Category Archives: Quality

Living Through a Pandemic

As an observer of life, I find it fascinating that sometimes those making the loudest pronouncements and taking up the most space intellectually are actually the ones living the saddest lives.

In life, one makes certain key decisions as how one chooses to live their lives, and I made mine very early on, and followed my dream, mostly in silence. People I know would lose sight of me for weeks or months on end, my excuse for my absences was that I was working. That was certainly partly the case, and working in several cities simultaneously is a challenge, now, did I meet ‘x’ in Toronto or Chicago?? Yikes!!!

I have endured endless nasty gossip from women with too little to do with their sad little lives other than gossiping ruthlessly about people they know little or nothing about. The more I have heard of the gossip, the further away I ran…..

Living life well is the best revenge ,doing it on your own dime, even better…

One of the extraordinary gifts I have enjoyed is making amazing friends who are scattered around the world. As we are locked down in our homes we are seeing empty streets with a proliferation of wild animals wandering aimlessly about…..air less polluted, and quiet….

Taking the time to call some of these individuals has been wonderful, no one is in a hurry to go anywhere beyond the kitchen, and the ability to spend an hour on the phone with no disturbances has been brilliant!!!, but even better, the laughter has been incredible !!!

But there have been some less attractive observations, which is seeing certain people showing their true colours.

From cyberbullying on Facebook, to acting out like spoiled, pathetic children, showing a distinct lack of class or consideration for others. The refusal to wear a mask in public, and bragging about their unwillingness only shows their ignorance and selfishness, and willingness to put the lives of others at risk.

There are those who interrupt others and do not let them speak, behaving as though they are all knowing and all seeing. Sit back and think about it. They are showing who they REALLY are. The man who claims to be from an upper class British family, putting on airs and a fake English accent ,screaming people down when he does not agree with them, and throwing temper tantrums like a bratty 2 year old. No one from a decent family would EVER behave in such a disgraceful fashion…..
Then, to continue the thought, if he is from such an amazing background ,why is it that he has returned to Britain twice in the last 30 years, and stayed in horrid B & B’s instead of with relatives having homes in Knightsbridge, Holland Park or Mayfair????
Last thought on this dreadful person, is realizing that over the years I am unable to remember ever sharing a really good laugh. That is sad.

Quiet observation of several individuals who make the most pronouncements has shown that, for the most part, they do NOT live particularly well, have not travelled, and in fact, are extremely limited in enjoying a cross section of friends and acquaintances.

Many have expressed feelings of isolation, however, the last time I checked, the telephone actually works in more than one direction. So, they are miffed because WE don’t call them, but when is the last time that THEY actually reached out??? When did they make you laugh or give you any type of pleasure to result to you smiling uncontrollably??

So, who are your friends?? More importantly, who do you still wish to keep as friends?? Unless one is extremely insecure and needs to feel that there is always an entourage, are they really friends or simply taking up your time and space, and worse, risking your life to satisfy their insecurities???

The ability to sit back and look from the outside in gives one extraordinary clarity.

Highly recommended during these uncertain times…

Being safe and careful is far more important than having selfish, uncaring people around you. It is your LIFE.

Do these individuals bring you laughter?? Joy??

Having too much time on one’s hands allows for introspection, contemplation and evaluation …..one must be able to look at oneself coldly at the same time as evaluating others. A frightening thought, but certainly the opportunity for a serious awakening.

To my amazing friend in London who suggested some of the changes to this BLOG, thank you for MANY years of joy and laughter, have an incredible birthday and wishes for many, many more.

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CovIDIOTS on the Move…..

Try as I may, unfortunately there are certain subjects which are difficult to write in an amusing and entertaining fashion. Covid 19 is one of them.

I am astounded by the level of unconscionable arrogance and selfishness demonstrated by certain politicians and individuals which are about us.

This is NOT a joke. It is a world pandemic which has infected over 5 million people and killed over 330,000. The numbers are rising exponentially on a daily basis. People who know me well are aware that I am an ‘information junkie’ with a massive Canadian and International network of contacts, not to mention being an avid reader, easily consuming 10 magazines and books in a week when I am on a tear. There is a lot to process. Add to that a reasonable number of Medical Doctors around the world, and well, you get the picture.
The information is not amassed in an isolated fashion as I have also lived in multiple cities and countries and travelled extensively.

There are those pontificators who would have you believe everything they loudly expound, but the smart thing to do, like anything you read in public media, is to step back, and look at who they really are, how much they have travelled, and how large and diverse their networks.
In most cases, it is not so much. So, do you REALLY want to listen to them and risk your LIFE by listening to them? I think not.

Last weekend we celebrated Victoria Day in Canada, the US are celebrating Memorial Day this weekend.

Images are flooding television screens and Facebook feeds of tens of thousands of people all crammed together, no masks, no social distancing, no sense of danger, whatsoever. Just to be clear, wearing a mask is a sign of respect to yourself and others. Period.

Given the spread of microdroplets in the air, particularly in a breeze, they can spread well over 10 feet in seconds, with uncirculated air, they can linger in the air for 14 minutes after someone has spoken, coughed or sneezed.
MINUTES, not seconds, just to reiterate.

