Monday, October 13, 2008

Be nice, until it's time not to be...

When did being nice and polite go out of style? Someone please re-send me the memo...I was clearly left off the distribution list.


One of my favorite movies in the world is "Roadhouse" with Patrick Swayze. The scene that takes the cake for me is the one where Dalton (P. Swayze's character) is in the bar training the bouncers. He tells them to always be nice until it's time not to be nice. Of course, one of the bouncers asked how will they know when it's time to not be nice. Dalton simply states back, "You won't. I'll tell you".

I love that. Sometimes I get a little "Dalton" in me when I see an injustice occurring in my presence.

Case in point:

I was in the Austin airport waiting for my flight home. My travel arrangements were taking me from Austin to Atlanta, then on to Raleigh. Well, as luck would have it (or KC's luck anyway), there was a storm passing through Atlanta and no flights were allowed to go in or out. The airline announcer said they would get an update from the tower in another 15 minutes or so.

Well, I have been stuck in Atlanta quite a few times, so I make my way to the counter to see if they can divert me through another airport. I have a pleasant wait in line for about 5 minutes chatting with 2 lovely individuals about their travel plans.

I am just about to hand my ticket to the agent and flash him my best smile and ask politely (with some southern twang) what he can do to get me to Raleigh that night. Before I'm able to do so, a gentleman (using that term loosely) from about 20 yards away starts yelling at the agent.

"Hey...Buddy, why haven't you made any announcements about this flight? This is ridiculous!!"

Seriously? Here I am about to try to get a favor and this yahoo decides to yell at MY agent?

Oh, I don't think so.

Good news...I remember Dalton. "Be Nice".

The agent is about to respond when I say to him, "Sweetie, I got your back on this".

I then say to the guy in a very calm and nice manner (he's still 20 yards away, so I raise my voice level to almost meet his): "I'm so sorry that you weren't here a mere 5 minutes ago...he just made the announcement about the Atlanta airport and the tower should have another update in about 10 or so minutes."

I then pause (and give him my best Patrick Swayze stare) to allow said gentleman to respond.

Of course he has nothing left to say.

I turn back to the agent and say, "I'm so sorry for his rudeness, please don't think all travelers are like him."

He then thanks me for standing up for him and asks what he can do for me. I ask if there is anyway to get me back to Raleigh that night. He types on the keyboard for what seemed like an eternity and comes up with a new itinerary on another airline.

Now, I have asked on several past trips to be moved to another airline when there were flight delays and such and have ALWAYS been denied (regardless of my sweet smile). You can imagine my surprise when I see the different airline on my itinerary. I ask how much is that going to cost me and he responds: "I got it. No charge. You were so nice to stand up for me it's the least I could do".

Wow. How nice was that? Not only did I get home, but I also got to be a "cooler". Ok, sort of, not like Patrick Swayze, but you gotta start somewhere.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Am I Too Connected?

I was reading a blog from one of my friends and he indicated that he has found a way to "put down the device". (I've asked him for his therapist).

For those of you that don't really know what I do for a living, here it is in a nutshell: I sell a wireless mobility platform that enables enterprises to connect to applications and email on handheld devices. Ok, in laymen's terms: I sell wireless email and stuff on neat phones to companies.

This means that I utilize this technology each and every day. Whilst I generally enjoy a couple other addictions, there is one that consumes my life more than the others.

The addiction is: OverConnectedness (trademark pending). I'm sure that some 'doc wanna be' has coined a better phrase than that, but whatever.

A fear of being un-connected drives me to the point of insanity with my bloodshot eyes from awaking to the "ding" of a new message at 1:42 am and not being able to stop the compulsion to pick up one of several mobile devices at my dispoal and see 'what's up'.

OMG...I need help. :-)

I know some of you are smirking right now and saying trite things like, "just leave it in another room", or "turn it off". That is like saying to an alcoholic, "just don't have it in your fridge and you'll be fine". Or to a shopaholic, "just leave your purse in the car". We all know those things don't work.

It's just sad the places I've emailed you guys from. I am good, however, at not emailing from the car while driving. That's just too dangerous. Yes, there are pictures out there of people that were killed/maimed from emailing while driving. So, while I totally dig looking at those gross pics, I would rather not become one of them. Plus, I had a friend of mine tell me (this is about 6-7 years ago) that I had to wear my seatbelt since she didn't think she could be my friend if my face was messed up. I think that she was kidding, but it definitely got me thinking and ever since I've been an avid seat-belt sportin' chick.

