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Rainy Day People: Be An Encourager to Others

A little encouragement can move you from despair to exultation.

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After I received an MBA from the University of Connecticut, I was immediately hired by Burroughs Business Systems, which ultimately became Unisys. I ended up leaving in a little less than one year because I was not enthusiastic about what the company provided, my current role, and my long-term prospects with them.

When I departed Burroughs, in the late spring I had no job prospects but I felt confident that I could find something easily. After all, I got hired right out of graduate school. At that time, I didn’t understand that it’s unwise to leave one salaried position for another unless you already have that other one lined up.

From Desperation to Despair

After six interminable months, and more than 300 resumes mailed, I was in despair. Long before the availability of the Internet it was costly to job seek. For sure, I had gone on a few interviews here and there, but had no real prospects, during all those months. Then, one emerged – a small consulting firm of six people. It was perfect for me.

Miraculously, the company, in the Vernon CT was one mile from my rented house. I had an interview with the company president, the interview went exceedingly well, and by all indications I felt certain that he would call me back within the week to make a job offer.

When that first week passed, I felt a bit disheartened, but still confident because of how well the interview had gone. Then, somehow, another week passed. Meanwhile, I was running low on funds. With no other prospects emerging, things were getting bleak, and I was nearly out of options.

Shut Out and Shivering

Friday afternoon, as the third week was about to pass, I was lying on my bed staring up at the ceiling. This December day was shivering cold, completely gray, with a constant down pour. My father, who was the vice principal at a junior high school in Hartford, gave me a call after he got out of school at 3:30 as he was eager as well for news about the job.

“No word,” I said, “and it’s been three weeks, so I think this is a lost cause.” He told me, in his characteristic way, that if I haven’t heard “no” the possibility is still open. He said they might have not called me back yet for any number of reasons. Then, ever the encourager, my father suggested that I get dressed and visit the company this afternoon.

I thought this was going way too far, but what else did I have brewing…

Full Speed Ahead

Fortified by my father’s words, I took a shower, put on my best suit, and drove the one mile. It was now 4:30 with the downpour continuing, on this shivering day.

I took the elevator to the third floor where the company was located, opened the door, and saw the receptionist. To my surprise, she remembered me. I asked to see the company president. She said, “Do you have an appointment?”

“No.”

“Is he expecting you?”

“No.”

She said, “Let me page him and see if maybe he has a few minutes.” She was on the phone briefly and then said to me, “Have a seat, he’ll be out in a few minutes.” So, in this tiny reception room, I sat in the only visitor’s chair. Time passed, and I’m wondering if he’s going to regard me as a fruitcake for appearing unannounced on a day like this.

Finally, he appeared. He greeted me and bade me come into his office. We spoke for quite a while and the conversation went as well as it had the first time. He told me he had been on the fence for two reasons: first, he was waiting to land a large contract and second, he had never hired someone as young as me, but my demonstrated tenacity, by returning to the office was admirable.

By now, despite the downpour, you could tell that everyone else in the firm had gone home for the weekend. The place was completely silent, but I left the office aglow: I was hired that afternoon.

Encouragement is Priceless

May 13th is the birthday of my father, now long departed, who resides in my heart for evermore.

The people in our lives do make a difference and can help mitigate our self-doubt. I went from personal, professional, and financial despair, six months in the making, to landing my ideal long-term career position only 90 minutes later, because of my father’s encouragement.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

On the Path to Achievement, Everyone Starts Someplace

The world is full of people who followed a sequential approach to achieving fabulous goals

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Do you feel some days as if you’re making little or no progress on your chosen goal? If so, take heart: The world is full of people who followed a sequential approach to achieving fabulous goals. In other words, they went from one accomplishment to the next, almost in step by step fashion, and you can do the same.

Words and Deeds

In publishing, here are two individuals who achieved one notable goal, and then built upon that achievement in accomplishing something even loftier.

Michael E. Porter, Ph.D., wrote the acclaimed text Competitive Advantage, detailing how corporations and organizations could identify their strategic assets and use them to establish a market niche. Years later, Porter wrote The Competitive Advantage of Nations, a blueprint for governments to have more viable economies.

The late Stephen Covey, PhD, conducted seminars for corporate leaders and eventually wrote the bestseller, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. Covey then established his own publishing house, created and spun off his own literary agency, and developed proprietary products such as calendars, newsletters, software products, and guidebooks.

He wrote several more best-selling books and produced video programs distributed worldwide. His influence continued to the far reaches of the globe, and The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People is now used in classrooms.

Words and Scenes

In the motion picture industry, the process works much the same way. Jodie Foster was first a childhood actor, then an accomplished actor, the winner of two Academy Awards, then a director, and then a director/producer.

