Archive | Workplace Technology

Letter from the Internal Revenue Service – Yikes!

No small business owner likes to receive a letter from the Internal Revenue Service – trust me. Such letters inspire dread. Though they occasionally include a good surprise, such as a refund of an over payment, more often they are “not good.” Melissa and I recently received such a letter informing us that, because we […]

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There must be some nice, friendly, helpful people who are employed by the IRS.  Statistically speaking, there has to be some percentage of IRS employees who are customer oriented. It just isn’t possible for everyone who works at the IRS, or even the majority, to be rude, condescending, and generally speaking, unhelpful to its clients, […]

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Reactive v. Proactive

My mother used to tell me that she, as well as almost everyone else, would “have to get up before breakfast to stay ahead of me.” For readers of this post who are unfamiliar with, as Mom used to say “old South Carolina sayings,” this means that, all things considered, I work and move at […]

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I don’t think of the proactive/reactive dichotomy as just an issue of speed, but of priorities.  And, in fairness to our clients (attorneys), many reactive behaviors are a part of the job.  They must react to rulings by the court, motions or pleadings by the other side, client demands, etc.  It is not just attorneys, […]

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Old School

In many ways, I, and people like me, are considered “old school” or “retro.” Someone recently complimented me on an Alice Cooper t-shirt I was wearing, saying he really liked its “old school” look. I still use expressions from “back in the day,” such as groovy, psychedelic, cool (instead of hot, meant to describe something […]

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I don’t know when a part of one’s life, bell bottom pants for example, take hold as the norm such that later they become old school.  And, while Melissa is more retro that I am in terms of fashion, etc., she’s newer school in keeping up with modern rock music than am I.  She does […]

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Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I make mistakes, a lot of them. A few minutes ago, David pointed out my most recent mistake, for which I apologized. I almost always take responsibility for my mistakes and I try to correct them when it is possible to do so. Fortunately, none of my mistakes have resulted in seriously negative outcomes for […]

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Some of the lessons learned at the top of my list are not really mistake driven, but lessons learned due to many of the unique aspects of doing trial consulting work, including working with highly successful, demanding clients (attorneys) on difficult and complex cases.  And, further, while we are not doing “rocket science,” there are […]

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Modern Communications

Writing this post in mid 2022, I want to comment on modern communications technologies. Especially due to the pandemic, the “modern” technologies of cellular telephones and virtual meetings (Zoom, etc.) have become more common in the world of business. This is for better or worse, depending on point of view. These technologies are great because […]

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David spends significantly more time talking on the telephone than I do, but I share his frustrations.  The poor quality of some people’s internet connections make it difficult to have a meaningful telephone conversation.  This is compounded when the conversation is via a platform, such as Zoom, that includes both audio and video components.  Constant reminders […]

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If You Won’t Practice, Don’t Bother Learning

As I mentioned in my previous post, “practice makes perfect,” my childhood piano teacher, Corella Johnson, insisted that all her piano and organ students practice their instrument(s) at least 30 minutes a day. The first thing she did at every lesson was ask her students to play the piece of music they were learning, so […]

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Childhood music lessons didn’t work well for me.  I tried guitar and piano but found I’d much rather go fishing or tromp through the woods than hone those skills.  Perhaps it was also because my early music lessons focused too much on fundamentals, rather than playing a song, these music experiences were not attractive to […]

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Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect. How many times have we heard this phrase? I have heard it too many times to count! I started playing the piano when I was 6 years old. I started playing the organ when I was 11. My piano and organ teacher was a wonderful friend and neighbor, Corella Johnson, who had […]

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I can attest to Melissa’s commitment to practice.  She takes it seriously and is religious about it, as long as her “day job” doesn’t interfere.  But practice gets a bad rap, that is a bad name.  Melissa’s practice time is often better characterized as “playing” as in “playing the bass.”  Practice seems repetitive and punitive.  […]

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Old School Tech

I recently read an article about the executive director of a professional association who uses an IBM typewriter to send notes to members. He said he liked using a typewriter to personalize the notes. I thought it was pretty cool to use old school technology so effectively. I could never afford an IBM typewriter, those […]

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David and I have written about our fondness for “old school” things in several previous posts.  Although I never owned a typewriter, nor am I a good typist, I appreciate David’s fondness for his trusty old typewriter.  It comes in handy when he makes labels for files in our personal filing cabinet.  I remember David’s […]

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Fix it as Soon as it Breaks

I am an ardent fan of the maxim, “fix it as soon as it breaks.” I have never known anything that fixed itself, whether it is a leaky faucet, a flat tire (or tyre, on all the British cars I have owned), or a faulty electrical outlet. Admittedly, I am not good at fixing things. […]

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Homeownership seems to involve an endless “to do” list.  There is always something to do.  Sometimes, the to dos are small items, easy to resolve.  Sometimes, expertise is required, or at least more expertise than I possess.  Or strength – some fixes take more expertise and muscle than I have, or any one person has.  […]

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Why Do People Talk about Weather?

Why do people often talk about the weather? I will admit being guilty of this type of mind numbing discussion, but nonetheless, I have always found it to be an odd topic. Maybe it’s an ice breaker or a way to ease into a more meaningful discussion. I realize that, sometimes, it is important to […]

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I admit to using weather as an ice breaker especially, in the winter when talking with folks in cold climates.  I feel a bit smug.  Of course, they turn it around on me when the weather is hot in South Florida with nearly 100% humidity.  But, beyond ice breakers (which sounds weather related in itself), […]

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