Friday, May 23, 2014
A NEW YORK MINUTE
A NEW YORK MINUTE
New Yorkers sometimes have a bad reputation. They are rude, aggressive, pushy and cold. Some of this is true. In a city as large as New York it is difficult to be friendly. Friendly people get ripped off. Polite people get taken advantage of. Warm and fuzzy people are suckers. In a big city you need to stay ever alert and vigilant of others who are out to take advantage of you, so yes, sometimes New Yorkers are rude, aggressive, pushy and cold. However, when the chips are down, when help is needed, New Yorkers are as compassionate, helpful and downright nice as anyone else…maybe even more so.
One thing for sure, New Yorkers get stuff done, and they get it done quickly. To get a taste of this, visit a New York Deli in the morning. Don’t hem and haw over your order, there will be New Yorkers three deep ready to step ahead of you and shout their order. Decide what you want before you even enter the Deli, and be ready to order as soon as the person on the other side of the counter makes eye contact.
Now you better be ready to pay, because your order will have been entered in seconds, your egg sandwich will be cooking and in less than a minute it will sail fully rapped from the grill dude for the man at the counter to grab one-handed above his head, slam it into a bag and tell you “$2.99 please!” It is a thing of beauty.
New Yorkers get things done.
Many years ago while working for a large brokerage company we had a slight emergency. I will not go into details because they would only bore you and I forget most of them anyway. Suffice it to say some three-thousand security symbols from the Canadian Stock Exchange were accidently deleted by our good friends up North. It was two o'clock, and those symbols needed to be added back by five o’clock or processing would be delayed and a whole lot of bad stuff would follow.
I got a call from up north. “Can the computer guys reinstate yesterday’s file? Eh.”
Well yes, but this was years ago and it was not such an easy procedure (hard for any IT person to believe now, but sadly at the time true.)
“They tell me they can do it, but it will take until after five o’clock to make the program change.”
“Five o’clock that is too late eh! What are we going to do?”
“Well you could add them all manually.”
“No way eh, there are over 3000 symbols; we could never get them finished in time for processing.”
“Can you fax me the list of symbols that were deleted?”
“Eh? What good will that do? We need a program to be written to add them back!”
“Fax them to me and I’ll see what we can do.”
I received the list of symbols, enlisted three New Yorkers, and the file was manually reinstated symbol by symbol before four o’clock.
New Yorkers can be rude, aggressive, pushy and cold, but dammit they get shit done!