Friday, March 28, 2008

Business is Business, Part Two...

So, I am here again tonight to expand upon last nights, let's do this Survivor style with a recap and I'll channel some Jeff Probst...

Last time in MY WCKD WCKD WAYS, a post was made about TV's Mike Rowe, the host of Discovery Channels Dirty Jobs. The post chronicled Mike's day of promotional television spots in New York City. As usual Mike Rowe looked HOTT. First up, Good Morning America where the geniuses who host tried to frighten Mike with a fake snake and where Mike shoved half a chicken breast in his mouth in a desperate bid to stave off hunger. Next, Mike Rowe taped an interview with Bill O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel. The contents of that interview will not be revealed until the interview airs at a later date. Finally, Mike appeared on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch on CNBC. It was there that Mike Rowe discussed his 7 Habits of effluent people, a list he said he compiled from his experiences. Mike and Donny concluded that people who did manual labor were much happier than those who spend their days in cubicle farms, pushing paper around. I took exception to this statement and explained why. Tonight, I take it a step further...

It occurred to me, after re~reading my post from last night, that maybe I didn't explain my position clearly, that perhaps I left out some thoughts. So, let's get to it like we are playing for reward.

I brushed on the fact that TV's Mike Rowe generally works with the owners or the crew chiefs at his jobs, not always the simple bottom rung worker. It's easy for someone who owns a company or who's high up on the food chain to be happy in his position. Part of why people are dissatisfied with their jobs, however, has little to do with the actual work, and everything to do with the environment they are working in. How they are treated in relation to how others are treated, how the general morale around them is, and how well they are being compensated for their troubles. Satisfaction doesn't always revolve around being happy with the task you are performing.

It is possible to like the work you do, but dislike the way your boss treats you. Not everyone is the boss's favorite, regardless of what kind of work you do, and watching coworkers being treated in a better way than you are treated doesn't make for a happy or satisfied worker. Likewise, if everyone around you is miserable, odds are you will be too. There are some places that just are NOT happy work environments. You could hate where you work stapling papers together, but take the same job of stapling papers together and move it to a happier place, and you are suddenly the happiest worker on the planet. It has nothing to do with the work and everything to do with the work place.

And compensation. We all want to be paid well and earn a fair wage for the work we do. Sadly, most employers want to minimize their costs in order to maximize profit, and wages are indeed a cost of doing business. Sure, some people make good money. But some people, doing the same job, don't. It's never fun to know that the person sitting next to you, stapling the same papers together that you're stapling, is making more money than you. It makes you angry and dissatisfied. You know you are worth just as much, and vow to find an employer who will show how valued you are. Once again, nothing to do with the job itself, and everything to o with where you work.

I think that TV's Mike Rowe has missed a very important part of the big picture. It's just as easy or that ditch digger to not like how he's treated by his boss and not like what he's being paid for digging that ditch as it is for an accountant.

I'd like to suggest to Mike Rowe that he add a caveat to his 7 habits: "The variable of work environment mixed in with any of these 7 habits can change everything."

Will Lisa continue to expound upon her thoughts and insights culled from over 20 years in accounting? Will TV's Mike Rowe continue to make generalized statements on national TV based on the fact that he's crawled thru mounds of both animal and human excrement? Or will Mike Rowe read Lisa's comments and learn from her experience and insight?

Find out on the next installment of MY WCKD WCKD WAYS!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Business is Business....

So, TV's Mike Rowe has been in NYC mucking thru the dirt...going on shows to promote Dirty Jobs.

