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Stuck in Long Lines? Mostly, Blame Yourself

Do masses of shoppers, who flood malls and scurry about, not know on what date holidays occurs each year?

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Every year, following Thanksgiving, I find myself flummoxed at the shopping habits of the American populace. Do the great masses of shoppers who flood our shopping malls and scurry about not know on what date Christmas occurs? Does the date change from year to year?

Throughout the course of a year, do such shoppers not encounter gifts they know will be right for people on their shopping list? Are there no opportunities for them to procure these presents, wrap them in advance, store them in a closet, and then gift-wise have precious little to do at the year’s end?

Time is Money

I adopted a policy many years ago of buying items on the spot, like in Mid-July, when I knew they would fulfill part of my list. So, by the time late November and early December roll around, gift-wise I have very little to do.

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If only such shopping madness was confined to holiday shopping or cruise vacations. All around me I see people who could handle small issues in advance so that cumulatively, they are not beset by an array of tiny tasks that end up looming larger perceptually than otherwise. Are people wedded to dealing with the aftermath of having too much to do, instead of managing the before hand? Let’s explore the issue.

I’ve been on 36 cruises and fortunately each one was worthwhile in one respect or another. Curiously, on cruises, as the ship pulls up to another port, all passengers are requested to display their ship’s card, which is electronically scanned by security. The card must also be presented after leaving a port and returning to the ship.

No Clue abut the Queue

Time after time, one sees long lines of people who don’t have their cards ready to be scanned as they re-enter the ship. Queuing theory holds that if 15 people spend an extra 20 seconds extracting their cards from their wallets and pockets versus extracting their cruise card in advance, 300 seconds or five minutes will accrue. During that five minutes, another 15 people or more might get in line.

After a few minutes of such behavior, the waiting line to board the ship can stretch to 20 or 30 minutes or more. Conversely, if everyone held their card, ready to be scanned, they could proceed past the scanner, military style, in what would represent record time. Instead of 20 to 30 minute lines forming, to get back on board, wait times would drop to under three minutes, if that long.

After the first shore visit, is it a surprise to the 2000 or so passengers that they’ll have to have their card ready to be scanned when they depart and when they re-enter the ship? Are they unaware after the first day? Are they all clueless?

On Dry Land

During non-Covid times, visit a movie theater any Friday or Saturday evening and as lines begin to form for the popular movies. You’ll notice perhaps only one in three patrons has their money or their credit card out and ready as they near the front of the line. Most theater patrons, however, reach for a billfold, wallet, or purse as it’s time to pay. Unfortunately added those extra seconds create lines for everyone behind them, that don’t need to occur.

Am I being too harsh when it comes to lines? How much of a burden would it be for people, who are third in line, to be prepared to pay so as to benefit all other theater goers standing behind them? How much longer will it be before people figure out that wait times in lines could be a fraction of what we generally experience?

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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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Pandora Papers, a box of trouble for whom?

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Pandoras box seems to be a well-known metaphor in today’s culture. It is often used to represent unknowingly opening a box of wop-ass. The Greek origins are a little more complex.  Pandora was the first human woman, a gift from the gods. She was made from earth to be lovely as a goddess. With the gift of speech to tell lies, and the mind and nature of a treacherous dog. She was given a golden crown of animals and sea creatures. Pandora was blessed with grace, desire and caring to weaken her limbs.

Pandora was the first woman to live among mortal men, first bride and great misery. She was destined to live with men in times of plenty and to desert them in hard times.  Her name means both “she who gives all gifts” and “she who was given all gifts”. In the mythology she opened a jar that belonged to her husband that contained every misery that affects man to today, but managed to close it before hope was able to escape the jar.

Which brings us to the latest document leak from the International Consortium of investigative Journalists or ICIJ. This is the latest of leaks following the Panama papers and the Paradise papers. ICIJ claims this is the largest leak of tax haven information ever. The 11.9 million financial records include information on 330 politicians and high level leaders, including 35 country leaders. For two years over 600 journalists from 117 countries helped to follow up leads exposed by the leak.

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Top leaders with homes in Malibu, Monti Carlo, and high rise towers in Dubai. Investments in sugar plantations, polluting factories, and even a hospital. Secret companies and Trusts to hide assets from taxes and their people. ICIJ likes to point out that this money could have been used to help build roads, hospitals, and schools. They also imply the money comes from ill-gotten gains. Pointing out that hiding money is also used during drug smuggling, human trafficking, bribery, and international terrorism.