I email from the tennis court, restaurant, vehicle, treadmill, airplane/port, bar, church, bathroom. You name it, I've probably sent and/or checked email from that location.

What's a girl to do? What is the cure? I almost don't care. I love being in the 'know'. I love not having to fret about what is waiting for me at the office. I already know what drama is there. There is some comfort in that. Some.

Don't think I don't see your eyes roll when we're in public and I check my device every 8.3 minutes. I almost don't care. Don't judge me.

Don't think I don't hear your comments. I stink at multi-tasking, but I hear you. I almost don't care.

Remember, I have an addiction. Love me anyway.

And, don't try to say this garbage to me: "I tried to reach you". Because, seriously, if you didn't reach me, then you didn't even try. I have 3 voicemail boxes, 2 public email boxes, and some of you know my home address. I even have 2 of my voicemail boxes being translated into email and sent to me. It's so crazy the cool technology that's out there...

Trust me, I'm connected. At least until I find a good therapist.

I got pooped on

Original post: May 2008


Picture it. Saturday morning. Sun is out. Birds are chirping. Perfect day to put the top down on the convertible.

Life is gooooood.

I had a "coffee date" with a promising young lad Saturday am (well, the promise went away after we met, but that's a different story).

After said date, I was driving to a friends house downtown. I pulled into my friend's driveway and all of a sudden I feel something drop onto the middle of my shirt. It's a yellow mustard color.

My first thought was..."What the damn hell is this?"

I look on the hood of my car and realize that I have probably have the remnants of a good ol' fashioned bird poop. I say probably because I was not certain until I....yes...wait for it....took a whiff of my shirt.

EWWWWW....let me confirm for you that are wondering: bird poop smells like poop. I'm not sure why I was even questioning that. You can see the trail on the hood of my red car. The biggest part of've seen it...the white with black specs...on the front. Then another droplet in front of the wiper blade and the finale on my shirt. Nice.

Of course this got me thinking. We have all heard the old addage that it's good luck when a bird poops on you. I did some research. There really is nothing to support this myth. Sure, there are folks on the internet that will tell you they got pooped on and then won $$ at the casino, etc, but seriously?

Then I stumbled upon a nugget. It seems the amount of luck present in any particular poop is directly influenced by the type of bird doing the pooping.

A. The Raven

The Raven is generally considered good luck because of its high intelligence. The larger the quantity of Ravens that poop on you at one time, the larger the amount of your luck. If a person gets pooped on by Seven Ravens or more, that person should be jumping up and down in glee...a great day! Getting pooped on by only one Raven, on the other hand, is not so lucky. This is all apparent in the following Folklore Rhyme:"One Raven for sorrow, Two for joy, Three Ravens for a girl, Four for a boy, Five Ravens for silver, Six for gold, Seven Ravens for a secret never to be told."Another variation of this rhyme continues past Seven: "Eight for a Wish, Nine for a Kiss, Ten for a Time, of Joyous Bliss"The Raven's good luck image comes partly from it's association with Heaven. Looking Ahead Under "Riddled Avians", It Says "Heaven Offers Truth". In Beowulf, the Raven is proclaimed as having communication with the Heavens: "They slept until the black raven, the blithe hearted proclaimed the joy of heaven."On the other hand, seeing a Raven isn't always considered good luck. It really all depends on the circumstances. As any person may correctly assume, seeing a bird suddenly fall dead from mid-air is a very ominous sign. This is especially true when it concerns the Raven. In Babylon, in 323 AD, it is said that as soon as Alexander the Great stepped foot into the city, a flock of Ravens fell dead from the sky. A few weeks later, Alexander, predictably, was dead. Coincidence? I think not.But don't go hating the Raven for causing the death of Alexander the Great. These same Ravens were also the cause of prolonging his life! It is said that Alexander was guided through a desert by two Ravens sent from Heaven.

B. The Owl

Despite the Owl's modern image of an astute and extremely wise creature, most myths associated with the Owl concern Evil tidings.But don't worry if an owl has pooped on your head. There are a few...granted, only a very few...myths that depict the owl in a positive light. In Greek Myth, the Owl is said to be a husband of the goddess of wisdom, Athena. Who wouldn't wanna be pooped on by Athena's man!?!

