That’s Not My Department!

Great Black Friday to You, Friday Fun Facters!

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Special Announcements:

What We at FFF Are Thankful For: All of the great friends & family we had the opportunity to spend time with in person, on the phone, or by text message on Thanksgiving.

What We at FFF Are Thankful For II: Surviving all of the friends & family we had the opportunity to spend time with in person, on the phone, or by text message on Thanksgiving.

Hope your Thanksgiving was spent in wonderful appreciation for your blessings. May we all be blessed enough each day of our lives to be aware and thankful for all that we have.

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Special Dedication:

This episode is dedicated to everyone who reads Friday Fun Fact. We are humbly thankful for your continued readership.

And, also to those that suggest we switch the name to Saturday Satire, Sunday Comics, or Monday Matinee, FRIDAY Fun Fact lives on…

Despite the “challenge” of a kegs & eggs breakfast, thank you to our team of writers & editors that made an extra effort to get this week’s episode distributed on Friday…

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Last weekend, as documented in the episode distributed earlier this week, some of our members, including KyleS, participated in an out-of-town Group-Oriented Social Interaction Study. During our road trip, we stopped at one of our favorite out-of-town eateries. We respectfully omit the name of the restaurant here to protect the guilty, as well as the innocent. For those that have not yet ventured to this gem of a restaurant, the Friday Fun Fact Food & Beverage Stand highly recommends it. We will be more than happy to provide information in a non-public media channel. It has become a “must-do” on our visits to Pittsburgh. The food, and of course the BEER, are excellent.

During our visit, several of us ordered glassware to go – it includes the restaurant logo & motto – to commemorate the trip. I, myself, also wandered over to the memento area to take a look at shirts. Of course, being the primary inhabitant of the house on the corner of Hard Luck & Murphy’s Law, the restaurant was sold out of each and every one of the shirts & alternatives in my size. (Special Note I: Tell me how that happens to me all of the time?!) Hopefully, your luck in finding tourist-ware helps you fare better than mine.

So we move to Plan B: Let’s find out when shirt stock will be replenished, so maybe we can order one online. Although our server was excellent & did all she could to find out when stock would be arriving, we could not establish the restocking date. But we here at Friday Fun Fact work from this philosophy: exhaust all avenues.

As we get ready to leave, we encounter a manager at the hostess stand. The manager decides instead of addressing patrons in the restaurant to take a care of a phone call first. (Special Note II: This situational nuance was pointed out by Kyle’s dad, EricS. ALWAYS take care of the people in the store first!). We wait patiently for the manager to conclude his phone call. Once the manager turned attention towards us, we asked when the next shipment of restaurant contraband would arrive. Because we believe in the intellect of our readership, we’ll present the possible answers in a multiple-guess format:

  • I don’t know, but let me see if I can find out.
  • I’m not sure, but it’s probably written down in the manager’s office. Let me take a quick run back there to get the information.
  • That’s not my responsibility, but if you can give me five minutes, I’ll see if I can find out.
  • That’s not my department.

Now, if you were paying attention to the title of this week’s episode before diving in with anticipated excitement, we are confident that you know the answer is “That’s not my department.”

It is at this point, that I turn heel to exit the establishment.

EricS, however, stayed behind to give the manager a Captain Obvious lesson: maybe the manager could find out when the next batch of shirts would arrive. And then, the light bulb went on…

Too late – I’m already on the street.

See, by the response, I already have a clue as to the manager’s aptitude for helping restaurant customers. And, I’ll take it a step farther and say that it might even be the manager’s philosophy on life. When you say “that’s not my department” in a customer service setting, you might as well be telling me you have no idea where we keep the molasses. I expect this response from a 16-year-old clerk at the local grab & guzzle, but not from a seasoned veteran, who may, per chance and in a twist of irony, actually train others how to serve customers.

Remember always – the quality of service you give (and being nice!) will always affect your bottom line.

