Sure I’m nervous and why wouldn’t I be? I mean after all, it started out so well and then fell apart so quickly and then, just when it seemed as though all was lost, a spark of life, then a complete resurgence and now … hope. Yes, real honest-to-goodness hope! I refer here to my beloved Chicago Blackhawks hockey team. The much despised (by the fans anyway) Detroit Redwings who have beaten up on those kind, friendly, lovable Hawks oh so many times in years gone by were within 20 minutes of eliminating these truly wonderful young lads from Chicago when out of nowhere came a burst of energy and athleticism that led to a stunning “come from behind” victory forcing a game seven tonight … yes tonight … to see who goes on and who goes home. One can only hope that these benevolent, sweet and almost angelic kids from Chi-town will prevail.
You know, I have said many times before and feel compelled to say it again that sports and business are in many ways quite the same. The competitive nature of certain people that is honed on the fields of youthful athletic endeavor often serves a person well when they move into the arena of commerce and industry. And I should probably also point out that sports is not the only place to hone a competitive nature … the music and academic fields also serve as good places to develop a competitive and often cooperative/teamwork nature as well. Business is very much about evaluating talent, preparation and training, assigning players to the right positions, playing your role, overcoming setbacks and learning to deal with victory as well as defeat. You know, I’ve often wondered which is the better motivator … the thrill of winning (succeeding) … or the fear of losing (failure).
Okay, so just how, you may ask, is the construction industry doing as a result of the much dreaded and talked about Governmental Spending Sequestration? Well, I’m glad you asked actually. According to a recent McGraw-Hill update of its Dodge construction starts report, total construction is expected to increase by 7 percent this year, despite losing $4 billion to the sequester. Nonresidential building is projected for a 6 percent increase. Just thought you might want to know.
Now Here’s Your Problem
You’re working too hard. But you already knew that, didn’t you? According to a recent report from the U.S. Center for Economic Policy and Research, the United States is the only country of those countries considered as well off or rich that does not have a legally mandated vacation policy. And if you want to really feel bad, do a quick comparison of your situation with Austria where paid time off includes 22 vacation days, 13 holidays and a month’s pay to help with vacation expenses!!! And get this … after six years at the same job, you get 49 days off with pay. The report did state that about three quarters of American workers do get paid vacation time but many lower-paid jobs do not include paid time off. I also think it is pretty common for many people to either work through their vacation for extra money or stay at home when they are off to save money. So hey, what’s wrong with us?
Yes, I Was Serious …
… when I showed a picture of myself with legendary gold prospector Stumpy Darby in last week’s blog and mentioned that we were looking for sponsors for this year’s prospecting adventure. We already have two $100 sponsors and we will take a couple of more but we can’t hold this open much longer.
I got an email a few days back from Chuck Knickerbocker, who is one of my favorite bloggers, and in it, for all practical purposes, he accused me of possibly having a “great mind,” and for a comment like this to come from a guy like Chuck … well, just let me say this, I am quite honored. Actually, Chuck made contact with me because we had both referenced the importance of the ASHRAE 90.1 “debate” in our blogs of last week which I believe were written on the same day. So Chuck sent over an email simply saying that maybe great minds think alike. Now for sure Chuck has a great mind but as for mine, I don’t think so but I certainly do appreciate Chuck’s comment! And the “debate” over the use of glass in exterior walls is very real and very important regardless of what Chuck or I might write. Get involved!
The Sports Thing
As pointed out above, tonight the Hawks & Redwings battle it out in game number 7 of their NHL playoff matchup. The rivalry here is old and fierce. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing else of even minimal importance going on this week in the sporting world. And as i predicted last week, I still pick the Hawks to prevail and approximately 12 hours from when these words are being typed, we’ll know how this all turned out.
The Quotable Thing
Last week’s quote, which had been sent in by Bobbie Rovner, created a bit of a stir. Not so much because it was controversial but because, as you may recall, the originator of the quote was unidentified. And it didn’t take long for a few people to make contact and tell me who they thought (or in some cases were convinced) had first said it. After all was said and done, George Newcomer of NAP came back with what appears to be the right source and then also provided the surrounding part of the longer quote from which Bobbie’s quote had apparently been taken. At first, I was convinced that Scott Leslie of Fredericksburg Glass & Mirror had nailed it with a Thomas Jefferson quote (which I will share next week) that was awfully close and awfully good, but Newcomer’s looks to be the one. By the way, George also told me that he believes he is blog reader number eleven (11) so we are apparently gaining momentum here. As for the quote, it is (according to Mr. Newcomer) from Adrian Rogers and goes like this…
“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
Have A Great Week, Everybody!!!