Yesterday, he was interviewed on Good Morning America, where they had a very lame mechanical snake on the floor...why? I have NO idea. The only host that I knew was Robin Roberts, and I only know her from her reportage from New Orleans during Katrina. I honestly think that the last time I watched GMA, David Hartman was still the host. And yes, I am that old. But, I digress. Mike was his usual charming self, dressed in well fitting jeans, a black shirt open enough at the neck to see a few of those lovely chest hairs, and...brown shoes. At least they weren't those ghastly beige Hush Puppy slides ;) Anyway, the last segment they did was Sarah Moulton cooking chicken in a balsamic glaze. Apparently Sarah no longer has a Secret on FoodNetwork and instead is on PBS now. But again, I digress. They did the cooking segment, and then everyone...and I'm guessing that the everyone's present were hosts, but like I said, I have NO idea who anyone other than Robin Roberts is on that show. So everyone, including TV's Mike Rowe, went over to the food. I have no idea when the last time Mike ate was, but apparently it was not within the last 24 hours before the show. He shoved what had to be half a chicken breast right in his mouth...and then Robin Roberts proceeded to ask him a question and hold a microphone to his face. Mike, keeping his mouth closed, politely declined to speak. Boy was raised right. I think Robin had a little crush though, judging from the way she was salivating over Mike instead of the food :D

Next up....Mike meets O'Reilly. far all we know is that Mike taped O' be aired at a later date. Now, there are some on djmb who think perhaps Bill will be mean to Mike, but, having seen him interviewing celebrities before, I'm sure Bill got a kick out of Mike slogging thru poo, but was probably more than charmed by Rowe. People who don't watch FNC or OReilly and who only know what their detractors say about them really won't have any clue until they see the actual interview and see how nice Bill can actually be. So, we wait for the air date to be announced.

Meanwhile, Mike WAS on Donny Deutsch's show, The Big Idea, on CNBC. I'm not much of a fan of CNBC to be honest...Jim Crammer is, to me, everything that is wrong with business TV. I will admit to watching Michael Eisner's interview show...but his guests are generally more 'entertainment' oriented than business. Take last night for instance...he interviewed Kenneth Cole (I like Kenneth, but not really his shoes lol) and Vera Wang. I enjoyed the Vera Wang interview and found out that the first wedding gown she designed was her own! But, again, I digress. I haven't watched Donny Deutsch (who I have a special nickname for, but shall keep it to myself) for quite some time and noted that they changed the format of his show. Gone is the big sofa and casual attire on Donny. In are what appeared to be high chairs and a suit on Deutsch. Mike was still wearing the nice jeans...and those brown shoes.

So Donny and Mike discussed Mike Rowe's 7 Dirty Habits for effluent people. These would be 7 'rules' that Mike says he's learned from his experience doing about 200 of these dirty jobs over the last 3 years, things that will make you happier in your job. Now, I don't have to tell you that I do, indeed, like Mike Rowe. I find him intelligent, charming, funny and dare I say he has one of the finer chests on TV. What I don't find him is an expert on business. TV's Mike Rowe has never worked corporate. He's never had to create financial statements from vague information. He's never had to tick and tie a spreadsheet or spent 4 hours searching for a one penny difference. He's never had the company he worked for sold or found himself a victim of down sizing. In short, TV's Mike Rowe is hardly someone who I would turn to for expert advice on business.

So, Donny and Mike began to discuss these 7 habits. Mike talked about honesty, and passion and how he opted to leave the film of himself hurling over the side of a boat in the episode, because it was more 'real'. When you are vulnerable, he offered, it makes people trust you. True that, Miguel. But, then both Mike and Deutsch decided that people with dirty jobs are much more satisfied with their jobs than those of us with white collar office positions, essentially because there are visual cues that tell them they've made progress with the job. Using Mike's example, a ditch digger is satisfied at the end of the day because now there is a ditch where there hadn't been one before.

This, I have to disagree with.

I watch Dirty Jobs, and often times, the person Mike is working with is the boss. That means that if they don't own the business, they are at least the crew chief of the operation. He's not working with the poor schlub who makes $7/hour to haul rocks from point A to point B for 8 hours while the crew chief yells at him to get the lead out because he's not moving fast enough. I wonder what that fellow would say to TV's Mike Rowe if he were to ask him how happy he was with his job? For that matter, I wonder if TV's Mike Rowe has ever asked the 'worker bee' how happy he is?