Coincidentally, in a parallel train of thought, I was having a conversation with a great colleague of mine. We used to work together and were discussing the team concept. That in our former work environment, we worked as a team, that everyone took ownership and shared task management. How we both admired and enjoyed that environment. The concept of responding “that’s not my department” didn’t exist. In fact, I know in my heart that if I ever uttered this statement to anyone, my supervisor would have for me what we call a “coaching opportunity.” If I decide that it’s in my best interests to utter this statement more than once – hereby ignoring the “benefits” of the coaching opportunity – I might just find myself in a Performance Improvement Plan.

Ironically, knee-deep in the quagmire that is Black Friday, we find a symbolic example demonstrating how not to treat customers. Heck, of we here at the Friday Fun Fact Command Center ever uttered those words, we don’t know if an episode would be distributed!

All For One, and One For All…

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Tunes of the Week:

I Don’t Know – Ozzy Osbourne

Signs – Tesla / Five Man Electric Band (original)

We’re Not Going To Take It – Twisted Sister

We Can Work It Out – The Beatles

Great Expectations – Eric Carmen

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Raise A Satisfying Glass!

May Your Black Friday Be Followed By A Not-So-Black Saturday!

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

 

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Published in: on 13Novpm1111 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

An Old Lesson Re-Learned & Reinforced

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!

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Special Announcements:

RIP

Kurt Budke & Miranda Serna, Oklahoma State University’s basketball coach & assistant basketball coach, respectively. They were among the four people who died in a plane crash Thursday night returning from a recruiting trip. Thoughts, Prayers & Godspeed to the families of those lost.

“Get Out Of The Booth” Congratulations!

Bob Davie, moving out of the broadcasters’ booth back to the field, takes the coaching job at New Mexico. This is great! Los Lobos, I mean, the Lobos have needed a new coach for years!

Houston, We Have A Problem – It’s Time To Pack!

With approval of the sale of the Houston Astros, one of our Friday Fun Fact members’ second favorite teams is moving from the NL Central to the AL West no later than 2013 to align Major League Baseball in two fifteen-team leagues.

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Organizational Announcement:

Recently, the Friday Fun Fact Customer Service Department has received several suggestions to change the name of the organization to Saturday Satire due to the delay in episode release. We fully appreciate the feedback and understand readership perspective. As a volunteer organization (uh, none of us get paid!), we, on occasion, need to put essential job priorities or life events ahead of episode building. It is unfortunate, but reality has a tendency to smack us like a Louisville Slugger right between the eyes. Also, Friday Fun Fact has grown so much from its original format that we actually have to put that dreaded term “work” into creating each episode. We hope that you keep reading Friday Fun Fact, whether it’s released on time, on DanTime®, or later. We are honored, and humbled, always, by your effort to read and provide feedback to this ongoing series.

And also, to those who have submitted complaints regarding delays to The Committee, your complaints are being reviewed.

With Esteemed Regards –

The Committee & Entire Friday Fun Fact Team

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As explained in last week’s episode, and as well-documented by my home-project horror stories, I am not a tool guy. Although I know the difference in the basics of tool identification just beyond “and me that thing-a-ma-jig,” no one will ever mistake me for Mr. Fix-It. HOWEVER, I am indeed, a nice guy. On the surface, this is supposed to be a good thing, right?! Well, have no fear, it is a true curse in some very significant & specific situations    (Special Note I: OK, if you don’t know where I’m going with this, think about the implications of the comment “she has a great personality,” and you’ll get the parallel reference.). Over time, and through experiences, I’ve been told I need to be more of a jerk (or worse!) to get where I want to be. I’ve often thought, maybe I need to join a gang of some sort to take on the surly qualities needed to be judged differently than “nice.” But every now & then, the benefits of being “nice” shine through…

This weekend, I had the opportunity to partake in a Group-Oriented Social Interaction Study that took me out of town with a group of friends & family. The trip wasn’t long, just long enough to shake off the paint of staring at the same walls and give everyone a fresh perspective. My buddy’s dad was with us for the trip.

Everywhere we went, my buddy’s dad was willing to tackle the task at hand, or push through the challenges of the social dynamic settings. What I observed was how he did so not only with energy & enthusiasm, but also with kindness & courtesy. And in every situation that I witnessed, his kindness & courtesy were returned. In essence, he was being nice. We had a couple of minor experiences throughout our short weekend that may have deserved a quality reaction of not being nice. However, as a group, we generally acted with grace & kindness, despite the desire to react differently. Generally, regardless of our social situation & those involved, we are nice to those around us. For some reason, though, being nice was especially noticed this weekend, as well as discussed.

