The “art” of every business deal comes down to the negotiation. Which can sometimes reach and stand-off and stare down.
The key then is to introduce some new leverage against the other party.
A recent personal experience shed light on a new negotiating tactic that had never occurrrd to me before.
Wait until the person you are negotiating with is trying to pa…ss a kidney stone and make your final offer along with promise of trying to help relieve the pain.
I know if someone had done this to me I would have signed anything put in front of me during that 2 day period if I thought it would help.
Me (without a kidney stone) can out-negotiate Donald Trump with a kidney stone.
And you can too.
I switched and what the “switch” meant to me
After switching from a PC to a Macbook Pro, I have made other changes in my life
Instead of wearing a blue blazer and khaki pants, I put on a camel hair jacket and dress jeans.
I wear tasseled loafers instead of dockers
I use a larger screen Samsung Note phone instead a smaller screen iPhone
I drink lemonade instead of diet Coke–because I like lemonade better
I buy art that stands out rather than art that blends in
I say what I really believe more often instead of saying what I think the other person wants to hear.
I say no more often –instead of yes– when I mean no.
But switching to an Apple Macbook isn’t really about switching computers. It’s also not about making some hip lifestyle change. And isnt even about Apple –or having to use an Apple product.
It is instead about turning on the light switch in the dark room upstairs where you can be who you really are.
And being able to walk out of the room and mentally leave the light switched turned on.
Hope you didn’t miss it! I was there!
Some people are really into watching a solar eclipse ….other people are in to staying up late to observe a meteor shower.
I like staying up late twice a year to personally live through –wide awake– Daylight’s Savings Time.
To each his own, I suppose.
At least you can’t burn out the rods and cones in your eyes with Daylight’s Savings Time.
This…right now…is where it gets a little crazy for an hour or so as we transition to the complete loss of an hour.
No one really knows what happens or how it works or even if it is 2am or 1am or 3am (except a few know-it-all-types but they rarely stay up this late) —but you get my point.
We don’t even know if it is a good idea for the modern world…but twice a year getting to experience an hour appear out of nowhere and then 6 months later disappear like a puff of smoke, is well worth the wait and an awe-inspiring event to behold.
With the right mind set. And low expectations, of course.
But as with all great natural thrill–and cheap unnatural thrills– there is the letdown or downside. I have to now go to reset all my clocks and my watch.
But it sure was cool while it lasted. And I can’t wait until 6 months from now when I get to do it all again.
Tomorrow we lose an hour— “spring forward.”
That makes me sad for tomorrow. It is unlikely that it will be as productive a day as the other days this week (which each got to have an additional hour).
In an effort to to be fair to tomorrow, I have decided to totally waste exactly one hour today.
Actually, since this realization of the unfairness about tomorrow only having 23 hours just occured to me today (one day before tomorrow), in an effort to equalize the productive hours of each day this past week, I am going to waste 6 hours today.
Because it is the right thing to do.
So far today I am off to an impressive start.
You’re probably familiar with the rather over-used cliche of technology-impaired adults being at the mercy of youth. The pre-teen rolling her eyes as she tries to teach her mother to text, the intern showing the executive yet again how to log in to Outlook. Mind you, there are plenty of us who are quite capable of more sophisticated tasks (especially now that we’ve figured out there’s a youTube tutorial on doing just about anything).
But it is generally true that the younger generation is more comfortable with technology – they don’t know a world without portable computers & smart phones. (It’s hysterical watching toddlers treat a television like a mobile device, trying to change channels by swiping their hands across the screen. And while I’m not sure how I feel about all these devices for young kids, boy, do I appreciate those iPads when I’m on a plane with young kids!)
I have learned quite a bit from my sons, whether it’s the proper use of ‘twitter’ vs. ‘tweet’ (one is a noun, one is a verb), or how to reboot our cable/internet connection when it goes down at least once a day. My 17-year-old son runs his own youTube channel and is pretty savvy (he’d seen Gangnam Style before it hit 100,000 views!); when I was wondering whether my own youTube videos were doing well, he kindly reassured me by saying, “Well, Mom, anything over 100 views is viral for old people.”
