Archive | Business Frustrations

Hard Work

Always learning – that’s the reality of life, and in operating a business. A lesson learned many years ago happened when we hired a young woman as a research associate. She fit all of our hiring criteria for education, background, etc. She was attractive and well dressed. Her appearance was important to her as evidenced […]

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Hooray for Jessica!  As David mentioned, after our experience with one of our former employees, who resigned over too many broken fingernails, we were delighted to hire Jessica Nurek (now Jessica Palomino) because, not only was she qualified for the research associate job, she was not afraid of performing hard work.  Cleaning animal stalls is […]

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Hiding behind Email

Prompted by my posts about “different direction” and “ghosting,” a related phenomenon is hiding behind email, especially as a way to deliver bad news. Maybe it is just me, but it seems a matter of professionalism and fairness that, if one asks someone else to do something like prepare a proposal for consulting services, the […]

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I love to discuss, and write about, etiquette.  As a social psychologist, I am keenly aware of the social norms involved in etiquette, which involves far more than knowing which fork to use.  There is a certain etiquette involved in communicating with others, in both professional and personal settings.  This includes “responding in kind” to […]

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I’m a Professional Judge of Character – Trust my 1st Impression

There have been several notable examples of my, and others’, questioning my first impressions of someone. On all of these occasions, my first impression was correct and unfortunately, questioning it caused negative turns of events. In that, as a psychologist, I am what most people would consider “a professional judge of character,” I have tried […]

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One aspect of owning a business never gets easier – hiring.  I feel like it is always a gamble.  And, I’m apparently not a good gambler because I’ve taken chances on hiring people who turned out to be ill equipped to do our work, or worse, a really bad fit, a bad choice, maybe a […]

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Why be Snarky?

Why be snarky when being snarky is unnecessary, particularly in the business world? One of Magnus vendors is a company with whom we interact on a frequent basis. The principal of this company, which will remain nameless, uses the most insulting tone imaginable when writing emails to me, the client. This person never misses the […]

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Any human to human interaction involves personalities, of course.  Most of the time one doesn’t give that much thought unless there is something that causes friction, something that isn’t comfortable.  Snarky or snide comments are one of those things.  It seems like the “snarker” is just picking, for whatever reason, at minor details.  Life and […]

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Choose not to decide

“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” This is a line from the RUSH song Freewill (on 1980’s Permanent Waves album). That line has stuck with me since I first heard it. Perhaps, in keeping with a few recent posts on ghosting, different directions, etc., but first, in my career […]

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Indecision is something that is not part of my personality.  I like to get it done, move forward, press on, and go onward and upward.  People who stare, seemingly endlessly, at a restaurant menu because they can’t decide what to eat are near the top of my pet peeves list.  It’s really not that important: […]

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Always Take First Watch

Always take the first watch. I received this sage advice many years ago, from a friend who spent most of his life in the United States Navy. The rationale is that one will be less tired during the first watch than in later shifts. First watch, of course, is usually the daytime hours, such as […]

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Always take first watch, unless Melissa beats you to it!  After that, I’m not sure which is better, 2nd or 3rd watch.  It might depend on whether it is night or day, and whether sleep is possible.  Though I wasn’t onboard for the hurricane avoidance drive, I remember it well.  I had the outsider’s view, […]

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Better Than “Different Direction”

As a follow up to David’s last post regarding the soul killing phrase “We have decided to move in a different direction,” I will provide alternative phrases that are more appropriate forms of rejection. Keeping in mind that David, and other consultants, spend considerable time and money speaking with prospective clients, preparing proposals outlining the […]

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I like that-“vapid euphemisms.”  In my most recent vapid encounter, vapid also seemed to apply to the paralegal who called me.  Whether it was her fault or not, she not only had insufficient information to give me as to what the attorney purportedly wanted (which was an inappropriate research design, given what she did know), […]

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Different Direction

Last week I got a call from a paralegal who asked me to provide a proposal for a mock trial for a commercial case.  She told me that, although she’d been a paralegal for 25 years, she had never shopped for a trial consultant.  I walked her through the process, provided her with information on […]

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If you think about it, and I certainly have, “We are moving in a different direction” or “We are moving in another direction” is meaningless drivel.  This statement has somehow become common when it comes to rejecting job applicants, consultants’ proposals, and people, in general.  In preparing for my part of David’s post, I have […]

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Ghosting

Ghosting. This is a relatively new term used to indicate what might otherwise be called “radio silence,” that is, a loss of communications. Despite the many ways we can now communicate, via email, text, direct messaging, “zoom” calls, or even the good old phone or maybe “snail” mail, it amazes me that we often end […]

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Ghosting is rude, unprofessional, and, when it comes to friends and family, mean.  I have been ghosted on several occasions, by long time friends who chose to cut me out of their lives for unknown reasons.  One of these friends remained out of touch for about 20 years, another, for 7 years, and another, 6 […]

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No One Has Ever Said They Wish Their Jury Research Had Been Later

In almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus Research Consultants, David and I have been fortunate to have few complaints from clients. When there have been complaints, they have been of the following type: (1) “Your report is too long and comprehensive; it took too long for me to read”; (2) ”The charts summarizing […]

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This topic is salient because I had the discussion again recently, “What is your lead time for conducting research? My client wants to put it off as long as possible, because maybe they can settle…”  I patiently explained that the ramp up period, once we’ve provided a proposal, agreed on the research design, gotten approval […]

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