Ask The Expert! Vol. 1

The Expert solves problems large and small for our readers…he knows all and tells some.

Dear Expert:  I am a salesperson for a large multi-national, and although I find my job stimulating and rewarding, I have a problem. At our sales meetings, my manager insists on playing “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” by Gary Glitter. It’s supposed to motivate us, but whenever I hear the opening strains I get a splitting headache. What’s wrong with me?  Cracked In Comstock

Dear Cracked: The good news is that nothing is wrong with you that several thousand dollars of psychiatric counseling can’t cure. A better question would be, “What’s wrong with Gary Glitter?” In recent years, there has been an outbreak of what doctors have dubbed “Glitteriasis” or “Repetitive Tune Disorder.” Symptoms include headaches, earaches, itching scalp, brittle hair follicles and nausea. Though Glitter’s “music” is most often cited as a causal factor, similar symptoms have been noted from prolonged repetitive playing of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, “Macarena” and of course, “The Too Fat Polka.”

Realizing as I do that “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” is a tradition at your organization, the obvious suggestion of not playing the song is unworkable. Therefore, The Expert recommends a good set of Class II Industrial earplugs, fitted by a professional audiologist. Remember, quality doesn’t cost…it pays!

Dear Expert: I am responsible for purchasing and maintaining computer equipment for a mid-sized organization. Every time I get ready to make a buying decision, someone says, “Hold on! A better, faster and cheaper machine will be released in six months!” What should I do?  Exasperated In Emporia

Dear Exasperated:  You are not alone…at least not in this aspect of your problematic life. In fact, many people are boggled by the rapid rate of change in the computer industry.

Just to put it into perspective, the late Christopher Evans, a psychologist and author, calculated that if the motor car had evolved as fast as the computer, and over the same time period, “Today you would be able to buy a Rolls-Royce for $2.50, it would do 3,000,000 miles to the gallon, and it would deliver enough power to drive the QE2. And if you were interested in miniaturization, you could place half a dozen of them on a pin head.”

But as to your problem, The Expert suggests that you should stop being such a weenie and buy something. Not only would it stimulate the economy, but you would stop losing the productivity increases that such computers would surely provide to the people of your organization.

Napoleon could have been talking to you when he said, “He who hesitates is lost.” So get off the dime, pull the trigger, get out on the dance floor, and stop driving into the past with one eye on the gas gauge and your foot in the ashtray. If you get my meaning.

Dear Expert: As the leader of a successful company, I am troubled by a nagging suspicion that people don’t like me. I am at my wit’s end! What can I do to make more friends?  Worried In Walla Walla

Dear Worried:  Your problem is that you have what I like to call a “bogus mental map”; to wit, your belief that being liked and being a leader are one in the same. Au contraire! Do you think the boys in the infantry invited Alexander The Great out for a beer after every battle?

The Expert says that you should replace your faulty map with one that clearly indicates all rivers and major landmarks, as well as most rest stops. If that doesn’t work, you might try electro-shock. If cost is a concern (as it should be for all businesspeople these days) you can try a do-it-yourself kit made from parts available at any Radio Shack. I am told that this method can produce very adequate results.

Dear Expert: I recently experienced a very embarrassing situation. While sitting through a strategic planning meeting at work, I fell asleep. Eventually, the snoring became so loud that I woke myself up. Needless to say, I was mortified. How should I have handled that situation?  Humiliated In Humboldt

Dear Humiliated: There are 3 methods for smoothly handling this type of situation:

  1. Explain that you were conducting a Personal Visioning Exercise to envision the Optimal Future.
  2. Apologize for your narcolepsy and remind everyone that you are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
  3. Use the opportunity to hold up the mirror by stating that you are bored with the conversation, and others should take accountability for making their comments more interesting.

Dear Expert: As a corporate trainer, I am often called upon to teach the use of S-M-A-R-T goals. However, I seem to have a hard time remember what the “R” stands for. Is there an easy way to remember this?  Baffled In Boston

Dear Baffled:


Send your queries to The Expert…no subject too arcane!


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