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Monday, May 22, 2017




a cranky re-run from May 2013

 People often ask me, “Cranky, what is the secret to success in the business world?”  As one who spent 40 years toiling for a large brokerage firm, starting at the bottom and ending up above bottom, it is little wonder that I am chosen to impart the secret to success in the business world.

My qualification in answering this burning question is in watching dumbass after dumbass rise to the higher levels of management without ever having a single idea.

First let me clarify; one way to get to the top in the business world is to get an education, network yourself, ask questions, and work your ass off.  No one who asks, “What is the secret to success…” is interested in that route to the top.  They know that formula and are not interested in earning success.

Here is the other way to the top:

Number one, and I cannot overstate its importance is, YOU MUST LOOK GOOD IN A SUIT!  You can do all those things that actual leaders do to break the glass ceiling, but if you do not look good in a suit you have no chance.  Get in shape…fat fails!  Buy a suit for each day.  Invest in good dress shirts, ties, handkerchiefs, and expensive perfectly shined shoes.  If your choice is to invest in an education or an expensive impressive wardrobe…go with clothes.

Number two, act important.  Carry yourself as if you belong.  Don’t ask questions, and never answer a question if you are not sure of the answer.  Learn to respond with, “What do you think?” or “I’m busy, check with Ralph” and “You’re kidding me right?” Of course learn the all-important commands, “I don’t care how you get it done, just do it!” and “I don’t want excuses, I want results!”

Number three; never do anything if you can get someone else to do it for you.  This allows you to take credit for skillful delegating when a project is successful, while allowing you to throw someone under the bus if the project fails.  Never offer an idea at a meeting, but always voice your concern, “That sounds great Bob, but I’m concerned that if it doesn’t work it could be expensive.”  If the idea works, you were behind it.  If it flops, well you were concerned!  If anything goes wrong, such as a new computer program or a sales idea flops, be the first to question, “Didn’t anyone test that?”

Number four, learn the terminology.  I have been out of the loop for a while so these may be passé but, “Pick the low hanging fruit first” was always a good one.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” always sounds like such great advice and is perfect for putting some little shit who is way smarter than you in his place.  It is really another way of saying, “If it’s not my idea, stuff it!”  Always express things as from a “Perspective.”  “From a time management perspective…” “From the client’s perspective…” I don’t know why, but “From a …perspective" always sounds like you are really smart.

Last but not least, number five; keep a high profile while doing nothing.  Come in to work early, even if you have nothing to do.  Stay late, even if you have nothing to do.  Send emails cc’d to everyone at 10 pm, and 6 am. 

That is it.   The secret to corporate success as told from an observer.  Don’t let my inability to rise beyond a supervisor of 6 people fool you; I had all the right stuff.

I just never looked good in a suit!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Once again, when I find myself running out of stuff to post on, another blogger gives me an idea.  For this post give credit (or blame) to Sarah @People Don’t Eat Enough Fudge
I love old stuff.  Stuff that came before me and stuff that will remain after I am gone.  There is a certain sense of an attachment to the past that I find peaceful.  When my mom went to assisted living, my brothers and I divided up most of her possessions.  

Except for some tantrums by my ex-wife who had no business even opening her big trap, it was a smooth process.  There were some items I cherished, and when I visit my brother or my SIL I also enjoy visiting those cherished items.
One cherished item that I claimed was an old curio cabinet.  Inside the cabinet are hundreds of different items.  Many very old, some fairly recent, all with special memories to someone.  I don’t know the special memories to many pieces, but I know they were saved for a reason and that makes them special.
Top shelf
Many items were my mothers.  Many came from my Grandfather whom I never knew.  He brought back pieces from his time as an Army Captain in the war in the Philippians…1902.  There are Ivory carved pieces, an old decorative shoe buckle, silver eyeglass case, the ball my mom hit for a hole in one, several old trophies, a gold pen, and bits and pieces too numerous to name.
Middle shelf
I have since added and old stop watch which we used when racing sailboats.  A “Let’s Go Mets” button from their World Series win, a Mickey Mantle button, an old large US penny of undiscernible date and a commemorative button for the first moon landing.
Every once and a while I sort through the different items.  I always find something I had not seen before. 
The cabinet is my own time capsule.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Veteran’s Tricks

A Veteran’s Tricks

Apparently I am a veteran.   No, not a Veteran, as in served my country in the armed forces.  I am a veteran as in one who has long term experience in a particular field.  I am a veteran at life.

If you are a sports fan, you are familiar with veterans.  They are the old dudes who no longer have the skills or strength they once had, but get by through experience, knowing situations and replacing skill with superior strategy.

The pitcher who loses the pop on his fastball, but knows all the batter’s weak spots.  He does not blow the ball by the hitter, but he throws it in spots that the batter cannot reach…he is a veteran.

The linebacker who used to use his speed to rundown a ball carrier or sack the quarterback, now recognizes a play by the formation or the movement of a tight ends eyes, and moves to the correct spot as soon as the ball is snapped.  He has lost a step but uses his experience to get the job done…he is a veteran.

I used to preform simple tasks, even multiple tasks without forgetting anything.  If I misplaced my keys, I would retrace my steps in my head and then remember where I left them.  These days I get lost in the retracing.  I can’t get past, “Let’s see, I opened the front door and then…I got nothing.”

The solution?  A veteran old person knows to always, and I mean always, leave your keys in the exact same place.  When you come home, a veteran old person knows not to allow any distraction, he goes to the same exact key place, and leaves his keys in that same exact spot, then he goes on with life certain that when he needs to, he can find his keys.  It is a veteran move.

When I barbequed as a rookie at this living life thing, I never forgot to turn off the grill.  When I finished grilling, I would turn the burners on high to carbonize all the left-over grease, bring in the food and know to go out and turn off the burners five minutes later.  I have lately lost a step.  Several times in the last year, I have forgotten to turn off the burners and only realized it the next time I went to grill and the tank was empty.

The solution? Whenever I grill I jam a towel in the patio door handle.  When I see the towel, it reminds me the grill is still on.  As soon as I do shut off the grill, I remove the towel.  It is a veteran move.

These days when I go out I often forget things.  I forget my bowling ball on league night, I forget a bottle of wine when visiting friends. This never happened to a young life rookie.

The solution?  If I have something special to remember, I simply put my car keys in the refrigerator.  When I go to leave, my keys are not where they are supposed to be.  This is my reminder that I have forgotten something, I grab the item I have forgotten, and fetch my keys out of the refrigerator, the only other place they could be.  It is a veteran move.

Yes, I may be getting old.   I have lost a step, but I have tricks up my sleeve.  I am a veteran.