Tag Archives: Business

Just count to five

I was out getting some pizza for lunch. The guy gave me my slices, I paid, took a few steps toward the door and then thought, wait a second, I should have bought a soda. So I took a step back toward the counter, but the pizza guy was facing the other direction, he was standing by the oven, having a conversation with one of his coworkers.


I was really hungry, and I wanted to get home and eat that pizza as soon as possible, but I didn’t want to be a jerk. Still, one second turned into two seconds, and I began to fear that I might be stuck there in pizza counter limbo, my food getting cold, nobody realizing that I hadn’t actually left the building, that I was still standing there, patiently waiting to be noticed, just a soda, please, I’ll be on my way.

By the third or fourth second, I remembered this one time I was at a bagel shop on Long Island. There were maybe four or five people ahead of me in line, but the guy right in front of me, you could just tell he wasn’t in the mood to be waiting, he kept fidgeting, looking around. As soon as the person in front of him paid and walked away, there was this two or three second pause where the cashier didn’t automatically turn his way and ask, “Yes? Next?”

She closed the drawer on the register, she took a bottle of Snapple out from under the counter, and she took a sip. As she was putting the cap back on the bottle, Mr. impatient in front of me, he screams out, “Can I please just get a sesame bagel with butter?” like really nasty, it was a yelling, he yelled out his order, like a total crazy person.

And I have no idea what this guy’s life is like. Maybe he had some sort of a family emergency back home, maybe he needed food in his stomach immediately, it’s pure conjecture. But I don’t know, regardless of whatever it is that you’re going through, I don’t find it ever acceptable to just shout things at people, “You! Give me a bagel!”

She didn’t even say anything. She just got him the bagel, put it in a bag, and he walked out in a huff. It was one of those moments where I really wanted to say something, a, “Take it easy, buddy,” something not too aggressive, but just aggressive enough. But I always get afraid of these random confrontations. It’s like, when I’m at work, I always think, man, if I didn’t have my job to worry about, I’d totally say something to this rude person or that inconsiderate guest. But then I get an opportunity like this in real life, and the moment passes without my having even mustered the courage to do anything.

And I get it, all the time at work, sometimes people have to wait, sometimes people refuse to wait. I think I write this almost every time I mention work or customer service, but you get a certain type of person who sits down and, while you’re in the middle of saying, “Hello!” or, “How’s it going today?” they’ll cut you off and bark out, “Diet Coke. No ice.”

Whenever I complain about stuff like this, or whenever I hear conversations regarding rude customers and their lack of pleasantries, there are always a few sure rebuttals, stuff like, “Well that’s your job,” and, “I’m not paying to be friends with you. I’m paying for a Diet Coke.” Yeah, you’re paying for a soda, you’re paying for a bagel.

And this argument is total bullshit, this idea that because you’re paying, because you are exchanging your money for something, that you don’t have to be nice. Sorry, I don’t mind being polite, but I’m hungry, and it’s my money involved, and so if you don’t like my acting like a dick, I’ll just go ahead and spend my dollar fifty for a bagel somewhere else.

Business is business, and so if push ever did come to shove, if that lady at the bagel place decided to fight back, it would have been a screaming match, the owner would have gotten involved, “Please, sir, I’m so sorry. Please, have this bagel, on the house. We appreciate your business. Please, I beg you, I’ll fire this lady. I value your patronage, don’t leave, here take another bagel, a free dozen.”

Unfortunately, this is the reality of customer service. I’m paying, so even though I shouldn’t be a jerk, I don’t have to not be a jerk. Because I’m paying. If you try to distill every human interaction into a monetary transaction, this is the natural result, where it’s perfectly acceptable to bark out orders or chew out the man or woman behind the counter.

And then the fifth second turned into the sixth second, I snapped out of my daydream at the pizza place, the pizza guy finished his two-sentence conversation and turned around. “What’s up boss, you need anything else?”

“Yeah, can I just get a soda please? Thank you.”

“You got it.”

And I went home, my pizza was still hot. Sure, I think I lost like seven seconds total, and yeah, I guess you can’t really put a price on time. Time is money, right? But everything was cool, I didn’t have to shout out, I didn’t have to interrupt. Everybody just needs to chill out and take a breath. Just count to five, man, just count to ten or eleven.