In an effort to seem like actual investigative journalists they do mention that nothing they were fed was illegal.  They failed to mention that the tax regulations in every one of the countries involved are written by the rich themselves. Mostly by those not uncovered by the Pandora Papers. Something the 600 seemed to have over looked during their two year investigation is any tax avoidance from the United States. Funny thing that.

To find out why you need to look at who the International Consortium of investigative Journalists is and who finances them. It turns out the group was founded in 1997, they claim to take no public funds only donations. Their largest donors happen to be Soros, thru the The Open Society Foundation. Now needless to say Soros is not going to admit what each one of these people did to stop his march towards one world government headed by Soros and company, but we can speculate.

Tony Blair, supported the American action in Afghanistan. King Abdullanh met with and supported Israel. Vladimir Putin would rather not have a one world government telling him how to run Russia. Shakira no stranger to wokeness had the gall to disagree with the Conovirus imprisonment and demanded children be let outside into the sun and air. You can bet that each one of the targets of this dump had somehow displeased those supporting the great reset.

Each one of these thought they had found a beautiful tax haven not knowing it was she who gives all gifts and conversely she who is given all gifts. By selectively revealing that it is worthwhile to spend money to hide income from those who did not earn it is telling. Besides highlighting that taxes are too high for the services provided. Telling that not one American is mentioned. Telling that the “journalists” didn’t discover how politicians in government get rich on civil service salaries. Not one mention of the heads of NGO’s (non-governmental agencies) have found that the poor are very very good for them. How about a peek into how many of the 1.5 million tax exempt organizations in America are just a tax dodge.

We will wait with the patience of Job for the International Consortium of investigative Journalists to do some real investigating.

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The People Who Size You up Instantly

Beware of people who conveniently assess what you need, while missing the boat about their own needs

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I went to a social gathering and, arriving early, few others had arrived. So I took out my notepad and pen, and leisurely started making notes. A lady who saw me, asked what I was writing, which, of course, could be either a friendly way to start a conversation, or intrusive, depending on your point of view. I took it as the former, and shared with her my predisposition to take notes outside of my office where I generate ideas that don’t readily emerge at my desk.

Apparently my explanation was not satisfactory for her. In rapid succession she told me, ‘You need to get a drink. (Actually, I don’t drink.) You should to stop making notes. You ought to relax. (Making notes is relaxing to me.) You need to get a life.’

Paradoxically, I am the author of the books, Breathing Space and Simpler Living, and the audiobook, Get a Life. I also own the registered trademarks for the programs, Relaxing at High Speed and Managing the Pace With Grace. I have delivered 1,060 lectures on these topics for three decades.

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Quick and Wrong

It’s beyond strange when someone at a social gathering, in such short order, will assess what I need to do, with one pronouncement after another. When told that I needed to relax, I said, “If I was any more relaxed, I’d fall asleep.”

I came away from that experience recognizing that people who will readily tell you what you need are the ones who need what they’re telling you. You might have noticed a somewhat similar phenomenon in the workplace.

Suppose you work in a company that is crowded, noisy, and busy almost all the time. However, in your own office or cubicle, whichever the case might be, you’re able to maintain order.

Perhaps you have installed some sound barriers, if that is appropriate, and have crafted a workspace where you can get things done. People who walk by notice that your office equipment, resources, and possessions are organized. Guess what? Some office mates won’t tell you this, but they are uncomfortable with your organizing skills.

If they could find a simple way to articulate it, they would tell you, “Loosen up.” You don’t need to be so neat and orderly.” Why are they itching to tell you this? Because your level of organization makes them feel inadequate.

Be Like Me, I’ll Feel Better

Much like the lady at the social gathering, who told me ‘what I needed,’ some people in your immediate environment, in observing your capacity for taking charge of your space, and perhaps noting your higher-than-average level of productivity, would rather that you acted and proceeded in a different way. You might not hear that from them, but that is some might be thinking.

Beware of those people who so conveniently assess what you need, while completely missing the boat about their own needs. They fail to realize that what they’re telling you, is probably what they need to address for themselves.

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