Posted on: March 4, 2010 2:52 pm

Terms of Service

If you ever actually read the fine print of a contract or warranty, there’s always some disclaimer that winds up coming back to haunt you.  For example, at my job, we purchased a piece of equipment for $20,000 that did of course come with a warranty.  It broke down a few months later, and we had to call our usual service company to repair it.  The lengthy amount of time it took them to figure out the problem cost us $120 per hour during which they even tried to call the manufacturer who could offer zero help…..shocker.  In the end, they traced the issue to a pressure switch that we wound up having to replace.  We’ve had to replace this part twice since over the course of a little more than a year.  You know what’s coming……the part isn’t covered under the warranty.  You know that has to be on purpose.  The fine print on paperwork should really be defined as red flags. 

Which brings me to relationships, my favorite topic next to the Yankees and baseball.   The disclaimers or red flags here are much more subtle and difficult to interpret, but they are there. They come in all shapes and sizes through statements and actions. 

You start with the honeymoon period where everything is rosy, and you talk for hours and enjoy every minute with each other.  That’s all well and good, but your first red flag is if one or the other takes it TOO fast.  For instance, you’ve met someone online which is the norm nowadays.  You talk for awhile until you’re comfortable enough to meet.  You meet, and you get along extremely well, so you agree to meet again.  During the second meeting, one or the other gushes about how you’re the one, or some similar statement.  I know someone who traveled long distance, and during the second meeting, he told her he was miserable without her and wanted her to move there.  Of course, that made her feel really good, but she was realistic and knew it was too soon.  How well can you really know someone after months of online chats and 2 meetings?  Not well enough to uproot yourself.  That of course is an extreme case, but I’m sure you’ve all had similar situations where you were overwhelmed by someone’s enthusiasm.  I’m not saying to show the person the door if they move too fast, but it is a red flag, and you should wonder why.  The first assumption is usually desperation which isn’t necessarily fair.  The truth is usually that the person has recently ended a relationship which has made them vulnerable and lonely.  Remember the question you always ask yourself after a breakup?  It’s do I miss the person or the relationship.   The answer is almost always the relationship itself.  You miss just being with someone, so when someone else comes along, you’re anxious to get the security of a relationship back.  So, now not only have you uncovered the red flag of underlying meaning, you’re also alerted to the fact this person is probably not very independent.  In addition, they’re not very mature if they can’t recognize their own state of mind, and how it does take time to get to know someone.  I will say that I do believe in instant connections.  Even though I believe they should be tempered, if it feels right, you should go for it, but  proceed with caution because there are beliefs and personality traits that do not surface for months.  No person is an open book immediately or after a short time. 

Let me sidestep here to the online thing.  The person you talk to online is not exactly the person you’re going to meet.  People’s inhibitions online are much less existent.  It’s much easier to talk to someone on a computer than face to face.  The person you talk to online is generally in there somewhere, but it’s going to take longer for them to come out in person, so even more reason to take the time to get to know each other. 

Ok, so, you’ve decided to move forward even after being overwhelmed.  You continue to get along well, and you buy into them being really into you.  You allow yourself to open up more and believe there may be a future with this person.  Suddenly, they’re not so available.  They become really busy with work and can’t talk to you or see you as much.  You ask if maybe this isn’t a good time, but they insist that things will get better soon and ask you to be patient.  Danger!  The person is likely reassessing  their  feelings for you, and maybe even seeing someone else.  They don’t want to lose you, so they’ve only backed off until they’re ready to make a decision on you.  In addition, I see this as game playing which to me is unacceptable.  I mean, aren’t we adults?  Also, a person who can’t be honest with you is a coward in my book. 

Let’s say their schedule frees up, and they have time for you again.  That’s great since it means they want to move forward with you and have stopped having doubts.  It also means they may have legitimately been busy.  If it keeps happening though, I don’t believe the person is on the up and up.  If every few months, they’re taking a month off from you, that’s a problem.  The bigger problem is if you allow it.  A person is going to do whatever you allow them to do.  If you’re on and off with someone for a year, and you’re seeing them in your future, you’re likely wrong because they’re not on the same page.  There comes a point when you have to draw the line and say, hey, what gives if you think the person is worth it, or have some self respect and say goodbye before you waste any more of your time. 

Let’s say their schedule doesn’t free up yet they still continue to dangle a thread.  They feed you a line about how special you are, and they want you in their life, but it’s just not the right time.  Remember, this is after you’ve already asked them if it’s not the right time.   Well, they probably didn’t want you to be the one to end it out of guilt, or they likely have control issues.  Thing is, you don’t deserve someone who continues to put you off.  You’re obviously not important enough to them, and you should’ve seen the end coming.  A friend of mine allowed a man to put her off for months believing he was that busy with work.  He kept telling her he still wanted to continue seeing her.  Whenever she questioned his commitment to that statement, he blew up at her….another red flag.  He would yell about how he had all this pressure on him, and she was adding to it which of course made her feel like crap.  She would always wind up apologizing and then explain how she merely wanted him in her life more.  Was that so terrible?  No, you’d think someone would be flattered.  If they’re not, they don’t feel the same way, and they should say so instead of leading you on. 

Continuing on with the above scenario that happened to my friend, things did end because she drew the line and said hey, what gives.  She got the answer I mentioned previously.  She said, sorry, but no go because she didn’t want someone in her life who hadn’t treated her properly.  As we all tend to do, she started to think back about the time they spent together.  At first, she blamed herself because he must’ve not liked her faults.  Then, she became more objective and realized he gave her plenty of warning signs.  He was very critical of her.  He would say one thing, but do another.  He was weird with money.  He was hypocritical. 

I call this blog item “terms of service” because not only do you not want an inanimate object that doesn’t meet your standards, you don’t want a person either.  If their terms of service don’t match yours, and they’re not willing to compromise, it’s never going to work.  For your own good, it’s better to recognize that sooner rather than later.  My friend’s relationship I talked about was with a man who only wanted her in his life on his terms, refused to meet her halfway, and didn’t even try to understand where she was coming from.   It’s a selfish person who acts this way, and there are always signs along the way that’ll point you in that direction.  Recognize them, realize there’s generally a reason for them and don’t ignore them.  Believe in your own worth. 

Category: General
Posted on: March 27, 2008 9:28 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2008 10:26 pm

The Gospel According to Yankeechick

As a manager of people, I have developed a definition of work ethic. Honestly, I use me as a baseline because I've always believed in putting my maximum effort forward to earn my money. That's the way of my generation. The generation younger than me has no clue, not all, but most. You know who you are.

  1. Don't call out unless you have a death in the family, a legit emergency, or you're so sick you can't move. Don't use the death in the family and legit emergency excuses once a month.
  2. Accept the fact that you work for someone else and have to do what they say. If you don't want to follow someone else's rules, go work for yourself.
  3. Work. You're not getting paid to be lazy and screw around.
  4. Arrive at work on time. Be ready to work at that minute.
  5. Respect your co-workers and management. If you have nothing to do, offer them your help.
  6. If you hate your job, you're not forced to be there. Don't bitch and moan. Nobody wants to hear your negativity all the time. It brings everyone else down.
  7. Do your job to the best of your ability, and strive to be better. Status quo won't get you anywhere and going through the motions sucks.
  8. Revenge is not sweet. If your boss pisses you off, have the guts to approach them like an adult. Don't bitch about them behind their back, and threaten to do things like keying their car.
  9. Don't mouth off to your boss and co-workers. You can't expect them to speak to you with respect if you don't do likewise.
10. Gossip is bullshit in the workplace. Wtf is wrong with everyone making an effort to get along?! You're not going to like everyone, let alone be friends, but at least be professional for God's sake.
11. Admit you made a mistake. Don't point the finger at other people. Don't make excuses.
12. Go in at the last minute to help out if you're able.
13. Don't blow smoke up your bosses' ass. They can spot a phony a mile away, believe me. Just makes you come off as a liar, and it'll be difficult for them to trust you.

In order to accomplish the above you need maturity.

  1. Don't be a coward. Have the guts to approach your problems and the people who may be involved with them.
  2. Choose your battles. Don't be petty. Yes, you should stand up for yourself and what you believe in, but know when enough's enough.
  3. Have some respect for someone other than yourself.
  4. Be willing to admit you were wrong. Don't deflect blame onto others. Don't make excuses.
  5. Learn from your mistakes. Don't repeat them.
  6. Align yourself with other mature people. Don't succumb to peer pressure.
  7. Know when you're too angry to have a productive conversation with someone. Nothing ever gets solved based on emotion. You can't get your point across. Know when you need to cool off first.
  8. Be logical and rational. Don't expect what just isn't possible.
  9. Accept people as they are. They're not going to behave like you, deal with it. See them for their good qualities.Accept that good qualities don't only apply to you. Change your outlook, not them.
10. Accept yourself as you are, faults and all. Be proud of all of you.
11. Go with the flow. Be flexible.
12. Move on. Don't hold a grudge forever. Forgive.
13. Be generous. Be good to others. Have empathy.
14. See the good in people and situations.
15. Be able to laugh at yourself.
16. Allow yourself to be yourself. Don't pretend to be something you're not to please others.
17. Be true to yourself and your beliefs. Nobody can ever take that away from you.
18. Follow your heart and you'll have no regrets.
19. Be able to see the big picture.

Category: General
Posted on: February 20, 2008 11:29 am
Edited on: February 20, 2008 11:35 am

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I know my blog title implies your typical sports knowledge which I do possess, but life can prove sporting at times too, in my opinion. I certainly don't mean playing games because I'm a straight shooter and appreciate others who are the same. In any event, my blog items will certainly turn to your typical sports at times, but as you can see, my first posts have been about the sporting life, and this one is no different. I also feel the need to vent in a philosophical way sometimes which means you're all going to be subjected to my thoughts on people and life. 

This post is going to focus on what I call tunnel vision. The definition of a person who has such an affliction is someone who can only see things and people through a narrow tunnel rather than a wide open picture. These people are basically stuck in their own worlds and can't appreciate that everything is not about them. If these people had their affliction treated when it acted up, we'd all get along much better. 

How to treat it?  Take one step back, take a deep breath, look around you and call me in the morning.  I add that call me in the morning part in partly as a joke, but partly to say it's best not to get into it when you're in the dreaded tunnel vision.  If you can't empathize with anyone else but yourself, you're not going to be in the right state of mind to resolve a disagreement since you can't see the other side of it.  For example, person A is walking down the street after just having been fired.  A accidentally bumps into person B who has tunnel vision.  Person B immediately starts going off on A even though they apologized.  Voices rise, a fist fight ensues, and the police have to break it up.  Person A may have gotten to relieve their stress for a little bit, but they also get to go to the hospital to treat their arm that got broken, and afterwards have to go to the police station because they were charged with disturbing the peace, etc.  If Person B had taken a moment, they might've realized Person A wasn't paying attention for a reason and accepted their apology instead of making their day markedly worse. 

Maybe this is too much to ask of a stranger because it's really not fair to expect someone to be a mind reader.  My point though is when you're in tunnel vision, you don't think anyone else can have a problem other than you.  So, it's not too much to ask to acknowledge that with the everyday people in your life, at the very least.  If your coworker arrives late to relieve you, ask why instead of getting pissed off first.  When someone in your life does something out of character, don't criticize them, recognize this isn't them, and find out why.  They may have a problem they're keeping to themselves and need your help, but are afraid to ask.  Deviant behavior usually has a cause.  When you're in a bad mood yourself, don't take it out on a salesperson thinking what do they care.  Maybe they hate their job, and people like you are making it worse. 

Take one step back and a deep breath on a daily basis, and I bet you'll have less arguments and stress in your life.  You'll also feel better about yourself because your actions will affect others in a positive way instead of a negative.  Isn't it better to put a smile on someone's face rather than a frown? 

Category: General
Posted on: February 16, 2008 12:35 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2008 12:38 pm

Survival of the Fittest in Corporate America

My first job in the big city of Manhattan was so exciting.  I did the whole commute thing, wearing the sneakers with my suit to be more comfortable before I got there everyday.  I stayed at that job for awhile because it was fabulous.  How much better does it get than being able to watch sporting events at work?  The people I worked with were also great.  My boss not so much.  He was completely unprofessional.  He talked about inappropriate things and had affairs with employees even after he got married.  He created an environment where everyone felt like they could say or do anything when you really can't or shouldn't in the workplace, especially nowadays in the era of sexual harrassment.  Thing is, he was the boss, and at the time, I found it hard to play by his rules.  I'm not saying his rules were right, but when you work for someone else, they have to be.  Now, whenever I have an employee who can't seem to follow a rule, I have a private conversation with them.  In that conversation, I always say, "if you don't want to follow someone's rules, you should work for yourself."  I wound up leaving because there was nowhere to go there, but also because I found his rules repulsive.  My only regret is I didn't get out sooner. 

My next job was as corporate as they come.  It was a big transition because I was used to doing whatever I wanted, and now I had to get things "approved."  What the hell was that all about?  I knew what I was doing.  Why did someone need to check up on me?  Yeah, my previous job didn't prepare me too well for this.  What it did teach me was how to keep my mouth shut though.  I have never been a yes person, and my first job brought that out.  It caused many an argument between myself and my boss.  When I entered corporate America, I vowed to keep my mouth shut until I knew what was what.  I went about my business and performed my job well with no complaints or controversy.  That attitude served me well because it got me promoted twice within 2 years.  Then, I didn't have to be a yes person all the time because I'd gained credibility.  My opinion was respected because I hadn't argued about everything.  You have to choose your battles in work and life, or else you become the boy or girl who cried wolf. 

I still work in corporate America at the best job I've ever had.  I can honestly say I love it.  What I've learned over the years is balance.  You can still be true to your nature and beliefs while working for someone else.  You just have to get to know that someone else first.  Then, you're able to get your point across in a way they understand.  That goes for any employees you have working for you too.  You can't go into a new job like gangbusters or else you might alienate people and burn your bridges before you've built them.  You need allies at a job, not enemies.  It's important to choose those allies carefully.  Unfortunately, you can't trust everyone, so you have to start out by not trusting anyone until a select few step forward as proven people. 


Category: General
Tags: career, job, people
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com