Archive for January, 2010

It Sounds Easier Than It Was…

Written by mitch. Posted in Uncategorized

It’s been an interesting weekend following an even more interesting week.
I guess in a way all my weeks and weekends are like that.
At work, we managed to ‘clear the lot’ after a busy week yet again. That’s our term for completing… and, delivering, all the work in the shop. No one would be walking or struggling to make alternative arrangements for transportation because we were unable to meet or exceed wants, needs or expectations: that’s a pretty big deal in my world.
Big enough for me to follow that statement with an: “It sounds easier than it is!”
The week itself included interviewing prospective job applicants; beating my way through a marketing campaign, that like bread dough with too much yeast – kept oozing out of the pan; and, just about losing it with an outside sales representative who has been serving our account for more than twenty years and through two different suppliers.
It also included the completion of two difficult… No, let me re-phrase that: Impossible! diagnostic problems that we were finally able to put to bed. The sense of accomplishment… and, relief is more than words alone can describe! And, I started working out again… in the pool, at the local “Y.”
That’s a really big deal, especially for me. It’s that Newton/Inertia thing: A body at rest tends to stay at rest! Yadda, yadda, yadda…
I didn’t make it back to the studio that night as I had planned. But, I hadn’t planned to knot up a muscle in my calf either. The studio (Krav Maga) will have to wait for this coming Tuesday morning or evening. I did, however, make it back to the pool at the “Y” for some laps with my son Saturday afternoon after going to the shop, filling up the car, getting a hair cut, having brunch with my daughter and visiting my Mom at the Jewish Home for the Aging, where she currently resides.
There is something very special about doing things like that with your child or children, especially if it includes visiting a parent or parents: something profoundly inter-generational. So, if there are any fathers (Or, mothers….) out there reading this with adolescent, or even adult children; I highly recommend doing something – anything – with your kids. It’s time well spent and something really special!
Ryan and I trained in Chinese Kenpo and tested for our Brown Belts together…That too, sounds easier than it was!  But, it was an incredible experience that would be hard to duplicate and harder to explain.
Currently, Ryan is training for an Iron Man in Arizona this coming November. His drive, discipline and determination are inspiring and motivated me to get off my butt. That would have probably been enough, in and of itself. But, having him guide me in the pool yesterday with form and fitness pointers was especially ‘sweet.’ It builds a kind of closeness I’ve rarely seen shared by other parents and children I’ve watched over the years and would be one of those things the MasterCard commercials would suggest are: Priceless.
I started today with a trip to the shop and normal weekend regimen of paperwork that I finished just before beginning this entry: four hours of payroll, metrics, documentation and planning. In between starting and finishing, we had lunch and went to the Annenberg photography exhibit in Century City with some close friends – very cool place, very cool exhibit of sports photography. I highly recommend it!
Oh, and did I mention the book I just started reading that I am now more than half way through? If I didn’t, brace yourself! I’m going to be talking about it a lot over the next few weeks! The book is thoughtful, provocative and full of insights into both our culture and current economic situation. More than that, it offers a way to overcome it all.
I think there are times when it’s all about cramming five quarts of whatever substance you would like to visualize into a four quart container! Impossible? I don’t think so. And, if you don’t believe it can be done, call me… Or, better yet, come down and I’ll show you how it’s done!
Now, it’s off to bed so I can get up an hour earlier than I normally would to be at the “Y” when it opens. I didn’t manage to drown myself last Tuesday and did lots better on Saturday thanks to my son’s coaching. The water is calling me and like Ryan, my goal is to do just a little bit better with everything I do every time I do it! You can’t do that without showing up!


Written by mitch. Posted in Uncategorized

I just got off the phone following a twenty minute interview conducted by a Vice President at one of the nation’s (The “world’s,” actually…) largest and most respected public relations companies. The interview was focused on our experience with TMPS – I know, it sounds like the interview was all about really ‘cranky’ tires. But, it was really about what you know about these highly sophisticated Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems and how what you know impacts what we do in the field: “We” being the repair community.

To tell you the truth, while interesting from a philosophical or theoretical point of view, or on the basis of the marketing program it will ultimately generate – there was nothing all that extraordinary about the interview with one small exception, and that exception was a sliver of insight I was able to garner, a glimpse of what success in our relationship should really be all about… from your perspective: the only perspective that matters.

If my experience has taught me nothing else, it has taught me that the only way you can make anything automotive ‘relevant’ to a vehicle owner is to demonstrate that it is ‘meaningful.’ The interview I just completed helped me clarify that; perhaps, even quantify it more than anything I’ve ever done: especially, when it comes to anything even remotely ‘technical.’

It’s really all a matter of three questions, maybe four. The first question should be the most obvious: What does ‘it,’ whatever ‘it‘ might be, mean? And, that should translate to: What does it mean… to me! How will it impact me: economically, from the standpoint of safety, as a matter of inconvenience, et al.

If this is relating to a warning lamp, noise or a potential  mechanical problem, the second question is or should be: How will I know? That question is really all about how to tell if there is something going wrong before it actually fails and really goes wrong.

The third question is really a two part question: What do I do about ‘it:’ whatever ‘it‘ might be? And/or, what do I do to avoid ‘it‘ altogether.

The fourth questionis, if there really is a fourth question, is: How will all or any of this impact me (meaning you)?

I’ll be exploring these and other questions over the next month or so if for no other reason than to help me find better, more appropriate, more meaningful, more relevant ways to help you.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Like the computer in your car or truck, this will work better if the communication is bi-directional. But, we can talk about that later!