Business lunch

Hey Johnson, where are you headed, out to lunch? Not so fast partner. March on over to Conference Room B. Lunch is on me. It’s on the company. It’s a business lunch. It’s Thai food.

What’s that, a magazine? Just leave it at the desk. We’re not going to have any time for any leisure reading. But where are your spreadsheets? Better head back to the office and pick up those spreadsheets. Go ahead and print out a few more, a few extra spreadsheets for everybody. I told everybody else to do the same, lots of extra copies. You don’t have a pen? Don’t worry I brought a pen.

You’re hungry, right? Yeah, I actually ordered the food a little late, but that’s OK, it’ll be here soon. In the meantime, let’s get started with the business part of this business lunch. Now? You need to make a phone call right now? It’s a business call, right? A personal call? But this is a business lunch. Look, I’m not one to tell everybody what to do on their own time, but, well, how do you think this looks? To the company? To the clients? Would you hire a consulting firm if you knew that those consultants were working on your project while juggling personal telephone calls?

Well if it’s not important I don’t know why you brought it up. I don’t know why you brought your personal telephone to this obviously business oriented lunch. Why do you think the firm gave you a special business only cell phone? That’s right. Business phone. I’m no tyrant, I didn’t say no phones at lunch. I was just saying only business phones at business lunches. And look, the food isn’t even here yet. Lunch doesn’t get more business that that.

Food’s here? Well send it in. Thanks, just drop it off on Conference Table Annex C. No that’s Conference Table Annex F. That one, over there in the corner. I don’t understand the problem, they’re all clearly labeled. To the left. That’s it, thanks a lot Paco. Paco? Carlos, right I forgot, sorry. Thanks a lot Carlos. You see guys? Carlos is working. I’m sure he’d like to be eating lunch. He’s probably eating something in between deliveries. Maybe some flautas. I’ve never tried flautas, but I’ve heard they’re delicious. Stephens, you ever eat a flauta? Why’s Carlos still standing here? Thanks Carlos! You keep working! You’re doing great!

Classic Carlos. Not just yet, we’re right in the middle of business. It’ll stay warm. Do you know how hot that stuff is? They make it really, really, really hot, because they know it’s got to be delivered, and they know we’re a business, that we’re going to let it sit around for a little bit. You can’t just dive right in. Did you bring those spreadsheets?

What? I don’t know, regular Thai food. What do you call that stuff, pad Thai? Right? Those noodles? What else, I don’t know, some chicken? I didn’t order. Well, just take the meat out. What is it an ethical or a dietary issue? Well I didn’t … come on, a free lunch is a free lunch. Hey Morris, hit the lights and let’s get these Powerpoints rolling. Well where’s the clicker? Jesus Morris, who normally sets these things up? You can’t just pull the screen down? I don’t see why a screen needs its own motor.

Hold on let me get the IT guy up here, what’s that guy’s name, Manuel, right? Manny! Glad I got you. You’re not out to lunch are you? Well, how far away? Can you get back here? Yeah we’re right in the middle of a business lunch and, unfortunately … yeah the screen. No we can’t find the clicker. Can you just get up here? I am looking, I don’t see it. I can’t find it. Just … OK, thanks Manny! You’re the greatest.

Classic Manny. You ever notice how certain people always place a little too much emphasis on lunch breaks? You know it’s … never mind. It’s just that, well boys, you don’t make money eating lunch. You make money eating business. Not eating. Making. Making business. Doing business. Is Manny here yet? All right boys, might as well get back to work. No sense loafing around Conference Room B if nobody knows how to use it. We’ll just come back when Manny comes around. It’ll still be here. Thai food’s even better cold, or room temperature. It’s true, you know I think that’s how all the Thai people prefer to eat their food.

No you can’t go out. Because we’re at work. What about a lunch break? We’ve already wasted too much time today sitting around this table not getting any work done. Actually, we’ve still got a lot of ground to cover. Better call up the wives and tell them it’s going to be a late day. Right, right, sorry, wives and boyfriends. Right, right, I forgot, and husbands, OK, chill out, husbands and boyfriends and life partners. Well what do you want me to call them? Don’t worry I’ll call a car service. I don’t know how late. Don’t worry, I’ll order some dinner, on the company. It’s fine. Just grab an apple from the office kitchen. No apples? I thought I told Juanita to keep that office kitchen stocked. Classic Juanita. Marge? Her name is Marge. Huh. I just thought … you know, with the black hair and everything. She never really says much. Classic Marge. All right boys, back to work, let’s move.

