m highly allergic to a certain chemical (pretty sure it’s getting removed from our chemical list). If you see a my company’s product at home depot, it’s not this product and actually will never be used by this company’s technician again.

I’ve work with my team leaders through thick and thin, It’s kind of fun and relaxing to interact without the rest of the team.

We all have our strengths, and we all have our weaknesses, the fun is when we converse in a nanosecond, before you think “should I trust this person” and they have an answer! The task at hand is already done! Something that you stress over.

That’s how you gain trust, complete the task-at-hand, quicker than anybody else.

I have two teams leader that can do this to perfection.  I make their lives easier, They make my life easier – Without even trying.

Stopping by the office, it was such a breath of fresh air, I’m asked, “do you need a report” (3-seconds for her), “No, I still have 10-days, next Monday”, Another Manager stops by, our number guys (not nearly as cheap as me) [he must have already checked  the up-to-date numbers, he's smiling], he ask if I need one of our new hats, FUCKING YES, if I ever have to use tempo again, WHERE ARE THE SAFETY GOGGLES!

I didn’t say that, what I did say – to my boss – was I just need one hat, my sunglasses, a cyfluthrin alternative that nobody is using, and the company provided power sprayer. (Hi-five to Stuart for helping me with the hose, he’s retired) . I actually may have eliminated the need for the 1-ft up, 1-ft out, granted if done correctly it is cheaper than an alternative.

We’ll negotiate in the fall, when things slow down. We’re on the same page.

Then he over-hears, me and my manager’s (his trusted advisers) complaint about doing employee reviews in July. It’s a waste of time for us, it doesn’t impact our income, and actually, We’re going to lose money completing this task. Then we have to deal with irate clients because we’re not available.

My Boss Listens, Do you?

Make no mistake, I push up a lot harder than you can push down.

So who’s your numbers guy? Got a girl whose good at the books and on the phone? How about a tech guy?

Categories: Uncategorized

This too, will pass.

July 19, 2014 Leave a comment

A few blog post ago I wrote about my brother’s relapse, my trust in the universe (you might call it god). His brakes gave out during the day when he was completely sober with his daughter in the truck. [Murphy's Law in a good way, she had her seat-belt on] This was after I taught her the lesson on how to call the cops, but before she got to wave at the cop on the motorcycle in the parade as he stopped right in front of her smiled and wave, not to mention the firefighter driving the fire truck.

These are the people that protect and serve us. It’s weird that a couple weeks later she was in a car accident to see what else these guys do when they’re not in a parade, 0r answering a domestic violence call between two brothers…Because she was afraid.

So with no vehicle my brother can’t drive to “Taunton?” He’s forced to sober up. I relaxed I get my $400 to pay his $500 utility bill before he blows it on drugs in 2-days. Yes! I will drop the hammer over $800 and him and his daughter, and partner will be out on the street. If she was going to Summer Camp, no, but if she’s up here watching TV while her father blows a months pay in 2-days. Dead Man Walking.

I really would like to think, he was having a mid-life crisis, it happens.Bike-Helmet-Father-Daughter

As I’m typing up my 2-weeks notice to quit, just to cover my risk and make sure I can still pay the mortgage during the eviction process (I’m doing this 9-months ahead). He gets into this accident. He’s smart. I would like to thing that was his personal wake-up call to snap-out-of-it. Some do, Most don’t.

A few weeks later, without the stress of my brother’s addiction (he can’t go anywhere) I wake up early tired and grumpy with my daughter to bring her home before work.

I see a Dad and his daughter biking together at a stop light. I think to myself, I wish Me and Maddy had the time to that. Instead, it’s an ice coffee, a chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles and drop Maddy off back to Mom (before she goes to work) and off to work I go.

Little Eagle Eye in the backseat says, “that’s Donna and Uncle Tony!” Even with the Sheriff parked behind Binky’s, I just watch.

He’s on a bike with a backpack, a lunch cooler and behind him  Donna riding attentively on her bike. (He’s pretty good at directing traffic, deaf or not.)

My guess is he’s bring her to the Summer program or a friends house, I don’t know, ask the Sheriff.

Seeing they’re safe, We proceed to our normal weekday schedule.  (Nothing goes right when I wake up early, I woke up early.)