Unfortunately I actually know some of the guilty parties. People who have been out socializing in groups then getting together in private homes for cocktails.
One arrogant wag actually posted “ F it, I want to go out and see my friends and hug them….”
Her so-called loving hugs can bring someone an excrutiating death. If there ever was a time to reconsider your friends, this is it.
Clearly I will not be having anything to do with her, ever. That total lack of insensivity towards the security of others is not something I wish to experience.

We have neighbours with children who are NEVER home. They are constantly coming and going to visit with others.
Others have children riding bicycles like hooligans with crowds of others screaming and creating havoc. WHERE are their parents??? And just WHAT are they thinking??

I guess they have all conveniently forgotten why their children are not in school and they are not at their jobs……

As much as being prisoners in our own home is not something we relish, being alive and healthy and together is something we relish a LOT. We are trying to approach it with a sense of adventure and a sense of humour. From Friday Night ‘Date Night’ to working outside and getting much needed sunshine and natural Vitamin D, we are making our home look pretty. We both cook in totally different styles, so the other thing we do is pretend we are going out to dinner. Last night we went to ‘Chinatown’ for noodle soup. Yes, in our dining room, no, we did not go anywhere near a restaurant. But it was absolutely delicious.

The other thing we do is call our friends around the world to say hello. People feel loved and not so totally isolated as they self quarantine, as well as knowing they are not alone in doing the ‘right thing’.

Although there are those who avoid Social Media such as Facebook, it is an extraordinary tool to stay in touch with friends in far flung parts of the world.
They really do appreciate it when you reach out to them.

There have been some unfortunate observations, and that is the utter arrogance and selfishness of the young, and it can unfortunately be directly attributed to their parents. Many individuals grew up with extremely strict parents, and swore they would not treat their own children in that fashion. We are now living the reprecussions of them never having overly disciplined their children. Their offspring are selfish, rude, and have never experienced any type of hardship. They have been coddled and protected from anything remotely unpleasant, and repeatedly told just how ‘special’ they are, even if they are not.
The lack of manners and discipline is awful, consequently, the concept of self isolating, social distancing, and considering the safety of others before themselves is a foreign concept, and they are handling it VERY badly. When their entire lives have been about their being special, their image, their so-called fabulous lives, what to do when you are isolated at home with very bad hair, a bad complexion, and unable to take awesome selfies?? Unable to go out with their ‘posse’…!! Oh horror or horrors!!!

All of a sudden, they are confronted with the concept of being forced to consider the safety and lives of others. This is NOT an easy thing to do when you have never done it before. Putting the safety of others FIRST, being told to self-isolate, to protect the lives of others, self distance, and OH MY……wear a mask…….IN PUBLIC…..such a foreign concept…

Unfortunately as the weekend comes to a close, we hear of escalating rates of infection and death in Quebec, Ontario, throughout the US, Brazil and Mexico…..

The same weekend filled with images on beaches, protesting in huge crowds, shopping in malls, all in close proximity to one another, all with NO MASKS, and no social distancing.

Covid 19 is an equal opportunity killer. It does not care a whit about your religion, your age, your sex, your position in life….or lack thereof.

Do the right thing, wash your hands, your body, your hair, shave your face, wash your clothes, your shoes…….keep 6-10 feet from others. Leave your filthy handbag at home. Clean your mobile phone. ….If you feel remotely unwell, STAY HOME. Ask someone to check in on you by telepone. Do NOT risk the lives of others by going out due to your selfishness.

Just a thought, could you live your life knowing you were responsible for the death of your close relative or best friend??

Think about it.

Be smart.

Be Safe.

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IT’S FREE!!!!

Most of the people I know are of above average intellect, and are more successful than the average, yet, nontheless, are drawn to aggressive advertising and often exhibit a level of naivety which is extraordinary.

Just to be clear, NOTHING is FREE.

YOU are the product.

My biggest bug a boo is DNA testing. It is being touted as super cool to find out about your family history. The Government and Insurance Companies have been trying to find a way to obtain this information forever …Information is POWER.

Yet, here you are, thinking just how COOL you are giving away your DNA, to these organizations, touting the COOLNESS of knowing your family tree.
Little tidbits are sent along, always requesting more information, please send along the name of your maternal grandfather, children, uncles, cousins…

Let me be VERY CLEAR, you have just GIVEN away your familial DNA without the express consent of ANY current and future family member.

If, for example, there are genetic illnesses in your family, such as Alzheimer’s, MS, Cancer, etc, and you are helping build a family tree, with NO ONE’s
Consent, have you not considered that members of your family could find themselves being hit with huge health and life insurance bills unknowlingly??

Some Insurance Companies are now insisting on DNA screening, others, the wearing of Fitbits, others, placing Black Boxes in your car to monitor
Your driving habits. By virtue of accepting to use one, you are also sharing your GPS being captured, so that they see EVERYWHERE you go.

“send us your Insurance application and we will look for the best rates for free’ !! are you really that guillable?? They have just shopped ALL your
Confidential information to 30 companies….WITH your consent…..

