Friday, February 24, 2006

your name is not Jack!

Ok - this is the last post for the day ....

I understand the rationale for sending call centers overseas. I have no problem with this service and am happy to talk to whomever is able to take my call.

BUT .... when you use a name that is not your name and, when you hesitate in giving your name because you can't remember the name you are using for the day it starts to destroy my trust in the conversation I am having with you and more specifically my trust in the company you represent.

I don't care what your name is ... but let's both be honest here. Your name is not Jack!

Whoever came up with this idea of changing the names to better appeal to an American consumer should be fired. This is a bad idea that does nothing to hide the fact that these jobs are being sent out of the country and at the same time puts into question the honesty and intergrity of the organization.

Ok , I am off my soap box at least until I have to call the soap box customer service line and talk with Bob.

advice from a 4 year old

Last night my friend Kira shared the following advice:

"When you wake up in the morning you should go to the bathroom and then go back to bed."

Words to live by.

Danny and Annie

Danny and Annie have become a symbol of NPR's StoryCorps project. Their first visit to the StoryCorps van resulted in a charming tale of their first meeting and the love which has flourished over the past 27 years. Last month Danny was diagnosed with cancer. This morning I heard their latest entry into StoryCorps and felt tears come to my eyes as I listened to Danny talk of the love he had for his wife and the love he hoped she would find after he was gone. Life is not always peaches and cream. Sometimes we find the pit. But through it all it is valuable to remember that the relationships we have are gifts to be cherished. Check out Danny and Annie’s story on

1000 places to see before you die - #7

It was a cold drive into work today. My little car slipped as I maneuvered through the icy curves, and I wondered aloud if the sprinkling of snow on the sidewalks constituted enough reason to call it a snow day. Then, as I was reaching the climax of psyching myself up enough to call it a day and head back home I saw Lake Washington with Mt. Rainer off in the distance. Ahh yes, this is why I love living in Seattle. Sure it rains a lot. And, yes the multitude of grey days drain the life right out of me. But, every once in a while you head over the hill and are treated with a view with the power to wipe out the memory of all the rainy days that proceeded.

So, here we go …. In my list of 1000 places to see before you die #7 – Seattle, WA.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

best is not best anymore

I think I have read most of the popular management fables -" Who moved the cheese", "Fish", "Radical Leap", "How to take the obviously and make it into millions", etc… What continues to astound me (aside from how much money has been invested in me personally reading these books) is why as adults we have not yet learned how to play well together.

Initially I thought as children we did play well together in groups and those skills somehow diminished as we moved into these strange corporate worlds. Then it occurred to me that no, people are people and those who were willing to share the red crayon are still willing to share the red crayon and those who were not are not.

My latest foray into the self-help management section was the Five Dysfunctions of a Team which can be basically boiled down to one – COMPETITION. Perhaps that is my own competitive nature, perhaps that is because we as a culture like to WIN WIN WIN!!!! (this Olympics not withstanding.) Not once have I ever been taught that collaboration is better then winning. Although I understand that it can lead to winning. But, even in your traditional sports team scenarios there is always one person who wins more, the all-star, the most valuable, the water boy. So is that really colloboration if you are the all-star or is it getting other people to support you in winning?

It seems that as a nation we are trying to embrace a world economy through collaboration vs. our usual competition. I certainly can see the theoretical benefits of being able to utilize varying skills and resources to achieve an overarching global goal but the question remains how? How do we redefine the “est” as a key motivator? How do we change Biggest, Brightest, Best into something that does not reflect the inherent comparison?

A friend of mine recently sent an email that said “you don’t have to be the best, just do your best.”

There are many things I do in my life for enjoyment and not to be the "best." These are things we usually classify as "things I do for myself." I think I would like to take the idea of "things I do for myself" and spread that through all aspects of my life. Perhaps by applying the forgiveness of imperfection into work we can parlay a very self-centered idea into true collaboration.