jump to navigation

When Life Is Chaos! May 24, 2011

Posted by wooddickinson in Change, Hope, Systems Thinking.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

It’s really funny (or aggravating) when life decides to take a detour from where you think you are going. I’m in the middle of a huge detour right now. These trials are upsetting and aggravating primarily because you think you have a handle on life and a focus on what you want to create and how to do it. Then life happens. Out of your control some system or person decides to throw you into chaos. Like when I came to work the other day and I turn on my computer only to find my DSL line from AT&T was suspended with a message telling me to call them now!

My world grinds to a halt as I wait on hold for 30 minutes. When I get a person I ask what the frozen DSL line and nasty message are all about. She, in the best of self-righteous ways, tells me I haven’t paid my bill and if I would like to take care of that she could help me and unfreeze my DSL line. It took all the patients I had not to take this woman’s head off. I counted to 10 then asked her, “Didn’t you receive a check?” She tells me to hold and clicks off. A dangerous thing to have happen after a 30 minute hold time. She clicks back on sounding meek and not nearly as self-righteous. She said, “Yes, I have a check for xxx amount and your current balance is xxx and everything is just fine. She will get my DSL back up and have a nice day.” Click.

This is what is passing for customer service these days. I have had Shell call me telling me I’m so past due and they want a credit card number now. Oh sure, I just give anyone who calls all my credit card information. I asked for statements to be mailed to me so he asked what my account number was (now he called me) and since I don’t use gas cards I said I didn’t have a clue. What came next just blew me away. Suddenly I didn’t have an account with Shell. This was the most confusing call. I asked how I could owe anything if I don’t have an account? He didn’t know and hung up.

One of the best calls I experienced was one I made. I was going over a credit card bill and noticed a charge for AAA auto club. I can’t remember ever signing up for that. Currently I drive a Mercedes and it comes with roadside assistants. I called the number listed on the bill and got a marvelous customer service lady. I said that there was a charge from AAA and I never order it so I want it off my bill. She began to argue with me that I did order it. It was an automatic renewal. I just love auto renewals because it is near impossible to get them stopped. Finally I asked when the charge was started. She said 1985 so I told her I wanted a refund from 1985 to the present for all the AAA charges. She hug up on me!

Now that just doesn’t work on me. I called them right back. Of course I got a different person and this guy was very nice and helpful. The last lady had removed the charge after she hung up on me. I told this gentleman what my experience had just been and he was very sorry, took an incident report and promised it would be taken care of. We parted friends.

Citi Corp calls day and night because I’m past due on my bill for $8. They spent more than $8 collecting that debt. These companies are so reactive now that they alone can create a lot of chaos which in the end does them more damage than good. A sign of the times I guess.

I understand people are hurting now. I’m one of those people. I don’t care what Washington keeps saying this “economic recovery” seems very unreal. This is a time for compassion and looking for ways to put together deals with customers that help the company get paid and doesn’t over burden the customer or charge an exorbitant interest rate. But do they do that? No. Conflict is what they like and the customer feels shame at being in this position and the company doesn’t have a clue that when you shame a person you have just hurt yourself as well. The person shamed will either strike out at them or strike out at himself. Both actions have negative consequences for the company.

And so it goes. Business in the 21st century…

Union Woes February 23, 2011

Posted by wooddickinson in Change, shared vision, Systems Thinking.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far
A rally of the trade union UNISON in Oxford du...

Image via Wikipedia

According to Yahoo! News (HERE) The governor of the state is trying to save $165M.  I’m sorry but we must face facts.  There isn’t enough money and enough taxes to counter this kind of problem.  It runs ram-pet through all states and the Federal Government.  The current answer is Tax more, Spend more, pass the buck to our children.

I’m not speaking a political opinion just recounting facts.  Now the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on 1/21/2011 the union membership information for 2010.

