In Image We Trust?

AUGUST 23, 2012

We place an awful lot of faith in businesses, in political parties, in politicians, in brands, in the Bible, in loud arrogant TV and radio personalities, in platitudes. But none of these things is infallible or perfect. No passage or platitude is a hard and fast rule that applies no matter what, especially when the source is a book as overtranslated as the Bible.

The really worthwhile businesses, brands, political parties never forget they have to earn the trust of the most common man. They never forget a relationship is built on repeated mutually beneficial and respectful transactions over time. They never forget they are accountable to their public and must communicate with respect. These brands and businesses are not easy to come by. They all want you to be impressed and claim they have standards, but alas….

I am discouraged when I see a corporation treat its well-behaved staff like suspects after one bad apple is caught embezzling, having an affair, you name it.

I am discouraged when I see a business spend a lot of time and effort getting clients and bragging about how much business they handle. If I have to deal with one of these businesses about a mistake, I witness firsthand just how sloppily each transaction is handled, how many opportunities for screwups exist throughout the process. If they really had integrity about their operations they would have caught these issues themselves.

I am discouraged when a customer has to point out the flawed ways of a company to that company. United Breaks Guitars, brides with tattoos are treated poorly at David’s Bridal, many restaurant franchises with the simplest turnkey structure and major brand name fail at a location because they cannot hire and keep good staff.

I am discouraged when a brand gets involved in lawmaking, in order to codify its CEO’s religious beliefs into law that impacts every citizen’s lives, their healthcare access, their ability to have a family and care for that family. All the while they say to the public they don’t discriminate and anyone can patronize their stores. Um, maybe anyone can but you won’t see me giving you my money. Other major corporations champion literacy, adult GED programs, real inarguable societal problems. These are the businesses that get my money and my support.

I am discouraged when a brand drops the ball in a transaction with the common man, then adds to the pain with a delayed response, written with a cold, sociopathic tone. All the millions spent on an ad campaign, celebrity endorsements, charitable public relations arms are all frivolous, meaningless bullshit when these fails occur. It is also truly disgusting to watch a corporation, like the too big to fail banks, ruin individuals’ financial reputations by the thousands. When errors are pointed out, like how exactly does a bank foreclose on a house that was paid for? The corporations dismiss it as “oversight, inconvenience” when there are irreparable damages involved. These are disgusting understatements and a failure to be accountable for inarguable wrongdoing and doing irreparable harm to a common man.

______________________________

What’s really important to remember with any brand is upholding their image, status, and cashflow is the highest priority, all the time. It’s not their one on one dealings with the common man as much as their advertising and PR might claim that. Corporate greed and self-interest is like underwear–it’s ever present but no one needs to see it and be reminded about it.

The next time you find yourself putting a lot of trust in a brand, its worth a pause to ask yourself what they really do for you, do they care about what they do for you? do they even know your name and want your patronage? Could some other brand do better? could you do it for yourself?

Belief is a powerful thing. Like any powerful thing, it must be used wisely.

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Akin

August 22, 2012

I am a female. Do you really have to ask if I am very offended by Akin’s comments and his general stupidity? I would hope not, but I will spell it out. Yes, I was, on both accounts.

It didn’t ruin my day because I am getting fatigued from boneheaded comments by candidates and non-candidates this election year.

I can only imagine the very raw insult to people, male or female, who have been a victim of rape by what Akin said, its ignorance, and the terrifying idea that people like this are running for office, to get a job to make laws about experiences they’ve never had, can’t imagine, and worst of all, don’t even attempt to try to understand before making laws about it.

According to suicide.org:

  • In the U.S., a sexual assault occurs every two minutes.
  • 17% of American women have been the victim of sexual assault at some point in their lives.
  • In 2002, there were 247,730 sexual assaults — Approximately 87,000 were victims of completed rape; 70,000 were victims of attempted rape; and 91,000 were victims of sexual assault. (Data is from the National Crime Victimization Survey and does not include data on victims 12 and younger.)
  • About 44% or rape victims are under the age of 18.
  • 15% of rape victims are under the age of 12.
  • 93% of the rape victims age 18 and under knew the rapist. Of these rapists, 34.2% were family members and 58.7% were acquaintances.
  • In 2001, it was estimated that only 39% of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to the police.
  • 66% of rape victims know their assailant.
  • 40% of the rapes occur in the victim’s home.
  • 20% of the rapes occur in the home of a friend or acquaintance.
  • 10% of the rapes occur outdoors.
  • 8% of the rapes occur in parking structures.
  • Rape has long-term emotional consequences that can lead to suicide.
  • It is quite common for rape victims to suffer from depression. And untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.
  • About 33% of rape victims have suicidal thought.
  • About 13% of rape victims will attempt suicide.
  • Suicide attempts may occur years after the rape.

You can read the post of a real victim here. I do not know the writer, but I admire her courage to share her story. I am very sorry she has that story to share in the first place. I think anyone with any compassion would agree.

If I had any female supernatural powers, like Akin seems to believe women have, I would eliminate rape from the world.

Then I would bring US culture out of its completely adolescent perceptions, preoccupations, and misconceptions about sex.

Then I would shorten the presidential process to no more than a week than vote, and a month tops for campaigning, advertising, etc.

 

It Goes Without Saying and Silence is Golden

August 21, 2012

‘It goes without saying’ is one of those cliche phrases that needs to die. There is way too much ignorance and arrogance in the world, you have to state the obvious even when it seems redundant to do so. ‘Especially if your country, like mine, has dropped the ball on public education for decades. Obvious doesn’t exist because there’s no such thing as something you can assume everyone knows anymore, there is no ‘common sense’ among the common population.

