The Devil Made Me Do It

good_vs_evil_warfare_400_clr_6236Let’s assume for a moment that there is a Supreme Being. Let’s call this entity IT – not to be confused with Stephen King’s novel about a sewer dwelling evil clown named Pennywise.

According to the story,  IT decided to confer the Truth on one person. Put aside for a moment your curiosity as to why IT as Supreme Being didn’t simply tell everyone. (The rumor is that most people couldn’t handle the Truth.) In any event, IT decided to share the secret with the chosen one – henceforth referred to as CO. (Feel free to substitute your favourite variation about the CO.) Continue reading “The Devil Made Me Do It”


Customer service anyone?

boss_looking_over_work_1600_clrIf you think you are not in customer service you might want to think again. Whatever  you do – you do for someone. And that person is your customer. We get so caught up in what we do –clean sewers, enter data into a system, reconcile accounts, make widgets – that we forget that there is a reason for doing it. If you have completely lost sight of why you do what you do, you have my sympathy. But maybe this article will help you find a reason for going to work every day.

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Joy of travel

I wrote the following in 2011 and – for some reason – I never posted it. I just reread it and found it mildly interesting. So I hope you enjoy it. 

I have been on vacation – enjoying a cruise. I was quite pleased to find that I couldn’t use my Blackberry on board the ship. I am certain that with a tiny bit of effort I could have found a way – but quite honestly I didn’t have the will. There was an Internet café but to get to it I had to pass a bar. Need I say more?

I’m on my way home now, which is everyone’s least favourite part of any vacation. Let’s face it. Many of us love to travel but whoever said that “getting there is half the fun” must have been half in the bag. Really? I hate travelling. But I’m in Toronto, getting closer to home, and there is a story I want to share.

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Exercise in mindless procedures

ClipboardIt is important that businesses have policies and procedures. And as an accountant I believe in controls. But here is a story of inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

I seldom use the library services at the college where I work (as this story will show). But yesterday I came across a reference to an article that I thought I might like to read. Since I was at home I tried to access the off-site library service. I couldn’t remember my pin number and had to call the library lady.

The library people were very helpful (I have always found them to be polite, friendly and helpful). They gave me the numbers I needed but I still could not log on. “Oh”, she said, “I see your account is blocked. Let me look into that.” I heard voices in the background and she returned to say: “Your account has been blocked because you have a charge against your account.”

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Run your own race

Tortoise and hareYou remember the tale of the tortoise and the hare. The hare was born with the natural gift of speed.  The tortoise was, as you know, slow and plodding – excessively so.

As the tale goes, the tortoise and the hare decided to race. The hare, much impressed with his own speed and agility, ran around in circles, took a nap, read a book and in various ways demonstrated how fast he was and how little attention he needed to pay to the silly race. The tortoise, you remember, stayed the course, focused on the task, placed one foot after the other and a variety of other idioms. While the hare played the fool, the tortoise won the race.

But the story continues.

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Work worth doing

My father used to say that he didn’t care what I did for a living provided I did it well. He said, “If you are going to be a street sweeper – be the best street sweeper you can be.”

He may not have had high hopes for me but he gave me a valuable lesson. Personal success comes from taking pride in your work, no matter how humble. John Maxwell said it this way: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Or maybe it was Tom Hopkins or Teddy Roosevelt who said it first. Other than trying to give credit where credit is due, I don’t think it matters.

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