Marketing Schemes Involving Breast Cancer Research

No one hates e-mail forwards more than I do, especially ones that tell me I’m not a good enough Christian because I don’t forward the cheesy things to everyone in my contacts list.  The forwards I despise the most are the ones that mention kittens and/or guardian angels.

Knowing this, one of my friends takes special care in finding some of the worst ones to send to me, as a joke.  I received one last week that tells the story of an old married couple living in a tall apartment building.  When they argued, the man would wave around his unloaded shotgun at his wife, for dramatic effect.  However, this particular time he pulled the trigger, it was loaded.  The bullet missed his wife but coincidently hit a man jumping off the roof who fell past the couple’s window as he committed suicide.

He died from the bullet, not from the fall.  The old man would have been convicted of murder of the jumper, but they found out that the jumper was actually the son of the couple and his name was Ronald Opus.  The son had loaded the gun, knowing that his father waved it around in times of argument, knowing that his father would pull the trigger and possibly kill his mother.  Inheritance money is what the son was after.

But after trying for months to find ways to kill his mother, Ronald Opus gave up and jumped off the building.  The irony was the police cited the incident has suicide because Ronald himself loaded the gun.

That’s all I could think.  Immediately I Googled “Ronald Opus”.  And sure enough, there was a full Wikipedia entry for the fictional urban legend of Ronald Opus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Opus

I’m no Doubting Thomas; I just pick up on red flags when stories don’t add up or seem legit.  The thing is, I’m not usually one to call a person out on their BS.  I’d rather let them believe that alligators live in the sewers of New York City.  Why should it be my role to rain on their parade?  When a person starts a sentence with “did you know?…” that typically means whatever they are about to say is urban legend or a fabricated story.

Read “Did You Know?” http://wp.me/pxqBU-g

 

 

I have to call out another BS situation too right now.

Since last week, I have been seeing this commercial for a popular fried chicken restaurant franchise advertising that they are now donating a portion of their profits from the sales of both grilled and “original recipe” (fried) buckets of chicken to breast cancer research.

For all the millions of dollars we have donated to breast cancer research, the strongest findings they have released to us is this: The more fat a person consumes on a daily basis, the more likely they are to eventually get breast cancer. This does not necessarily mean that overweight people are more prone to breast cancer.  Because some people eat a lot of fattening foods, yet stay slim.

It truly angers me to see companies try to take advantage of people with what I call The Breast Cancer Gimmick: “Want a find a cure for cancer?  Buy and eat this bucket of fried chicken and we’ll help by donating money to research.”  But really, the fried chicken only increases the chances of getting cancer and encourages a lifestyle to stay unhealthy.

Of course it’s not just fried chicken restaurants committing this insulting and greedy gimmick.  It’s pretty easy to find chocolate candy companies during the same thing.

Here in Nashville, I recently saw a car dealership’s commercial advertising that they will donate $400 to breast cancer research for every car purchased within the month.  That’s tacky, but at least it doesn’t contribute to the unhealthy lifestyle of the customer.

I very much want the cure for breast cancer to be discovered, but I refuse to fall for a marketing scheme like this.

If you want to donate money to breast cancer research, do it.  Just don’t let a fast food restaurant or a candy company be the middle man.

To read more about the actual causes of breast cancer and ways to prevent it, click the link below:

The Unholy Trinity of Food http://wp.me/pxqBU-Hk

Living in a Van down by the River

It’s Open Mic Night for motivational speakers.  I’m up…

Mission statements are lame.  So dumb.  Glorified BS.  They don’t motivate me whatsoever.  I remember in 8th grade our middle school bought a big banner with our new official mission statement on it and posted it near the main office.  To mock the concept, I memorized it and quoted it as fast as I could like that Micro Machines guy from the ‘80’s, every day as I walked to lunch with Mrs. Ray’s English class.

Ultimately what every mission statement boils down to is this: “I will do my best to please The Man, therefore The Establishment and The System, and by successfully doing so, ultimately, I will please Society.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  That’s just how life works.  Simple American reality.  It’s that mindset that helps a random group of people find a focus that will keep them unified and motivated.

I don’t need a lofty mission statement.  Just tell me the rules.  Tell me the expectations.  Give me a chance to learn the culture.  Then once I fit in, I can focus on utilizing my actual talents and skills in order to show my worth in that society, in addition to getting the job done.  That makes me an individual, despite having to confirm to the norm.

The Man is good.  Thank God for the man.  He gives me the opportunity to make money without having to depend on starting my own business and having to keep up with all that overheard and stress.  Until I can find a way to make a good living off of this website or end up writing a successful book, I depend on The Man.

