December 4, 2013
13, 15 and 17 inchs MacBook Pro unibody (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last Saturday (the day after Black Friday), my Macbook Pro had a visit to the “Genius Desk” (aka Apple computer hospital). The computer only would work when plugged in, even though it said it was 98% charged, Once, before I brought it in, I accidentally pulled the plug and lost about 15 minutes worth of work because it just instantly shut off- no sleep mode or hibernation.
While it is inconvenient that the user cannot change the battery in this laptop, the store is close by. I made an appointment on line for 9 AM and they took care of me right away. They ran a few diagnostics which confirmed the battery was bad. They said they had the battery in stock and that the machine would be ready by 11 AM, so my wife and I went shopping while we waited. I received and email about 10:15 saying they were done and I could pick it up.
The service was terrific and the staff were knowledgeable and polite.so I am still happy with my Apple experience. I still have NO DESIRE to go back to anything with a Windows operating system in it!
December 3, 2013
The following is reposted from Tina Del Buono’s PPM Blog.
Recognizing employee successes is an important factor in building self-confidence in their job and it is also a big motivator to encourage work habits in the right direction that will make them successful at their career and the business.
As employers or management we all too often can find the short-comings and mistakes that employees make and will focus more on these than their successes, which probably often, but go unnoticed. It is expected that they accomplish their job duties successfully so there is no real reward for doing so.
Smart employers know that by recognizing success and acknowledging their employees for them, they are creating “excitement and motivation” in their employees that will pay off ten-fold to the business. By catching employees “doing good” up and beyond what is expected and rewarding them for it, makes them realize that they are appreciated and they will want to try to perform in a way that will have a positive effect on the business and on them.
For example; several months ago one of our employees realized that we had referrals for new patients to come to our practice, but they had not called to make appointments yet. She took it upon her own to pull all of these referrals and call them to have them schedule appointments. I had been watching and listening to her do this throughout the day when she had a free moment and when she was done she mentioned that the schedule was now filled for the following week and seemed quite excited about it.
I asked her what made her make the calls without being asked and she said “well we had some openings next week and I knew that we had these referrals that had not called for an appointment, so I decided that if their primary doctor thought it was important for them to be seen and that they sent a referral to us, that I should call them to make sure they get an appointment.”
I was so excited that she took it upon her own to do something that was positive for our practice. I told her how great it was that she acted on her own to do something to add to our patient schedule the following week and that it showed that she was thinking about what was good for all of us by doing so. She was very happy that she had acted in a positive way for the practice also.
I didn’t let is stop there, I not only told the doctor so he could thank her and tell her that her actions were appreciated, but I went out and purchased a $25 Visa card and gave it to her the next day with a hand written card thanking her again for seeing a need and figuring out how to fill it.
Now this is not something that happens every day, but I have recognized success in employee actions and rewarded it in multiple ways, such as a thank you card, flowers, Starbucks card, lunch, etc. It has made a difference in our staff because they know we not only are watching and listening to them, but we appreciate what they do and this motivates everyone in the office to do the best job they can to provide the best patient service and care each day.
Today take the time to look for success in those you work with and then recognize it in some way, it will make a difference to them and to you.
“To be appreciated is the greatest gift of all”
December 2, 2013
Walmart Supercenter sign (Photo credit: Ron Dauphin)
I am truly amazed by the differing impressions people have of Walmart in places around the country. My daughter often visits Kentucky on busines, and her colleagues there see Walmart as a fantastic super-center worthy of the many-hour drive just to shop there.
Here in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, we joke about the total crap sold at Walmart and the truly strange people who shop there. Websites are devoted to showing you pictures of the weird people seen in Walmart. On Black Friday, the news is filled with stories about fights breaking out over stupid sale items, with police pepper-spraying and arresting customers.
It’s hard to believe these two sets of people are talking about the same chain of stores!
What kind of image does your business have? Is it consistent for most of your customers? Do your customers want to use your services, or do they use you because you’re the only game around? Is your business the butt of jokes?
Your business’ image is very important. You should take it seriously and make sure you keep it pristine!
By the way, we almost bought a Christmas tree at Walmart Saturday but the clerk told us we had to carry it to the front of the store to pay for it. We bought one at Home Depot instead, where the clerk carried to our car for us.
