Archive for the 'Work' Category


Locating Fault In The Workplace



Angry Boss?

If you are ever involved in working for a living and wind up working for somebody else… You are going to experience a boss who has gone off the deep end. He/she will come at you guns a blazin’ and do his/her level best to intimidate, castigate, and otherwise make you feel insignificant and stupid. Best advice? Cat zen.


Choosing Between UPS & FedEx

Some will already point out that I am not including USPS in this. Easy. Their tracking system sucks. Now that we have that settled, time to move on. Both of these companies provide domestic shipping services with excellent tracking abilities. That is where the similarities end. For 99.9% of my package shipping, I choose UPS. Both will pick up at my doorstep or allow me to drop off in a variety of convenient locations. Both allow me to create a shipment transaction online. Both are reasonably priced. It’s when you bring up the subject of integrity that the choice is really made.

Both companies are not perfect and make mistakes. Time and time again… FedEx has lied to me about those mistakes. Several years ago I was to receive a rather large package from overseas. This package was filled with holiday presents and was insured at a rather high value. It also required an adult signature to deliver. You guessed it: the large package was left on my doorstep and it was subsequently stolen. I went through months of arguing with FedEx until they finally admitted that they were wrong. Recently, I was awaiting a shipment from New Mexico. It was supposed to be delivered on the 10th. Then it got changed to the 11th. That’s not a big deal. The night of the 11th (about 7:30pm), there’s a FedEx van out front. I walk out and ask if the driver has a package for me. “Maybe.” He spends an hour rummaging, giving me some story about how he didn’t load the truck and maybe the package is on this truck or another truck. He leaves. I check the tracking and it says that there is an exception: “Customer not available or business closed – Adult signature required”. That’s a complete fabrication. I was there the whole time. FedEx lost the package yesterday and cannot actually confirm that it is on the truck for delivery today. That makes at least one big fat lie and three days shot waiting for something to arrive that needs a signature.

What can brown do for me? Just what you have done before: tell me the truth when things go wrong.


Government Meddles in Business

As traditional posted mail continues to get marginalized by email, about the only thing of importance left for the courier enterprise is parcel delivery. Regular mail is a distant second thought while getting a packaged delivered or a document overnighted is still a big business. In the US, loyalty neatly divides amongst two providers: UPS and FedEx. Sure there are others, but these are the big boys on the block. And our government insists on regulating the two players closely. And with two completely different play books. You’d think that the government would at least regulate them to the advantage of the subsidized postal system. You’d be wrong…


Service Industry Lessons

The epic movie Lonesome Dove had its moments. One of the best was this little lesson on customer interaction in the food service industry…


Risk Management


Quit Your Day Job

Getting a job is easy… compared to quitting one. First, there is the connotation of the word quit. Nobody likes a quitter, right? Sometimes, it’s not a matter of your failure, but your inability to continue. Many people have asked me about how they should know when it’s time to part ways. To me, it’s something that you just know. Nevertheless, here’s the top ten list from

These are the top ten reasons why you might want to quit your current job. These are difficult, if not impossible, work problems to solve. You need to look out for your best interests. Your job consumes too many hours of too many days of your life for you to stay where you are if you’re miserable. No excuses, now. If these problems exist in your current job, make a plan, and quit your job.

  1. Your company is experiencing a downward spiral, losing customers, losing money, and rumors of possible closure, bankruptcy and failure prevail.
  2. Your relationship with your manager is damaged beyond repair. You have sought help to mend the relationship but you know it is too damaged for recovery. (Perhaps you were untrustworthy, missed work on too many days, or the manager acts like an untrustworthy jerk.) Whatever the reason, the relationship is irrecoverably damaged.
  3. Your life situation has changed. Perhaps you have married or had a baby, and the salary and benefits no longer support your life needs. You need to move on to better opportunities to support your family.
  4. Your values are at odds with the corporate culture. Perhaps your company is egalitarian and you believe in assigned parking spots for salaried employees. Your company does annual employee satisfaction surveys and you think these are a waste of time. Your company is hierarchical and you want to influence every aspect of your job. No matter where the clash is occurring, a lack of congruence with the corporate culture will destroy your attitude at work.
  5. You’ve stopped having fun and enjoying your job. No matter what changed, when you dread going to work in the morning, it’s time to quit your job.
  6. Your company is ethically challenged. Perhaps the managers lie to customers about the quality of the products or the day on which the product will ship. You become aware that the company is stealing information from competitors. Whatever the issue, don’t stay in an organization where your ethics are out of sync.
  7. For whatever reason, you have behaved in ways that are considered improper at work. You’ve missed too many days of work, slacked off on the job, failed to maintain needed skills, and / or just generally developed the reputation of a loser. That reputation, once earned, is unlikely to change; you might as well quit your job, while you have the opportunity.
  8. You’ve burned your bridges with your coworkers. Your group is not getting along in an environment that requires people to work together well. Again, at some point, the reasons don’t matter; start fresh in a new job and resolve to not let this situation happen again.
  9. Your stress level is so high at work that it is affecting your physical or mental health and your relationships with your friends and family. Watch for the signs of burnout and if they can’t be cured, move on. Read this article, Tips for Managing Stress and Change at Work for ideas about managing work stress.
  10. And the top ten reason to quit your job? You are unchallenged, need more responsibility, and seek opportunities that just don’t exist for you in your current organization. You’ve explored the current and potential options, and they are limited. It’s time to quit your job.