to The Cheshire Group eNewsletter
The Cheshire Press (an imprint of The Cheshire Group)...
of our newest publications is a wonderful poetry book titled
VIEWPOINTS by Barbara Bulova Brown,.. Not just for
the poetry-lover, VIEWPOINTS is a collection of a
quarter century of Ms Brown’s work, which includes black
and white illustrations of her oil paintings, drawings and
photographs. The author welcomes
the reader to participate in her journey. The book features
an honest account of various moments and thoughts describing
an arc from youth through marriage and widowhood to the present.
Ms Brown treats life’s rewards as well as its trials,
from the irksome to the outrageous, via such topics as childhood,
marriage, home-owning, politics, art, nature, aging, illness
and death. In Dark Musings: In the early lightness of
night/It is not and is a challenge/To see that which you cannot…
Back in the thinning thick/Where woodpeckers knock beak on
bark/Of hollowing over-watered trees…You can order
a copy of this book for yourself or as a gift just
click on this link.
is the 79th issue of The Better Mousetrap. We have archived
the most recent issues on our web site. It is easy to review
them. Just click
here for the list or go to the Cheshire
Group web site and click on the link that says "Newsletter
STATISTICS AND YOUR WEBSITE.
web has planted the expectation of instant gratification in
the minds of consumers and information seekers. The web is faster
than the [old] telephone book, a trip to the library or an order
form traveling by USPS. If your company uses its site to invite
communication via emai,then you'd better be sure to check that
email and to respond to it promply. That means several times
Here's a tip. Don't underestimate
the importance of human contact even in cybertimes. Include
your regular phone numer or 800 number, not only on your contact
page, but on every page for that important customer who has
a need that can't be contained in the email fill-in form. And
don't argue that you will be swamped with calls. (You should
be so lucky.) This is just good customer service.
| Check your site for vital statistics:
make certain your phone and fax (if you still have one) numbers
andyour street address are prominent.
GOT A PROBLEM: "NO PROBLEM."
have a little problem. Actually it used to be a little problem,
but lately it's become a big problem. It may be your problem
too. The problem is "No problem."
Forget about climate change.The
real chage we need to worry about is language change. And
unlike meteorological doomsayers, I don't need an apocalyptic
documentary to prove my claim.
No, esteemed language change
denier, I will neither bludgeon you with sanctimony nor shame
you with guilt, I merely entreat you to walk into your local
coffee shop. Once that preternaturally perky barista hands
over your order and you've said your perfunctory "Thank
you," stand back, because here it comes, the trisyllabic
phrase that's toppling a civilzation: "No problem."
The phrase glides from the server's
lips with the easiness of a Cary Grant pickup line. You walk
out the door bewildered while the barista presses the next
patron' s order, blithely oblivious of the affront just committed.
"Youre welcome" has
been replaced. This is 2017 and it's now "No problem"
as far as the ear can hear.
What's my problem with "No
Problem"? Why do I pine so for "You're welcome"?
Is it just sentimental nostalgia? Nothing of the kind. It's
The polar ice caps of language
and etiquette have been melting for decades, and the inconvenient
truth is we've been too busy to care. Before the internet
we opened our missives with a full heading and a salutation:
Dear Mr. Smith—an epistolary Homeric herald announcing
the arrival of an important guest. These days you're lucky
to get a salutation at all. Or if you do , it's a dressed-down
"Hey, Julie" or "Yo Bill.' Gone the formal
"Dear," here to stay the casual "Hey."
Familiarity thy name is email.
There was a time that we addressed
superiors in the workplace by there surnames. First-name usage
rights were a privilege doled out only to company elites,
like stock options. Egalitarians no doubt applaud this surnominal
softening, yet not all companies can or should be run on a
primus inter pares basis. Along with that last name vanishes
a certain measure of respect and recognition. That first great
English-language lyricist, Sir William Gilbert, sounded the
alarm in "The Gondoliers" mopre than 120 years ago:
"When everyone is somebody, then no one's anybody."
