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Americans Are Not Really Into Customer Service

by Alex Hutchins

When my wife and I were cruising last month on Royal Caribbean, we were informed by several top officials from that cruise lines that Americans make the worst employees and are seldom hired by any cruise line because they do not understand nor do they offer outstanding to excellent (decreasing in value here) customer service. Americans make good cruise directors but that is about it... so, no Americans are hired to cook, wait tables, clean rooms, serve drinks, or provide security services because of this lack of awareness as to appropriate customer service.

However, it is my belief that Americans do understand customer service, it's just that they do not like to be told what to do by foreigners for starters, and it would also be my belief that providing this type of customer service is beneath them and the ego perceptions that they have of themselves. Thirdly, I would have to say that most Americans that I know or have seen working, are basically lazy and really strive towards getting paid as much money as they can for doing as little as they can.

On the other side of the coin, managers of service workers here in the USA treat those service workers as if they were no better than animals; in fact, most animal owners treat their animals better than service workers are treated by management... hence, part of the reason for the low quality service.

But, is that all there is to it?

No, I don't think so.

Around 1950, American manufacturing was number ONE in the world as it supplied all the global countries as a result of the WWII being fought mainly in Europe, completely destroying the manufacturing base that was once there. As we manufactured quantity, we were not so much concerned with quality as we did not have the time to focus on quality, only quantity.

As American manufacturing grew, so too did the Middle Class Family in America, reaping the benefits of our economic abilities. As the Middle Class grew and grew and grew, the mentality of the parents was to make sure that their children never endured the same hardships that they endured trying to earn a living. Children were pushed into a different direction or they were pushed into the direction of college: white collar work as opposed to blue collar work.

Children born around 1950 were never going to be like their parents, so from 1970 (+/-) until 2000 (+/-) they acquired different skill sets, different experiences than their WWII parents so that when their children were born in the 1970's, by the 1990's when they were entering the workforce, their attitudes towards work were entirely different than the work attitudes of the 1950's. And, the children born in the 1990's, when they started entering the workforce in 2010, an entirely new breed of American Worker appeared on the scene, there were so far removed from the 1950's that the workers starting in the 1990's had no clue as to how to manage and motivate these workers.

But, rest assured that these new workers are in no way planning to pick fruit or vegetables, work in Call Centers, or sell any Retail products either in person or over the phone. None of these workers will ever get their hands dirty, so count out working in fire fighting, emergency services, or law enforcement. None of these workers will ever consider the idea of reporting to work each day and sitting behind a desk pushing papers when they already know that they can do most anything, once it has been digitized, from the comforts of their own homes, even if they are still living with their parents.

This new breed of worker:
  1. may/may not believe in God
  2. may not have any social heroes
  3. is really technology savvy
  4. has no values or intergrity
  5. sees no reason for company loyalty
  6. has no interest in moral behavior
  7. just as feminine as manly
  8. has no allegience to anyone
  9. is totally self absorbed
  10. feels they are owed everything

Of course, I am generalizing here but if I am only 80% accurate, how will that impact our American Business and their ability to remain globally competitive?

And, without going too far into the future, how will their children be should they decide to have any?

My generation... the baby boomers... on or a few years before/after 1950 have, at best, only 20 good years left... and, most of that will be lived in retirement or under strict medical supervision. And, pretty soon, those born on or around 1970, will be in the same situation that we are currently; so, in about 30 years, the OLD GUARD will be dead and gone...

Somewhere between 2046 and 2050 is when the shit will hit the fan, but, as early as 2030, we will know for sure that the shit is really going to hit the fan and it may be a tad earlier... who knows? In 2030, I will be 84 and still around to see if my predictions come true... But, just as sure as someone is my witness, when that day comes, I will no longer give a shit nor will I have any desire to tell you that I told you so.

However, the fact remains that Americans are not good at customer service and since the potential employment pool for customer service type workers is shrinking in size big time, there will be a huge void in the customer service arena that... believe it or not... will be filled by immigrants and foreigners, causing many Americans, like myself, to bitch even louder.

My wife and I this afternoon, ventured up to the big city of Morristown, TN to see if I was eligible to upgrade my phone to the new S7 Edge by Samsung. We were told no on the upgrade but that I would be eligible in about 5-6 weeks. In the meantime, there was this great promo deal on jet packs that we were eligible for today. So, based upon what our 20 something service rep told us, we took the deal... only to find out via email when we got home, that most of what she told us had been a lie... and, if it was not a lie, then it was certainly not true.

Our rep is going to call us when she gets to work tomorrow, but we have already boxed up the item and plan to return it to the store tomorrow since we anticipate a negative outcome with our phone call. Not only have we wasted a lot of our time, but we have put mileage on the car that did not need to be there and we will be burning additional gasoline that did not need to be burned had we been told the truth.