As we made our way back to the Home Sweet Shangri-La-La of Northeast Ohio, we stopped at a rest area to stretch & get some fresh air. During the stop, we had opportunities to hold the door for other travelers heading in both directions – your standard common courtesy kind of stuff that isn’t so common anymore. Once we made our way through the doors, my buddy’s dad said, “If you think about it, how much extra effort does it take to be nice?!” Point well taken, Dad, point well taken…

Of course, this is also one of the mantras of one of Friday Fun Facts favorite fictional characters:

“I want you to be nice until it’s time to not be nice.”

To paraphrase Dalton’s response regarding “how are we supposed to know when that is?”

“You won’t. I’ll let you know.”

As we come upon the “silly season,” I guess this serves as a reminder to me to be nice, even though the stress of the holidays may occasionally push us out of our comfort zone or delay us from achieving our tasks & goals. Of course, I don’t think that being nice will extend to my knee-jerk road rage episodes when it is clear to me that the person who just cut me off should NOT have a driver’s license or car. But, I think there are opportune moments that are “negotiable,” when even a nice guy can be forgiven for an instinctual (and maybe even justified!) reaction.

Thanks to both Dad & Dalton for keeping us in line with being nice…

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Tunes of the Week:

     Have A Nice Day – Bon Jovi

     Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys

      You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice – The Lovin’ Spoonful

      Nice And Slow – Usher

      Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites – Skrillex

      No More Mr. Nice Guy – Alice Cooper

     Mean – Taylor Swift

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Raise A Super-Nice Glass!
May Your Monday/Tuesday Be Followed By A Friday!

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Novpm1111 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Red, White, & Tool Users

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!

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Special Announcements:

RIP

“Down goes Frazier!” Only this time, unfortunately, he’s not getting back up. Smokin’ Joe Frazier, former Olympic & Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion, lost his battle outside of the ring with liver cancer earlier this week. Keep fighting the good fight, Joe. The memories you left behind still invoke frozen moments in time of the great gladiators of the ring from days gone by.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

A heartfelt “thank you” to all of our Veterans, past, present, and future, for all you do & sacrifice to protect & defend this nation, as well as others in the line of duty. We can never repay your acts in full, but we can honor you in every way possible. We respectfully salute you & offer to raise a glass with you on this day of celebration of your service. Thank you for making sure these colors don’t run.

National Metal Day!

Get out your horns, baby! “Turn Up The Radio” & “Bang Your Head!” Today is National Metal Day! The powers that be are putting me in the Iron Maiden (“Excellent!”) as we speak! But that’s not going to stop me! If you think metal is dead, well, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’!”

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I’m not a tool guy. And, I’m definitely not a Mr. Fix-It or Mr. Renovations guy. My good friend, & fellow Friday Fun Fact member, HalF, God rest his soul (Special Note I: No, HalF isn’t dead, he just lives in New Jersey.), is a MacGyver Jedi Master at this stuff. My fellow accomplice & Friday Fun Fact casual observer, WaltK gets paid for this kind of stuff. My good friends ChrisW & KenD are pretty good with a glue gun & some electrical wiring (not at the same time!). Casual Observer KendraP also has a noteworthy Master’s degree in home renovations, whether she believes it or not! (Special Note II: Just ask her about her bathroom & basement renovations!) And, naturally, my dad is a full blackbelt Jedi Master. However, every now & then – and by that, I mean ever third or fourth Blue Moon (beer!), I get all kinds of adventurous-crazy and try to walk to the edge of repairs & renovations and use some tools.

So, there I was, right in the middle of needing a tool to make some quick wire cuts and move on with life. This would have accomplished two tasks (I like to multi-task like that!):

  • Begin the organizational overhaul needed in my bathroom
  • Get some oldequipment out of the house and on to the recycling curb while providing for some potential repair resources for a later date

I love it when it when a plan comes together…almost.

All I need is a pair of diagonal cutters. The slang term for this tool (yes, I know this!) is a pair of dikes.