STOP!  My (recovering) drug addict brother was biking with his daughter at 7:45am in the morning, lunch packed, toys pack and biking with my niece. THAT’S A WIN FOR THIS HARD ASS, ASSHOLE!

The rest of my day was bureaucratic corporate bullshit, except for listening to @ED and his radio recommendation, Joy Lunn was excited that we will fix her springtail problem (it’s a process, not a single day solution, and no she’s not the only one…ask  Sarah [Mom and Wife of the year])…it’s actually, a new pest outbreak that I haven’t encountered in my career!

Still trying to figure out Maine.

If your lost in this story, I drop my kid off to my ex-wife before she went to work, then her beau – after work – drop our kids to his parents, and then I picked up my daughter from the greatest grammy and grampy ever.

It takes a village, and Rome wasn’t built-in a day.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Why are you single? Why are you married?

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment

I have a good friend that I can text or pick up the phone and instantly it’s a 5-hour conversation. She believes in God, the sanctity of marriage, the well-being of her daughter, but she has a ‘Lord why me experience’ that still lingers.20140713-231659-83819321.jpg

I believe in the universe, radio waves, and Karma.

No, we never slept together. Different Universes, but the concept of Marriage and Karma are the same.

We talk about anything and everything, avoiding any friction that may arise from my Belief in the Universe and her Belief in God (sometimes it’s one in the same). Okay after the 7th-hour, I might have blurted out, “It was your guardian angel showing themselves!”

I don’t know what it’s like to carry a human being inside and lose it. I believe everything happens for a reason at the right time. (I know. You’re like this is about me, I slept with you, so no, well kind of.)

She, after analyzing why my last girlfriend was annoying says, “you should have girlfriend!”

Religious beliefs aside. The reason we talk about anything and everything and count on each other, is we give an honest opinion of the greener pasture that we desire.

I told her a few stories of couples and how they stayed together for 50+years…

My favorite is the wife, who left for the sister’s for a month, because her husband didn’t read her mind that she was mad at him. As she sat in the car, he walked by put the trash to the curb. Went back in the house and off she went. They’re still together, happily married.

Then it’s back to my turn explaining my plight of being single.

I’ve been married already, I have a daughter, I have an innumerable amount of couples who can advise me on how to make it work ” between the photographs.” Tell a story about a girl I met, that I was attracted to and how she fails the litmus test in a social setting.

Case-in-Point.

I’m at a party with this with strong opinionated girl that I couldn’t stand years ago — she would tear down the hand that feeds her –she’s still smart, but not so definitively opinionated and now is asking questioning and accepting of her parent’s help.

That’s attractive.

Then I overhear a conversation about finding a 6-foot-nothing rich bastard so she won’t have to work. (I’m Turned-Off!)

I’ll be damn if I get back into that type of  situation. I work 50-hours a week, that’s it. If that’s not enough.. she can earn you keep for the other 30. That’s me.

Why do you stick to your beliefs? Does another religion justify them? How about Science?

Did you forgot that being single and alone are two-different things?

Are you taking advice from a miserable person? The Mario in your life.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

I have enough money, reached my goal, something’s missing.

July 12, 2014 Leave a comment

After completing all the stipulations of my divorce (a 3-maybe 4-year process), I’m sitting here on my couch with my Disney Vacation paid for, my winter savings in check, I’m maxing out my employer match 401K. I’ve survived my brother’s latest drug relapse, a little worried about the 1% drop in commission, not to mention the drop in new work/sales. The fact is that my net-income is better than compare to a year ago.

oprahI’ve been on a tight budget for 3-5 years, okay maybe it was 23-months to eliminate all debt and THEN refinance a mortgage. I have money to spend, I don’t. I can’t get out of that “I can’t spend against the budget mode”, I still go home check the budget – see if it was in the budget – then decide if I need this.

It’s been a fight to get to this point, to reach this goal. I’m good at, er, I understand Wall St. I couldn’t afford to go to college and not work at the same time. So I{the only one on the west coast who could do what i do} worked at a book bindery that produced proprietary (top-secret) information for the stock market.

Meanwhile, I got to hang out on Venice Beach (lived at 450 S. Venice Blvd)  and take a few computer training courses at Santa Monica College, after 4-years (that was my going away to college), something in my gut said, “it was time to move home”.

