GOING WELLNUTS

The Humor Blog for Well-Being

August 24, 2015

Professional Conduct Guaranteed

Professional associations adhere to the strictest standards of ethics. I know because I belong to a few of them. They all have rigorous codes of ethics that professionals must abide by. I also know that bankers, lawyers, teachers, accountants, Edward Snowden and Lance Armstrong have codes of ethics. Even the Miami-Dade City Commission has a code of ethics, but unfortunately nobody can find it since the FBI left a mess in their last raid. They do have it though, and it is in three languages: Tonkawa, Etchemin, and Hialehan. This is how old it is, which explains why nobody used it. This ethics business can be very trying, especially when you work in stressful jobs like accounting, law, medicine, and teaching. Codes of ethics demand respectful treatment of your clients at all times, and under all circumstances. Accountants, for example, would never tell a client “you are running the biggest scheme in the history of forensic accounting.” Instead, they are going to write a report to the Board stating that “a fiduciary audit revealed a larger than expected shrinkage in the accrued income collateralized with tangible assets which has resulted in a smaller than expected WACC (weighted average costs of […]
July 19, 2015

Irrational but not Incompetent

My wife and I made plenty of irrational decisions in our lives. For example, moving to Nashville, or trying to convince Miami drivers to signal. But once we make irrational decisions, we deal with them very competently. In contrast, there are plenty of people who handle any decision, rational or irrational, most incompetently. Due to our Seasonal Irrational Decision Disorder (SIDD), Ora and I encountered many of these people this summer. It all started when we decided to help our son and his wife move to a better place in New York City. That would allow our son and his wife to finally leave the ridiculously expensive and ludicrously small rental they were sharing with some insects in the Lower East Side. My competent wife Ora turned her office at home in Miami into logistics central and handled most aspects of the move. She ably dealt with real estate agents, contractors, movers, and utility companies. I pitched in by calling the cable company in New York. This is a company that starts with V and rhymes with horizon, but I am afraid to identify it due to fear of reprisals. To make life easier, I put on automatic payment everything: […]
June 9, 2015

Planning Interruptus

My latest column from Miami Today, published June 18, 2015                      Cacophony; that’s it, this is what our lives have become. Instead of a melodious and carefully orchestrated sequence of planned events, our lives have turned into a random series of occurrences driven by immediate gratification and digital sounds, which is what the twenty first century will be remembered for. To say nothing of the fact that I always wanted to say cacophony, which gets in the way of any planning at all. There was a time when you could isolate yourself and engage in some thinking or planning. You could set a goal and try to pursue it through a series of rational steps. Today, you are lucky if you get 30 seconds of peace and quiet before your telephone beeps, your email alert pops up, and your electronic calendar reminds you to check Facebook, lest your friend has diarrhea and you are the last one to know it.   Instead of thinking about our future and planning ways to achieve it, we spend countless hours searching for the miracle app that will replace our thinking. To improve your well-being […]
May 24, 2015

Marsupial Kama Sutra

If there is anything I hate more than rats it’s big rats, which is what possums are. Possums feel at home in Coral Gables. They roam around like they own the place. So it came as no surprise when we discovered a couple of them nesting in our backyard. Next to our useless swimming pool (too short to swim, too cold to get close to it), we have a very expensive motor that cleans the water we never swim in, as well as a device that operates an amphibious vacuum cleaner that consumes more energy than the country of Benin. The motors are encased in a structure covered by a piece of wood. Whenever the submersible hoover gets stuck I muck around with the motor and pretend to know what the heck I’m doing. Imagine my surprise when I discovered not one but two possums relaxing next to the motors. They had brought leafs and sticks to make their own Sealy Posturepedic. They had apparently lifted the wood cover and managed to return it to its place, just to shock me. Ora and I debated what to do. We were really ambivalent about the whole thing. We felt for the […]
May 7, 2015

Do’s and Don’ts of Selling

“It’s Dick Cheney’s company, American made” said the shop owner, as he tried to sell me a backpack made by Haliburton. “And I’m supposed to like it because it’s Cheney’s company?!” I said, to which the owner, noting my displeasure, swiftly replied: “But it was a long time ago, don’t worry about it, he is not involved with the company anymore.” I can see somebody trying to sell me a product associated with Scarlet Johansson, but Dick Cheney! This exchange brought home for me what’s wrong with the American economy: Instead of plastering stores with pictures of Scarlet Johansson, they tell you that goods were made by Dick Cheney. No wonder we had a recession. A few days later I found myself in an optical store trying progressive glasses for the first time. The delightful store manager was telling me that my brain would get used to the blurry peripheral vision. “What if I have a car accident while getting used to them?” She said not to worry, “just bring the broken glasses and we will replace them.” That was the second revelation about American retail in a week: Optical stores fail to sell life insurance with progressive lenses, missing […]

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