About this blog

After more than 25 years operating a trial consulting practice together as co-founding partners of Magnus Research Consultants, Inc. and Magnus Graphics, Inc., and more than 30 years of marriage, Dr. Melissa Pigott and David Fauss decided to share some of their thoughts, experiences, pet peeves, and perspectives on operating a small “mom & pop” business. The intended audience for their writings is other business owners, as well as employees of small businesses. Trial consulting is a professional service business, as was David’s photography business. There are many unique issues faced by professional service providers; Melissa and David share some of their insights on running a successful business.

Patience

“I appreciate your patience.” “Thank you for your patience.” How many times do we hear this when dealing with customer service? When dealing with problems with vendors, contractors, retailers, etc.? These are obviously trained phrases. That is, the customer service reps are trained to say these words. But, in my opinion, they are ill considered […]

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Oh, the silly things people say!  Here are some of my favorites, starting with David’s, “Thank you for your patience.”  When someone tells me “Thank you for your patience,” I ask, “Why do you assume I have patience?”, particularly if I have been waiting for what seems like an eternity for the person to get […]

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Things Back to Normal! Water Fountains, Crowded Elevators, Smiling Faces

Hooray! Hooray! I had the privilege of selecting 2 juries, for 2 different clients, in 2 different courthouses, recently. Usually, this would be nothing to write about, however, these jury selections were noteworthy due to the fact that they were the first, and second, jury selections for me since the world shut down in March […]

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As the one who watches the business side of our business, it is great for Melissa to be back in the courthouse again.  Non functioning courts have been terrible for our business as clients have had little perceived need or motivation to hire a trial consultant if there can be no trials.  So, having trials […]

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It’s a Big Job!

Melissa and I have mentioned we are undergoing a big home improvement project this year. It is not one we wanted to undertake: a new roof! We first heard “It’s a big job” when securing bids for the roof project. “It’s a big roof, it’s a big job….” Well, yes it is. Isn’t that great? […]

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I’m proud to say that, in almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus, David and I have never had a job that was too big to accept.  When prospective clients ask me if I have ever worked on a “big” case, implying that I might not have the expertise to work on their case, […]

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Was it Worth it?

In October of 2005, David and I were fortunate to attend a concert by the renowned group, Cream. As many people know, Cream were considered the world’s first supergroup because their 3 members, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker, had been members of other successful groups prior to forming Cream. Although Cream were active […]

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The trip to New York City to see Cream was a long time in the planning.  We bought tickets to the show as soon as it was announced.  Hotel and flight bookings followed.  I’m sure we had other items on our agenda for the trip, but seeing Cream in “The Garden” was the focus and […]

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Brave New World

Recent conversations with several attorneys prompted this post. The title many will recognize is from a 1931 book by English author Aldous Huxley, and I have to say, I’ve never read it. But, here we are in the 3rd quarter of 2021 and I have to say that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other […]

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As David and I have written before, there are some people (like us) who thrive on change and there are others who prefer the status quo and/or wish things were “like they used to be.”  The latter types of people are, for the most part, boring to me.  Change is part of human existence and, […]

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J.D.

I met J.D. Harvey in the fall of 1980, shortly after I moved to Wakulla County, Florida to attend graduate school at The Florida State University. My dad was born in Medart, in Wakulla County, and he was particularly close to one of his cousins, Venice. I was fortunate to live in a mobile home […]

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In Melissa’s world there is, perhaps, a blurry line between being a psychologist and a friend.  The experience with J.D. is one of those.  I have a small, sticky backed, teddy bear on my computer monitor today that J.D. gave me (I have a couple other bear reminders as well).  Due to a turn of […]

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Quantifying Change

It is an exciting time to be a data nerd – the 2020 Census data are trickling out. And, apologies to Bob Dylan, with the times, the data are a-changing! The key data points released thus far confirm the growing diversity of America. I’ve been looking at some of the numbers for Florida, with a […]

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I’m thrilled that David decided to write about this topic!  I am the embodiment of the definition of “science nerd” and “data nerd.”  I love both science and the data obtained from research more than almost anything.  (The recent refusal of some people to believe in science, particularly medical science, is mind numbing to me, […]

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Train Train

“Train Train” is a song written by Shorty Medlocke, the grandfather of Rickey Medlocke , who was the founder of Blackfoot (a fantastic Southern rock group from none other than Jacksonville, Florida). The song starts with Shorty Medlocke’s harmonica, which mimics the sound of a whistle on a steam locomotive. Not only is “Train Train” […]

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It is not by accident that one hears the long long short long whistle (horn) blast when a train nears a public crossing.  It is to avoid accidents that this pattern is a required operating rule for trains in the U.S.A., and some other countries (there is an official list of whistle signals that trains […]

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Onboarding

We at Magnus been working with a new employee recently to get him up to speed so that he can work effectively. Because Megan has been with us for quite a few years, I haven’t had to train anyone in some time, so it is an interesting experience to look at our training list and […]

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No offense to any of Magnus’ wonderful employees, but hiring, training, and supervising employees is my least favorite part of owning and operating a business.  I know what I am doing, I always get my work done correctly and on time, and it slows me down anytime I have to deal with the latest issue […]

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Passive/aggressive behaviors

Many people believe they know someone who is passive-aggressive. But, does the average person, without a psychology background, really know what the term, “passive-aggressive” means? Within psychology, there exists a psychological disorder known as passive-aggressive personality disorder, also known as negativistic personality disorder. This disorder has the following characteristics: overall negativism; persistent feelings of being […]

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I struggle in responding to Melissa’s post about this one because I don’t think I’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with someone who is totally passive aggressive.  Instead, my point of reference to someone exhibiting passive aggressive behaviors is my own mother.  She was quiet, sweet and kind to everyone to such a degree […]

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