Many years ago … and when I use the words many years ago, it is probably safe to say that I am thinking like maybe 25 years or more into the past … I came to realize and appreciate just how important a reputation truly is. Especially so personally of course, but also professionally. And for many of us, the two are interchangeable anyway. The kind of sad thing about a reputation is that a person can take years to build it up and then have it knocked down almost overnight. But I believe if your reputation is solid enough and has been around long enough, it can take many a knock and still stand firm.
Last week, my wife Sandi called me on the cell phone to report that she was having car trouble and asked if I could drive to her location and try to help, meaning fix the problem on site or at least pick her up and decide what course of action to take. Unfortunately, when she called, I was pulling into a parking garage in downtown Chicago on my way to a meeting with a high-priced attorney who would not take too kindly to me cancelling out of our planned meaningful time together. So I asked her where she was and she told me that she was in the heart of the commercial district in Elmhurst, Illinois, which was a good hour away from where I was. I asked her if the car was drivable and she said it was, but barely. I then remembered hearing all kinds of good stories about an Elmhurst car repair shop that - if my reckoning were right - was only a few blocks from where Sandi was stranded. So I told her to head for the place and I would call her as soon as I got out of my meeting. And when I finished up with the high-priced, high-powered, downtown lawyer an hour-and-a-half later, I called and all was fine. Car fixed … very reasonable price charged … everything back to normal. And not only was the service terrific and priced fairly, but the people at the shop were reported as being very friendly.
Now here’s the thing. I have never been in this particular garage, have never talked with the owner nor any of the employees there and have never had any type of work performed for me by these people. I didn’t even know the exact address or the exact name of the place. But, I knew their reputation. I had heard the many good things said about them by people who had been their customers and, based on that alone, they became the supplier of choice. Think about it. Your reputation – good or bad – has a far-reaching and long-lasting impact.
Because I Care-Part Two …Last week I announced that I was going to take on the problem of funding our US Postal system … actually, that’s a bit of an overstatement. I actually don’t have the ability to come up with a plan to fund the system, but I am working on a plan that will save millions and, hopefully, not only help with our national debt problem, but also insure that our mail continues to be delivered to every household as it has been in the past. Well, I started my analysis and it is going better than I expected. So now, I am going to turn my efforts it into a full-fledged study and will report my findings and recommendations in the September issue of USGlass Magazine. You see, these weekly blogs sometimes attract hundreds of readers, but USGlass Magazine has almost 50,000 monthly readers and what I think I am going to come up with could be big … VERY BIG in fact, based on my preliminary findings, and I want to get it out to as many people as I can as soon as I can. Please don’t take this personally. Think of it as what’s best for the country! Besides, you do read USG every month, don’t you?
A Little Scary-But Only For A While … I came home this past Thursday afternoon after spending most of the day at my church (I do volunteer work there on Thursdays) to find Johnny “The Mooch” Rago standing in my driveway talking to my wife. At first, I was a little frightened. As I have reported many times over the years, “The Mooch” is not only a guy to be feared, but avoided at all costs. But then I figured that it must be a social call because it was still light out and he didn’t appear to be armed. We sat and talked on the porch for quite a while and I am happy to report … to my utter amazement by the way … that “The Mooch” has gone straight. Yes, I know this is difficult concept to deal with, but it is true. In fact, he had stopped by to tell me about a prison ministry project he has gotten involved with and, if you think about it for a minute, who knows his way around a prison better than Johnny “The Mooch” Rago? I was totally impressed with his sincerity. And how do I know he was sincere and has become the real deal, you may ask? Two reasons … first, he did not ask me for money and, secondly, he did not threaten me or anyone within the sound of his voice with bodily harm. Yes, friends, Johnny has straightened himself out. However, if “The Mooch” has ever harmed you either financially or physically, I would still let it go. Why take any chances?
Thank You Paul Bieber … Paul was kind enough to send me an e-mail in response to comments made here last week about his upcoming book entitled “The Five Minute Consultant’s Solutions to Everyday Business Problems.” and I just want to publicly say “thank you.” Paul told me that he did indeed remember that I was the very first person to order his book and that he also remembered that I had paid him (in cash) for same and therefore I would get my copy as soon as they come off the presses … which I am now told will be in about 4 weeks or so. I’m really looking forward to this. If you have ever read any of Paul’s stuff, you know how good of a writer he is and I am looking forward to getting me hands on my copy of this thing! I will get ordering information and include it either next week or the week after.
The Wizardliness of Woz … One of the most unique people I ever met during my 42 years in the glass business was a guy known as The Woz. He processes glass orders and dispenses his unique philosophical thoughts on life in a manner unlike any before him. I wish you many Happy Days, Woz!Solar Panels & The Chinese … Happy to report (in follow-up to an item mentioned in this blog a few weeks back) that the European Union and the Chinese solar panel dumpers … I mean importers/exporters … have reached a settlement whereby the Chinese manufacturers are going to be allowed to sell their solar panels in Europe, but only at an agreed upon minimum price. I actually think this is quite interesting … a group of manufacturers being forced by a government to raise their prices. I guess they saw the light! The Sports Thing … In what has been described as an incredibly exciting match of international importance, the USA defeated Panama in the Gold Cup final game right here in good old Soldier Field Chicago this past Sunday. I’m told that the match was one of the most exciting Gold Cup finals ever played and who am I to argue that? According to one reporter’s account, the game reached a feverish pitch when one of Team USA’s players booted in a rebound in the 68th minute … or maybe it was the 68th hour … of play to clinch the 1-0 win over Panama, a country with a population of approximately that of South Dakota in winter. The Panamanians failed to get one shot on goal during the entire game. Think of it! To give you an idea of how exciting and passionate this game was, the Chicago Tribune reported that the USA coach, who had been suspended for one game for a not-so-nice comment he had made to a referee in a prior game, was actually seen slapping his hand on the TV in the luxury box suite he was in at one point during the game. It was not clear if he slapped the side of the TV because of something he saw happening on the field or if it was because he had dropped his turkey club sandwich on his new shoes, but in a passionate display of emotion, he did slap that TV. This wild and crazy action occurred apparently at the 42nd minute of play, or approximately a half hour before the game’s only goal was scored.PLEASE start the hockey season … PLEASE!!!
The Quotable Thing … First of all, to those who questioned whether or not last week’s quotes were real or made up by me, they were indeed real! Shame on anyone who thought otherwise. And secondly, today’s quote is not exactly a quote. It is kind of a joke that is being re-quoted, so to speak. So there is no need to call me or send me an e-mail correcting me for this. OK? It was left on a voice mail for me by a guy who goes by the name Fast Eddie. Or maybe it was Fish Eddie. Or Eddie the Fish. He talked kinda funny so I’m not sure but either way, here it is …
“How many chiropractors does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but it takes six visits.”
Have A Great Week Everybody!!!