First, I call Dad. I let him know what I’m doing, just through the natural course of conversation. Dad doesn’t want me to go buy any tools – he has them all; or, almost all. One problem: we live a couple-three counties apart, so I might get a chance to borrow the diagonal cutters sometime months from now.

A little background on my relationship with my Dad when it comes to tools is this: to this day, he still explains to me the difference between a flat screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver. Now, again, I know I’m not a tool guy. But I think by this time, I have this one down.

Conversation:

Me: I’m going to go to the store and get a pair of diagonal cutters.

Dad: What do you need those for?!

Me: Uh, because I want to cut the cords off some stuff so I can keep the cords and start cleaning up some equipment.

Dad: Don’t go buy them, I have a pair you can borrow.

Me: Dad, I’d like to get this task accomplished sooner than later.

Dad: Well, don’t buy an expensive pair.

Great! Now I have permission to buy a tool for my own needs for my own home! How lucky am I?

A couple of weeks go by, as higher priorities crawl into my intent and agenda. Before heading out to a party one night, I call Casual Observer WaltK. I figure we are meeting up, so I’ll borrow a pair of his diagonal cutters for the moment just to get the task done, even though I have permission from Dad to go buy a pair.

Conversation:

Me: Hey, do you have a pair of diagonal cutters I can borrow for a day or two?

WaltK: What do you need those for?!

 Conversational Sidebar: You know, at this point, I’m starting to think both Dad & WaltK are afraid of what I might damage I might do to myself or my property with a pair of diagonal cutters.

Don’t worry – it gets even better.

Me: I want to cut some cords off of some equipment and get the stuff out of my house.

WaltK: Well, just bag the stuff up & bring it with you. We’ll take care of it when we meet up.

Seriously?! What is going on here?! Do you need a license to use this tool?! Do I have to take a class or something? They’re just like a pair of scissors, right?! Look I’m pretty darn sure that I’ve used them before. It’s not like a circular saw or anything. I think I got it.

Regardless, I bag the stuff up and head out to the party. Unfortunately, WaltK gets sick and doesn’t attend the party (Special Note III: Rest assured he feels much better now!).

Now, I’m starting to think this is not only a “Dan shouldn’t be using tools” thing, but also a cosmic or Karma thing. Did I do something wrong to the Universe? Or, the Underverse for that matter?! (Special Note IV: Right now WaltK is cracking up at that last statement. You’ll understand if you’re a movie buff!)

I’m at a loss, AND, as Fate would have it, also at a loss of time for yet another few days to make any arrangements on my own to stop at a store and, against the advisement of the Cosmos, pick-up a pair of diagonal cutters.

FINALLY the tide turns. WaltK is stopping over my house to help reassemble a gutter. This by the way, is another episodic adventure that will be written at another time. It will be called: Losing Tools In The Dark Of Night & Expecting To Find Them With A Flashlight. Maybe. All of the other titles in my head would have led the readership down a VERY wrong path. I digress. The tide turns. WaltK arrives shortly before nightfall to fix the gutter. Afterwards, we are going to reward ourselves with some Great Lakes Christmas Ale. It’s the first night they are tapping the kegs for the season at Great Lakes Brewery.

Just a wee bit before we head towards the Ginger & Cinnamon-Flavored light, WaltK drops the tailgate on the back of the pick-up. Here, I am, once again, “all back of the bus & stuff.” He pulls out a pair of diagonal cutters and begins separating the cords from the hair dryers. We get into the explanation of why I have a few of them (they burnout & I buy a new one). The job is done. The hair dryers are in a recycle bag, and the cords are taking downstairs and hung up in my “workshop.”

Mission Accomplished. And notice, I still wasn’t allowed to use the diagonal cutters…

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Tunes of the Week:

      Hard Hat And A Hammer – Alan Jackson

      Between The Hammer & The Anvil – Judas Priest

      Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters

      Hammer To Fall – Queen

      The Needle And Your Pain – Lillian Axe

      Maxwell’s Sliver Hammer – The Beatles

      Lateralus – Tool

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Raise A Hardly-Repaired Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Renovated Saturday!

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

         

Published in: on 13Novpm1111 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Art Of Being A School Crossing Guard

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!