Do you STILL think it is free???

Let me repeat, YOU are the Product.

“Let us monitor your credit score””……..another one which makes my skin crawl…..

Wonder why you are being inundated with pre-approved credit card applications, financial service companies and car salesmen???

Your CONFIDENTIAL information has been SOLD, and you approved it.

“”TRY our matress for free””…

YUK ! YUK !!! YUKKK!!!

Does that mean if you do not keep it, the next poor sucker gets a used matress??

It is NOT free…… it is USED…..

“”Use OUR App to find the best Real Estate Agent in your neighbourhood””….
It is NOT free, the agents are paying to have their names there…..
SOO……are they the best, or only the ones who have paid???

“””Use OUR App to find the best Home Repair Specialist!!

See above….moreover, you have just GIVEN away your home address, and budget for home repairs….
When salesmen start knocking on your door offering their services, DO NOT be surprised…….

You GAVE away your information……

Do I have your attention yet??!!

Let me repeat, YOU are the PRODUCT!!

Looking for a mortgage??? Let US find you the best rates, just fill in OUR online application…. Listing ALL your assets and liabilities….. to a company
Offering to shop and find you the best rates…..guess what, ALL your confidential financial information is NO LONGER CONFIDENTIAL, they have
Shopped it to 30 companies who are now in possession of it. They are SELLING IT, ALL OF IT.

Just an additional thought, in that application, you listed all your possessions of value such as art and jewellery, and you GAVE THAT INFORMATION WAY.
Helloooo!!!

People are giving the government permission to take a facial scan for facial recognition, IRIS scans, fingerprints and now DNA….and you still do not think
You are being surveilled??

Does this not sound vaguely familiar…..???

The Government knows where you bank, and how you spend your money, and can close you down in an instant…..should they think you are cheating…..

YOU are the PRODUCT.

Start exercising your power and just say NO.

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Musings and Observations of Seriously BAD Behaviour

Bringing a seriously cheap bottle of wine to an event in someone’s home, digging in their closed cupboards to retrieve a fine vintage wine, slinking into a corner, opening the bottle and consuming it by yourself.

Yes, you did see this posted recently in the BLOG entitled ‘On being Selfish’, however, the outpouring of people calling and writing about this issue was extraordinary. Some of your examples absolutely hysterical, but at the same time, so very sad, as so many people are treating their hosts in such a greedy and callous manner.

You are absolutely welcome to share this BLOG, with the hopes that maybe one person recognizes their disgusting behaviour and changes it.

Arriving at the home of an extremely generous hostess empty handed, grazing your way through the most expensive food and drink, then having the audacity to ask the servers to prepare a plate for you to bring home.

Sneaking food home from a cocktail party. I have seen people filling endless napkins with huge Tiger Shrimp and other delectables, one rude wag actually would go into a corner and slip food into a large baggie, then go back for more. This event was NOT billed as TAKE OUT, it was in a private home, nor was it a fundraiser where the guests were expected to pay for a ticket.

Being invited to dinner then spending the entire evening texting on your phone, and not participating. If you didn’t want to come, next time, stay home.

Imposing your children on others They are simply NOT that cute or that special, and we do NOT want to hear about them or see their pictures.

Going to any Birthday Party empty handed, even if someone is hosting it for you.

Going to a Cocktail, Dinner , or Anniversary party empty handed.

Not sending a Thank You note. (see above)

Not sending flowers, or a gift to the hostess. (see above)

Aggressively asking someone for their assistance, then abruptly telling them that they are no longer required, as you have found another solution.

Telling everyone over a period of several months about your impending nuptials, claiming it will be ‘high society’, ( if YOU have to say it, then clearly it is NOT….) cheating with everything that walks on your soon to be wife, bragging endlessly to your male friends about your conquests, …some of whom told some of us…….

Sending invitations to your wedding to only some of the people to which you have been ranting endlessly over the past few months, filling the church with the guests who arrived all dressed up for this ‘fabulous’ occasion, having first sent expensive gifts to the home of the couple…..After the ceremony, the couple walked down the aisle, got into a few cars, including a couple of Rolls Royces driven by friends, and driving off into the sunset.
The guests naively thinking the wedding party was simply going to take pictures, found themselves standing around the church until they were rudely ushered out, and the church door loudly locked behind them.
Well over 100 people found themselves asking just WHAT exactly had happened, unfed, left behind, and utterly horrified. After a whle, some just wandered off, others went to a couple of restaurants for dinner, in complete and utter horror.

The wedding party, meanwhile, went to a private club for a very small, intimate dinner.

To say that my phone rang for weeks over this one, is an understatement.
NO ONE, let me repeat, NO ONE, had ever heard of, much less experienced anything as classless as this before, nor since.

Insisting on wearing your boots, shoes or whatever else footwear into a shoe free home. If you are told repeatedly NOT to wear shoes in the house, that is NOT an invitation to bring slippers or other footwear. NO shoes means NO shoes. It is the height of bad manners. If wearing your filthy footwear is more important than respecting the wishes of the hostess, please do us all a favour, and STAY home.

