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Adam Elliott

What does Adam have to say?
Posts from August 2013

Best Idea I've Heard All Day
I think I have the Do Not Call lists, and my own hesitation to almost never give my phone number out to anyone to thank for the complete lack of telemarketer calls I get these days.  I simply can't stand them, and when one sneaks through, I immediately ask them to add me to their No Call list.

That's why I love this story.  A British man set up their equivalent of a 1-900 number, where people are charged per minute when they call.  Then, he started placing that number on forms, giving it to store and writing it down anywhere when a business would ask for it.

The result so far: He's made about $465, while reducing the number of calls he receives a month from 20-30 to about 13.

Genius.  Pure genius. 

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Topics: Human Interest

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How Would You Like To Be Contacted?
Does that question make you jittery?  I imagine it does with some people.  The reason?  If you hear from someone you haven't heard from in a while, the natural assumption is bad news.

No worries, I'm not going to call your cell anytime soon.

There was a new study out today on how ineffective work emails are.  That got me thinking about how I prefer to be contacted by people.  It's a natural part of life and work, but really, do you want your boss calling your personal cell phone?

Ways I prefer to be contacted in a business communication
  1. Email
  2. Text
  3. Come into my office and say hello
  4. Shouting down the office hall
  5. Hanging out at the water cooler
  6. Phone call
  7. Voice mail
  8. Snail mail
  9. In a meeting (any type meeting)
Ways I prefer to be contacted in a personal communication
  1. Text
  2. Phone call
  3. Email
  4. Social network
  5. Snail Mail
  6. Voice mail
  7. Land line (that'll be tough since I don't have one)
  8. Meeting in the real world (do people still do this?)
  9. Coming over to my house (You have got to be kidding!?!!)
Of course, these can change depending on the person.  (I'm not going to ask my grandmother to text me.)

In any case, here's the new science:
The vast majority of work emails you send and receive are unnecessary or inefficient—and suck up both your time and your employer's money, finds a new study. After tracking the email habits of company executives, researchers found 80% of the messages sent were wasteful and would have been better communicated via a phone call or face-to-face conversation. When the execs cut back on their emailing by half, their employees followed suit without being told, and the company gained an estimated 10,400 employee hours. Email prevents deep focus with constant interruptions.
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Do You Follow The Speed Limit? Birds do.
Some new researcher suggest that birds have learned to observe our posted limits in their own way.

Essentially, the higher the speed limit is on a road, the faster the birds take off to avoid oncoming traffic.

That may seem like a no-brainer, but here's the part that especially intrigued the researchers: The birds don't react based on the speed of a particular vehicle, but on the average speed of the road. They'll take their sweet old time on slow roads and rush on fast ones, no matter the speed of an individual car. More birds tend to get hit in the spring, possibly because young ones haven't yet learned the rules of the road.

This doesn't surprise me much considering I see a bird swoop into traffic at least once a week and they always seem to come out unscathed.  It sure freaks me out though.  In general, I have nothing against birds.  Geese though.  That's a different story.  One traumatic childhood experience of a Goose attacking me and I forever understand where the phrase "his goose is cooked" comes from. STAY AWAY FROM ME GOOSE!

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Topics: Environment

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The Story Of My Life, I Get No Respect...

I used to love hearing Rodeny Dangerfied roll out his comedy bits.  Good times.

Poor Delta gets less respect than even Denny's and Philip Morris. A new survey of businesspeople finds the airline is the least respected of the brands studied. The most respected? PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, in a tie. CoreBrand, a branding research firm, asked respondents about 100 well-known corporate brands that have been publicly traded for at least five years; favorability ratings were based on a company's reputation, how people view its management, and how promising it is as an investment. (The survey captures the attitudes of the business world, not consumers.) The bottom five:

  1. Delta Air Lines
  2. Philip Morris
  3. H&R Block
  4. Denny's
  5. Big Lots

The top five:

  1. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola
  2. Hershey's
  3. Harley-Davidson
  4. Bayer
  5. Johnson & Johnson

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
You know who gets no respect from me...the guy who made the sub sandwich I ate for dinner last night.  Blech... 

Let's improve this situation with a little Rodney...
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The Price Is Right May Be Out Of Control

Here's the proof.  Can you imagine your kind old grandmother doing this in The Price Is Right audience?


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What Does My Desk Say About Me?
That's a picture of my desk.  It's sorta clean, but then again it's sorta messy. 

What does this say about me?  It says I'm sitting at my desk at 7:45am on Monday morning.  Harumpf...ugh Monday.  My coffee cup is too small today.

In any case, here's a new study about what your desk says about you...

How you keep your desk could impact the choices you make, according to a new study. Researchers found that a participants sitting in an orderly workspace ate healthier and were more generous. That's because a tidy environment influences people to do what's expected of them, says the study. A messy desk wasn't bad, though; the disorganized backdrop promoted more creative problem-solving and originality. The researchers say sloppiness in a creative environment could allow you to see things differently, possibly spurring out-of-the-box thinking.
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What Happens To All Of Us In The Future?
A quote from one of the better movies made in the last 30 years...Back To The Future.   For posterity purposes, I won't recite the next line.

In any case, we are slowly creeping up on November 5th, 2015.  It's an important date, at least in the mythology of the film. That is the day that makeup experts from 1989 had to predict the toll that aging would take on the stars of the movie.  Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd,  Crispin Glover, and Tom Wilson all probably sat through hours of makeup design to figure out what they would look like in 2015. 

We'll, we're almost there, so lets compare notes.  Check out these before, after (and future?) photos of how the stars look today, compared to how they were imagined to look in the 80's.

I think Michael J. Fox and Lea Thompson win. 

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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I Think This Kid Was Cheated
I'm not necessarily a subscriber to the theory that all kids should be rewarded with a medal for participating in life.  In fact, I think some competition is good for kids.  It tests their meddle. 

That said, on this Kids Week of Jeopardy!, I think this kid was cheated and slightly humiliated.

He was wise enough to come up with the right answer, but misspelled it.  It was clear that he was not going to win because the score of the winning contestant far exceeded what the losing boy might have earned. 

"He spelled it badly."  That's what Alex Trebek said to this kid and the judges agreed.  I realize the judges need to make a call on the fly, andthe stakes are higher during the Final Jeopardy round, but this was in bad taste.

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People: Alex Trebek

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If McDonalds Doubles Wages, Big Mac's go up $.68

In an effort to try and eat a little healthier these days, I've been avoiding fast food as much as possible.

That's not to say I don't fall victim to a Big Mac attack (anybody still use that term anymore?) every now and then.  

You've probably heard of the protests that have been going on where fast-food workers want to make a "living wage" of $15 an hour. Chains say they'd have to jack up prices if that ever happened.

But just how high?

Turns out, not as high as you might think, at least according to one researcher (a student at the University of Kansas.) He found that if McDonald's immediately doubled the wages of all its workers (including the $9 million CEO), it would have to raise the price of a Big Mac 68 cents, from $3.99 to $4.67. Items on the Dollar Menu wouldn't qualify anymore, but that hike is modest as well, to $1.17.

68 cents is literally chump change to me. 17 cents on top of a Dollarr Menu item is even less of a concern to me.  If the research in this article is valid, then Isay we should just chalk up the extra cost as a personal tax for eating food that we know isn't very good for us. Jeesh!  68 cents?!  Give those poor workers a raise already.
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Topics: Labor
Locations: Kansas

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