1. There's this certain crowd that, when let loose in the streets of New York, through strange gravitational energy and cosmic fermentation, is always drawn to the belly of some karaoke bar in a private room piled tight on the perimeter bench around a table full of empty glasses and thousand page song books and the beloved song remote. And it always starts the same, only a few will sing, and it always ends the same, everyone joins in, everyone knows the words, everyone's a rock star. And she sang like it was the last day, hell, we all sang like it was 12.21.12. We sang with such passion and emotion that during a few songs, you could hear the drops of tears splashing in the sake above the pulsating rhythms of music. 2. There's a magic buzzer on the wall, and if you hit it just right, you can ask for scented candles and another glass of sake, however, hit is slightly wrong and you get a can of Febreeze and a pitcher of domestic light beer, but you are always greeted with a "Yes, yes." 3. There's a point in the evening where you start to question yourself, or your ability to roll right into the next day and make an early morning flight to return to reality in only a few hours. 4. It took two cabs to get back to the hotel. One to get close to the hotel at which point the cab driver argued that there was no such hotel on the street and refused to take me any further. A second cab was needed to get from one end of the street to the hotel that supposedly did not exist. The elevator was a challenge. "And in the morning, I'm leaving" 5. Summer is drawing to a close, school starts next week. I suppose the official end, Labor Day, is still two weeks away, but at this point, I may as well call it "see you next year." I did not make it to the beach as much this year, maybe I haven't needed as much sand between my toes therapy, salt water bath soaking, skin crisping sun baking, as I have in years past. It's not that I no longer need the ocean, however I think I'm close to achieving a balanced life, well, as balanced as it can be. I still need to get a couple more trips in before the waters start to cool, maybe next weekend. "One is one too many, one more is never enough" 6. If you ever come over for dinner or a glass of wine after a long week, I just want to give you a little warning. There's this monster that lives in my house, you see. He's the kind of monster that does laundry, however, only folds the clothes needed for the following week's travel, and leaves the rest of the clean clothes in a pile on the floor. If you acknowledge him, he will not harm you, I promise. 7. It's a freakish thing when you have a song stuck in your head with not enough lyrics to identify it, and if you were to hum it, well, Google does no good with humming a search, so you are stuck. Until. After hours of trying different word combinations to various snippets of a tune you think might be right, you end up determining that it was Hall & Oates You Make My Dreams Come True, really? 8. If OSHA ever watched my kids play, I would probably have a hefty fine. I encourage them to eat dirt, don't enforce the helmet laws and never properly bandage a boo boo. My reasoning in front of the judge, I'm still alive. How does that sound for a defense? 9. Strange morning going through security today. The agent took my ticket and passport, looked me straight in the face and asked me my name and where I was traveling to. I almost got both wrong. I then went and ordered a Bloody Mary to assist in regaining cognitive skills 10. I can't dance, let's dance
Slightly edited to protect the innocent... Greg (my customer) tells really good stories, stories I've head before, but stories with such passion, that they seem like new stories. So we were talking about why we need to allow people to blog via email. He tells me a story about a district manager for a retail chain who is visiting a store the day before a 3 day weekend. As he is wandering around the store, he notices that the store manager has assembled a display to help drive increased sales for the expected holiday traffic. It's perfect. So the district manager pulls out his flip phone and proceeds to write and email to his blog which includes a photo of the display. He sends this email, blog system does it's processing magic, and the entry is live on his blog. Story ends? Not yet. My first response was to pull out the trusty Blackberry and login to my blog and start to create a new blog entry to show that we don't need email to blog capabilities. Apparently the flip phone in this story doesn't have a browser. Hmm... So right about when I was thinking about suggesting deploying Blackberry phones to district managers, I stopped myself. What would it take to do this, and why has it not been done already, I mean this is 2010. It's about change. Some people embrace change. My next thought was a cost factor involved to compensate for the unwillingness to change for a very small percentage of management. My observation at this point was that in this organization, the top 5% of the population (middle management) contributes 90% of the information, and we are talking about changing people.
So then Greg begins to describe the organization. Their organization is made up of mostly tree choppers and axe sharpeners, and their organization has been chopping away in the same forest all along with the middle management preaching chop faster and sharpen better. Business is great, trees are getting chopped and axes are being sharpened, all is well. One day, a tree chopper decides to climb up the tallest tree he can find. He observes that the forest they are chopping in is almost gone, there is a cliff just through the trees in the direction they are chopping. He also observes that about 10 miles in the opposite direction is a fresh forest ready for chopping. He also sees a billboard for a chainsaw. So the tree chopper comes down and locates middle management, explains his story - they will be out of forest in a few days - they could chop much faster if they changed to chainsaws and chain sharpeners. Middle management responds firmly that tree chopping and axe sharpening is what they do, why change, it's been a great business. So in a few days, the competitor comes in with chainsaws in the new forest and the tree choppers fall off the cliff. The end.