Going into a shop, having a shop clerk running around finding things for you to try on for over an hour, then leaving everything in a heap on the floor as if it was trash, and walking out without as much as a Thank You, or, making a purchase. That person is on commission, you just treated them worse than your personal servant, you stole an hour of their time for which they were not compensated, and worse, all the garments now look used and must be tidied and hung up.

Going to a soiree in a high end fashion store, drinking copious quantities of alcohol, eating everything in sight, taking endless selfies with both expensive merchandise and guests who are utterly unaware they are being photographed, and not purchasing a thing.
YES….they DID see you, and YES, they are talking about it…….guess how I found out about it!!!!!

Telling someone , “ we MUST do lunch repeatedly, I miss you SO MUCH….” Then never calling……

Walking up to a celebrity at a Fund Raiser, interrupting them, foisting your business card into their hand, and loudly exclaiming so that half the room hear you speaking…….”I would LOVE to get together with you for lunch……You MUST call me…….”…..pretending to be their best friend, when they DO NOT HAVE the SLIGHTEST CLUE who you are, nor, are they remotely interested in finding out. Their horrified facial expression just told it all……and YES, we saw it all……..

Turning upn at a fancy ball in a low cut, flouncy chiffon dress and carrying on like you are the Belle of the Ball. PLEASE take a serious look at yourself in the mirror. PLEASE repeat. …. Maybe, once more, just to be sure……

You are NOT a 16 year old, 100 pound anorexic model, nor are you a rock star. Exposing it ALL is just plain VULGAR.

Going to the aforementioned Ball, walking up to total strangers, interrupting their conversation mid sentence, and ingratiating yourself into their group. They do NOT know who you are, and after your incredibly rude pushy behaviour, have no interest whatsoever in finding out who you are.

Paying a PR to organize a reception in your Store – Art Gallery…..then spending the evening fussing over the shiny new faces you have never seen before and totally ignoring those individuals who have been paying your bills for years….. You DO realize that we have an abundance of choices of where to shop, do you not???

Fussing over the pretentious millenial who has 10 handbags spread all over the counter which she is photographing, and totally ignoring the quiet discreet individual who is actually dressed in high end designer clothes…..if someone is wearing a huge diamond ring, a large Vuitton purse, Hermes shoes, scarf and belt, they can probably afford to buy something else……..do you REALLY think the 20 year old has the cash?? Attitude is NOT cash.

Posting rude, beligerent comments on the Facebook pages of strangers just because you do not agree with them. You DO realize that you can be found, do you not???

…..and then there are the Drama Queens……..why is it that some people just will NOT stop posting and carrying on endlessly whenever there is some incident in their lives?? Are we supposed to run to your side to support you in your milisecond of need?? Give you money?? Take you out for dinner to console you??? Pity you??? … For a few, the feelings towards them has now run to utter disgust. Reposting endlessly on the anniversary of your mother’s death, her birthday, your dead friend, sending emails and sharing them with your friends to share so that your ‘sorrow’ is amplified a thousand times?? Stressing how we MUST all get together to support poor, sad you??

Seriously???!!!

What about the rest of us ??? We have ALL experienced loss, some of us have lived through absolutely horrific life events, yet, nary a call.
But then, we were elegant, quiet, discreet. We did not tell anyone, We did not post and repost and amplify, tweet or whine.

Walking into a grocery store with large reusable bags, filling them in the trolley, then arriving at the cash and paying for just a few items.
This new, absolutely INSANE trend of forcing us to bring our own bags in order to shop has generated a level of theft which has exploded.
People, we are ALL PAYING for this.
Some of us have brought it to the attention of store managers, but it is now so extreme that it is an epidemic. PLEASE do something …the cost of YOUR groceries will double if you do not.

Making a big deal about inviting someone to lunch to celebrate their birthday. Ordering cocktails and endless dishes that ‘you MUST try,” making absolutely sure that EVERYONE in the restaurant hears and sees you carrying on, then sticking the birthday boy with the total bill for several hundred dollars, who, just to be totally clear, ordered ONE plate of food and NO alcohol.

Truly, real life is more outrageous than make believe………

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On Being selfish

We have all met them, it could be a friend, family member, work associate, but it is ALWAYS about them. Their image, their birthday, their finances, their needs. But what happened to the rest of us??

Manners are considered to be the social grease. Perhaps not the most elegant choice of words, however, having good manners at the very base, is having consideration for others. 

Not doing to others what one does not wish to have done to oneself.

Selfishness rears its ugly head in a myriad of ways, it can be cloaked in jealousy, arrogance, or just the total lack of empathy or consideration of others.

From those who post endlessly on Facebook, and want us to ‘like’ and ‘share’ their beliefs, events, and successes, but would never consider doing the same for others.

Those who only promote or help those who they think can advance their own cause. 

Those who argue their beliefs but are utterly unwilling to allow that others may have a totally different opinion. Our life experiences are all different,  the best part about meeting and conversing with people is that one can actually learn, and sometimes from the most unlikely people. 