Strictly business

I’m so sick of joking around. It’s time to get serious! From now on, I’m only going to be writing about serious things. And it’s all going to be very professional. Every day I wake up and I stand in front of the mirror, and I stare at my reflection for a while, and I’ll scream at it, “Why isn’t anybody taking you seriously?” And I just realized, just this morning, just as I was about to take that mirror down once and for all and show it who’s boss, I just realized that, it’s because I’m not acting nearly as serious as I should be. I should be acting at least ten times more serious. Maybe fifteen times. But I’m going to start at ten times the seriousness, and if I hit fifteen, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s much better than aiming for twenty times and then being disappointed when I only get up to fifteen.

What does serious mean? It means no more jokes. No more fucking around. From here on out, it’s all business. If you want to read about business, look no further. This is going to be one of the most business oriented web sites on the Internet. Only business. One hundred percent business. Well, not all business. What I mean is, no funny business. That’s a type of business right? Funny business? Wait a second, I was primarily engaged in funny business before. So I guess I was somewhat business oriented. Just the wrong type of business. Don’t get me started on monkey business.

I just bought a briefcase. Super professional. Four digit mechanical lock. I just closed my laptop, put it inside the briefcase, went upstairs, put on a suit, came downstairs to me desk, took off the jacket, loosened the tie a little bit, and took out my laptop to continue writing. I can already feel the difference. I’m just feeling really, really, totally professional.

This new outlook on life is affecting not just this blog, it’s affecting everything. For the better. I was out walking my dog earlier and I saw this lady slip and fall. Normally I would have laughed, because everything was this huge joke. But that was the old me. The new me had absolutely no reaction, no response. I just walked right over her as if she didn’t even exist. But I dropped a business card right as I stepped over her. That’s professional. It’s called networking. Read any business blog, they’ll tell you how important it is to network. Scratch that, don’t just read any business blog, read this business blog. If already reading it, open it up again in a different window on your browser, and then network it with somebody else.

What browser are you using? The only correct answer is Internet Explorer. Firefox is for hippies. Chrome is for nerds. Safari is for total assholes. IE is where the professionals, the serious minded movers and shaker turn to get their Internet. I’m making it so that if you try to access this blog from any other browser, it’s going to infect your computer with a horrible virus. I can do that now. Why? Because I’m so ridiculously serious it’s not even funny. It’s definitely not funny. It’s actually a little threatening. Nothing’s more serious than a threat.

Will you get back to work! What are we paying you for, to work or to hang out on the Internet! I’ll answer that for you! It’s to work! Why am I using so many exclamation points? Because! It’s urgent! I’ve transcended serious and gone right to urgent! You better hope I don’t feel so inclined to turn the caps lock key on! Because you don’t even want to know how much more serious this could get! I could be writing this in all caps! Do you want that? DO YOU?

The five Keys to Success

There are so many keys out there. But only five of them will lead you on a path to success. And there’s only one path. Look yourself in the mirror. Say to yourself, “I’m going to find all five of those keys! I’m going to find those keys and be successful! I’m going to get so rich from all of that success!” You have the key to finding those keys! But that key isn’t one of the five keys to success. That was more of an inner key that everyone has. You can think of it as six keys if that’s more helpful to you.


1. The first Key to Success – Time!


How are you supposed to be successful if you don’t have the time to do it? Even if you somehow find success, if you don’t have any time to enjoy it, well then as far as I’m concerned, you’re not really successful. Make some time for yourself. Show up to work an hour late and tell your boss that you got mugged. Do it again the second day. Tell your boss that you’re being stalked by the same mugger. Go file a police report to make it look convincing. But don’t do this unless you absolutely have to, unless your boss totally doesn’t believe you. Because what’s the point of having all of that extra time if you’re using most of it waiting on line at the police department? Seriously, cops are great at fighting crime, but have you ever seen them try to do paper work? You know they don’t want to be filling out forms. They want to be out on the street, battling evil, seeking out justice.


