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My Pleasure...Thanks Mate Posted on Apr 03, 2018 at 06:45 PM

For anyone who has read any post I've done here...you know that I am a lifelong golfer.  What you likely do not know is that I was introduced to the magical world of Ritz-Carlton in 2002.

The first fact would help you understand that "Masters Week" is pretty high on my list of things I REALLY like.  The second will be addressed now.

I was introduced to the "Ritz-Carlton" experience in 2002.  I had met a very kewl lady and wanted to impress her.  We actually met because of a mutual love of golf...and I had invited her to a weekend getaway in Atlanta that included several nights on the Club Level of the Ritz in Buckhead in Atlanta...a weekend that would include a few rounds of golf and a Sunday trip to the PGA Tour event being contested that weekend.  My new friend had experienced the Ritz before, and she told me to expect a level of service I had unlikely seen before...and she was correct.  The big thing, she told me, was that no matter to whom I addressed the phrase "Thank You", the response would be "My Pleasure".  And over the next few days, her prediction proved correct.  Some of the most incredible young men and women took care of us, and NEVER did any of them NOT respond to a thank you with my pleasure.

We shared a few other visits to Ritz properties, with very much the same experience.

A few years ago, my son got married at a small ceremony at a rented home near Camelback Mountain.  I decided to treat myself to a few nights at the Ritz...on the Club Level.

Imagine my disappointment when I said "Thank You" to every one from the valet guy, to the check-in guy, to the concierge on the Club Level, and only got a "No Problem" sort of response for three days.  Only when I called down to the desk to arrange my departure, did I get a "My Pleasure" from my thank you for taking care of things.  For those of you thinking..."What a Snob"...please read on.

Adam Scott is an Australian golfer.  He is handsome...elegant...compared in his youth to Tiger Woods...and...like most of his countrymen...unfailingly polite.

In 1983, I got a very intriguing phone call.  I had assisted the firm I worked for at the time with trying to qualify for a chance to win a great deal of business in Victoria, Australia.  The short version would be that it was a Friday, and I was in Tampa, Florida...while living in Nashville.  The expectation was that I needed to be in Melbourne in 4 days...no passport...no visa...nothing.  Needless to say...in the world we live in today, this simply could not have been arranged.  But back then, a bit of political pressure was brought to bear, and I landed in Melbourne on what they told me was Wednesday...though I could not have come close to an accurate guess.

The next day was Thanksgiving back home.  To me, it was just "today".  Over the next several months, my firm and I managed to sell a lot of work...resulting in a lot of revenue.  But the overriding emotion I felt during that time was the incredible warmth...and acceptance...from my Australian colleagues during this entire experience.  Trips to Tasmania...meetings with heads of State...prawns and Castlemaine XXXX...DAYUM.

And so...why this post???

Adam Scott said the exact words at the beginning of this post at the end of what I can only assume was one of way too many interviews today...and yet he...like his countrymen...remain exactly the same as in my memory...polite to the end...while Ritz seems to have fallen backward.  Perhaps my experience in Phoenix was an isolated experience...I really hope so.

Be well...Do good work...Keep in touch

READ!!! Posted on Mar 05, 2018 at 10:01 AM

There is a quote that is often attributed to Mark Twain..."the man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them".

 

I added this quote to the "rules of life" presentation, and the young and/or cynical among the audience often dismissed its importance by suggesting that old Mark was just trying to sell books.

 

For me it came to have a much deeper meaning...and one of the more difficult of my "rules" to follow.

 

My spin is this...the person who refuses to read opinions from all sides of an issue has no advantage over the person who chooses to ignore it completely.

 

Think about it...how often do we pass by a news source, or commentator, or opinion driver simply because we have most always disagreed with their views in the past?

 

I find I must force myself to read as many sides of an important story as I can find...even if some of those "takes" make my blood boil...I think that's what the founding fathers had in mind with their "free speech" argument.  But that doesn't make it any easier to listen to someone shouting at the top of their lungs their support of an issue I have spent my life arguing against at the top of mine...(stolen from a movie many of my "friends" refuse to consider).

 

I'm not always successful in following this rule...but I do give it an effort.

 

Be well...do good work...keep in touch

hrair Posted on Feb 14, 2018 at 07:25 AM

"Guess I had too many balls in the air..."

 

Ever heard anyone use that phrase to try to explain why a seemingly simple task goes off the rails...or even something as simple as leaving out an ingredient in a recipe?