I like The Man.  But I am not The Man.

The Man

The Establishment and The System are great too.  They are the structure to my means of earning a living.  If The Establishment or The System only allows me to wear jeans on Friday but not Monday through Thursday, then I will go along with that silly Simon Says game.  Individuality has its place, but rocking the boat outside of a moral issue isn’t cool.

And Society.  The good with the bad.  Enough capable people these days are choosing not to reach their full potential, which provides an opportunity for an average guy like to me step in and become qualified for a role in society that I wouldn’t normally be eligible for.

Which gives me new experience.  Which earns me new skills.

And for those in society who are the overachievers, well, they become my role models.  I watch every move they make so I become like them.  So, yeah, society is a good thing too.

I should become a motivational speaker and take my “No BS Mission Statement” idea to the road.  Power point presentations.  Laser pointers.  Wearing a suit jacket with jeans on the last day of the conference.  I can see it now…  (Looks up, turning head towards Stage Left with glazed over eyes, hands clasped together up to chest, while a harp-like sound effect begins.)

“Try to picture the man to always have an open hand and see him as a giving tree.  See him as matter, matter of fact he’s not a beast.  No, not the devil either.  Always a good dead doer.  And it’s laughter that we’re making after all.”

– “Live High” by Jason Mraz

Related Posts by the Same Author:

The Modern Day Tortoise  http://wp.me/pxqBU-kP

Life is Just Simply Showing Up  http://wp.me/pxqBU-kf

The Modern Day Tortoise

The principle of “working smart” is often seen as the shaggy, scruffy twin brother of “working hard”. Working Smart isn’t actually lazy, it’s just that he earned an online Master’s degree in time management and puts it to good use. He’s good at not wasting his time on daily goose chases, but stays consistent with the mundane tasks plus gambles on high-end pay-offs on a constant basis. I am a self-proclaimed Smart Worker. That doesn’t mean I don’t work hard; it means while I’m working I may not look busy, but I still end up being just as productive (if not more) than those who look busy while working.

I see the fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare” as a visualization of Working Smart vs. Working Hard. The tortoise isn’t bothered by the hype around him; he stays on the steady path. He knows the importance of patience. He keeps his eyes on the prize as his competitors burn their best energy on passing him. And later on when they grow tired or bored, his consistent progress wins him the prize.

As Dr. Phil says, “you do what works for you.” I have been Working Smart, not hard, my whole life. It was officially 1992 (5th grade) when I realized I wouldn’t actually need math beyond basic algebra, or science beyond a baking soda and vinegar volcano, since I knew I’d never want to be an engineer or doctor. I also noticed that though I had never studied for a spelling test, every week I got “105” for my score (I always got the “challenge words” right too) and that my Reading and English classes required little effort, yet those classes challenged me in a fun way. Instead of trying to be an all around great student, why not just focus on what comes easy for me and get by on the other stuff?

Stress causes cancer, heart disease, and loss of hair. Working Smart involves avoiding unnecessary stress when at all possible.

I was the dreaded nightmare to school officials when it came to those yearly standardized tests to measure the school system’s progress; I only tried on the English and Reading sections because they entertained me. For the rest of the subjects, I either marked “C” or made a cool diagonal design down the Scantron. Then I just daydreamed afterwards. Because it didn’t effect my personal grades and I knew it. I had proven my true intelligence by knowing not to worry about a Communist test that couldn’t hurt my individual grades.

When it came to gym class, I Worked Smart too. Dodge Ball was my favorite. While all the aggressive kids ran out to the front lines when the game began (and got hit right away) and made ballsy moves like attempting to catch the opponent’s ball in mid-air (causing a higher risk of getting out if they missed the catch), I just walked around, looking busy in the back row. Ten minutes into the game, I would actually start playing. And that’s when I got aggressive. I usually at least made it to the Top 5 every time because by that point most of the biggest threats were already out of the game. Tortoise vs. the Hare. Working Smart vs. Working Hard.

When I chose my major in college, I obviously ended up being an English major. (Enter joke here that I earned a “B.S.” in English.) My first couple of years of college I got by with B’s and C’s, because I was forced to take Science and Math classes I would never use.) But I ended up graduating on the Dean’s List. Why? Because my senior year was nothing but “400 level” English classes. Nothing but my specialty. So of course I’m gonna graduate on the Dean’s List my senior year of college when I only do what I’m good at and love.