As for the visual cues, like I said, Mike Rowe has never worked as a paper pusher in an office. I have visual cues all day, every day. When the pile or reconciled invoices is higher than the pile of unreconciled ones? That's a visual cue that I've made progress. When all of the client invoices have been run and the girls have stuffed them all in the envelopes? That's another cue. The billing cycle is over. The work has been done, and done correctly.

There is a reason it's called "work" and not "play". Work is never pleasant, and I'm sure that there are days when even TV's Mike Rowe wakes up and doesn't want to go to work.

If TV's Mike Rowe wants do perform a REAL dirty job....then he needs to work in corporate accounting for a day...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Top 5 Movie Scenes...

So tonight I got home in time to see a little bit of O'Reilly...not even sure why I had it on, to be honest. I just flipped around and stopped on FoxNews. Anyway, O'Reilly was showing his 5 favorite scenes from movies, including a scene from Dirty Harry, Godfather and A Few Good Men.

It made me think...what are my five favorite movie scenese?

So, in no particular order...let's give this a whirl..

5: Princess Bride: the sword fight between Inego and Westley. It's a perfect blend of skill, grace and witty dialogue.

4: Moonstruck: Ronnie sees Loretta, all dressed up, waiting in front of the fountain at Lincoln Center

3: Steel Magnolias: Sally Fields breakdown at Shelbys funeral. No one does nuts like Sally. Without fail, I cry every time I see this scene, and I've seen it many many times.

2: Out of Africa: Denys takes Karen on a picturesque plane ride over the Savannah.

1: Birdcage: After thinking that Armand no longer loves him, Albert takes his toothbrush and waits at the bus stop for the bus to Las Copas. Armand goes after him, and the two sit on a bench as cruise ships laze in the bay behind them. Armand pulls out a palimony agreement and for the first time Albert realizes that everything Armand owns is really in his name. Armand tells him who cares who owns what. There is only one place that he calls home, and its only because Albert is there. They sign the papers and Armand declares "There. Now you own half my life and I own half of yours". The couple sits, holding hands quietly on the bench, and you know that's what love is about.

I know, its odd that my #1 scene is a gay couple sitting on a bench in Miami Beach. I just think that that scene shows what real love is. You don't look at it like it's two middle aged men holding hands. It's more like seeing a long married couple rediscovering why they fell in love in the first place. It's also my favorite movie :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

How Embarrassing...

I'm so embarrassed. I've been out of the loop for some time now, but I hadn't realized how disconnected I'd become until I pulled out my iPod tonight and found out that it had been so long since I'd used it my battery was dead! So I sit here, charging...and charging...and hoping with my fingers crossed that it's not too late. I'd hate to have to drop more cash at that damn Apple store to get another...and now they are so small I doubt I'd be able to even SEE the screen. Gah.

I've been ill, and I've lost touch with everything and every one for a while, but since I have nothing to say, I guess I'll just post a few...say it with me...RANDOM MUSINGS...

~ being ill sucks, but the Louis Vuitton store tends to make it all better, even if only temporarilly.

~ I have some pretty excellent friends

~ Teddy's elbows are sharp and hard and leave a mark

~ I like Tilapia

~ Mike Rowe in a short red yummy I could eat him with a spoon...

~ A winter in stiletto heeled boots has wreaked havoc on my poor beleagured feet. They are saying OUCH!! right now and begging for flats tomorrow. I think I'll oblige them.

~ the date on my watch is wrong

~ As much as I love Shepard Smith, I have to say the man has very poor taste in ties

~ I'm addicted to How It's Made on Discovery

~ LOST is even better this season than it was season 1

~ Some sitcoms do NOT age well

~ Seinfeld is always good :)

~ Insurance companies don't make you feel very insured

~ Gotta go...MIKE ROWE just came onto my tv box...yummmm ;)