Not responding to an RSVP in a timely and considerate way, waiting until the last  possible moment in case something better turns up, but ignoring the fact that the person extending the invitation has to plan and purchase food and drink accordingly, as well as planning for the number of wait staff if it is a large event.

Turning up at an event with an unexpected guest or guests, and not warning the host prior to your arrival, forcing them to scramble trying to set extra places at the table, and figure out just HOW to extend the allocated food to feed the extra mouths, given the meal was planned for a lesser number of guests.

Not sharing information in a business setting in order to appear more important than they are. This works for a while, but inevitably backfires, as once people catch on, they will actually cease inviting the hoarder to meetings. 

Not considering that other people actually have feelings, and your words are harsh and hurtful.

Always turining up at a Dinner Table or Cocktail party empty handed, regardless the event. Have you ever considered just how much work it is to entertain, and just how much it costs??

Expecting fabulous gifts for your birthday, wedding, Christmas……and receiving amazing thoughtful gifts, but never reciprocating?? Regardless of whether it is your family or best friend, it is simply arrogant and rude.  Just like you love the excitement of unwrapping an amazing gift or gifts, so do they.

Please do not insult our intelligence by stating that you did not have time or that money is tight, but then sit and talk about all the posh restaurants and bars you have visited, the new shoes and purse, trip, car… you just purchased, the fun events you have been to, as you chow down on our food and drink. You knew about the event well in advance and had ample time to arrange something. If you are really that clueless about what to purchase for someone, PICK UP THE PHONE and ask someone.

I had one friend who actually was generous, however her constant borrowing of money and complaining about being broke at the same time as showing off another $4000 handbag or another trip to Europe simply became too much. Just making a feeble attempt to pay back SOMETHING would have been an amazing gesture, but it never came. 

People wanting your professional advice in business, yet always telling you that they can’t provide any assistance for whatever reason  when you need something in return…..hellooo??

People in Vintage and Antique stores selling you something and exclaiming how fabulous it is until you have paid for it, but if, heaven forbid, you wish to sell it at a later date telling you that it is worthless after they have insulted it for 5 minutes….

Can you really hear yourself??  And WHY on earth would I EVER buy from you again??   

We live in interesting times. 

A little consideration and generosity goes a long way.

We DO remember.

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FUNERAL CHASERS

This is one of those ‘glass half full, glass half empty” discussions.

Over the last year, at least one friend of mine has died every month, some months there were 3. We can embark on a discussion of incredible loss, at the same time as celebrating extraordinary friendships from across the globe.

Obviously attending all the funerals was impossible, both from a time and expense point of view, not to mention, the unfortunate host of the event will never actually know that you were in attendance.

Celebrations of life being for the living who remain, not the deceased.
Which brings me to the point of this BLOG.

As a student of human behaviour, in all it’s bizarre incarnations, one which disturbs me the most is people who go to funerals for all the wrong reasons, often claiming a level of friendship with the deceased which lives only in their imaginations, as in some cases, they were absolutely despised by the deceased, or virtually unknown.

Some are there because they genuinely cared about the host, others, morbid curiosity, some because frankly they have little else to do, others to be seen and heard, and let everyone know they are there, some to network, some to seek a new husband, others to consume vast quantities of free food and drink, and surreptitiously, they think, take more home for later. Some by necessity, for societal or family reasons. Then, we reach the most sad reason of all, which is those seeking human companionship, as they have successfully alienated everyone who ever befriended them. At the funeral of one prominent businessman and inveterate host, several attendees who are no longer invited anywhere due to their profound unpleasantness were there, proclaiming their closeness to the deceased. Obviously he was in no position to proclaim the exact opposite.

Then there are the serious social climbers, strutting around introducing themselves to those they deem to be important, posing for photographs to let the world know of their perceived importance. One ruthless social climber appeared wearing a large hat, strutting around waving in order to be seen. So inappropriate, so incredibly vulgar. At the same funeral, one equally grotesquely inappropriate man sat in the front row, preening, speaking loudly, turning around and waving at people in attendance to let the world see his popularity. Once the service was over, he rushed to introduce himself to the attending celebrities, speaking loudly to ensure those present witnessed his conversation. It was frankly embarrassing.

There was a clique of old, badly dressed women in attendance, sitting on the sidelines, commenting non stop throughout the service on the various guests in attendance, then afterwards, devouring the drink and food as if they had not eaten in months. Gate crashers???

To say some of the behaviour I have seen is disgraceful, is an understatement. It is a sign of complete and utter disrespect to those grieving.

Seeking a husband or to improve one’s social standing at a funeral is despicable.

Some celebrations of a life well lived are truly that, a party, a celebration, others are morbid and depressing.

These days more and more people plan their own funerals and receptions to hopefully eliminate these shameless actions, but unfortunately there are no guarantees to ensure respectful behaviour. Do we have to consider putting gate-keepers at funeral receptions to ensure that only the invited guests are in attendance??

This has been a year of incredible loss, but at the same time one of celebration.
I have been amazingly fortunate to be friends with some extraordinary people who are, unfortunately, no longer with us.