Back to completing my goals and the stipulations of my divorce. Enjoying and mastering my career (it gets boring, some days), I check the numbers, understanding how Wall St works, knowing were to put my middle class pittance of pay, and having a ex-wife to deal with that I have to legally pay 23% of my report income. I’m blah, I might even be depressed or have the blues, I’m definitely grumpy smurf.

Remind you, looking over my budget, the percentage increase of free cash, saved cash, vacation cash compare to a year ago is astronomical (stay the course, you worked for it not them, help their daughter). As long I just show up to work, enjoying the profession that I love (85% of the time). The number works. I have no worries including my retirement savings!

With all that, I’m still blah and grumpy. There’s Something Missing. tony flooring

With all the… with everything… with my head wanting to be out of the game. I just wanted to limp out on this Friday.

Then NBA’s most hated millennial (with more money than god) writes a SI letter to Cleveland.

Most people don’t read past the headline, never-mind the first paragraph, we do. That’s what we do.

Big fucking deal, some rich, more money than god prick is “bringing his talent’s back to Cleveland”

Here’s what lifted my spirit today, here’s what caught me…

The phrase “it’s bigger than basketball” (paraphrasing, or am I?)

I thought to myself, this kid “gets it”, unlike you or me, he had to prove to himself, as a young man, that he is the best and build up his confidence to be a Man. His College (moving away from the coddled home experience) was playing for the Miami Heat.

Four Years removed from home, I’ve excited to see what Lebron brings to the Cleveland Area…beyond just winning basketball games.

Why the Fuck was I so Blah about Today? Oh yeah, my middle class bills are paid until the end my of days, but that doesn’t change my home life drama.

Should I hate on Lebron, or follow his lead and fix my own life?

Editing this (to the best of my ability), I realize haven’t I’ve written down a plan for my next chapter, have you?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and my last chapter took 3-years…

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Relapse, What do I do? [unedited]

My brother enter a stage of relapse. He gave up on me, his daughter, his life and fell back into addiction. (I don’t trust his common law wife [Ma lex luther]) It happened as I closed the deal on my divorce. Fuck off, I just want to relaxed.

Normally, I give penance. I’ve dealt with my brother’s drug addiction all my life since he was thirteen… three years for his common law wife (if we didn’t live in Massachusetts).

I started to throw the hammer and throw them out (a 14-day notice to quite for non-payment of rent), when she relapse (a year or two ago) I gave then a 60-notice to quit. They learned with that 60-day notice to quit that I can throw them out at will.

I can represent myself. They have to show up to court and “fabricate a story” and a lawyer. How often to I lie, How often to I show up after 5?

After her relapse and then the email I sent her Boston Housing Authority Section-8 housing (I’m trying to keep this family intact at their daughter request), there’s an immediate respond to the tenant. YOU NEED to find another place to live in 60-days!

They went across the street to church and prayed.

THE CHURCH’S MONEY IS NOT ALLOW HERE.

They get caught back up on the rent. (a months rent if that).

My brother’s partner “gets it”

then my brother relapse, month after month after…14-day NOTICE!

She got it, still she couldn’t correct it, or didn’t want to..she didn’t want to.

I have the legal to throw them out to correct my brother’s drug relapse.

Mid-Day he and his daughter are in an car accident that totals the family car that keeps him at home. He has no transportation that enables his drugs addiction habit on the 1st of every month for that passed 2-months! (that’s an $800 a week habit!)

Karma: When god hands you a full plate,  that’s when the wait-tress comes by with a tray…

they are so fucking behind on their rent…I remember everything! STOP!

I’ve been through this before. Maybe I don’t have to evict them…

I start with “my laundry”  and a written contract that they wrote to repay me  in there own handwriting.

It’s something that they’ve done in the past to get the apartment and “not have to go to the laundromat”, but  forgot about.

There’s a cost to do the drug of choice, in this house is starts with laundry. If you don’t want to do laundry, then replace my window.  This is where I push drug treatment. I’m not very nice. My brother, his girlfriend and child are still alive.

If you can’t do that, can you decorating a personal space?

My Personal space…I want to be nice, but I can’t. this roof over these drug addicts head, i do it for them, slowly teaching them when I can. building there confidence, doing laundry, replacing a window, raising a daughter without sexual abuse…

you an idiot if you think I do this on my own…

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized
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