How many times do companies and their poorly trained workforce have to misinform customers before those same customers take their business to another cell phone provider? And, does that question even matter to management?

Probably not.

And, would you like to know why it doesn't?

Because, they are getting more new customers each month than they are losing each month, so the bottom line is still positive.

None of the cruise ships that are currently operating in global waters, would have been successful with that attitude.

You might just say that I am nothing more than a foolish old man who has nothing better to do with his time than to write negative articles about America, Americans, or American companies... and, you may be right, but, what if I am right and American companies start a serious decline because of the lack of customer service that I describe here?

Are you going to apologize?

I doubt it... probably because you will not even remember this article or me.

But, what you will remember will be the quality that seems to be getting a little worse since the last time you paid attention to it. And, it may or may not register with you either that you are paying a higher cost for that lack of quality than you were the last time. Still, the only way that you will not buy American is when they are out-of-stock, and you are forced to purchase the item from a foreign manufacturer... and, once that happens, you will never buy American again.

It is called GLOBALIZATION... and, it was put into place by a Republican, if that really matter now. And, as I have said earlier... it is just a matter of time.


No Boundaries there...

No Boundaries here...

A Gift In Each Day

by Alex Hutchins

Hours before the day dawns on the world in this area, I lay in my bed (wide awake) pondering and wondering, speculating and imagining what our world may be like today, knowing and realizing that other days in other parts of the world have already ended just as mine began; and, it really does not matter to me if they are actually behind or ahead as what could really be the difference in a few hours?

I have been told or at least heard a few times that wealthy people can celebrate New Year's Eve several times each year ( and some do) by flying from from time zone to another time zone; and, I suppose that this is done simply because it can be done, so in that fact must dwell all the excitement in doing it.

Minutes before the day dawns on this side of the world, I decide (without hesitation I might add) that my body is in need of coffee, but it is now only the decaf kind, so the need is more psychological than anything else... still, there is a need that must be fulfilled in me.

Fondly (or as best as I can recall), I remember both my parents (but I do have siblings) drinking coffee each and every morning, so I can sure that this is where the roots of my desire for coffee were planted; however, I can say for sure in an absolute way, but I typically awoke with no other people in the mornings unless I was away at some kind of summer camp.

The day has now dawned and as it continues its dawning process, I sit in the same spot on the same couch by the same table and lamp as I did the day before and turn off the air circulation fan just as I did the day before as it it too chilly in this part of the house in which I always find myself sitting.

Cats wandering around in front of me without knowing what they are doing after receiving their morning treats still serve to amuse me, but not as much as the first day I noticed this behavior.

Numbness in the fingers of my left hand remind me I should not attempt to pick anything up with that hand or move anything using these fingers for a few minutes unless I want the item in question to be dropped.

While decaf coffee may not tastes as good as my ole regular coffee, for the purposes of why any coffee is ingested at all so early in the morning each day, it works.

Retired and ready to go somewhere at a moment's notice, I reflect upon the obligations that I would leave behind: some important, some not at all, and I wish that I could possess that type of personality to just get up and leave, but I do not, as planning for me is the only way to go and the only methodology that leaves me with a relatively high sense of security... knowing that nothing is one hundred percent in that area.

Still, at this present point in my life, I know that my days are numbered (excuse the cliché) even though I would not gamble as if life were a game of Roulette with these numbers as some do; but, with that said, I am more aware than ever that the life we have been given, has been given to us in the manner and spirit as one might give a gift to a loved one.

If, we human beings have the capacity to love and hate then we damn sure have the capacity to appreciate and be grateful.

Oftentimes, and too often perhaps, we focus on love and hate and forget all about appreciating and being grateful. And, if humans had a flaw that would be it.

TinyBuddha.com lets us know that there are 7 Steps that we must take in order to achieve a beautiful life:
  1. Know thyself
  2. Define Beautiful Life
  3. Start Work on #2
  4. Appreciate where you are in the process
  5. Adjust expectations
  6. Count your blessings
  7. Live the life
But, while this Tiny Buddha seems to make sense, I believe that this Tiny Buddha is sitting on its own head, creating a less than positive circular approach to achieving this Beautiful Life.

So, let me explain:
Step One is a valid first step as one must understand who one is before any type of definition of what a Beautiful Life means to them can be created.

Step Two is also valid, in that there is indeed a second step, but I am not convinced that creating a definition is it.

It seems to me that Step One and Step Two are so intertwined that they cannot be separated but more importantly, it may take an entire lifetime before either is really and truly found. And, as Step One changes and it will change throughout one's lifetime, so too will Step Two change. Therefore, not only should these steps be combined but also be seen as a work in progress rather than an actual step.