Perhaps the good luck here is that if pooped on by an Owl, you will get a Greek God for your spouse!!

Getting pooped on by a bird does not necessarily mean good luck. It's very important to look up and see what kind of bird has left you this present. A Raven or an Owl is more often than not a good sign.

If you get pooped on by a just means that you've been pooped on by a sparrow.

Needless to say, I was pooped on by a sparrow or other such bird.

After the pooping, I went into my friends house and tried my best to get it out of my formerly clean white shirt. Then I went about my day...I will NOT be deterred by some poop.

Plus, I was thankful that it was on my shirt and not on my head.

Morale of the story?

Sometimes you're gonna get pooped on. You just have to wipe it off the best you can and continue on.

Just like life.

OMG---am I part of THEM now?

Original post: march 18, 2008

I think the DVR is an amazing thing. It allows me to have a life outside of tv and not have to miss ’must see’ tv. When I have insomnia in the wee hours of the morning, it’s nice to have the option of watching the infomercial on the Bedazzler or an episode of Rock of Love (c’mon, you know you LOVE to watch 80’s hair rock band guys try to find true love).

I had fallen behind on my Dr. Phil episodes (yes, I dig him---don’t judge me) and had several of them queued up. I chose to watch the one about the girls that claimed they were banned from Southwest Airlines for being "too pretty".

At first, I find this mildly amusing. I’m thinking, "oh, how cute, a couple of 20 year old girls trying to get some media attention".

However, as the story comes more to light, you realize that they have missed a couple of facts. Like, the one that Southwest has never ’banned’ anyone from ever flying them. Or, how about the passenger that sat near them---she stated in the report that one of the girls was cursing and getting belligerent. And, of course, there is the fact that one of them outright lied to Dr. Phil. She stated that she had never said anything to the media about getting banned for being too pretty. (This is my favorite part) Dr. Phil then whips out a piece of paper and says that it’s an email from her to one of the media affiliates he’s associated with. Of course, in the email she states they were banned from Southwest...yada, yada, yada, she’s a liar.

It’s infuriating that after everything that’s happened in our country since 2001, people still choose to act like a fool on an airplane.

By this time, it’s about 2 am and I am literally talking to the tv and saying insane things like, "Are you freakin’ kidding me?" My dog, George, is now used to this so he’s sleeping peacefully on the couch next to me.

I travel quite a bit for business and pleasure. I get on a lot of airplanes (as do some of YOU that are reading this) and here’s where I realized I had moved to another generation. Out loud, to the tv, I said:
"You stupid kids. Who the h&*( do you think you are? Your job when you travel on an airplane is to sit down and shut up."

I’m fairly certain that is something similar to what my mother might say (right Mom?).


I am now officially part of the next generation. Not that I am entirely disappointed by this. I just find it interesting.

As I thought about it more and more (since I wasn’t doing anything else at 2 am), my emotions went from rage to thinking about their behavior to an almost sense of relief that SW decided to hold them accountable for their behavior and have them escorted off the plane by law enforcement.

It gives me hope that someone was not afraid to hold them accountable. We have gotten to this place in our society where everyone feels they should be able to say and do whatever they want, whenever they want and it just makes me crazy.

I don’t understand how it’s remotely possible that you get to be in your 20’s and you’ve not learned when it’s appropriate to escalate a situation. For the record, the time is NOT when you have to pee on an airplane and someone is taking longer than you think they should in the lavatory.

When did being polite go out of style? Someone forgot to cc me on the memo.

Skybus, my 1st and only experience

From Feb 2008:

At the end of January, I took a flight to see a friend of mine in Ohio. I had the opportunity to take the "Skybus". By now, I'm sure you've seen the ads for the "$10 flights", etc.
I took a flight from Greensboro, NC to Columbus, OH on Thursday night. That flight was fantastic.

As I arrive at the gate, this brand new, bright orange plane with "Skybus" (and their cute logo) pulled up outside. Immediately, I'm stoked because brand new planes exite me. (Yes, clearly, I need to get a life).

It gets better.

As I step onto the plane, I think, "Oh, it's just a regular plane on the inside".

But alas, I was wrong.