I’ll quote:

“In 2010, 7.6 million public sector employees belonged to a union, compared with 7.1 million union workers in the private sector. The union membership rate for public sector workers (36.2 percent) was substantially higher than the rate for private sector workers (6.9 percent). Within the public sector, local government workers had the highest union membership rate, 42.3 percent. This group includes workers in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and fire fighters. Private sector industries with high unionization rates included transportation and utilities (21.8 percent), telecommunications (15.8 percent), and construction (13.1 percent). In 2010, low unionization rates occurred in agriculture and related industries (1.6 percent) and in financial activities (2.0 percent). (See table 3.)” Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

What is obvious is more of us are not in a union than those who are.  No one cares much about private sector unions even though they do effect the cost of goods, it is the public sector (government workers) that the voting public should be worried about.

Public policy has been to bend over for public sector labor unions thus driving the cost of government into the stratosphere. Now unions are not the only reason we have out of control spending on the local, state and federal level but it is a significant part.  Here again we have a minority holding a majority hostage for political gain.

I understand we are talking about peoples lives but consider the fact that all the non-union workers, employers and corporate risk takers that drive business growth have no such protection.  They are villains and takers.  Especially management even though these people create the jobs the union folks fill.  When the unions should be supporting management so the company is successful they act as a drain possibly driving the company out of business. All that happens to the union employee is lay off or getting fired.  The business owner’s life is ruined by a business failure.

I’m not going into the corporate greed argument always pulled out of the hat because almost all businesses run honestly.

Now, what does all this mean?  Looking at current trends in societal anger about tax and spend I can for see a revolt against the public sector employees and the politicians who support them.  This could get bloody because unlike taxes where workers say, “Let the rich pay,” this will be their own jobs on the line. The workers will have to pay.

It’s obvious to all of us that state and federal governments are bloated.  Departments are too large, spending is out of control and staffing to expansive.  When a politician tries to get a grip on this just look at Wisconsin to see the reaction.  All unions rally behind government employees even though we as a nation can’t afford them.

This country is on a collision course and many people are living in a fantasy world when it comes to this issue.

Are you in control of you life? October 22, 2010

Posted by wooddickinson in Change, consulting, shared vision.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Every day I hear on the radio, TV in advertisements and in news reporting that no one really knows what the future holds.  This leaves a person wondering if they have any control over their lives at all.  Now that new massive government programs are in place, companies have no idea how to handle things like health care.

The unknown is, can I afford to keep my company healthcare or do I just drop it forcing every one on the public program?  How many jobs will this cost me?

It is more like how many jobs will it cost all of us.  Being a consultant I meet with many organization from small mom and pop’s to Universities.  I hear the very same story.  I don’t know if I will have enough money?  The individual, which is where business starts, feels scared so he doesn’t buy anything.  I’ll pass on the lawn over-seeding this year or cut back in how many times I go out to eat and then watch the cost of those places.  Little things a million times become big things.  Small companies fail, cut backs happen, unemployment remains unchanged.

There are many things we can do to control our lives.  Eat out less.  Go to the movies less.  Skip shopping trips.  Skip vacations.  On and on but at some point when we’ve done all we can do then you ask yourself, “Am I in control of my life?”

The stress level around me is way up.  Miss a payment by a day and people call millions of times harassing you for the check that is in the mail.  Patients has gone out the door and so has wisdom.

I feel that I can be in control of my life.  I have to decide where I stand.  Today American’s need to decide what the vision of the future is going to be.  Big government control and a socialistic economy or a free economy with smaller government and less tax burden and over regulation.

The town I work in is Mission Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.  They just don’t have enough money to do everything they want to so the government has instituted a driveway tax!  You will be taxed by the linear feet of concrete or asphalt you have in your driveway.  Maybe a $70 tax increase on every home but the kicker is when you get to the Target store they will have to pay about $65,000 in tax.  Now I ask you where will Target get that money from?  They project earnings and staff and order goods based on that projected revenue.  Out of that revenue there needs to be a profit or Target as a company can’t grow and create more jobs.

The way I see it this tax will cost Mission at least 3 to 4 jobs just at Target.  It will put a strain on the store which will cause the corporate office to decide if it is or isn’t worth having a store in Mission and BANG.

Go to my website and vote by clicking HERE.  Somehow we DO need to be in control of our own lives.

 

%d bloggers like this: