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I Want It My Way

Posted on February 27, 2012 | By Patty Pino | No Comments

I think it is fair to say that I’ve done some living.  I’ve spent the last 30 years of my life working various jobs, I’ve traveled, I lived abroad for a short bit, and, since college, I’ve continued to challenge myself with the adventure of trying and learning new things.  During my years on the planet experiencing life – like many of us do – I’ve come to establish my preferences, and I’ve decided I want things to be my way.

Now, before you start thinking I’m elitist, or a diva, or even a picky bitch, hear me out…

When I go to the movie theater to see a film, I have certain expectations.  I pay the movie theater a reasonable rate of my hard-earned money.  I would like the theatre and the theatre bathrooms to be clean, the temperature to be pleasant, my seat to be comfortable, and the quality of the projection and sound to be top notch.  I am there to relax and be entertained.  I am not there to complain that the sound is too low, or the lights are still turned up in the theater while the movie is playing, or the bathroom needs more paper towels.

At a restaurant, I have certain expectations.  I would like to be greeted pleasantly when I arrive, be shown to a clean table, be waited on promptly, and eat deliciously prepared, well-seasoned, fresh food.  I am there to relax and enjoy a nice meal.  I am not there to ask for another fork because the tines are all bent and twisted, or request a different coffee cup because of lipstick stains, or send back my soup because it came out cold.

I pay for health insurance and my expectations are that I can go to a doctor, he or she can recommend a therapy for my health concern, I can choose that therapeutic course to address my health condition, and the insurance company will pay.  I have not given them my money so that, when and if I do have to go to the doctor, they can refuse payment and I have to fight for reimbursement.

You get the point.  My examples are few of many you have probably experienced in your own life.  They could apply to the retail industry, the airlines, your internet provider, your bank, the place you get your haircut or your car fixed, your government.

Don’t get me wrong.  I wrote these words not to complain, and, although I claim I want things my way, it is not, really about me.  This is about you, and me, and all of us making things better – together – by doing two, simple things.

The first is to deliver your work, and yourself, with pride.  I know you’re stressed; so am I.  But, we all need to remember and realize that everything we do – EVERYTHING we do – has an impact on others around us and on the world.  When you’re working, ask yourself if you’ve done all you can to make what you’re delivering the best it can be.  Have you?  Did you look at that knife to make sure there was no food on it before you brought it to the table?  Did you check to ensure your vendor is getting back to your client?  Do you think you’re going to get a new job if you don’t wear a tie and jacket to the interview?  Do you feel like you did your best, despite the world crumbling down around you?  If you bring your best to the table, you are setting the stage for others to do the same.  It is not about competition, or arrogance; it is about creating a positive experience for all involved.

The second is to set the tone that you expect the best.  It is about having no fear to ask for what you want, and taking the time to patronize businesses who deliver on your expectations.  It is about thanking people who are good at what they do, or tipping them well, or telling their manager that they are doing an excellent job.  When is the last time you sent a note to a coworker’s boss expressing your gratitude about their helpful contributions?  When something less-than-quality is presented to you, do you take the time to ask for something better or do you settle for what has been given to you out of fear or embarrassment?  When you see someone skipping steps to the detriment of a deliverable, do you step up and ask them why?  It is not about being bossy, or bitchy, or condescending; it is about being grateful for the good things and not settling for the bad.

No matter where you are in life – speak up; Ask, thank, deliver – there is always room for improvement. Want things your way and make things better for others.

< Listen to this, and more on The Slacker Factor podcast TSF23: Soup It Up. >

The Textification of American Language

Posted on May 17, 2011 | By Patty Pino | No Comments

A Meandering Rant by Steve Angiolino

TSF Episode 21 – Expressive Textplexing began with a rant from writer, chef, production professional and father-extraordinaire, Steve Angiolino.  Listen to the podcast here and read his insights, below.

I am so sick of the textification of the American Language. Of course by now everyone is used to the LOL’s and OMG’s and they are accepted additions to the vernacular. It’s the forty-five year old men who ask about my “avails” for an upcoming meeting. Or the woman who is definitely not in line for tickets to Justin Bieber, telling me she is going to send along the “deets” for a project we’re working on. I’m also sick of the “whatevs,” “probs,” and the “ushe.” Finish the damn word! It’s as if everyone is so overworked and exhausted they not only can’t finish sentences, but they haven’t enough stamina to finish words longer then six letters.

I get it when you are handcuffed by the 160-character limit and you don’t want to buck up the extra five for unlimited texting. That’s cool, I can get behind that, but when you send me an email where the sky is the limit and you can be as verbose as the annoying person on the 5:46 with the cell phone embedded in their ear, then I get annoyed. You’ve got the space, unless your fingers are cramping so hard from carpal tunnel, that you look like that weird lobster boy at the freak show in the county fair, then please take those extra few seconds and finish the words!

Trust me; I’ll be _available_ to get the _details_ _whatever _time works best for you. I won’t quit mid- sentence. I have the wherewithal to read the word right down to the last letter. I’m no Edwin Newman. I’m not on a crusade to reinstate proper American English. I just ask us forty-something’s to give up talking like 15 year olds, madly pecking away on their Blackberries about how hot Tommy looks in his basketball uniform.

Enough already, and that’s enough with a GH and not two FFs.

___________________________________________________________

Steve Angiolino has finally come to the realization that sarcasm is not a great business model. He currently lives in the Jersey suburbs with his wife and two kids and spends long periods of time staring out the back window of his house wondering, “What’s going on in Hoboken right now?” Steve is easily annoyed and often gets into odd conversations with the elderly at the local ShopRite grocery store.

Don’t Be Al Bundy

Posted on January 23, 2011 | By Patty Pino | No Comments

Way back in the 80’s, television metamorphosized from 12 free broadcast stations plus that weird UHF band into pay television, lovingly known as Cable.  Along with more TV options came the bid for another major network, and the badboy of television, the FOX network, was born.  FOX was like an unbridled teenager, free to experiment with their programming without being burdened by the trappings, traditions, and history of previous major three networks.  In the sitcome space, they lauched “Married…with Children,” one of the most culturally defining television programs of that era.

That was then...

At that time, Al Bundy and his misfit, unmotivated family ruled the airwaves and, I suppose , there was something empowering about this klan.  They were sarcastic, selfish, and non-trendy – a huge counterpoint to the buttoned-up, Izod clad yuppies that were so prevalent in those post-Disco, Regan “Just Say No” days.  Al, Peg, Kelly, and Bud, in their slovenly simplicity, were harbingers and ambassadors for the soon-to-come Seattle grunge and slacker movement of the early 90’s.  They were the original couch potatoes.

But, as ground-breaking as they were in the late 80’s, I’m here to tell you don’t be like Al Bundy.  Read more

Reality is Overrated

Posted on January 3, 2011 | By Patty Pino | No Comments

Are you old enough to remember when home video cameras first started to become popular and people started bringing them to parties or family things and somehow, whenever a video camera entered the situation, people changed.  You could be having a good meal or conversation and everyone would be relaxed and then some uncle would come through with the say-hi-to-the-camera bit and nervous people got more nervous, and outgoing people turned on the charm, and those in-between just kinda stiffened up and waved “hi” because they didn’t know what else to do?

Then, TV hit the air with a show called “The Real World” where they tried to capture that same social thing where everyone is hanging out together but there just happens to be cameras present?  What happened on that show in 1992 was sort of the same thing that occurred with your technical uncle – people became slightly warped, awkward versions of themselves for the MTV nation, and other people found that entertaining.

What was true in your family setting was true for those 20-somethings in that New York apartment – the camera changes things. Read more

Our Country’s Pathetic Future

Posted on October 20, 2010 | By Robert LaFrance | 2 Comments

Our Country’s Pathetic Future

I usually tend to shy away from political topics. In the past, I just haven’t cared enough to concern myself with politics. It didn’t really affect me so I didn’t care. But as I get older (though I don’t look older), I begin to realize that the decisions made by both the leaders of this country and it’s population will eventually have a real impact on either me or my kids. And when you really start paying attention, you’re quick to realize that this country and our society in general are completely falling apart!

Lucky for you, with my incredible intelligence and insightful vision ;-) , I’ve identified two major issues that we must act on immediately to save our future. Read more

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