Others who established careers as actors first and then became successful directors and/or producers include Warren Beatty, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Barbra Streisand, Ron Howard, Danny DeVito, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Natalie Portman, Drew Barrymore, Brad Pitt, and Ben Affleck. Penny Marshall and Rob Reiner, once husband and wife, were successful television sitcom actors who achieved star status as major motion picture directors, much like Ron Howard.

In his twenties, Steven Spielberg directed the film, Sugarland Express, starring Goldie Hawn. Though few people saw the movie, it received critical acclaim. A year later he directed Jaws, and two years later, the start of the Indiana Jones trilogy.

One Step at a Time

The path to fame and fortune among directors is largely made from one film to the next. The takeaway: Everybody starts somewhere

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Business

Corporate America’s Grand Social Engineering Scheme

Board rooms are flooded with wokesters who seek to skew reality

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A while ago I wrote an article about an apparent grand social engineering scheme, now at least five years running, hatched by corporate America. Since then the situation has accelerated, hence this end-of-the-year update.

To begin, in viewing the ever-lengthening list below of companies and products below, do you discern any common denominator?

ADT, Amazon, American Express, American Home Shield, Amex Travel, Aplus.net, Anheuser-Busch, Armorall, Aplus.net, AT&T, Axe Ice Chill, Bank of America, Behr Ultra, Best Buy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Bombas Underwear, Booking.com, Bud Light, Cadillac, Calvin Klein, Capital One, Carolina Keno, Casper Mattresses, Celebrity Cruises, Centrum Silver, Champion Windows, Chase, Cheerios, Choice Hotels, Cinemark, Clearblue, Coors Light, Corolla Cross, Corona Seltzer, Cricket, Credit Karma, CRS Temporary Housing, Dawn, Dell Technologies, DirecTV, Disney Cruise Lines, Domino’s Pizza, Ecolab Science, Entresto, Entyvio, Expedia, Experian, Fidelity, Freshly.com, GEICO, GetRoman, GlaxoSmithKline Trelegy, Glidden, Grammarly, and Grand Wagoner.

Also, Hagerty, Harris Teeter Supermarket, Heineken, Home Depot, Honey Maid, Humira2, Hyundai, Ikea, Ingressa, Intel, Joybird Furniture, JP Morgan, Just For Men, Kay Jewelers, Keebler, Kesimpta, Kia Motors. Kohl’s, Latuda-Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Liberty Mutual, Lincoln Financial, LL Flooring,  Love Sac Furniture, Macy’s, Marriott Bonvoy, McDonald’s, Mercari, Michelob, Michelob Golden Light, Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite, Mountain Dew, My GMC Card, NBA.com, NerdWallet, Nestle’s, Nioxin, Nissan, Nissan Versa, Notre Dame University, Ocrevus-Genetech, Old Navy, Olive Garden, Opendoor, Otezla, Pepsi, Polident, Prevnar 20, Progressive Insurance, Public Broadcasting System, Rayban, ReMAX, Rocket Mortgage, Rooms to Go, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Rybelsus, and Saga River Cruises.

Add in Samsung Galaxy 21, Serta Arctic, Smile Direct Club, Smithfield Foods, Sonic, Spectrum Business, Spectrum Originals, Starbucks, State Farm, Subway, SunglassesHut.com, T-Mobile, Taco Bell, Tahoe South, TalkItOutNC.org,Target, Terminex, Tide, TheRocketAdvantage.com, TJ Maxx, Tommy John Underwear, TouchOfModern, Toyota, Travel Oregon, VacationsToGo, Valspar Paints, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Visit Albuquerque, Visit Florida, Vivint Smart Home Security, Vizzy Hard Seltzer. Walmart, Wayfare, WeBuyAnyCar, WellCareWells Fargo, White Claw Hard Seltzer, Wimbledon, Vacasa, Volkswagon, Vroom.com, and Zeluja.

A Campaign Unlike All Others

No clue? Every single entity above features television commercials or web advertisements with a black male paired with a white female. Most couples appear to be married or part of a long-term relationship. Or, the pair appears to dating.

This past spring, Michelob launched a commercial, unique in its approach to selling beer. A petite, highly attractive red-headed woman, in an extremely short tennis dress, holding two bottles of Michelob, dances along a tennis court, in a highly suggestive, sexually alluring fashion. At mid court, she hands her black male partner one of the bottles, and they toast.

Nothing to see here, undoubtedly in everyday life, we’ve all witnessed very attractive redheads in decidedly short tennis skirts do a highly suggestive, sexually charged dance on the way to their male partner. Oh, you haven’t?

Skewing Reality

The incidence of mixed race couples in society has been on the increase since the 1970s. Nevertheless, since blacks represent less than 13% of the U.S. population and black men represent roughly 6% of the population, it is a statistical anomaly that so many TV commercials feature such a pairing, with white males out of the picture.

