#241 – Putting on the Ritz

Yesterday, I treated my wife to an overnight stay in Atlanta for her birthday. Hotels don’t normally impress me, but I have to admit the Four Seasons blew me away. Seeing it in person, I better appreciated Sophia’s expressed desire to book a room there someday. It has to be the most impressive hotel in Atlanta, even nicer overall than the Ritz-Carlton … where we stayed.

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#243 – Try to Eat the Gingerbread Man … I Dare You!

My mentee’s third-grade class was told to write a letter from the Gingerbread Man to all his pursuers in the classic fairy tale, telling them why they shouldn’t eat him. I took a gander at Ernie’s work product today, at the conclusion of our weekly session. Unsurprisingly, he’d opted for violence, threatening death and destruction of biblical proportions to all those involved. His message may’ve seemed excessive, but if I’d been the old man or lady chasing the oven-baked lad, I would’ve turned tail and fled the moment I read it.

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#244 – As Shouldn’t be Seen on TV

There’ve been some idiotic products sold on television over the years. And at least one of them compounds its absurdity with an equal dose of danger. I’m referring to the “Plug Mug,” of course. Though I’ve never seen its commercial, I’ve been told the seller advertises it as a security device. The ceramic coffee cup contains a pluggable hole in its lower side which, when uncorked, prevents one’s co-workers from “accidentally” using it. On the downside, however, the removal of the plug poses a substantial hazard to persons and property should a pourer fail to recognize its absence.

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#247 – If I Die

I recently witnessed a new Facebook app in action. It’s called “If I Die.” According to the marketing material, a user can create a video to be published on his or her Facebook wall after death. The user appoints three trustees who each have to confirm the user’s death in order to post the video. Two days ago, Art Williams’ “If I Die” video appeared in my Facebook newsfeed. Art was an acquaintance from high school. Except for the tidbits I’d seen in his posts after accepting his friend request, I knew nothing about his adult life. I certainly had no clue about his addictions and the havoc they’d wreaked.

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#248 – Asking for It

Fielding an appeal from an employee for a pay raise can prove almost as nerve-wracking as requesting one, especially if the boss hasn’t been in such a position before. When a secretary first asked me for a salary increase, I lost sleep worrying whether she deserved it and, if so, in what amount. Those were the thoughts running through my mind when Jimmy sought my advice today, after receiving his first ever raise request.

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#249 – Bouncing it off You

In my opinion, all gift givers fall into one of five categories: 1) those who care only for recognition of their “generosity”; 2) those who give what they think the recipient should have, whether or not that person actually likes the present; 3) those who investigate a recipient’s actual wants and needs and try to fulfill them; 4) those purchasing the first remotely acceptable item they can find, in order to cross shopping and gifting off their to-do lists as soon as possible; and 5) those who subscribe to the adage that it’s the thought that counts, although the recipient hasn’t the vaguest idea what the giver could’ve been thinking. Ava’s father apparently falls into the last of these categories.

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