My boys were the ones who turned me on to “Cards Against Humanity” (an off-color, totally inappropriate and hysterically funny variation on category games like “Apples To Apples”). This self-described ‘party game for horrible people’ was launched via Kickstarter, a crowd-funding platform. Notice, I can now use terms like ‘crowd-funding’ and ‘platform’ and sort of sound like I know what they mean!, but in case you’re wondering, crowd-funding is basically a cross between layaway, Renaissance art patronage, and PBS pledge week. Artists and inventors finance projects by soliciting backers, who pledge varying amounts of money in return for ‘rewards’, varying from a copy of a CD or game to a custom-designed song, video, or food item. And you can find all sorts of projects – indie films, steampunk-themed cupcake sprinkles, graphic novels, medieval guitar music, and more.
I’m jumping in, producing an album of ‘greatest hits’ from my weekly songs, and hoping to prove that people over 30 can play in this new playground too, including those of us who grew up without computers, who remember the first ‘car-phones’ that were the size of suitcases, and who actually know the meaning of an “E ticket’ ride at Disneyland.
So I invite you to try out Kickstarter, or IndieGoGo or other similar sites, to see work by inventive people of all ages. (Or at least by a bunch of youngsters plus one feisty 55-year-old who can’t lie about her age because her kids will rat her out.) The project pitches themselves are often very entertaining, and at least in the case of mine, you can amuse yourself by imagining the double dose of hate mail I’m likely to get from my title.
Check it out here.
Click here to purchase his first book
Because my first book, Musings from the Middle, was such an unqualified non-disaster, I’ve decided to offer a follow-up book in late May titled–surprisingly–Musings from the Middle II (or possibly Musings from the Middle 2….or maybe just “More Musings from the Middle” or perhaps “A Tale of Two Cities,” unless that one is already taken)
Anyway, I hope sales break into the low three digits like my first book.
Which is the cool thing about being a self-published author. Even if other people aren’t really excited about you publishing a new book, you still can be. Like I am right now.
Here’s the opening Musing from Musings II:
“It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair
But mostly, it just is what it is”
OK. That’s not really one of my musings. I stole most of it and just added the last line myself and hoped no one would notice.
I checked to see if the title “A Tale of Two Cities” was still available, and of course with my luck, it’s not! But it turns out to have a pretty catchy beginning that I tried to crib but felt guilty about and am coming clean now.
But my new book will be all mine with lots of lines like the last one I added to A Tale of Two Cities introduction–that will reinforce this new book’s place among other self-published books that are deemed true non-disasters.
“Is your real life making you depressed because your virtual life is so much more awesome–and only getting awesomer?
(Screen: Image of a “virtual life” making fun of an image of a despondent “actual life”)
Then you may want to consider asking your doctor about ProzacFB.
ProzacFB is a new drug that blocks the brain receptor identified by neurologists called 5HC2-FB (that creates pleasure from receiving “likes” on Facebook).
Once this pleasure receptor is blocked, patients will again be able to return to activities like reading books, exercise, manual hobbies, and interacting more frequently with live human beings.
It doesn’t mean that your virtual life will be ending…..only that your real life life won’t be so darned jealous of it.”
(Screen: Image of an “actual life” staring down image of a “virtual life”)
The Oscars weren’t even over before the internet was buzzing with critical comments about celebrities’ appearance & wardrobe, and with critical comments about those critical comments. Can’t they just enjoy their intimate little industry awards ceremony (televised to millions and millions of watchers) in peace?
When celebrities and politicians put themselves in the public eye, they’re fair game, since they achieved their status through public attention. I do agree that it’s not nice to hit below the belt (although when Joan Rivers does it, it’s pretty entertaining). But it is perfectly appropriate to criticize public figures for the choices they make, whether it’s to dress like a swan, complete with an egg purse (no one will ever top Bjork’s outfit!), or to disregard the one name you’re supposed to introduce (which has already launched apps that will ‘John Travolta’ your name into something unintelligible).
Likewise, when politicians say or do ridiculous things, it is understandable when we mock them, whether it’s John Oliver’s iconic ‘Carlos Danger’ dance when he was subbing on The Daily Show, or all the humor that was prompted by Sarah Palin’s insistence that she could see Russia from her house. (Although even Ms. Palin could be overshadowed by some neighborhoods – during the ’08 election, I had been a runner-up in a Palin impersonation contest, and thus was invited to come in costume to the Castro, San Francisco’s colorful gay neighborhood, to introduce a local news feature on Halloween. I walked several blocks in a red suit & her signature hairstyle and glasses, carrying a larger-than-lifesized stuffed fake moosehead, and no one even stopped to look at me. But I digress . . . )
So sure, sometimes I feel a twinge of guilt at making fun of politicians in these weekly songs. But hey, I can take it as well as dish it out – I know that by posting my videos on youTube, I will get insulted and called a variety of names (which are usually spelled wrong). And if politicians like Ted Cruz do things like urging their supporters to pray for more anti-gay discrimination laws, or insist that if people listen to Ted Nugent, it’s Obama’s fault, then they can’t expect me to resist material like that!