Thank you all for being my friend, and a huge part of my life. You will be severely missed.

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A Crisis of Early Retirements Unfolding…..

Over the last 5 years there has been a silent crisis emerging which is going to seriously effect the future of the High-End IT Community.

Companies are increasingly driven by quarter end results, and many senior executives rarely stay in their seats long enough to consider 2 year plans, much less 5 year plans, so if they have no plans for the future of the companies they are managing, how can their employees possibly envision a future within these same corporations?

Add fuel to this fire with a tendency to do layoffs after 2 bad quarters, and a frightening trend emerges. Furthermore, companies have given an insane amount of power to Human Resources over the last few years, and are allowing twenty-somethings the authority to decide with whom the company does business and who they hire through selective choices. Several Senior Sales Executives have not only resigned, but totally left the industry after being told by some 24 year old with absolutely NO knowledge of the industry and its vagaries, that they are not authorized to use 3rd parties for hiring.

One of my favourite clients comes to mind. A $50 million sales quota, and the inability to source suitable sales resources to fill the numerous positions in Sales and Systems Engineering. An inordinate amount of time spent interviewing totally incompetent candidates sourced by HR in the US, met with numerous requests to use local Search Firms being denied. Montreal is a unique market with 2 languages and 2 cultures. It is impossible for someone in the US to possibly understand this issue. The end result?? One of the most professional, successful Sales Executives I have ever met, took early retirement. He QUIT. PERIOD.

He no longer works. PERIOD.

He felt the stress was overwhelming based upon the demands of the job and his utter lack of support within the Corporation. We are talking about a huge, multi-billion dollar corporation which could seriously afford to use outside assistance, but he was NOT ALLOWED.

Today, he skiis, rides his bike, tends his garden. He sold everything in the city and left.
He retired over 10 years earlier than planned.
This man is seriously connected internationally, the Presidents of many Fortune 100 companies would gladly take his call. He is a joy. He is one of the most motivating executives I have met and worked with. Humble, an extraordinary energy coupled with a sense of humour, and the willingness to take a chance on imagination and drive. He has made the careers of dozens of individuals.
We have LOST him. He is no longer working within our industry.

He alone creates an enormous vacuum in our community, and unfortunately is but one of the dozens of these highly creative, highly connected individuals who have taken their contacts and their imaginations and walked away from an industry which is increasingly having problems sourcing these types of individuals.

It has become a thankless, ruthless industry, dominated by arrogant, incompetent, dishonest people who only seek to line their own pockets with a total regard for the companies which employ them, as well as their employees.

I spoke with another Senior Sales Executive who retired 2 months ago, his comment was that he was downsizing his home and his life to accommodate a very early, unplanned retirement, around 10 years earlier than planned. Why, I asked??

His answer, the level of fraud in the industry has become so commonplace that middle managers are asking out loud what you will give them in exchange for their business.. It is ‘In your face” , blatant fraud. It is not hidden, not discreet, it is simply out there for the world to see.

We hear of individuals in purchasing departments in the IT industry choosing ‘preferred vendors’ based upon what they will receive as compensation. No compensation, no business.

A lovely gentleman I interviewed a couple of years ago, was a Senior VP in a large Consulting Firm, earning a very substantial income. I inquired as to why he was so actively seeking employment, he was certainly employed. He advised me that he was resigning the day he received his commission cheque for the contract he was currently negotiating on behalf of his employer. His comments to me?? I will NOT go to jail for this company.

That was certainly an eye opener.

He was absolutely horrified at the arrangements being negotiated with individuals in the purchasing department of a publicly traded company. We are talking millions of dollars, many, many millions of dollars.
This contract was being drawn up with 2 large companies to provide all resources for a period of 5 years exclusively. PERIOD. No possibility of any other firms selling services unless they passed through one of the 2 ‘preferred vendors’, ostensibly to cut down on the huge number of suppliers and invoices.

Sounds good??!! I find it extraordinary that no one questioned this .

What is being taken out of this equation, is that ALL THE FIRMS being excluded, are potential CUSTOMERS of this firm. An interesting perspective. No one is looking.

Yes, a huge, public company with shareholders, you could be one of them.
Yes, they have a legal responsibility to shareholders.
BUT, and here it is, NO ONE is watching.

The Senior Executives in this corporation are oblivious as to what is going on inside the companies they are supposed to be managing. They are scrambling to meet their quarterly reports, and focused on their end of year bonus’.
The lunatics are truly running the asylum.

From Senior Vice Presidents in Banks to Sales Organizations, to Service Providers, we are losing some of the brightest and the best, and all of them leaving within 5-10 years earlier than planned. This is happening everywhere, I am speaking with executives across North America, and am hearing the same words, almost verbatim.

We are losing knowledge. We are losing energy. We are losing drive, contacts, history. we are losing it all.

Multiply this behaviour and see an absolutely terrifying trend emerging.

What will we have left??!

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Perceptions…

Why is it that some people are attracted to someone and will sing their praises regardless of being shown something totally contrary to their beliefs, and someone else will absolutely despise the object of their praises??

