Tag Archives: Recession

Michigan: Just needs a little CPR and a set of earplugs.

3 Apr

Talk to the hand.

I’ve been in Michigan this week for work. For some reason, people always apologize when they hear I’m here. The conversation usually goes something like:

FRIEND: Where are you this week?
ME: Michigan.
FRIEND: I’m sorry.

Poor Michigan gets an undeserved bad rap. Aside from Detroit (and the flat southeastern corner where I happen to hail from), the state is actually quite pretty. Last time I checked, it was the only state bordered by fresh water on three sides. What’s not to like about that? And the people here are ridiculously nice. Strangers actually say hi when you pass them on the sidewalk, or wave if they’re in a car. Definitely NOT something that happens in DC.

Continue reading

Do I have sucker on my forehead?

28 Feb

Today as I left Safeway, a homeless man was panhandling for change outside the entrance. “Any change?” he asked.

I gave him my standard answer, “Sorry –  I don’t carry cash.”

To his credit, he came back with, “Can you use your card to buy me breakfast?”

This response appealed to me for two reasons: First, I am wracked with guilt when I see homeless people. I’ve been fortunate to have a life in which I can take care of myself, and I try my best to pay it forward. Ignoring the request of a homeless person – when I can clearly afford to help – makes me feel like I’ve lost my grounding in humanity. Second, I coach salespeople and advise them to come back to any objection with another question to remain engaged. This guy was a MODEL closer who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

Ergo, my guilt and his tenacity worked in his favor. “C’mon,” I told him. “I’ll buy you a few things.”

Continue reading

Recession: #FAIL

18 Jan

I doubt I need to remind anyone that we’re in the throes of a recession. There are reminders everywhere you turn.

In my office, we used to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries with lunch for the team and a birthday cake from the German deli downstairs. This year, we buy one cupcake for the honoree and the rest of us circle like pack dogs, drooling enviously. Sometimes I go all-out and dedicate my Facebook Status to the person for the day because – hey, I’m generous like that!

Continue reading