Friday, October 15, 2010


it is important to find the bright spots.

And therein, to find respite.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


The pitchman said, “One hundred percent of all net proceeds is donated to …”

All of the emotional tugs and tearful hugs up to that point was having its intended effect. Purses, wallets, checkbooks were opening, debit and credit cards were getting ready. Most people would respond to the emotions. But there is a caveat.

Net proceeds.

Let’s say I’m offering a nice looking lapel pin for your donation of $1 and that I’ll give the net proceeds to charity. The pin cost me 15 cents to produce. After all, it really is a nice looking pin, all shiny and sparkly and noticeable, and those Chinese workers do have to get paid something. Then there’s shipping and handling – say 45 cents. Handling is always this nebulous charge, also known as a profit center. Add the promotional costs, administrative costs, and miscellaneous costs of, maybe another 30 cents. So far the gross cost is 90 cents of the $1 you’re donating. That leaves 10 cents. Oh, but I forgot the 7 cents in “other necessary” costs. So now we’re down to 3 cents out of that $1 you’re giving me. That’s the net proceeds.

Three cents. Not much real money going to help those in need, is it?

I’m not saying that all charities have such high costs. I am saying that the wise and careful contributor looks behind the tugs and hugs to see what how much of their dollar is really going to help.

But what happens if you donate $5 or $10 for that $1 lapel pin? Well, the unscrupulous will suddenly find that their shipping, handling, administrative, promotional, miscellaneous and “other necessary” costs increased. The net proceeds are, after all, a line item in the budget and may not be subject to change.

As we draw closer and closer to the holiday season, we are going to be subject to more and more appeals for our help.

Give generously. Give wisely.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


In the “out of the mouths of babes” department, comes the answer to the age-old question on how to rid the world of hate.

“Just get rid of the letter ‘e’,” she said without hesitation.

“That was a very quick answer, Leslie,” the teacher said. “Any other suggestions?”

I thought Leslie’s teacher dismissed her answer a bit too quickly. After all, with the stroke of a good eraser, no one would ever again be subjected to, “I hate you.” Instead, everyone could get a little chuckle when in a fit of anger someone would scream, “I hat you!” At least, I would chuckle.

And there are more possibilities for ridding the world of some other maladies. Evil would disappear. Ego would simply go. “Rates” of interest would be more aptly described as “rats” of interest. We could celebrate the demise of greed. And a lot of men would be happy to trade having to share their “feelings” with women for simply having “flings” with women.

Of course, there is also the down side of getting rid of the letter “e”. Many would weep over the loss of beer and beef. In the cold of winter, we would have to settle for turning up the hat, since heat would be gone. And everybody I know would really prefer looking through panes of glass rather than pans of glass.

Some things of course wouldn’t really change that much. For example, a txt mssg would still be a txt mssg.

I know what you’re thinking. If we took Leslie’s advice, her name would just be Lsli and “Mr. E” would just be “Mr.” No longer could we shout “Eureka!” upon some great discovery. Instead we would have to be content with “Urka!” which sounds more like some kind of whale than an exclamation.

My point to this post? Nothing but silliness. Sometimes, after the end of a particularly hard day, silliness is the best medicine.

Anyway, it’s tim to go to bd and gt som wll-arnd slp.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


If you knew you would never be caught, would you ever lie on a job application or exaggerate your accomplishments or responsibilities on your resume? Why or why not?

If I answer “no” then I would be lying and they would probably disqualify me automatically. But if I answer “yes” then they will probably think I’m a liar and unworthy to be hired. But if I answer “no” then even if I would never lie or exaggerate they will think that everybody lies and exaggerates so they will conclude I’m lying. But if I answer “yes” they will think I must be a fool to disqualify myself by admitting to lying. But if I answer “no” then I answer “yes” but if I answer the question but if I don’t know what to do and I answer something but …

If your answer to that question would have you spending time with that kind of circular reasoning, you probably won’t be called back for the job.

It is a trick question, actually having nothing at all to do with the application or a resume. It is a question about self-awareness, character, and integrity.

Most employers believe that 99% of job applicants lie and/or exaggerate during the application and interviewing process. They expect it. But the answer to that question reveals a lot about a person’s value system. And where your answer falls on the spectrum of lies/exaggerations will mean different things to different employers.

But it’s the question they ask right after you answer the first question, that really reveals individual principles and honor. With maybe a dash of quick thinking.

The next question is: Have you lied or exaggerated during this application/interview process? Why or why not?

Monday, October 11, 2010


Contemplating Your Monday Morning Chuckle