So many people complain of their boring jobs, of their dead end careers, of their ever-growing mountains of soul-crushing debt. Take it from me, the only way that you’re going to tap into your inner potential, and your inner success, is if you make the time to do it.


2. The second Key to Success – Money!


Success ain’t cheap folks. You’ve got to buy it! I know what your thinking, “Rob, if I had money and time I wouldn’t be reading about your five keys to success.” Well, you’ve got to spend money to make money. Money doesn’t grow on trees. A penny saved is a penny earned. If I had a nickel for every time. What do all these cliché phrases have in common? That’s right, money!


Listen, you don’t go to a restaurant and not get an appetizer. So think of this second key as your success appetizer. Just go get some money. Sell something in your house. Sell your TV. Go sell some blood. And then buy something successful. Go buy a new pair of expensive sneakers. And then sell those and buy a flat screen TV. You can keep this up indefinitely. You’ll scream success! Everyone who sees you won’t even see you anymore, they’ll just see the living embodiment of successful living!


3. The third Key to Success – Business Cards!


I’m sorry what was your name again? I’m sorry you don’t have a business card with your name on it? What are you some sort of a loser? Welcome to the twenty-first century! Success today is all about personal branding! You’ve got to market your personal brand! You’ve got to get out there! You’ve got to network! Networking! Business branding! Get those business cards. Print your name on them. Print a link to your twitter on them. Go on twitter and tweet something about your name. Link to a picture of your business cards. Now!


4. The fourth Key to Success – More Money!


You’re out of money already? Get some more! What kind of a success story do you think I’m talking about here? Do you think I’m referring to some sweeping general idea of success? Do you think I’m trying to redefine the words success in terms of personal fulfillment or inner peace? I’m not! I’m talking about getting rich! I’m talking about using your personal brand to maximize your success through networking and marketing and personal branding!


Call up your mom. Call up your brother. Tell them you need to borrow five grand. Tell them it’s an emergency and you don’t have time to explain. Tell them to stop asking so many questions and to just trust you. Tell them you’re fine and not to worry. And there you go! More money! Ask your boss for an advance on your salary and then quit! More money and more time! More success!


5. The fifth Key to Success – Write your own “How to Succeed” blog post!


Nobody’s going to believe that you’re a success if you don’t believe yourself that you’re a success first. Is there any better way to show the world how successful you are than by writing your own “Steps to Success” blog post? I don’t think so! Write it up! Talk about networking! Talk about that personal branding! Use some of those marketing skills! Just write up the list. It’s easy! You don’t even have to be paying attention. Just write a bunch of numbers and then write a bunch of sentences. You’d be surprised how quickly those sentences turn into paragraphs, and then turn into a whole blog post, and then turn into success!


Put a picture of yourself at the top. Put it on your web site. Make sure you’re wearing a jacket and tie. Go around to other successful people’s web sites! Market yourself! Write stuff in the comments section with your web site! Business! Show off your success! Start giving advice! Give advice to everyone! You’re as successful as you want to be! Get some more money! Go out there and network! Go out there and succeed!


6. The sixth (secret) Key to Success – Send me some money and I’ll mail you the first five keys!


Just send me some money. I don’t want to say how much. How much is success worth to you? Just not less than twenty. But I don’t want a bunch of twenty dollar bills showing up at my house. You’re never going to achieve success by just giving in the bare minimum. But if you only have twenty, I’ll take it. You send me your cash, and I’ll send you the five keys. They might just look like ordinary keys, but nail them to your wall and label them like I labeled the five keys above. And visualize it. And make it happen. And send me twenty more dollars and I’ll send you five more keys, doubling your success. And then eventually you might have enough keys that you can start your own success-key blog.


Just remember, you’ve got to succeed to be successful!


Rob G. is the founder, CEO, CFO, COO, and PCP of Five Keys to Success, Inc., Living Embodiment of Success LLP., and Successful Succeeders Succeeding Success, Ltd. For speaking engagements, send him twenty bucks, or just shout “SUCCESS!” out of your window really, really loud. He’ll be there in no time.