Wednesday, October 30, 2019

GM Labor Strike and the Rise of the Machines

I recently came across an article about GM workers being on strike. As usual, money was at the forefront of the negotiations but something else came up that struck me the wrong way. Apparently, one of the reason for the strike was for the workers to keep their jobs following GM's longer term plan that would have most of the manual labor done by Engineers on computers.

What we have to understand here is that there are no strikes that can fight off progress. Manual labor, in factories and elsewhere, is going away to give place to machines.
If you are in such field now is not the time for you to put your head in the sand. You need to plan the next 5-10 years accordingly - adapt to the change because you won't be able to fight it off. Don't be afraid of those future "aggressors" that are sure to come. Think and plan ahead.

If GM doesn't do this their competitors surely will.

Why isn't this good news? We should be rejoicing at the news since this means that many, mindless jobs, will be taken over by machines while workers will be able to pursue something that is, perhaps, more fulfilling and meaningful. We don't see it that way because most are content in that position or are genuinely loving what they do.

I've been through a few layoffs myself and each time I was part of them it was ultimately for the betterment of the company. Here's the thing though; I'm not a machine and manage to learn some new skills and found myself a new, better, opportunity each time.

You can too!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Having Money Doesn't Make You Evil

As I'm writing these words, we're in the middle of an election here in Canada and some parties have chosen to include the "We're going to tax the rich more" in their platforms.

I'm tired of seeing this in every election because it sounds good on paper and nowhere else. I'm part of the middle class and I don't want to see the "rich" getting more than their fair share of taxes. Most of those "Rich" folks offer goods and services to the masses. If they end up paying more for taxes, they might also have to charge more for said goods and services and we'll end up paying for it down the line. They may, also, have to let go a few employees in an attempt to recoup that new tax money.

This is an obvious attempts by politician to rally the people but money is neutral and having money, or not having any, doesn't make you an enemy of the people. As far as I'm concerned, Canadians are all in the same boat. It's not about US vs Anyone ... it's about us together trying to build the best Country possible.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Here We Go Again - "We've Grown Apart"

"We've grown apart" is a sad excuse for a break-up considering that we all change as the days turn into months and the months turn into years. Nobody can say that they are the same today as they were 10 years ago. So why are we using the "We've grown apart" as the reason for a break-up? Are we expecting that we, or our spouse, will never change?

Of course you will feel that you've grown apart from your partner if you stopped noticing, and adapting, to the changes. Don't assume that what your partner likes, or dislikes, today is the same as yesterday.

"The grass is greener where you fertilize it." -Lana Hamilton

It's important to pay attention to the small things and to find things to like about our partner because we could just as easily find new things to hate about them.
Remember that changing partner doesn't necessarily means that the problems will go away ... it will just be different problems. The grass isn't greener on the other side of the road - it's greener where you fertilize it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

"Rules" of Art

While art is supposed to be fun for the artists, there are obviously going to be times when it isn't. Art is not as fun, for example, when you're approaching a deadline or when you are doing something outside of your comfort zone but you still love it anyway.

In school, we teach children that human creativity has boundaries. That the proper way to color is “within the lines” but art is a subject where we should keep rules to a minimum because the greatest discoveries were found outside of them.You create something and you let the world decide if they like it or not.

My favorite form of art is writing and I will be the first to admit that I'm not worried, at all, about the rules that pertain to it (and it probably annoys some of you).
What I care about the most, when I write, is how it makes me feel. To me, this is ultimately an enjoyable experience that would be a chore if it mean that I had to spend hours upon hours learning about the many intricacies of "proper writing."

Don't get me wrong; the more I write the more I want to be a better writer. Instead of having a teacher force the rules, however, I search for the rules myself. Having that "hungry" type of mindset makes the learning experience more enjoyable. The best way to learn is when there's a desire for it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Customer is King - Seek out Bad Reviews

"Customer is King" has always been true in business and even more so today. A customer's entourage is unknown to a business and in today'social media world, it's impossible to know the extend a customer can reach.
One bad user experience, turned into a Facebook post, can go viral and make your business loose thousands of dollars in the process. It's therefor important for any business to have processes in place to look for those bad experiences in an attempt to repair them. The below are a few suggestions of processes as well as where you should be looking for the negative feedback:
  • Don't Let A Customer Leave Angry - It is better to fix the issue immediately than trying to pick up the pieces later. Make sure that you've done everything you could before the customer leave the premise.
  • Feedback Section on Company Website - A customer may not share his bad experience on social media platform if he can reach out to your business directly.
  • Social Media Page - On social media, customers can share their experience either via a personal post or directly to a business page. Similar to the Feedback Section on a Company Website, have a social media page so you can better monitor user experience.
  • Yelp - Yelp is a review application. If you look for your business on there, chances are that you'll be able to see some reviews. Look out for the authors of negative reviews to help resolve the situation.
  • Third Parties - If you're selling a product to third parties, be sure to monitor their website for the reviews.
  • Google Map - If you have a business, then chances are that you placed yourself in Google Map so that people can find your location but did you know that it's also possible for customers to leave reviews on there?
  • Google Search - Search for your company online in an attempt to dig out bad reviews from other sources.
It's important that you know how your business is doing since your success depend on the customers. Seeking out the authors of bad reviews, in an attempt to fix the problems, may not resolve every issues but there are still benefits in having other customers seeing that you're actively trying to make things right.

Go above and beyond for your customers - you can't afford not to!

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