Amidst the helmeted hairdos, hyperbaric hyperbole and heated harangues, a presidential debate was apparently held this past week.
The Donald on the right. Madame Secretary on the left. And a collective nation of weary voters crammed smack in the middle.
News flash: The presidential debate was anything but presidential.
Pointed questions went pointedly unanswered. Vague claims and misleading statistics and snide references were haphazardly thrown around. And copious sniffles abounded.
This was not America’s finest moment – at least from a business perspective.
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.