The Big Apple has been turning rather sour lately.
In the most recent showdown between the New York Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio, hundreds of uniformed police officers publicly turned their backs on the mayor as he delivered a eulogy during the funeral ceremony of Officer Rafael Ramos.
I’ve spent my entire day listening to acclaimed political pundits from both sides of the spectrum debate the underlying causes of this rocky relationship, argue whether aggressive policing tactics are a concern of reality or perception, and squabble over the possibility of reducing tensions between police departments and the communities they serve.
Frankly, the pacifist in me is getting nauseous.
The reports of Black Friday’s death have been greatly exaggerated. I’ve borrowed Mark Twain’s famously derisive line to challenge the media’s contention that Black Friday is losing its luster.
Yes, I know that folks are claiming Black Friday sales were down 11%. But I don’t buy it (no pun intended). Take a closer look and you’ll see these numbers are skewed. While the value of an average online order did indeed drop by 1.8% compared to last year’s figures, actual online sales increased by a whopping 9.5%.
So you tell me: Is Black Friday a failure? Hardly!
The campaign was a knockout. Accolades pour in from all sides. People call to congratulate our marketing agency, rave about how intrigued they were by the theme, and of course ask the inevitable question I’ve heard so many times over the years: “So how’d you come up with the big idea?”
This ostensibly innocent little inquiry irks me to no end.
As if I pulled a furry pink Energizer Bunny out of a magician’s top hat. As if I snapped my fingers at the mustachioed maître d’ in a snobbish steakhouse and the big idea was ceremoniously carried in on a gleaming silver tray, resting neatly alongside a fresh mound of mashed potatoes and steamed artichoke. As if I sat down at my desk, gave my pneumatic chair two swift pumps, rolled up my shirtsleeves, and knocked out the idea in five minutes flat.
Wouldn’t that be sweet.
I’m always getting requests from people.
Will you take out the garbage already? When can you buy me that shiny toy? Could you get this new project finished before tomorrow’s deadline?
The requests arrive hard and fast, throughout the day and without letup. At home or at work, while eating, reading, showering, dressing, typing, snoozing.
You get the idea.
I pity Dave Crenshaw.
He’s going to be a featured speaker at LTB 2014 and will be flying into JFK from far-flung Utah.
The man will spend five hours sitting in a narrow economy-class seat surrounded by violent turbulence, screaming babies and frazzled parents. He’ll then be forced to take off his shoes and socks while passing through TSA security as a group of giggling Japanese tourists look on gleefully. He will cap off his ordeal by dragging a bulky American Tourister suitcase through a maze of endless terminals and hallways in search of the elusive Budget Rent-A-Car desk.
But that’s not why he’s earned my sympathy.
First and foremost, allow me to address the obvious: the headline of this article is admittedly an absurd, presumptuous question.
I’m going to LTB 2014 because I work at Ptex Group.
My company is the one hosting, coordinating, arranging, scheduling, promoting and otherwise laying out big bucks to make this event a reality. I consider this affiliation yet another feather in my moderately worn, sometimes sweaty, slightly weather-beaten corporate cap.
Plus it gives me some really cool bragging rights.
Do you know the difference between a Rolls Royce Phantom and a Maserati Quattroporte?
Show me a glimpse of the sleek, artfully sculpted flowing lines and evocative curves of an exotic automobile.
I will tell you the name, make and model instantly. And whether the engine under the hood is a 453 horsepower V8 or 460 horsepower V10. And that the seats are decorated with hand-stitched saddle tan leather trim. And how the interior door handles are made entirely from bamboo.
Allow me to confess: I’m a self-diagnosed car addict.
Welcome to the LTB 2013 Live Blog!
We are in for an exciting day! It is Ptex Group’s very first LTB Summit, bringing in over 500 businesspeople from the Jewish community to discuss a innovative business concepts and strategies with America’s top entrepreneurs and corporate speakers. Make sure to stay tuned on this browser for continuous updates throughout the day as I Live Blog from the conference at the beautiful Dyker Golf Course. Okay– Let’s Talk Business!
Be sure to follow us on Twitter #LTB2013 and Facebook as well.