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Special Announcements:

RIP: Andy Rooney. A writer’s writer & inspiration with a very unique perspective on life’s oddities. 60 Minutes just isn’t the same without you…

The Last Victory Lap!: Bon voyage to St. Louis Baseball Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa, who is retiring after 33 seasons as a big-league manager, leaving on a high note after the Cardinals win the World Series. We wish you well in your self-professed new career as an elephant walker.

Long Live Shadow!: Test results showed that Friday Fun Fact members HalF & AmyF can rejoice, as their dog Shadow does not have a tumor. Keep On Almost-Running, Shadow!

Tock-Tick, Tock-Tick: An ode to EddieK’s favorite day of the year. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back this weekend!

   If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher

Halloween Thank You!: To casual observers ChrisW, BeckyW, & RobS for another great Halloween evening celebration of passing out candy & drinking blood wine. And let’s not forget those frozen plastic pumpkins!

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Last week, I was faced with a challenging morning. I was running a little late for work. I know, to some, this comes as no surprise. (Special Note I: My close friends refer to it as DanTime®, which generally runs about 20 minutes off course from event or scheduled meeting time. Oh, and they LOVE to tell anyone new to our social group all about it. I guess there are worse traits to have.) I also decided to take a different route to stop at the local post office to mail a couple of bills (Special Note II: Yes, every now and then a bill has to travel by the U.S Pony Express instead of along the e-waves.).

The combination of these factors lead me to a vantage point to view a school crossing guard at a major intersection. The crossing guard was on the opposite crosswalk from my car, and as the light changed, I was able to observe her crossing guard prowess. She ventured out into the street roughly one-and-a-half car lengths, holding her trusty umbrella in her left hand and the required miniature stop sign in her right. A light rain had been falling all morning. What struck me as odd as she faced me is that her umbrella was in her lead hand, drawing all of the attention, and her stop sign was only timidly held up an inch or three higher than her waist, and was closer to the curb than the middle of the street. In essence, all she was really doing with the stop sign is holding it in front of a headlight of a car in the curb lane. Odd.

This week, although managed to escape DanTime® on my way to work, I was forced by my after work activities to return home, as I forgot one of my bags. I took a different route – this time, through a different school zone, and in view of a different school crossing guard. The crossing guard deftly put her skill set to work as the light in front of me flashed from green to yellow to red – delaying my redux adventure. This crossing guard made the full trip out to the halfway point in the street (Special Note III: In defense of the first school crossing guard, this street was much smaller – one lane each way, and a turning lane.). Again, most noticeable was the crossing guards lack of emphasis in raising the required miniature stop sign above the hoodline of ANY of the cars stopped for the student crossing.

I’m baffled here.

Of all of the things a school crossing guard is supposed to do, I’m pretty darn sure that one of the major points in the job description is to raise the mini-me stop sign high enough that those driving cars along the street can actually see it! Of course, these school crossing guards are a mere microcosm sampling of school crossing guards everywhere. Surely, most crossing guards manage to hoist their stop sign high enough to draw the attention of oncoming cars.

However, these two separate incidents sparked some questions from the Friday Fun Fact Investigative Team:

  • How is the performance of school crossing guards graded? Do they get annual reviews?
  • Is there a remedial training course for crossing guards who aren’t meeting the minimum performance expectations?
  • If there is such a thing as school crossing guard training school, who are the instructors?
  • If the school crossing guards are a volunteer workforce, are they unionized? Can they be fired for not meeting their goals?

I recall from my youth, that even kids on the safety patrol had rules to follow & had to put their hands up to keep other kids safe when crossing the street. To be fair, though, I’m not sure if they were allowed to have umbrellas…

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Tunes of the Week:

Stop! In The Name Of Love – Diana Ross & The Supremes

Streets: A Rock Opera – Savatage

Walk The Line – Johnny Cash

Mainstreet – Bob Seger

Dancing In The Street – David Bowie/Mick Jagger

Dancing In The Street – Van Halen

Shady Lane – Pavement

Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant

Where The Streets Have No Name – U2

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Raise A Well-Trained Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Safe Saturday!

D

Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Novpm1111 at 5:57 pm  Leave a Comment