 

Well...there is actually a good bit of science about this.  In the 50's there was a seminal paper by George Miller called "the magical number seven plus or minus two".  It's a pretty heavy read, and I don't pretend to understand it completely, but the cliff notes version basically says that there is an upper limit on the number of threads that can be kept in "active memory" in the human brain...maybe an upper limit on how many balls each of us can keep in the air in a given situation.

 

In the 70's a guy named Tom DeMarco was pioneering some interesting concepts about software, and how it should be designed, engineered, tested, and deployed.  Some say his work over the years led to the current "Agile" approach to software.  In one of his first works, DeMarco assigned the term "hrair" to the magical number seven plus or minus two, when describing what was then considered a key tool in the "structured" approach to designing software - the Data Flow Diagram (nee "bubble chart").  Hrair is a term from the book Watership Down ( a very good read by the way).  The book follows a warren of rabbits trying to find a new home as their current one is in danger of being destroyed.  There is an entire "language" designed by the author (Richard Adams) that is used by the rabbits (think Lord of the Rings), and for them "hrair" is an upper limit to their numerical universe.  For these rabbits, hrair was 4...that is...their numerical universe was 1,2,3,4,hrair.

 

While both Miller and DeMarco agreed on the same upper limit while studying somewhat different topics, both eventually revisited and even appeared to recant some of their work...many years after original publication.  But for my personal toolbox, I like to keep their stuff handy...especially when I am trying to calculate my personal hrair...as I realize I left out the nutmeg.

 

Be well...do good work...keep in touch

Insanity Posted on Jan 31, 2018 at 06:43 PM

We've all heard the phrase...

 

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result...a definition of insanity.

 

While I agree with the basis of this idea...and certainly agree with the predicted outcome...as a lifelong golfer, I watch a very good teacher on the The Golf Channel called Martin Hall.

 

Martin is an "older" Brit..meaning he is almost as old as me...in his early 60's I believe.  And they keep pairing him up with hot young female co-hosts...currently Blair O'Neal...a very competent player who first came to "fame" on a show called "The Big Break"...a show that in its second season was won by a guy I once played a great deal of golf with...a guy named Kip Henley, who currently caddies on tour for a young guy named Austin Cook...they manged a win earlier this season.

 

But I prattle on...the point of this post is to offer a wrinkle on the earlier stated definition of insanity.  Mr. Hall ends each of his lesson shows with what he calls his mission statement:

   "If you keep doing what you've been doing...you'll keep getting what you've been getting"

 

Somehow, I find that is a better way of stating the concept...and though his take is about getting better at golf, my own take is about getting better at life...all parts of life...even relationships.  Something I should probably give more consideration to.

 

Be well...

 

 

 

 

When you get a Yes...SHUT UP!! Posted on Jan 13, 2018 at 09:03 AM

Ever been in a discussion/argument/negotiation whether at work, at home, wherever, and you make a point or a suggested solution or just an observation, and everyone sort of goes...yes...that makes sense...and then you keep talking and the whole thing goes back to square one.

 

Way back in sales school...MANY years ago...the instructor gave us a very simple, but powerful, rule...when you get a yes, shut up...otherwise you'll buy back whatever you were trying to sell...and have to start all over.

 

Later in my career, I found this very useful in business meetings.  Ever been in a meeting and the group seems to have reached a decision...but the meeting was set for 30 minutes, and only 20 have passed.  Invariably you, or someone else, decides to fill the time, and before you know it the decision is somehow lost, the time runs out, and you set another meeting.  I learned the hard way...when a decision is made...meeting over...tell them you are giving them 10 minutes back and leave.

 

Works in personal negotiations too...just a thought.

Hmmmm Posted on Jan 07, 2018 at 09:22 PM

It says here that 6 people actually viewed my test post...resulting in ZERO comments.  Certainly not a surprising result given the fact that my post raised no ideas...but was simply a test to see if this thing still works.

 

And so...I promise to attempt to be more interesting.  I suppose it will be fairly easy to judge if I am successful.

 

For now...be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Back again... Posted on Jan 06, 2018 at 09:40 PM

...after yet another long absence.  Still not a paying member...just don't see the value...but this area is the one thing that still appears available for us freeloaders.  So this would be a test post to see if it gets published, and to see if anyone actually reads these posts.  Always interested in what people might have to say.

 

Be well,

Jay