There are a variety of reasons which can contribute to this, including, but not limited to the following:

SITUATIONAL

Someone you know and respect introduces you to someone and exclaims how fabulous, kind, generous, considerate and otherwise wonderful they are, and how you would be well suited to befriend them.

RELIGIOUS

Many people join religious groups, willingly, or unwillingly, due to societal or parental pressure, and make the incumbent feel non-worthy if they are not part of the group, or even totally shunned by their community.

POLITICAL

See religious

HAVING A BAD DAY

If you are feeling sad or unwell, being told how you MUST like someone may actually anger you and change your feelings towards the innocent person, as you would rather be elsewhere, and not forced into a fake smile and an unwanted conversation. The unfortunate object of your feelings being totally innocent.

REFERRED BY SOMEONE YOU RESPECT

With flowery but not so subtle pressure to adhere to the group. Ergo, we all think this person is, fill in the blanks, wonderful, special, generous, one of us…..or in the case of a business referral, it could be their friend, boss, mentor, foe, or simply an honest referral out of generosity.

PRAISED BY SOMEONE YOU DESPISE

How many times have you been in a business or social situation where someone is presented to the group as a ‘person of value’ by someone you do not respect?? Society dictates that you smile graciously and extend your hand in friendship and acceptance, and try to put your personal feelings behind you. Unfortunately many people believe that their ‘first impressions’ are accurate, and they are NOT. Just because you do not like the person making the introduction does not mean the object of their introduction bears any resemblance to them and is not actually wonderful.

PHYSICAL

Illogical physical revulsion to someone for no apparent reason.

SOCIETAL

Some individuals adhere to strict societal rules and norms and are afraid to venture outside the limits of who and what they are told to approve. This is extremely unfortunate, as they miss out on the immense joy of meeting people from all walks of life and extraordinary experiences.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

Like it or not, our makeup drives a physical revulsion or in the case of extreme good looks, acceptance. But just because someone is either very pleasant or unpleasant on the eyes does not make them less of a person. Are you able to step back and look into the soul of someone and establish who they really are simply based upon appearance?? Usually the unattractive one is the most interesting, as they have had to work harder at being accepted.

LIFE EXPERIENCES

We all have totally different life experiences which guide us in many of the choices we make, willingly or unwillingly. If you come from a fairly socially isolated community, your views on other races or nationalities, as well as socio-economic vagaries , will be inaccurate based upon sheer ignorance. Someone who has travelled extensively will be much more open minded and accepting of others than someone who has neither travelled nor integrated within other communities.

SOCIO-ECONOMIC

Some people do not venture outside of whatever they perceive to be their socio-economic group, as they consider people who are poorer to be somehow inferior. How many interviews have you heard of arrogant music or movie stars speaking about how they can only socialize with their peers as ‘no one understands them’. They have forgotten where they come from, usually poor. The extremely wealthy often only socialize with other very wealthy people, as they are afraid that everyone else is out to profit from them, the joke is, we regularly hear of poseurs giving themselves titles and English accents and being invited as ‘entertaining guests’, one was recently exposed on television……and yes, it was hysterical.
But there are also social climbers who are so intent on climbing that invisible ladder that they will insult and snub anyone they do not deem important enough, and this is VERY dangerous. Often the most wealthy people are the least obvious, and believe me, they are paying attention, and they DO NOT CARE. They know who they are.

But life plays funny tricks and judgement is often totally flawed. How many times have I heard some social climber discuss how they need to associate with ‘people like us’, yet the reality is that they are pretentious frauds, their actual childhoods totally contrary to the glorious image they are trying to convey.
How many people have built huge empires only to lose them, and turn around and build something more successful than ever before?? So, if you meet them on the way down, are they losers, or is it simply bad timing?? And who is really the loser?? The poseur or the person who fell on hard times??

Due to the nature of our business as well as intensive travel, I have learned over the years NOT to judge anything on first impressions, as they are wildly inaccurate. The well dressed, well coiffed individual with the ‘right’ car, ‘right address’, may be hugely in debt, but the person in the older clothes, driving a 10 year old car, living in a smaller house in a modest neighbourhood may be incredibly wealthy. Think Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway. Billionaire. Old car, bad clothes, small, modest house.

For years we have been told endlessly that ‘clothes make the man/woman” but too flashy often denotes insecurity and poverty. If you are truly successful, you do not require your clothes to make a statement for you.

MORAL JUDGEMENT

People are often judged by their jobs, like it or not. Taxi driver, janitor, …. How many lawyers have put themselves through law school working as strippers or waitresses?? At the time, they are judged by those who ‘hold their noses in moral judgement’ and are treated as prostitutes, whether or not they are actually performing the service. But, who is more honest?? The woman who only sleeps with fabulously wealthy men in order to secure her financial future or the stripper?? ( if you think you may be reading between the lines, think of a highly publicized US stripper…..just saying!!!)) sorry, I actually vote for the stripper.

UNPLEASANT COUNTENANCE

Someone is introduced to you with a snarl on their face. Are they actually unpleasant or just being forced into an unwanted situation??