I knew that unless I wanted to work in a specialized field (like being a lawyer or banker) that my English degree would be general enough and well-rounded enough to help me get a decent job. And my plan worked. In a general sense, what I do for a living is hire clients looking for a job- a sort of staffing agency. I have a quota to meet every month. This has been my job for the last 3 ½ years and for almost every month, I’ve had the highest numbers in my department. In fact, last month I had the highest numbers ever of anyone in the recorded history of our company.

And it’s not because I’m “the best” or “really good at what I do”. It’s because I work smart. I learned the art of personality mirroring: I mimic the pace, accent, and amount of aggressiveness of the person on the other end of the phone. I look for red flags that indicate a client would be a dead end for me and if that’s the case, I get off the phone as soon as possible so I can be available to talk to the clients who are most likely to be a fit. I am painfully truthful about the pro’s and con’s as I talk to clients. And they notice it. That builds trust. It’s a formula I follow. Follow the formula and the equation will work itself out.

I see life in a unique way; there is no gray, only black and white. Either something is, or it isn’t. My subconscious has directed me to Work Smart in all I do. Every day as I drive on I-65 to work, there is a two mile stretch on the interstate that slightly curves to the right. I stay in the “slow lane” going about 67 mph, while all the drivers who want to go fast stay in the “fast lane” travelling at about 80 mph. But since I am in the inner lane, I stay parallel to the “fast” cars for the entire two miles, yet I don’t risk my safety by breaking the speed limit on a curve.

A Smart Worker is to always keep a high-end pay-off project on the backburner; a passionate hobby that one day could make income on the side. For the first 12 years of my life, I wrote and illustrated stories. For the next 13 years of my life, I wrote and performed songs. And since I’ve stopped doing that, I started writing non-fiction.

For me, I can’t escape a lifestyle of Working Smart. Looking back, it’s why I hardly ever dated in high school and college- I Dated Smart. It’s why I’m on the Dave Ramsey plan for finances (every dollar is accounted for in a budget, are credit cards are the devil) – I Spend Money Smart. It’s why I’m so strict on what I will and will not eat- I Eat Smart. It’s a matter of focusing on what is best for future, not the most fun at the present day. But a future that is better planned for, will eventually make a better present time.

I should never be a motivational speaker for school kids on this subject, granted. Just the idea of “working smart, not hard” is offensive or misunderstood by many. Working Smart isn’t superior to Working Hard, but it is my way of life. I know no different. I get bored and uninspired when I Work Hard. It seems to work for a lot of people though.

The truth is, the world is full of people who Work Smart, not hard. These are the Mark Zuckerberg’s (who created facebook at age 21 and now at age 25 is almost a billionaire) of the world.

I choose to Work Smart:

1) Focus on what comes easy and exploit it. And just BS through everything else.
2) Time is more than money- time is life, so spend it wisely on what matters.
3) Less stress equals better quality of life.

Quad Cities Proximity Initiative: Pretending You Know Where a City Is

Most Americans don’t know the capitol of Vermont or which states border Colorado, without cheating and looking at a map. Because like taking French or Spanish in high school, if what is learned is not applied on a semi-regular basis, then that knowledge disappears. Especially when it was just rogue memorization for a test we took a long time ago.

Since we don’t really know much about American geography, we use a system that gets us by. It gives the illusion that we are experts, when really we are just BS-ing our way through the conversation. I call it the “Quad Cities Proximity Initiative”. Most states consist of a minimum of four cities that we’ve at least heard of that pretty much cover the 4 corners of the state, even if we’ve never been to that state before; here are a few examples:

Ohio (Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland).
New York (New York City, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany).
Florida (Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, Miami).
Georgia (Atlanta, Macon, Augusta, Savannah).

Here is an example of how this system works. The other day at work a guy from Indiana was trying to tell me where his hometown is. He said, “It’s about 50 miles south of Indianapolis…” Immediately I started shaking my head with an enthusiastic “oh yeah, yeah” which unabridged, it literally conveyed this message, “I am very familiar with the city you are talking about. I’ve been through there several times. Of course I know that place…” All because I have obviously heard of the state’s capitol, Indianapolis.

There are exceptions to the Quad Cities Proximity Initiative. Texas is huge and has more than 4 familiar cities; it has about 7. And there are those bite-size states like Delaware, where it doesn’t matter what city the person says, because the state only has 3 counties anyway.

When a person names a city I’ve heard of (even if I have no clue where in the state that city is) I give them confidence in me that I am following their lead in the conversation. It’s that simple. No need to stall a conversation because I can’t visualize where the city is. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Unless I’m driving there.