Monday, July 26, 2010

Joke of the Week - July 25, 2010

Is sex work?
A U.S. Navy captain was about to start the morning briefing to his staff.
  While waiting for the coffee machine to finish its brewing, the captain decided to pose a question to all assembled.
  He explained that his wife had been a bit frisky the night before and he failed to get his usual amount of sound sleep.
  He posed the question of just how much of sex was “work” and how much of it was “pleasure?”
  A commander chimed in with 75-25% in favor of work.
  A lieutenant said it was 50-50%.
  An ensign responded with 25-75% in favor of pleasure, depending upon his state of inebriation at the time.
  There being no consensus, the captain turned to the seaman who was in charge of making the coffee. What was HIS opinion?
  Without any hesitation, the young seaman responded, “Sir, it has to be 100% pleasure.”
  The captain was surprised and, as you might guess, asked why?
  “Well, sir, if there was any work involved, the officers would have me doing it for them.”

The room fell silent.

Posted on 07/26/10 at 12:35 AM Joke of the Week

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Top things My Best Bosses Have Demonstrated

Understanding Your Role in Conflict Situations - Sandra Thompson
Setting High Expectations and Expect Your Team to Occasionally Fail - Donna Heaton
Do what it takes to get the job done and know your people - Aldro Grieco
You can never be over prepared - Jason Leavitt

Understanding Your Role in Conflict Situations
One of my supervisors at Kadena AB, Japan was MSgt Sandra Thompson. She had a unique way of assisting people with personnel conflicts.  She made you think about what actions you took during the conflicting situation to determine what you could have personally done to improve the situation.

When I went into her office to vent about the situation her first question usually was “What could you have done differently and was it really that important to have that conflict?”

The advice was always the same two steps each time I would talk to her. 

1. You play a role in every conflict. Only you can control if situation is going to get out of hand. Control your emotions and try to think from their point of view to meet them half way.
2. After every conflict, always self evaluate what actions you took and determine what you could do better in future conflicts.

Setting High Expectations and Expect Your Team to Occasionally Fail

Donna was my first Site Director at the UPS Call center located in Las Vegas. Her management approach was to set high expectations that could be achieved but you had to work to get the results required.  She also did not want to hear why we could not get something accomplished but what actions we were going to do to overcome the challenges we faced.

She also had the expectation that people are going to occasionally fail when trying to get to her expectations.  She would pick you up, dust you off and then ask you “What went wrong and what could you have done to prevent the failure?”  She always provided an example of where she has failed in the past and how she overcame it. Failure is painful but something necessary to be successful.  There is no successful person in the business world that has not failed at something along the way. We learn from our mistakes.

Do what it takes to get the job done and know your people

The toughest boss I have worked for is also one my best friends in life.  MSgt Aldro Grieco was the NCO in charge of the TMO office in Misawa AB, Japan.  He took me under his wing and kicked my butt when I was not meeting expectations.  In my youth, I did only enough to get by. I rarely pushed to the next level. He saw potential where others did not.  His candid feedback on my shortcomings was the driving factor in the change of my work ethic. Today, I want to exceed what others are expecting.

His focus for me was to do whatever it took to get a job done, don’t make excuses or settle for anything other than success.  He spent time getting to know his people so he could get the most from each person on his team.  He was one of the few bosses that I have run into that is able to separate what happens in personal time from business time. We could hang out after work but when we were at work it was all business and anything else was unacceptable.
To simplify the impact Aldro has had on my life. I currently have him on my Will to get my belongings if something were to happen to me and my entire family.

He was tough but fair and no nonsense while at work but took the time to know his people.

You can never be over prepared
My current manager is Jason Leavitt.  He approach to being prepared for any significant reviews with senior leaders or the management team is the best I have ever seen.  Time is of no importance for him. I have seen him spend several hours reviewing reports and data to ensure he has a firm understanding of every detail.  He has got that vision of knowing what question may be asked and has everything prepared beforehand. 

It’s better to have too much information then not have the information at your fingertips when asked.

Posted on 07/25/10 at 10:17 PM Personal Blog

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Joke of the Week -  Aug 8, 2010

Bran Muffins
The couple were 85 years old, and had been married for sixty years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they watched their pennies.

Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to the wife’s insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.

One day, their good health didn’t help when they went on a rare vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven.

They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet.

They gasped in astonishment when he said, ‘Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now.’

The old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.
‘Why, nothing,’ Peter replied, ‘remember, this is your reward in Heaven.’

The old man looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever built on Earth.
‘What are the greens fees?’ grumbled the old man.

‘This is heaven ,’ St. Peter replied. ‘You can play for free, every day.’

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them, from seafood to steaks to exotic deserts, free flowing beverages.

‘Don’t even ask,’ said St. Peter to the man, ‘this is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.’

The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife.

‘Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods, and the decaffeinated tea?,’ he asked..
‘That’s the best part,’ St. Peter replied, ‘you can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like, and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!’

The old man pushed, ‘No gym to work out at?’

‘Not unless you want to,’ was the answer.
‘No testing my sugar or blood pressure or…’
‘Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself.’

The old man glared at his wife and said, ‘You and your f—kin’ bran muffins. We could have been here ten years ago!’



Posted on 07/24/10 at 08:15 PM Joke of the Week

Joke of the Week - Aug 1st, 2010

Greek Philosophical Test

Keep this in mind the next time you are about to repeat a rumour or spread gossip.

In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?”

“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied, “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test.  It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

‘Triple filter?” asked the acquaintance.

“That’s right,” Socrates continued, “Before you talk to me about Diogenes let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say.  The first filter is Truth.  Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it.”

“All right,” said Socrates, “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not.  Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness.  Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “You want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.  Socrates continued, “You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness.  Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?”

The man was bewildered and ashamed.  This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why Socrates never found out that Diogenes was shagging his wife.

Posted on 07/24/10 at 06:41 PM Joke of the Week

Monday, July 19, 2010

Joke of the Week - Jul 18, 2010

Hey some people never know when to quit. . . . . .

An old, blind cowboy wanders into an all-girl biker bar by mistake.
He finds his way to a bar stool and orders some coffee.
After sitting there for a while, he yells to the waiter, ‘Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?’
The bar immediately falls absolutely silent. In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says,
‘Before you tell that joke, Cowboy, I think it is only fair, given that you are blind,  that you should know five things:
      1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat.
      2.. The bouncer is a blonde girl.
      3. I’m a 6-foot tall, 175-pound blonde woman with a black belt in karate..
      4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weightlifter.
      5.  The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler.
‘Now, think about it seriously, Mister. Do you still wanna tell that joke?’
The blind cowboy thinks for a second, shakes his head, and mutters,
‘No…not if I’m gonna have to explain it five times.’

Posted on 07/19/10 at 12:32 AM Joke of the Week
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