Step Three is a natural by product of Steps One and Two, therefore it too should not be considered a step but a sub-process to whatever preceded it, consequently.
Step Two should actually be what the Tiny Buddha refers to as “Count Your Blessings.”

Step Four, according to the Tiny Buddha is “Appreciate where you are in the process,” but I would submit to you that this is an irrelevant step as if you know yourself and have defined a beautiful life then no appreciation need take place at all because of the constant evolution of yourself and what you are moving towards. Appreciation assumes that one has reached a static level and that should never happen.


Why is this?

Because, a beautiful life is composed of both good and bad from the very beginning which is why it should be referred to as a beautiful life... since one is alive as opposed to being dead. And, if you really know yourself, then you will realize that this is the only way to actually perceive and define a Beautiful Life... and, this is precisely why it is a lifetime journey. And, if you do not see it this way, then why are you taking this journey (or at least considering it) in the first place?

So, let's rewrite the steps...

Step One – know thyself/define beautiful life/start the journey
Step Two – count your blessing and be grateful
For example, I am thankful (blessed if you will) for the following:
  1. being debt free
  2. living where I am living
  3. having cancer
  4. have heart disease
  5. being married
  6. having the parents I had
  7. having the life I had (and still have)
  8. having only simple desires and needs
  9. understanding what I understand

Why am I thankful, blessed, and appreciate these 9 things? Because, I am the person I am now as a consequence of all these things happening in my life when they did... if, they had not happened, I would not be who I am today... I still be who I was.

So, how did you get here?

I don't rightly know, but I did.

So, you cannot tell me how?

No, not really...

My friend(s), each journey is different as is each blessing as is each perceived daily gift, and it is up to you to discover the right way to see these gifts and blessings and the right way to appreciate them as well but only after they have been truly discovered.

There is not right or wrong way to do this.

I cannot really tell you when it was that my journey actually started, but if I had to speculate, then, I would say it began on or about the time that I was first diagnosed with having cancer; although, I would also speculate that I had been on this journey already but simply did not know it... and, it may be much the same for you... as, we are all looking for something in life as well as out of life, but we just don't know what that something is or when it is that we are in actual possession of that something, until long after we have acquired it.


Hump Day Art


The Fall of Male

by Alex Hutchins

When I was growing up just outside of Alexandria, VA, I lifted weights everyday in my bedroom and got to the point where I was pretty strapping but not like some of these muscle builders who tear their muscles and build them bigger... I just wanted to strengthen and tone more than anything else while I was playing football, baseball, basketball, and track and field... so, it was perfect for me.

I was raised by a macho dad and a submissive mom so I too acquired both sides of the personality but had a dominate macho side serve me well throughout high school and college where I looked down on sissy males and submissive females, but never took advantage of either one of them sexually... I was always passive in that regard for which I am thankful.

The thoughts of making a female do something that she does not want to do or who may not realize what she is doing because she is drugged is, to me, a chicken shit way, of acquiring sex while offering solid evidence that the male in question is operating with a loss of ego,self-confidence, and probably self-esteem, otherwise there would be no reason to act that way towards a female.

And, while some males may think certain females are going to be simply better in bed than others, therefore they (males) have to get them there at all costs, is just plain stupid and an ignorant way of using one's intelligence, although, there are many males who actually fall into that category that consider themselves quite smart.

So, while males (like and unlike myself) are manipulating females for the purposes of having sex while they can, let me tell you, the reader, that this will not last long... and, it will not last long because males are going to wake up and change their personality... NO... it will not last long because society is changing and with that change will come the change in males.

We will always have the aggressive, ill-manered male with which to contend, it is just that their ranks, in the future, will become less and less... as, more and more “new age” males who are being taught to embrace both their female and males sides are beginning to emerge and grow. You might begin referring to these new males as bi-sexual, in that they enjoy having sex equally with both other males as well as well females... and, display no regrets in the process.

No only do we have bi-sexual males but we have bi-sexual females and we have bi-sexual couples, so our entire social, sexual society is changing. These new types of people will phase in as the macho male phases out... so, the process will oftentimes be rather slow or will seem rather slow to those of you who live in rural areas as opposed to those of you who live in urban areas.

Another changing aspect of our society with which males will have to contend is the fact that more and more and more females are going to be promoted to both management and leadership positions over the next 20-30 years perhaps even 50 years.


Well, the plain fact of the matter is that more and more and more females are graduating from Colleges and Universities while less and less and less of those graduates are males; therefore, the succession pools can only be filled with females as opposed to males. No doubt, this will change the complexities of the workplace environment in which males will find themselves in a dominate minority.