This latest erosion of politeness
is an ice cap too far. The rapid disappearance of "You're
Welcome" goes beyond letter headings and corporate boardrooms.
There is an implicit, albeit
unintentional, condescension in the "No problem"
comeback. As if to say "You're interrupting my busy life,
but I'll make a lttile time for you because I'm just that
magnanimous." Not to mention, it's negative.
on the other hand , is the picure of sunny benevolence. More
than a mere affirmation (You are well come!"), it's an
invitation where "No problem" hustles you out the
back door, "Your welcome" opens its big, wide, friendly
arms and says "Stay!"
Language change with or without
my permission. Still, if Justin Timberlake could do it with
"sexy," maybe—just maybe—I can can bring
"You're welcome" back.
WSJ - 9/27/17
GOES TO THE DMV.
word Kafkaesque is used loosely these days, but here's
a true story that deserves the adjective. It's about
a forty-year-old woman—my daughter—who applied
for a New York [State] drivers license. The process
began in June Three months later, she still has no license,
owing to conflicting bureeaucratic regulations.
Fifteen years ago my daughter
lived in New York and had a [drivers] license there.
She kept it when she went to Indiana for law school.
But when she moved to Los Angeles after graduation,
she got a California license. Last year she moved back
to New York, but she had lost her California license,
so she submitted documentation showing her driving record
was unblemished. "I'm sorry," an employee
at the New York Department of Motor Vehicles told her,
"but we cannot issue you a New York drivers license."
Why" She was told
her New York license had been suspended a decade ago
because she hadn't paid an Indiana speeding ticket.
She thought she had paid the fine. "Why would California
issue me a diver's license if my New York license was
suspended?" she asked.
"Some states talk
to each other about driver's licenses, some don't,"
the employee replied,
She called the Indiana
court. It turned out she had sent a check for the fine,
but the court accepted payments only by credit card.
The court returned the check, but it never reached her,
probably because it was sent to an old address.
Now that the problem was
diagnosed, it could easily be resolved, right? She paid
the fine. The Indiana court reported this to the Indiana
Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which sent a letter to the
New York DMV saying that her case had cleared. Two weeks
later she called the New York DMV about her application.
"I'm sorry but your
case has not cleared," she was told. "We received
the letter but we are not allowed to accept letters—only
She called Indiana and
asked for a fax. "I'm sorry, but we are not allowed
to send faxes—only letters."
So the regulations of
Indiana and New York conflict.
It gets worse. The New
York DMV suggested asking the Indiana court to send
her an official document saying that the case has cleared.
'I'm sorry," the court said "but we can only
send official documents to Indianapolis. You should
ask the New York DMV to call us to confirm that your
case has been cleared." The New York DMV—of
course— said that wasn't an option: "We cannot
make phone calls on diver's license questions."
Many Americans, I'm certain,
have had similar encounters with government bureaucracy,
which suggests this is a great drag on American productivity.
Though my daughter could
not get an official document from the Indiana court,
she did get a receipt listing the ticket number and
confirming the fine was paid. Six weeks ago she faxed
that to the New York DMV. So far no response. She plans
to call but keeps putting it off. Kafka would have understood.
YOUR MOTHER DIDN'T GIVE YOU BUT PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE-
Whwn trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one
individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take
command. Very often that person is crazy.
cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
Never lick a steak knife.
Take out the fortune before you eat the cookie.
The most powerful force in the universe is gossip.
You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling
reason why we observe daylight savings time.
The one thing that unites all human beings, regardkess of
age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background,
is that deep down inside we ALL believe that we are above
main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to
annoy people who are not in them.
person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not
a nice person.
friends love you anyway.
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of football, a coach once said of the forward pass,
"Three things can happen, and two of them are
want to walk through life instead of being dragged
you give your child only one gift, let it be enthusiasm."
a better mouse-trap and the world will beat a path to your
Ralph Waldo Emerson
can build it but they don't have to come. Let your
market know the product is there.
BETTER MOUSE- TRAP helps you do it. To do it even better
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