Monthly Archives: September 2011

Pet Peeves

It’s time to reawaken this sleeping beastie.

Part of my website is a section of freebies that people initially could contribute to – most of these are still posted, but now the opportunity to make comments, share ideas, and experiences are through this blog. So here is your chance to vent. Don’t worry – I’ll occasionally bring this back so you can add even more Pet Peeves.

So today my BIG Pet Peeve is businesses that “Promise one thing and Deliver another.” And unfortunately some of them just downright lie to you. I think it is so frustrating to deal with a business that absolutely does not live up to what they tell you. It is so frustrating that I am willing to pay more to ensure I don’t have these types of frustrations.

Witness a big ticket item – building a house. My wife and I built a house in MI about eight-nine years ago and we asked out realtor to recommend a builder. Thank Goodness we did, because we got a good one – one who lived up to his reputation, and though we probably paid more for the quality he provided it was well worth it.

Why? Because we heard dozens of horror stories from friends and acquaintances about their experiences, and some of them were concurrent with when we were building. I can truthfully say we had NO complaints and we liked the builder so much he is now building our retirement home for us.

On the other side of the coin are far too many businesses who try to, as my father used to say, ‘pull the wool over your eyes.’ One of my own first experiences with such a business was when a bank that was ostensibly ‘watching my house for me’ while I was in the military during Vietnam, hired the brother of the vice-president to mow my lawn for something like $50/hr. This was in 1970! Needless to say I was not a happy camper.

I could list, easily, dozens of business that have failed in my opinion to live up to what they bill. It’s too bad that honor and trust are not as important as they should be.

Sometimes businesses do listen to serious complaints; sometimes they don’t. I shop where I feel good about a business. And I also say Thank You to those that go that extra mile for me.

If there’s a moral to this it is: complain where warranted because if you don’t they’ll just continue what they’re doing; don’t go back to those businesses that treat you badly or lie to you; and make sure you let the good ones know they are doing it right.


Joe Koob

P.S. Your Pet Peeves are welcome.

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TBHB&I: Part III “Do you wanna…?”

Arwen knows quite a few words – or depending on your perspective in relation to how much animals understand – she certainly connects certain words with certain things or actions. Her favorite words are Food or Foods, Treat, Walk, and Licky (meaning some dish or pot to lick). These words she knows very well.

She also knows some words that she often pretends not to know: ‘Stay’ means anything from “Remain in the immediate vicinity” to “Are you kidding I’m chasing a rabbit right now”; ‘Stop’ has similar responses; and ‘No,’ is most often ignored completely, though she certainly does seem to know its general meaning because she will hang her head and look guilty after the infraction is complete.

However, probably her most favorite set of words (Yes! She does seem to understand a phrase and even a sentence) is “Do you wanna…”

The immediate effect of saying “Do you wanna…” is a lifting of her head and a perking up of her ears. Now as a golden retriever/black lab mix her ears never really reach ‘full staff,’ but ‘half staff’ (see picture below) is her way of saying, “I’m definitely interested in what is coming next. And the reason she is interested is because the vast majority of time the words “Do you wanna…” are followed by something good: ‘go for a walk,’ ‘have a treat,’ ‘go for a ride’ and so on. [One of the antitheses of this is “Do you wanna bath;” not her favorite activity.]

Not only does she decipher the “Do you wanna…,” she knows what follows as well. So that “go for a walk,” which is one of her most favorite activities means she heads for the door (if inside) and the gate (if outside). “Do you wanna go for a ride,” typically results in her heading for the gate as well since the truck is outside. However if I say, ““Do you wanna go for a ride in the car,” she knows to head for the garage.

Now when we say “Do you wanna go for a walk,” I imagine to Arwen it comes out as sort-of “Doyahwanna….fweygfsdjg…walk?” She’s got the beginning and the end and she knows what that refers to.

Well, guess what? That really difficult person in your life knows how to get your ears to perk up too. Unfortunately what they focus in on are the triggers (words, actions, etc.) that set you off – in other words they push your button(s). And they are VERY good at it.

So the moral of this little story is to take some time and begin to understand the triggers that ‘get to you.’ The better we understand those little buttons they push, the better a chance we have to remain in control (Remember – one of the ‘Seven Keys to Understanding and Working with People’ is ‘Self-control’). Plus, it confuses the hell out of them when you don’t react to their button-pushing.

‘Do you wanna…’ be frustrated all the time because that idiot out there knows how to get to you?

Nah! You’d probably rather have a treat.


Joe Koob

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