Monday, May 23, 2016

$300

In business, Service is King.

Monday evenings is our big night out.
It's the night some in my crew set aside to get away from 'regular people'.
It's the night politicians, business owners and titled people get together to talk about things which we cannot in public.

A month ago - while sitting in the town's posh new lounge - we made a bet that we could NOT give away $1000 to people who were just doing their jobs.
The bet was simple; just hand out $100 bills to anyone who provided good service at any point in one's day-to-day life.
The car wash, laundry, restaurants, bars, grocers, Wal-Mart, whatever...
All we had to do was keep track of to whom we gave the money.

Since most in our crew were Black we had planned on going only to Black-owned businesses and showing our appreciation for their services.
But this proved to be a challenge.
In the whole month NONE of us were able to give money to Black employees.
(This is not a complaint about lower standards at Black-owned businesses - our findings were that there is a dearth of service at ANY business.)

My first hundred went fast. On my way home from the club at 3am I stopped for gas. Another customer threw his bottles near the trash can and drove away. One of the guys behind the counter excused himself, opened the door for me as I was leaving and began to clean up the mess.
Simple, nothing special - just a kid doing his job.
As I handed him his hundred I just told him that he was benefiting from a bet.
He thanked me and I was off...

I don't particularly like Chic-Fil-a. There is nothing wrong with the place, I'm just not a chicken sandwich kind of guy. I don't even have a problem with their political positions. I even like that they choose to close on Sundays, Christmas and Thanksgiving.
But what I DO like about Chic-Fil-a is their dedication to service.

After being disgusted with the service at a neighboring restaurant and leaving I decided to cross the parking lot and settle on chicken sandwich.
The sandwich itself was good enough but the service was outstanding.
Even though the overweight girl behind the counter was named Diamondnetta (or something of that sort), she was attentive, articulate, polite and focused.
No nail poppin', gum gnawing, dismissive attitude - the young lady was on her job.
As I changed my order from take out to dine-in so that I could check out their other employees I noticed that EVERYONE was on their job.
It was the manager who ran my food out to my table and offered to refill my lemonade.

Obviously Diamondnetta was getting a quick hundred.
But NO - she refused?
I explained my bet but she explained that she was just doing her job.
I told her that I was just going to donate to charity and she smiled and said a quick thank you.

This had to be a fluke.
A couple of weeks later I was only able to give $100 away, another $100 was on reserve and I still had eight hunnys burning a hole in my pocket as our bet was winding down.
I HAD to get rid of some money.
I stopped at another Chic-Fil-a and it was the same story. EVERYONE was on point.
And again my chosen employee turned down her $100.

By the end of our bet one from my group was able to give away money to an employee from a local deli, from Walgreens and she tried (and failed) at Chic-Fil-a. Another guy gave an extra hundred to his dry cleaners. And I forget the rest.
To a person, everyone commented on the service and their attempts at Chic-Fil-a.

Whatever this chain is doing they are doing right.
Even drawing from the same labor pool as us they are able to obtain superior results.
This bet caused all of us to rethink the way we run our businesses.
Are our service levels where they need to be?
Do we pay our employees enough?
Are we making things harder than they should be?
While some of our businesses are doing better than other's - we ALL have room to improve.
While we couldn't agree which charity got our remaining money (we split the six thousand and change between three local organizations) we could all agree that Chic-Fil-a IS the shit.



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Direction of Light - A 'New' Form of Light Discovered

Science seems to be getting closer to settling the debate first posited to us back when we were kids in elementary school (and to real scientists and mathematicians over millennia).

Sure, the question of whether light was a particle or a wave stumped our class - it was one of those unanswerable questions our teacher would ask in an effort to just get us to think. Some kids chose the 'particle' argument while most chose the 'wave' point of view. My small group chose the 'both' or 'neither' path. ('Then PROVE it.', our teacher would then say.) Our Fridays were spent on field trips, catching up (or getting ahead) with schoolwork, or just chillin'.
 Fridays were our free time. Like the Squaring the Cube bet or the later bet of trying to get just a mouthful of water through a one inch thick run of surgical tubing from a bucket on the ground to a kid standing on the second floor using just one's lungs - these challenges were just placed in order to get us kids to understand just how little we actually knew or understood.
 But back to the Direction of Light question...

 While staring at one of those spiral mobiles, ' Like THAT.', I said as though I was having an epiphany. We were surrounded by photos of the Galaxy, of spiral fractals, of spirals in plants - why wouldn't light travel in a spiral?
 Again, we were asked to PROVE our assertion. 'Man, I can't do that kind of math. Ask Seiji, Kio or Johnathan - someone who plays violin or the piano. You know, one of the smart kids.' I replied.
 But the teacher liked my idea.
He asked me to explain how the concept agreed with the theory that light traveled at a constant speed.
A few weeks later I told him that I thought that light DID travel at a constant speed but both forward and in it's spiral pattern. (I hadn't yet thought about light traveling backwards as well only in a spiral so tight that it appeared to be without light.)
I thought that dim light was just light at a lowered frequency in it's appearance at any given straight point. That while it's speed in it's ever expanding spiral remained constant both 'vertically' and 'horizontally' - that as the distance from the source became greater so did the distance it must travel in it's orbit until it would become so infrequent that it would be assumed to not exist at all.
No, I was never able to explain my theories to my teacher but I still got an 'A' in the class.
And no, the new discoveries led by the Trinity College of Dublin may not agree with my childhood theories but I think they are on the right track.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Friday Night Lights?