The simply truth of the matter is that more males will become supervised by females than will females become supervised by males... And, with that reversal, there will be less and less and less claims of sexual harrassment in the workplace, unless that sexual harrassment takes place between two females.

It's nothing personal guys, it is just the way it is right now... check out the data yourself.

During the tenure of our African Amerian President, the overall treatment of African Americans did not improve; in fact, if anything, it may have worsened. So, it is highly likely that if we were to elect a female to the office of President that something similar would also take place in this “male dominated” country of ours.

Therefore, the only real attempts at changing the workplace is coming to come from more females entering the workplace and moving into positions of management than their male counterparts... which is already taking place across the nation.

The fall of male has been set into motion.

Let me make it perfectly clear that my message here is not being underscored by what is happening to either Bill Cosby or Roger Ailes because they are part of the old establishment era of “pricks” in the workplace that fortunately is rapidly decreasing in numbers as they age out and die. Bill Cosby is getting what he deserves regardless of whether or not 50 females have made claims against him; but, Roger Ailes (while old) is a breed of males that is not just sexually harrassing females but who is also solely responsible for generating a “ton of money” for a business enterprise.

If Ailes is guilty of doing what has been claimed then he too should be punished but in reality, whether he did anything or not is irrelevent and his punishment will neither be swift nor deep, whereas those who made the accusations, will in time, and at the convenience of the business enterprise, suffer far worse a fate than money maker Roger Ailes.

Besides, Roger Ailes was born in 1940 and is 76 years old... and, just what could he have possibly accomplished by sexually harrassing females at that age? And, the question here is...

Did he simply make sexually suggestive comments or did he actually think he could have sexual intercourse with these reluctant females?

Of course, that distinction should not make any difference to the law nor the clear implementation of the law...

But, these again are the high profile reported cases... and, my guess is that this happens all the time and goes unreported because of company retribution, politics, and other factors where females want to keep their jobs long beyond the reported incident of sexual harrassment.

And, the fact that something like this is even happening in the first place, should show how incredibly evil these types of men are.

Whether these males want to admit it or not, their time in the workplace is over... the old male is being replaced by a different breed of male while at the same time, females (on average) are achieving more out of work than the males are achieving.

The sexually over-active and aggressive male is simply getting old and dying and there are no replacements on the horizon, which is really good news for females and for organisations who want to keep specific males on the payroll because they can generate tons of revenues.

Some scientists believe that there are only two types of men:

  1. Alpha” males are those at the top of the social status hierarchy. They have greater access to power, money, and mates, which they gain through physical prowess, intimidation, and domination.
  2. Beta” males: the weak, submissive, subordinate guys who are low status, and only get access to mates once women decide to settle down and go searching for a “nice guy.”
While these two classifications may or may not be accurate, they do present an interesting comparison regarding males and it would be my contention here that the BETA male is replacing the ALPHA male in the workplace; however, it is doubtful that there will be any type of replacement in professional sports as the various sports would simply die out from lack of interest if there were... so, BETA males have their place.

According to a 2014 article in Psychology Today:
In almost every society men are the ones who are overwhelmingly involved in wars, in all kinds of intergroup aggressions and intragroup homicide; they mobilize themselves in armies of violent fans, in criminal gangs, in bands of thugs, etc. These observations are as old as the world and have allowed us to create a clear distinction between male and female sexes regarding their predisposition to violence. Wars are a biosocial product of men and a field for male’s manifestation [Goldstein, 2001]. The same thing is true of crime and cruelty, which are closely linked to masculinity.
Canadian evolutionary psychologists Martin Daly and Margo Wilson, who specialize in studying the homicide phenomenon, have analyzed 35 homicide data sets from 14 countries, including some from primitive societies and some from different eras. Among these societies men committed homocide, on average, 26 times more frequently than women [Daly, Wilson, 1994]. Also, familicides (the killing of family members) are committed mostly by men. Some data have shown that men were involved in more than 90 percent of cases [Wilson, Daly, 1997, p. 160].

But here, we should take note that WAR is changing and will continue to change... pilots sitting behind desks in remote locations are flying drones capable of killing single or multiple targets. Robots may soon be replacing the “live” body on the combat battlefield. Technology has enabled fewer and fewer males to be killed when going to war, so that the imagine of the aggressive military male, is about to be forever replaced.

By 2050, where do you think all our MACHO MALES will be? The odds are that there will be very few, if any, macho males in the workplace in 34 years; in fact, there is a good possibility that a majority of this change will have already taken place by 2030 which is only about 14 years away.

Whether it is 14 years away or 34 years away or somewhere in between the two numbers, the fact remains that the FALL OF MALE is imminent and certain.