SCOTUS Rules On Our Future

Now that SCOTUS has ruled on ObamaCare, and my liberal friends have had their period of gloating and letting us know how proud they are that “the will of the people” has been done, let’s take a look at exactly what we got.

SCOTUS approved the mandate, so long as it is upheld AS A TAX. This goes against a number of things we’ve been told by the Obama administration. First and foremost being that the mandate is NOT a tax. That point was argued by the administration in front of SCOTUS a few short months ago. And since it is a tax, the statement by Obama during his campaign not four years ago, claiming that your taxes WILL NOT GO UP, is totally thrown out the window. In other words, this is Obama’s George H.W. Bush moment. Remember? “Read my lips. No new taxes.” How did that work back then?

This decision has even more wide reaching effects. The Sixteenth Amendment, ratified in 1913, gave the government the right to tax its citizenry, “legally”, for the first time in our country’s history. In one day, SCOTUS has now expanded that right exponentially. Whether ObamaCare is, or should I say hopefully, repelled by this Congress or the next President, the U.S. Government now has the authority to tell the citizenry what to buy, when to buy it and the ability to levy taxes on anything it darn well pleases. Consider that the government mandates that everyone has to buy and eat broccoli. A bit absurd, but well within reason. Or that everyone has to buy a Chevy or have a tax imposed because you own some other brand. Did you wonder a few months ago when over 16,000 new IRS employees were hired what exactly they might be doing? Those employees are the ones who will monitor the mandatory tax that will be assessed for your health care payments. Scary isn’t it? The IRS will be overseeing healthcare.

Add to all this, the fact that, if your employer now provides healthcare benefits for you, you might need to find healthcare coverage on your own. Since there is an opt-out clause built into the law, employers MAY opt to pay the fine instead of providing benefits to you. This course would be more profitable to them, because the fines will be so small to begin with compared to the cost of providing healthcare for their employees. Can you see the European system of single-payer insurance coming into focus here?

So, THANK YOU President Obama for helping us take another large step toward Greece!

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Is customer service dead?

When was the last time you really got excited about a company or product? In this day and age and if you are like most people, it’s been quite a while.  What is “service”, and what does a company need to do to earn your trust and business? To get you excited?

I had the opportunity the other day to visit a local store.  I’m not in there very often.  And, when I am, I usually encounter clerks who are concentrating more on the number of times their gum pops or what their colleagues did last night then on who might be in the store and how they can serve them.  But something was different this time.  One gentleman, and I use that term appropriately this time, actually asked if he could help me find something.  And, when I told him what I needed, actually directed me personally to the item in question.  Unlike other times I had been in this store, this time I sought out the manager/owner to express my appreciation of the young man and the outstanding job he did.  Do you think I will start to frequent that store more?  Definitely!  Why?  Because of the impressive service I received.

What strategies can be implemented in a business to help strengthen customer relations?  Here’s a simple one: Always have a smile on your face.  Even if you are not face-to-face with your customer.  A smile is just as important in a telephone conversation.

Listen to your customer with interest.  A wise man once said, “We all have two ears and one mouth for a reason.  Listen twice as much as you speak.”  If you listen and ask leading questions, your customer will tell you just about everything you need to know.

Have a knowledge base.  And use it!  Don’t act like you know everything, because your customer will quickly figure out that you know very little.

And finally, attend to the little things and you will have and, more importantly, keep happy customers.

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How much is that gift in the window?

Boss Jim is very frugal.  He watches every penny that comes and goes in his company.

So, with the downturn in the economy, Boss Jim decided that the $60.00 he was spending for a gift from his local gift basket guy was too much.  “My assistant Jane can do that, for much less!”  So the next time Boss Jim needed to send a gift to one of his customers, he told Jane to get it done.  Jane got in her car and headed off to the local big box store, picked up a bunch of items, brought them back to the office and put her gift together.  Next, she headed over to Ship Stuff Here, had the gift boxed up and shipped.  This whole process took a modest 4 hours out of her day.

When she got back to the office, however, she realized that the work she should have been doing during that 4 hours was sitting on her desk waiting for her.  Unfortunately, Jane ended up staying 2 hours after work trying to catch up.

The next day, Boss Jim called her into his office and asked, “How much did you spend on our customers’ gift?”  Jane looked at her receipts and proudly replied that it totaled only $43.25.  Wow, thought Boss Jim.  I saved $16.75 on that gift.  It was a good decision to start doing this in office.

But, did he save at all.  Turns out that Boss Jim wasn’t looking at the whole picture.

It’s true that the gift and shipping only cost $43.25.  But was that the only cost?  There is the issue of Jane’s 4 hours at $10.00 per hour, and the 2 hours of time-and-a-half, for a grand total for the gift of $113.25.

Hhmmm.  One gift for the price of two.  Boss Jim could have been far more frugal by sticking with the local gift guy, couldn’t he?

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