An ever-expanding array of woke advertisers apparently need to re-affirm their virtue signaling. Amex Travel, Armorall, Bank of America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Capital One, Entresto, Entyvio, Freshly.com, Home Depot, Kay Jewelers, Michelob, Otezla, Progressive Insurance, Sonic, Starbucks, T-Mobile, Taco Bell, Toyota, and Wayfare feature at lease two different TV commercials, with each pairing a black man with a white woman and, in some cases, in a car with white children in the back seat.

In one Nestle’s commercial, the white wife of a black husband aggressively tells us her first name. One particular GetRoman commercial features two different pairings of a black man and a white woman, as does a particular Rocket Mortgage commercial. Rybelsus features two different black male white female parings in the same TV ad.

Ubiquitous, to Say the Least

Black man — white woman commercials are now so ubiquitous that in some cases you’ll see such TV commercials back-to-back, and occasionally even back-to-back-to-back. Might the unassuming, casual viewer wonder, “What’s going on here?” Who decided to engage in mass social engineering?

Samsung, Budweiser, Trojans, Grey Goose Vodka, and PNC Bank depict a more casual relationship between a black man and a white woman. In other cases, only fleeting glimpse of such couples are offered, as with Google, JCPenney, Nissan, and Busch Garden commercials. Travel Oregon employs black man — white woman claymation figures to lure potential vacationers.

In one Amazon TV commercial, a black man is brushing his teeth as a white woman sticks her head out of the shower and says, “That’s a low price.” Two children, one black and one white, are all in the bathroom with them at the same time.

Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before

A Bombas underwear commercial ends showing the backsides of a white woman and black man each in the their underwear, holding each other, in a risque pose, unlike anything you’ve ever seen in a TV commercial.

Aleve features a white woman with a black child on her shoulders. Zeluja shows a gleeful grandmother accompanied by her two mixed-race grandchildren on a boat around the lake. Eyemed features an early 30s white woman embracing her apparent mixed race son. LL flooring features a couple lying on a hardwood floor. The white woman says, “I love you Steve” and then the black man says, “I love you Steve.” It turns out the flooring salesman is named Steve.

In a Starbucks commercial — you know, the company headed Howard Schultz, who proudly proclaimed in 2017 that he was going to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years and was upended by a populist backlash that sought to know why he didn’t proclaim the quest to hire 10,000 U.S. veterans — a black man and a white woman enter a Starbucks, about to hold hands, for apparently the first time. The commercial’s closing sequence reads, “Starbucks, your happy day is here.”

Scenarios Unprecedented

Anyone can be in love with anyone, and certainly anyone can be in a relationship with anyone. What is unfolding in corporate and ‘progressive’ America, however, that results in the extreme over-accenting of mixed race couples? Note that Hispanics and Asians generally are not part of this phenomenon.

When a black man in a TV commercial is actually paired with a black woman, she always has lighter skin. If a black man is featured with his apparent children, they always have much lighter skin, leading to the conclusion that the mother is white, such as with Truist Bank, Chevy Bolt, and Blue Cross of North Carolina. In many cases, the darker complexion for the man, the lighter complexion for any offspring. Is the underlying message that dark-skinned women are undesirable?

With T-Mobile, a white woman wearing a wedding ring is resting her head in the lap of a black man. I’ve been watching television for 60 years and have never seen such poses depicted in any TV commercial with a white husband and wife, or a black husband and wife. For some reason, however, today’s corporate entities feel compelled to show us a black husband and a white wife in amorous scenarios unprecedented in television advertising history.

Likewise, GetRoman.com offers an exceedingly bold, racy TV commercial that leaves nothing to the imagination with a black male stating, “Sometimes you’re not ready,” whereupon his white female partner, in a skimpy black dress and high heels proclaims, “We’ve got this,” and they march off to the bedroom.

Abroad and in Print

Ethnic Europeans, who comprise more than 90% of the continent, are puzzled by what they see as an anti-white propaganda campaign conveyed through television commercials. The promotion of mixed race relationships, with a white woman and a black man, in particular, has become so commonplace that even unobservant viewers have noticed.

Magazine and website ads in the U.S. such as DiscoverTheForest.org, by the U.S. Forest Service pairs a black man and a white woman holding hands as they strolled through a forest with two mixed-race children proceeding them. Fidelity Investments features a black man and a white woman leaning on a railing, staring at the horizon, in the planning for their retirement. Farmbox, BathFitter, Jonathon Paul Fitovers, and OTC Network follow the same pattern.

What is the end game behind interracial commercials? Are corporate board rooms flooded with wokesters who feel compelled or coerced to skew reality in this particular way?

Show us the Sales Data

Since corporate advertising is specifically designed to bolster product and service awareness and, ultimately, revenue, do such companies believe that black/white pairings will help them with their sales? I’d be interested in seeing their data.

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