Should not wait till the last moment..

Last night, visiting the children’s room to check if everything is peaceful. Well, Walter, our son (10), isn’t. He cannot get to sleep.

Walter: ‘I need to ask something. What if our shower once breaks down?’

Me (not a bit raising my eyebrows that this is an issue that we need to address at 21.30 without further delay):

‘It won’t. Our bathroom is new, together with the shower – all accessories in excellent health.’

Walter (not less concerned): ‘But once it does break down when I am a grandpa – what shall I do then?’

Me: ‘You are the planning type, right?’

Walter: ‘…or when you and papa are already dead – who shall I turn to??’

Me: ‘Okay-okay, I get it now. I promise that before I die, I will draft you a list with the most crucial phone numbers.’

Walter (with extra portion relief in his voice): ‘Very good. Thanks. I love you, mom.’

Me: ‘I love you, too.’

And with this, he fell asleep.

Customer centricity

I have just received a letter with an invoice from the PATHOLOGY department of a hospital.

The pathology department warmly welcomes me, reassuring they are utmost delighted that they can greet me among their new clients.

Later the letter describes that it is about the laboratory test I had some weeks ago, which (apparently) goes to pathology to evaluate the results.

I sincerely hope that Pathology being the receiving institution is part of the Standard Operating Procedure, rather than the outcome of an accurate customer segmentation based on my test results.

Fit & proper

Dear Mr(Ms) Bicycle Thief,

You were so kind to have very recently visited us – more specifically my vehicle parking on the street in front of my home.

You could eventually not steal it, still you managed to break a piece in the lock, due to which I cannot use it either.

As for the ethical and moral aspects of your profession, I would rather not touch upon that topic now, as I am afraid we have a significantly differing standpoint in this regard.

Nevertheless, I would like to share with you some objective observations regarding your activity:

All professions have some basic requirements – some fundamental criteria if you want to make a successful career in it – and yours is not an exception.

In case you next time consider to borrow a bicycle that happens to belong to somebody else, and thus you do not have the necessary keys to the vehicle, you might want to resolve this situation with your own mechanical devices – which may or may not be proper for this act.

Therefore, before next time you take action, you might want to assess the situation first whether you are technically equipped to successfully engage in the activity of stealing.

You need to know that for bicycles above a certain value there are safety measures built in the construction itself these days, which makes it somewhat longer to complete the action of stealing… in case you have the necessary equipment AND the sufficient professional experience – the above being conjunctive conditions.

Therefore, before taking a next action tonight, I recommend you to do the below Quick Self-Test in order to properly judge the Adequacy of your Criminal Capacities:

Questions related to the objects you use:

1.) ‘Do I have the proper devices?’

including (but not limited to)

a.) Do I have them from a reliable source’ (e.g. whether I have purchased – sorry, stole – them from a top criminal, or somebody lower rated in my industry)

b.) Do I regularly upgrade my equipment to be aligned with the latest technological developments in my profession (e.g. fit to open new generation bike locks, fit to cut the latest chain types..)

Questions related to your person:

2.) Do I have sufficient years of experience in my chosen business line?

3.) Am I fit to get engaged in the planned specific activity?

a.) Am I handy, in general?

b.) Do I regularly keep my knowledge up-to-date? (e.g. follow up professional literature, attend conferences, meet-ups on the newest trends in modus operandi..)

4.) Do I have good professional reputation amongst my peers? (e.g. am I considered a role model for upcoming professionals).

In case – and only in case – your answer is a ‘yes’ to all above questions, should you invest your valuable time in trying to steal a vehicle.

Otherwise it becomes a ‘lose-lose’ situation, perfectly pointless for all impacted stakeholders.

Thank you for considering the above.

Prudence

Today I had a lot of work and did not have the time to go for a coffee.

So I decided to grab one from our cafeteria during late afternoon.

I know the cafeteria closes at 5PM, however the Coffee Lady closes the coffee machines a few minutes earlier in order to be able to leave at 5PM sharp.

Last week I experienced she closed already at 4.55PM, so today I decided to appear in the cafeteria earlier: at 4.48PM.

Me: ‘A coffee latte, please.’

She: ‘Sorry, I have already closed the coffee machines.’

Me: ‘When do you actually close??’

She: ‘At 5PM. But I close the coffee machines already 10 minutes before.’

Me: ‘It’s great news as it is exactly 4.48PM.

So, a coffee latte, please..’

She (giving a sad smile): ‘Unfortunately I cannot, because in order to be able to close the coffee machines at 4.50, it’s more careful if I stop selling coffee already a few minutes before..’

Me: ‘Did you still sell coffee at 3PM today?’

She: ‘Yes, of course!’

Me: ‘I am not sure it was sufficiently careful as it was only 1 hour 48 minutes before you need to stop selling coffee, in order to close the coffee machines 10 minutes before, in order to close the cafeteria at 5PM..’

Moral: There IS such a level of prudence when even Compliance says it is overdone..

Vital statistics

I have just received an email from a male colleague from a bank-branch: he is asking about my height and weight measurements.
I politely ask him whether the Bank has opened a modelling agency (‘broadening activity scope’) for which reason the above data are inevitable – but he quickly clarifies that he needs them for the life insurance I have recently requested for.
My reply attached.
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Az imént kaptam e-mailt egy bankfióki ügyintéző férfikollégától, melyben magasságom és súlyom iránt érdeklődik.
Udvariasan visszakérdezek, hogy a bank a közelmúltban tudtomon kívül esetleg modellügynökséget nyitott-e, mely körülmény természetesen azonnal megmagyarázná a hirtelen támadt érdeklődést. 
A kolléga tisztázza hogy nem, ellenben a minap kötött életbiztosításomhoz szükséges a fenti 2 adat.
Válaszom csatolva.

Lack of lack of enthusiasm

Each and every year it is the citizens of Antwerp who can decide which TOP12 ideas to spend the 10% of the city budget (EUR 1.4m) on.

This year one of the winning initiatives was ‘Let’s make the streets greener’ – and you really can’t accuse people of the lack of enthusiasm..

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Anélkül, hogy telezsúfolnám e sorokat részletekkel: Antwerpen város költségvetésének 10%-áról (EUR 1.4m) minden évben a helyi lakosok dönthetnek: milyen 12 legfontosabb dologra költsön a városvezetés, és mennyit.

Idén előkelő helyen futott be a “Növeljük a városi zöldterület arányát” gondolat – és a lakosság igazán nem vádolható a lelkesedés hiányával..