In a state that (according to Wikipedia) has the lowest academic achievement in the nation - why are there so many high priced high school football stadiums?

Like Drive-Thru Banking?

Elon Musk is at it again.
While not (yet) involved in the Hyperloop project - I wonder if he thought of the concept for high-speed land travel while depositing butt loads of cash into a pneumatic tube at his local bank....

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Bodygaurds

I Hate Nightclubs - I'm just good at them.
If one mixes low self-esteem with alcohol and ego and then throws in our state's new open-carry laws - shootouts are bound to happen.

This past weekend I had to stand between two groups of men in the parking lot of the club who were intent upon shooting each other.
No police were needed as the street-bosses tussled over who was going to make sure I was able to get into my club safely.

 I deal with lots of people in my business, many of them good - but some I may have to treat as King David dealt with the sons of Tzeruya.

Just Make the Plastic Coating Grey...

I buy these things all the time for both the dishwasher and laundry.
Apparently the bright coloring and chewy texture have led to children thinking that these convenient pods are candy.
Some are even calling for the removal of such products from store shelves.
The simple answer would just be to change the dissolvable plastic coating to a dull drab grey with a bitter taste.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

At Least See-New Got To Play Bass

(I only got listed as 'backing vocals' on Mills' blogroll. Well, at least he only regarded Ta'Nussy Coates as deserving of the same level of dismissive credit.)

It's been six years (almost to the day) since Mills passed - and I'm still mad about the Public Enemy/Professor Griff interview.
No, not so much about the content - Mills was just doing his job as a journalist in goading Griff into stating his inflammatory opinions.
I'm just mad that hip-hop/rap has collapsed upon itself since.

It seems that I'm constantly introducing PE to a generation of 'woke' brothas who have come to think of the sing-song couplets of Weezy or Drake (or whoever the rapper of the moment happens to be) as being representative of a true Black experience.
The current roster of rappers sound like children compared to Chuck D's "Daddy 'bout to whoop yo' ass" voice and delivery.

Where are all the Mandongos?
I'm sick of the Mandinkies.
I have to schedule lunches a month in advance when young brothas come to me for advice.
'Man, I'm busy 'doing' - y'all busy 'talking'', I seem to tell everyone.
'If you want to talk to me sooner, meet me while I'm doing volunteer work.', I continue.
'Man, eff the awards, banquets, interviews, and attention. Eff being aspirational and acquisitive. If you want to get stuff done work on your work.', I conclude.

I'm still mad at Mills. Maybe if that interview was never published NWA (and the trickle down effect) would have never happened.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What's Up With....

All these fat mammies on late morning television?

Okay... I could deal with Oprah...
But then came Mo'Nique (Yeah.. my 'favorite'), Star Jones and Sherry Sheppard (The View), Sheryl Underwood (The Talk), and Yamaneika Saunders (Meredith Vieira) and so on.

The national morning news shows have fit attractive Black women but these mid-morning-mammies are just too much?
Are these women on air to make the non-Black hosts look better and seem smarter?

I'm Sitting This One Out

Elections from the national level down to those at my local level are a hot mess - so this year I'm pretty much just sitting this ish out.
When it comes to running from the inevitable, a noted blogger once stated that the goal is not to exceed the speed of light - the trick is to just sidestep it.
Sure, I'll keep up with the news, disinformation and misinformation but as far as most of the hyperbole, conjecture and opinion spouted by MSM - I have no opinion.

On my local level, I'm constantly reminding Black politicians that 'Race' is not a platform.
I'm constantly having to console jaundiced politically active twenty-somethings when they find out that those Black pastors, business owners and politicians they supported are really being controlled by groups of the same rich white lawyers I drink with.
(I was told by an establishment member that I need to get in the game and make some REAL money. All he got from me was the side-eye. Being able to tell someone, 'Bitch, you don't own ME.' as I laugh at all the 'Stephens' in the room is it's own reward.)
I'm constantly reminding people that their lives suck because they are not qualified for a better one and that no one owes them a damn thing.

I know, I know... Institutional Racism, Redlining, Discrimination, Pollution, Poverty, Poor Education, ad infinitum... are all conditions under which many are forced to perform,
 but conditions do not dictate outcomes.
Rosewood and Tulsa were a hundred years ago - there is no reason new Black-nationalists couldn't recreate similar enclaves.

I'm sick of Ta-Nussy Coates' bitch-assed talks, books and articles being held up as being representative of non-pussy Black men.
When did we (the nation in general and Black people in particular) become such sissies?
I'm sick of everyone crying; 'racism', 'bully', or whatever and then complaining about 'micro-aggressions' (WTF is a micro-aggression anyway? I guess we can thank those with doctorates in Gender Studies, African-American Studies and/or any other non-STEM or useless degree with popularizing such nonsense.)

Maybe I'm from a different era. Maybe I'm a dinosaur but I'm just sick of the whole trophy-for-nothing, overly-coddled, overly-entitled, $15 an hour for working at Mc Donald's, he/she hurt my feelings, Black Lives NOT Mattering bitches this current culture seems to be producing.
Maybe it's just time for me to turn on, tune in and then just drop out.