BIG COSMOPOLITAN CITIES

Yes, I actually have to include this. People who travel extensively and live in large cosmopolitan cities tend to be more open minded and inclusive than those from small isolated towns where everyone is the same and have known each other since they were born….

SOMETHING TO GAIN

Unfortunately, some individuals show many different faces, and this issue is huge. The premise being their innate kindness and generosity which is given only to those they consider to be of ‘value’, anyone they judge to be socially inferior or competition to whatever their cause, are dispensed with in an utterly ruthless fashion. Do NOT attempt to explain this phenomenon to the recipient of their largess, as not only will it fall on very deaf ears, but you will come off as the ‘bad guy. How could this marvelous person ever do something nasty?? They are so…..add adjective….. but to others, they are NOT.

SO, what is the point of all this??

Depending on our life experiences, narrow or open mindedness, our perceptions can be skewered.
Are you having a bad day?? Good day?
Feeling unwell?
Happy?
Sad?
Take a step backwards in your head, appraise the situation , your feelings, logical or not, and evaluate.

If I perceive that any of the above are a likelihood, I actually do something unique. I REFERENCE my subject, and as women are extremely harsh on one another, I try to do a cross section, men and women, and people who have no reason but to give their honest opinion.
The responses have been unexpected and extraordinary. Some wildly entertaining, some horrifying.

Remember, FIRST IMPRESSIONS are wrong…….

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WHO are you??

Perception is everything, or is it??
Do you really know who someone truly is??

Some people are awesome at self-promotion, to the extent that they will engage the services of a PR to develop their ‘brand’ or public personae, and it is amazing just who pays for it. There are innumerable socialites and business people who pay for the proper introductions, and invitations to sparkly events so they can meet the ‘right’ people.

Different people may perceive the same person in totally different ways, one may be excited to be their ‘friend’ , in newspeak, ‘honoured’ to be their acquaintance, when another may see them as a total fraud. Who is right??
Obviously, there is context, as well as personal experience and judgement.
Add to that, the fact that some view the world through pink lenses, and always believe what they are told. So, if they were introduced to someone and told the individual is super successful, the new associate will obviously identify with them in a positive manner.
Issues include context, social, business, timing, physical chemistry, jealousy, as well as something as simple as having a good or bad day. Some people are gullible, and are totally swayed by those who are able self promoters, they truly WANT to believe. The art of self-aggrandizement, particularly today with the volume and nature of social media, as well as many people feeling socially inferior, are apt to grasp on to the person who appears to have a large, fabulous life, as they hope that, by extension, they will be a part of it.
The question which must be asked is, how much is real?? Are you a follower, a believer or a doubter??
Admittedly, I am a doubter, If something or someone appears too good to be true, and I have never either heard of them, or been under a totally different perception, I tend to investigate to establish whether my perceptions and at times physical reaction to someone is accurate.
I know for a fact that I am the epitome of the wrong first impression, most women who judge me and know nothing about me are virtually ALWAYS wrong, and I mean TOTALLY wrong, not just a little, and this is the basis point for this discussion.

The younger generation are obsessed with following movie stars and bloggers and their perceived ‘fabulous lives’, but how much is true?? We know that you can actually BUY friends and ‘clicks’ today, so, do they really have 1 million followers, or is it really 50,000 and a lot of buying power??
If you are trying to associate with someone simply because you believe them to be successful, shouldn’t you ask the question as to why they would actually want to associate with YOU??? What is it they are seeking? Friends?? Sycophants?? Or is it more of the façade……? Do they feel so insecure that they need to have someone with them at all times??

Actions speak louder than words, so follow the actions and not the rhetoric. The reality may be far from what you perceive……….

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Happiness

Does it exist anymore??
Do people still understand joy?
Uncontrollable laughter?
Doing things which are kind, positive, generous, with no expectations?
Being nonsensical?

Today’s political correctness enables a terrible fear to express joy and imagination.

In England, being ‘eccentric’ is virtually a badge of honour, it defines an individual free of social binds, and a willingness to follow one’s own path.
Walk on any major street in London, or go to the street markets, and see the most incredible outfits, exhibited with utter freedom.
Go to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot on Ladies’ Day, and witness the most extraordinary hats and a spectacular fashion parade. Photographers from all over the world congregate to photograph the spectacle, and the fun people are having.
Total freedom from criticism and judgement. Freedom to be creative and happy and act it out.

When did you last experience true bliss??

Go to a trendy restaurant, a social event, look around and see how many people are actually having fun, laughing, being free. Having actual conversations, looking at one another, giggling , but not at the expense of others.

Everyone takes life so seriously, they forgotten the concept of happiness, laughter, joy. Everything is all about image, prestige, power, or the perception of same, instead of actually going to an event to enjoy the experience and the company of those around them, actually enjoying the moment.

When is the last time you did something to give joy to another person?
To make them laugh?
Feel important?
Smiled at a stranger?
Did something kind for a stranger and not expecting anything in return, or expecting bragging rights?
Had a conversation with someone and made THEM feel important?
Not being cruel, selfish.

Try and make someone happy today. It is extremely contagious.

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