Would You Buy A Used Car From Me?

photography of red car on road
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I thought I’d regale you, my audience, with another one from the “jobs I could have had” file.

When I lived in Marietta, Georgia in 1996, I responded to an ad looking for people to sell used cars. So, on a cool day in the spring – I want to say it was either March or April, I filled in an application.

Something was amiss because an hour goes by before I hear from anybody. A gentleman comes up to greet me, but he’s not in a happy mood. “The owner won’t be seeing you unless you dress professionally,” I’m told.

Well, there was only one problem with this: there was no mention of a professional dress requirement in the ad. I’ve always been a person that goes by mentioned rules – in other words, if a rule is mentioned, you go by it. Otherwise, it generally does not exist. On top of which, I wasn’t looking like a bum either. I had slacks on, a collared shirt, no tie.

When I mentioned what I had felt was a breach of rules etiquette – the response I got was the dress code was “common sense” thus there was no need to mention it.

I began to lose my temper just a touch.

I said, “So what you’re saying it’s common sense to play games with potential employees and make them submit to rules they have no conclusive proof might exist?”

The guy walked away from me after I said that. And with that, I never stepped on that car lot again, nor had the desire to be a car salesman ever again.

A Problem In The Workplace

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Imagine being in a workplace where a constant problem has existed for decades. It hasn’t always been the top problem, so the employees in “the workplace” tend to ignore it. Every so often, the problem comes to the front of everybody’s minds – but something always seems to come along to prevent the problem from being solved.

“The Workplace” recently hired a new executive officer – it was not to CEO the employees, who had a say in the matter, were anticipating getting. The CEO has a long-term vision to solve the constant and long-persisting problem once and for all, but his “Board of Directors” kept cutting off the ability for the CEO to implement changes every chance the Board got, ensuring the problem would persist on some level for the immediate future.

Recently, there has been a movement by key employees to eradicate the “big problem” that has existed for many years. Many of the people who are suddenly complaining the loudest were the very same employees who didn’t want the problem fixed, or looked the other way at one key point or another. They’re now screaming at the CEO to fix the problem that could have been fixed many ways by many different avenues by many different people and work committees.

The CEO tries to explain. The explanations fall on deaf ears. The CEO and those loyal to him try to explain that this was a problem that could have been fixed by now for sure, had one of the many opportunities to fix it actually been followed through upon. Former employees weigh in and say the problem needs to be fixed now.

Frustrated, the CEO agrees and sympathizes with the employees – but tries to explain to them that the workplace has a chain of command that he would prefer to be followed. He had already tried to implement changes at the executive level but was turned away with every chance “The Board” had. With that happening repeatedly in previous months, the CEO fears going down that road again – he feels it would produce the same result as beforehand.

Instead of fixing the problem with at least one opportunity of many the workplace had – the problem “The Workplace” has is allowed to flourish, and instead of fixing it, all people seem to want to do is complain about it.

Somehow, this all sounds familiar.

The Prisoner

It’s one of those TV shows you have to pay attention to comprehend, or so I felt. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been watching the original version of The Prisoner on YouTube

The delight of the show is its overwhelming simplicity – no clear facts, but a buffet of ambiguity. The main character and his colleagues (or enemies) have no names, but numbers. Number Two, a character who changes each episode, is the administrator of sorts. His (or her) role is to get the main character (Number Six, played by Patrick McGoohan) to answer why he left his post as an employee of his government.

Because everyone has numbers and not names, it makes things increasingly unclear who serves the interests of Number Two, and who has common ground with Number Six. If Six thinks he has the upper hand, Number Two has a weapon at his disposal: Rover, a balloon shaped alien who can incapacitate or kill as needed.

It was fun to watch – certainly an interesting allegorical show that holds up well even in 2018.

The Real New World Order

I woke up Tuesday morning to a boat load of news bulletins regarding the summit in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. Apparently the summit went better than expectations, and the framework of a few deals was laid out.

This was more or less why I voted for Mr. Trump in 2016. I felt if I had voted for Hillary, it would have likely been more of the same leadership we’ve gotten the last 30 years or so from both major parties. Trump, I thought, would give us a new look – which could either be disastrous or exemplary. I took the gamble on him and in retrospect, I’m glad I did.

There will still be a lot of verification involved – but what is the more desirable goal here: more peace, or more hatred and suspicion? Yes, he (Trump) is a most unorthodox leader, but if you watch close – there’s methods to his madness.

The Justified

The Golden State Warriors won another NBA title. The Washington Capitals captured their first ever Stanley Cup. But with apologies to the great athletes on both of those teams, it was a horse that stole the sporting show this weekend.

I didn’t get the sense that Justify was a Triple Crown horse seeing him barely win the Preakness three weeks earlier, and I said as such on Facebook and Twitter. I had already seen American Pharoah win the Triple Crown and the euphoric cheering that resulted afterward with a 37-year drought ending. I couldn’t wrap my head around it happening again so soon.

But it did, and now Justify has earned his spot on the mantle of the all-time greats. As I said three years ago, I’d still love to see a computer or video game where the Triple Crown winners race against each other in hypothetical Kentucky Derbies, Preakness or Belmont Stakes.

Anybody working on that?

Aircheck: ABC, 6/5/1968

I’ve always felt that the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles may have been a more sadistic blow to our country than the assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, roughly four and a half years earlier.

ABC was the only network that stayed on the air continuously as events transitioned from election results to a breaking news event. Shortly after 3:15am Eastern time on June 5, 1968, the network was just returning from a B.F. Goodrich commercial and was about to sign off for the evening at approximately 19 minutes into the clip – the very moment RFK had been gunned down. For several moments, the John Phillip Souza march “The Thunderer” is heard.

Howard K. Smith is seen taking phone calls at his desk on the left, and a crowd forms in the upper right part of the screen by the wire machines above the “Race to the White House: California Primary” graphics. (Bill Lawrence is on the right side of the screen, whom ABC used as a political analyst.)

As the music re-cues a minute later, an announcer informs the audience to “Please stand by.” A minute later, the music stops and starts again, this time the announcer hints something serious is afoot by saying, “Please stand by for a special report.” Smith is seen furiously writing down notes and fielding a few more calls. About four and a half minutes into a static shot of the studio and the nearly continuous music, Smith returns to break the news at about 3:20am:

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve kept the air on because we’ve heard an alarming report that Robert Kennedy was shot in that ballroom in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. A very loud noise like a clap of thunder was heard, a small explosion. We waited to see what it was, and then came a report that Senator Robert Kennedy was shot. We will bring you more news as we learn it.”

The details came forth in the following minutes and hours. RFK would cling to life for a little over a day before dying in the wee hours of June 6, 1968. I wasn’t alive when it happened (I came into the world three years and three months later), but it had to have been a cruel blow to the country – and I’m sure many wondered in the 50 years that have now proceeded the event what would have happened had RFK not been fired upon.

The Pine Tar Presidency

I had another epiphany this week. I figured out who President Trump reminds me of, though I’m not the first person to think of the analogy – Billy Martin.

Case in point: the whole controversy over whether or not the use of a special counsel is constitutional, since Robert Mueller wasn’t appointed by the President but by a deputy attorney general. Conservatives are suggesting that since the President didn’t make the appointment and it wasn’t ratified by the Senate, it’s a violation of the Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution.

Just like the late Billy Martin, who would note various rules being violated during the course of a game and wait for an opportune moment to point it out, I wonder if the President knew all along about the Appointments Clause and waited for the right time to point it out.

Not too shabby, sir – if that’s how it played out. I’d love to hear the argument that the Constitution doesn’t apply here, if there is such an argument.