I took my aisle seat and strapped in for the hour or so flight. Here is the amazing part: People were walking down the aisle and NOT bumping into me. Not even that 350 lb ex-football player. OMG. The aisles are huge (well, compared to regular planes). was so nice.

It gets better.

The flight itself was uneventful (exactly what we all like in our air travel).

We landed sooooooo beautifully, that when I stepped off the plane, I looked underneath to see if there were actually 10 tires under there.

Seriously, I'm on a lot of planes and this was the best flight I've taken in 5 years.

So, while in Columbus, I sing the praises of Skybus and how it must be the greatest thing since Hello Kitty or Nachos.

This is where I went wrong. Or, another way to put it: Karma is a bitch.

The flight back from Columbus OH, to Greensboro, NC was a little different. Here is what actually transpired:

This is from an actual note that I sent to a couple folks to keep them informed of my situation. My flight was supposed to leave Columbus at 6 am on Monday so that I could be back in the office by 8ish. Note: This flight did not have the fancy new orange skybus aircraft:

"I am still in ohio...been sitting on the tarmac since 5:30 am...issues w the emergency lights. Some FAA thing about safety...yada, yada, yada...we are still in Columbus.
So...I will be in the office a wee bit later than expected. LOL.
The people are very nice though. And...I am close to the cockpit so I get to hear 5 men stand around talking about the problem, but I don't see anyone with a screwdriver or a lightbulb to fix the problem.

So...i got that going for me...hahaha.


Oh goodie...

This is an old plane..."odd ball aircraft" to quote the captain. They are getting one new aircraft per month, but this one has a configuration they are not familiar with.

I feel very safe right now. (sarcasm)

I am going to use the bathroom near the cockpit (yes, I just like saying that word) so I can hear more.

I'll keep you posted.
Kathy "someday i'll fly" Crowley"

Sometime later:
" the flight attendant is re-explaining the issue to 3 new people in suits ( one with a screwdriver) and they have pulled the 10 pound binder from the shelf marked "skybus flight attendant manual" to review.

I am sure the answer is in there.


Captain says "meeting of the minds" has occurred and we are getting ready to take off.

I guess the answer really was in the manual.

Wow. Props to the lowest paid employee of Skybus for fixing the issue."

Frankly, I think it just got light enough outside so that we didn't need emergency lights after all.

Moral of the story: Cheaper is not always better.


Moral of the story: Never underestimate the lowest paid person in a situation.


Moral of the story: Don't fly with KC, you never know what will happen.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

True Management Story---facebook (from Jan 2008)

TodayI have a special treat for you: a story from mymanagement chronicles circa 2008.

January, 2008

So, I was playing around on Facebook (yes, I know whatyou are thinking, but I'm really into it and evenGeorge (my dog) has a page, but that's a story for anotherday).

Note: names have been changed to protect the guilty. However, if you are on my regular email list, you have seen the real names. :-)

One of my friends on facebook is a girl that used towork for me. Let's call her Ann. Ann has a friend named Andy. Andy happens to be one of my current employees (this is KEY to the story).While updating a couple of photos, I think, "hmmm,let's see if I know any of Ann's friends." (I get that this tells volumes about what I don't have goingon in my own life right now).Well, lo and behold, I know Andy.

Here's the taglineon Andy's profile:"Andy is making it the best way he knows how. A new job is now the highlight of the year."

Of course, my immediate thought is "what the damnhell?" Which in turn then leads me to try to think ofthe best way to embarrass him. Because, I figure, hey, why should HE get all the fun??Note: this happened on a holiday so we were not in theoffice.

I send him an email with the subject line: "are youresigning?"Which promts my phone to almost immediately start ringing (figures).

I look at the caller id, let itring 2 more times, then answer."Hi Andy""Hi Kathy""So, you go my email?""yes (slight pause) who told you??"

(KC pauses for dramatic effect)"I saw it on facebook"

(dead silence)"WHAT? I thought my profile was private!"

"Awwww...aren't you cute, thinking anything on the internet is private" (my exact words)I won't bore you with the rest of the conversation,but rest assured, he was mortified that I found outvia facebook.

Moral of the story: Don't try to hide anything from KC, because I WILL find out.


Moral of the story: Nothing is private on theinternet.


Moral of the story: Don't go braggin' about your newjob til you tell your current boss.