I started seeing a new dentist today.
We visited before my check-up and it turns out we know some of the same people and spent time in some of the same places when we were kids.
We seemed to hit it off and I think he felt like I was pretty solid guy.
And then he looked for the first time into my mouth. When he came up it was as if there was a sign in the… back of my throat that said “This guy makes lots of bad choices about what he eats and has been lying to dentists about flossing regularly for nearly five decades. You shouldn’t trust him –unless you want to end up like his right third molar. Once upon a time that molar trusted him and look at it now.”
I wanted to explain but didn’t want my new dentist to know I knew what he was thinking.
So instead I changed the subject to something more positive and forward looking: teeth bleaching and the best toothpaste brands for sensitive teeth. And, yes, I sucked up big time by asking his assistant (where he could hear) for a recommendation for the strongest dental floss available as I tried to create the impression that I had, in fact, always been a serious flossers who simply needed better guidance —and now I was finally getting it.
When I left we shook hands and I felt I had rehabilitated myself in his eyes—but only partially. He didn’t base his entire opinion of me on my lowly right third molar. He realized there was more to me than that one poorly cared for tooth and it was just one of 31 total teeth in my mouth (I had a wisdom tooth extracted last year due, in part, to negligent dental hygeine. But there were mitigating circumstances that are too complicated to rehash here). My other 30 teeth weren’t necessarily impressively maintained–a basis for trust and respect —but at least they were good enough to buy me a second chance to make a better first impression.
It’s too bad because I think had my new dentist at “Hello. I really needed to get my teeth cleaned today and am glad you could fit me in.” But then I had to go and open my mouth wider…and let him look inside. That was where things went all wrong –and I now wish I had been more reserved and selective about the teeth I showed him on our first meeting. But then again, I am quickly reminded, it is the dentist office and it is hard to show only the teeth I want him to see without coming off as a tease– or a complete and utter idiot.
It is just important to remember that for most people you meet for the first time, they view our eyes as the windows to our soul. But with dentists it is several inches down and only after you open wide. Our teeth, viewed in this way, are a kind of Rosetta Stone of who we really are as a person. Are we responsible? Do we have our priorities right? Do we plan ahead? Do we do daily maintenance work for the things that matter most in life? Can we be trusted with the health and welfare of 32 permanent adult teeth? And how do we manage decay and tooth desertion (or extraction) ? None of us can, if we are really honest with ourselves, answer every question “yes.” But we can try.
And let us not forget that no matter how good we pretend to be on the outside, a dentist peering into a new patient’s mouth is like a seasoned and street smart pastor who has seen it all staring into our flawed, and unflossed souls.
We hope when meeting a new person that they will see us as we want to be seen. But when that new person is a dentist that hope is short-lived. As soon as the dentist comes up from glancing into our mouths that first time, we can be sure– that at best –they will sadly see us as we really are.
When I am trying to express myself but can’t find the words I need it usually isn’t because there aren’t enough words to go with my thought. But rather because I don’t have enough of a thought developed for any words to attach to.
Being articulate, it seems to me, isn’t so much about knowing lots of words as it is about thinking clearer thoughts. And then the words will fall into place….rather than forcing words around an incomplete idea until it sounds like you understand something you really don’t.
Thomas the Teenage Engine
I miss Thomas the Engine. Not personally. But as a parent.
I wish there were a Thomas the Engine for teenagers to help parents teach teens important life lessons.
Just not sure how to make an animated series about locomotives teen-friendly.
I feel a lot… like
A spinning top
Before it hops
And starts to flop
Careening to its final stop.
I think we could use a few new curse words.
We hear the same four or five over and over again.
“Trog” seems to have some potential. As in “Trog you” or “Trog it.” Or “What the trog?”
And maybe “Blat.” Like “Oh blat! I am in trouble now.” Or “He is a real blathead?”
I think “Constantinople” would make a killer new curse word but it is apparently being used for something else. I could really put my heart into that one.
Oh well… I mean…blat!
What a troggin’ waste!