November 29, 2013
(Photo credit: Kai Hendry)
A dew days before Thanksgiving, my wife went to the grocery store late in the evening. As she waited on the check-out line (only two were open) she was wondering why it was taking so long. She noticed the cashier staring into space and assumed the register was broken. My wife made a comment to that effect as was preparing to move her stuff off the conveyor to go to the other line. The cashier said oh no, its fine, and then my favorite line “I can go faster if you want”. My wife had to contain herself so as not to say “oh no, that’s fine. I like waiting on line at 10:00 at night”
The front-end supervisor heard this conversation and came right over. She told the cashier “I’m taking over, you bag the groceries”. The purchases started flying down the belt, and the cashier remarked to the supervisor “Wow you’re fast! How long have your worked here?”
This supervisor did a great job of defusing the situation, and probably had some private words with the cashier later. Thankfully, she didn’t chew her out in front of everyone.
Please share your stories, both good and bad, in dealing with stores and employees.
November 27, 2013
The North Jersey Small Business Forum wishes you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving at the Trolls (Photo credit: martha_chapa95)
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I plan to stay home and enjoy a peaceful day with family.
I REFUSE to go out shopping! I think it is the pinnacle in corporate greed to have the stores open on major holidays because they force employees to work instead of having family time. Oh, I know, it is “voluntary”- but usually it is not so voluntary if you want to keep your job.
Families have enough trouble in our society today without retail greed making the situation worse. I hope everyone joins me in boycotting places of business on Thanksgiving. Let’s send them all a costly message.
November 26, 2013
Reposted from Tina Del Buono’s PPM Blog:
According to “Hofstadter’s law” (below) it is a known fact that any task that you are planning will take longer than expected. Now it is not talking about tasks that you do on a regular basis and you know how much time it will take.
This would be a new project that you are planning, like painting the kitchen. Even though you know how much paint you would need, if you have never painted that kitchen you are just estimating how much time it will take. Even padding the time, more likely than not, will not be enough.
According to “The Planning Fallacy” our minds have some sort of distortion when considering the task to be able to estimate correctly the length of time to complete it. Apparently we focus more on the overall task and not on all of the sub components it takes to complete it.
I know for me, and I am a time management freak, that I often will think that I can complete way more in a day than possible. I really think it is possible when I begin, but at the end of the day I did not accomplish all of my tasks.
When I take the time to review what happened 9 times out of 10 there where things I did not take into consideration when planning. Simple things, like answering the phone, eating lunch, or other daily tasks.
I guess we can think a bit distortedly even when we think we are planning very well. This is such an interesting topic because it happens to all of us.
How do you think we might be able to handle Hofstadter’s law better?
Hofstadter’s law, conceived by the cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter, goes like this: any task you’re planning to complete will always take longer than expected – even when Hofstadter’s law is taken into account. Even if you know a project will overrun, and build that knowledge into your planning, it’ll simply overrun your new estimated finish time, too. This is referred to as the “Planning Fallacy.”
The Planning Fallacy is a cognitive bias–or a distortion in the human mind that has been well documented by psychologists. According to the studies, we know everything always takes longer than expected; we just seem to forget … again and again.
November 25, 2013
This article was posted by Investors Business Daily.
By JED GRAHAM, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted 11/12/2013 05:51 PM ET
Below are excerpts from the article.
- Compensation costs for America’s lowest-paid workers could jump as much as 70% under the $10.10-an-hour federal minimum wage now backed by the White House, on top of ObamaCare’s employer penalties.
- At a time when low-wage workers are getting their schedules cut below 30 hours per week as employers dodge ObamaCare’s insurance mandate, the push for a big minimum-wage hike might help to shore up political support among the working class.
- Hourly compensation costs for a for-profit firm employing a full-time minimum-wage worker could jump by $5.52 to $13.32 an hour (including payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare) vs. $7.80 now.
- Low-End Workers Hurt - IBD has found that the workweek fell to a record low in July in private industries where pay averages up to about $14.50 an hour, matching the low seen at the depths of the recession in 2009.
- The combination of a big minimum-wage hike and shorter workweek — necessary to avoid an even bigger cost spike for employers subject to ObamaCare’s mandate — would be very difficult for business to overcome.
Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/111213-678849-obamacare-minimum-wage-hike-huge-labor-cost-increase.htm#ixzz2l6V0zx9H