 

And whoever said ‘silence is golden’ misspoke. I really hope they meant general quiet, or tranquility, but not human silence. If you are generally quiet, you probably want to think it’s for the best if you say nothing and avoid drama; however, you invite misunderstanding by default. The people you’re dealing with assume you agree with them, or you just don’t care. Either way, they find some way to fill in words you never said for you so they can move on with whatever they wanted to do in the first place. Did they honestly care what you thought? Would it have changed anything? Most likely, no.

Because I am an introverted, contemplative, reflective, thinking person, I know I haven’t covered all the bases and situations with this post. I kept it concise and to the point. It wasn’t meant to be the last word for all quiet people everywhere though. It was mean to be a start.

 

 

 

Southern Cross

AUGUST 17, 2012

Whether I’m writing, traveling, meeting people, reading literature, taking an art class, or staring up into space, there’s plenty of daily reminders that

  • there’s a lot of ways to perceive things
  • there’s no way that I can see it all, all at once.

The Southern Cross is a major constellation familiar to residents of the South Pacific.I live in the North Atlantic, I am over 30 years old, and I’ve never seen it in person. Because I have never seen it, I could easily doubt and dispute its very existence.

Meanwhile in the South Pacific, the Southern Cross is a major constellation. It figures prominently in the design of the Australian and New Zealand flags. It is a constant in their night sky, a tool for ocean navigation, and it has been incorporated into the mythologies of peoples lived their lives under its familiar glow for generations.

At any given moment, we have a tendency to think in absolutes. It’s convenient to think we’re logical, we’ve examined all the facts, that our way is the right way. We have a need to make sense of our world in order to function it and make countless decisions to run our lives in order to move on to the next task and the next decision.

But there’s a lot of relativity and unique cultural experience tied into that right decision. The decision we make this year isn’t necessarily the same one we’d make next year in the same set of circumstances. Furthermore, it’s all too easy to rely on absolutes, welcome routine and conformity as we age; only to look back and wonder where the freshness, wonder and amazement of childhood went. Chances are, we gave it away one decision at a time by limiting ourselves to all we’d seen before as if that was all there was to see..

It’s important to never forget there’s always one or more Southern Crosses just beyond our horizon we can’t always see or appreciate. If we sought them out more, they could change everything in our approach to life’s decisions. We help each other to see Southern Crosses when we communicate and keep an open mind.

Easily Confused Words: Van Gogh’s Palette and Palate

AUGUST 14, 2012

Among his idiosyncrasies, Van Gogh sampled his paint palette with his palate before applying it to the canvas. 

Today’s twit is a rare non-fiction tale. Van Gogh did taste the paint off his palette with his palate. 

These two words, palette and palate, are homophones: they are said identically, but mean different things. A palette is a flat piece of wood or plastic a painter uses to hold dollops of paint colors. The palate, meanwhile, is a part of human anatomy. Specifically, it is the roof of the mouth, encircled by the upper row of teeth.

‘Just to make things a little more complicated, there’s also “pallet”. It is also pronounced the same as the first two words I described. Pallet means “bed”, but in modern times, it refers to a simple wood frame used to hold major shipments of manufactured goods in a warehouse. The pallet is closed at 2 sides for support, and open at its other two sides. A forklift can easily slide its prongs in one of the open sides, lift the pallet. The pallet frame allows the forklift to support the full weight evenly, and transport it around a warehouse or other storage facility without causing damage.

I could go into lead the noun, lead the verb, led the verb, but those are homophones for another time.

POST ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/14/2012 at 18:34pm.

 

 

Honestly Now

AUGUST 10, 2012

So I had a friend lament that they wish they could say what they were thinking all the time, regardless of who they are with. I wrestle with this as well, I think a lot of people do even if they don’t admit it, and I thought I would elaborate more why that is in this post.

Ideally we would all have relationships of full disclosure. I think the reasons we don’t include:

  • WE KNOW EACH OTHER COMPLETELY we think we know everything there is to know about someone even though we don’t talk to the other person every day in a meaningful way. This is total denial of people’s ever changing nature. Trust is built over time, by communication, by confiding, by listening, by showing compassion, by creating a sense of “come as you are” not matter what is going on outside the relationship.
  • at some point you were rejected for being honest. The other person wasn’t in control of their emotions, and expected you could never offend, surprise, think for yourself, see things differently than he/she/they do.

Conversation and Conservation, easily confused words.

AUGUST 7, 2012

Rachel longed for conservation to enter the conversation; however, her town was determined to be an overdeveloped stucco Hell.

Today’s tweet deals with the easily confused words conservation with conversation. A simple switch of an “s” and “v” and you mean something else entirely.

  • Conservation is related to conserve and conservative, it is frequently used to describe energy, natural resources, and politics. Ironically, conservative politics do not necessarily align with conservation of natural resources in some countries.
  • Conversation means one or persons talking with each other.

Spell check applications in word processing software can’t save you from easily confused word errors. All spell check does is check that all words on the page are correctly spelled in your language settings. Subtle cultural spelling differences, easily confused words, and what you meant to say aren’t necessarily going to be noticed by spell-check. Reading your words aloud, reading silently from end to beginning, or having someone else proofread are all good ideas to catch what software cannot.

For trivia’s sake, using the name Rachel for this tweet was inspired by real-life conservationist Rachel Carson. The rest of this tweet is a minor rant on towns that fill their borders with the same old strip malls found at the town just 1 exit down the interstate. It is truly tragic to see a lot of cities all strive toward uniformity and sameness, all the while telling you to come visit and check out how special they are. But I digress.

The next time you aren’t sure if you meant conservation or conversation, try this test:

Which do I mean?

  • “show restraint and care in usage”=conservation
  • or did you mean “talking with others”=conversation