Is Lisa Gherardini the original Kim Kardashian?

What do Lisa Gerardini, pictured here…

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and Kim Kardashian, pictured here…

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have in common?

Both are incredibly famous for doing absolutely nothing.

What’s different about them is one is seen as enriching the culture and the other is most likely contributing to its complete collapse.

I wonder if Kim Kardashian’s name will be known 500 years from now. Perhaps her “Paper” cover will make it to the Louvre someday…

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Fueled (and frustrated) by justice

Perhaps it was the nearly 40 years of reading Spider-man comics, but for better or for worse, I am fueled by an insatiable need for justice. Sometimes I’m rewarded because I do the right thing and things work out as they should.

But sometimes, it renders me unable to move past something that just isn’t right.

Today, my daughter played a basketball game against another local program out of Stanwood, Washington.

I’m still relatively new to the State of Washington when it comes to things like knowing regional school systems, but it didn’t take too long to understand that the Stanwood program has a very bad reputation for being thugs, dirty and dishonest. I really have no idea if they’ve earned that or how true it is, but the reputation’s there, anyway.

Today, our 5th grade girls played theirs. They’re also known for having a good basketball program, and sure enough, their team was very solid. That said, we were up 21-16 in the third quarter and they had the ball.

One of their players took a shot that hit an over-hanging cord that’s attached to the hoop and went in. The rules state that the cord it out of bounds, so the shot should not have counted. It wasn’t clear that it did count because the score was not added to the scoreboard for at least two more possessions.

During that time, I was waiting to see if it was counted. It didn’t appear to be, so we didn’t really say anything.

And then, there it was. 21-18. The score had been counted and added to their tally.

As soon as we saw this, we called over the refs and stopped the game. We asked if they were counting that basket and both said they were. We told them it hit the cord, but neither saw it. So they asked the scorers, but they didn’t say anything. Then I looked at the Stanwood coaches, and they didn’t say anything either. Then I looked at the attendees, and while our parents were saying it hit, the Stanwood audience was silent.

So, with the referees not having seen it, and no one of any official capacity saying anything, the basket counted and the score was now 21-18. I knew right then that this score was going to be the difference in the game. This is simply how life goes.

Sure enough, the game ended 27-25 with us on the losing side. People can say, “well, you should have kept them from scoring or should have scored one more.” But in that close of a game, that score can dramatically alter the players you play and the way you coach the last minutes of the game.

After the game, I asked the two people at the scorer’s table if they saw the play. They both very quickly said, “oh yeah, it hit the cord and shouldn’t have counted.” I then asked the Stanwood coaches, and they both also said they saw it hit the cord.

And this is what has me so frustrated and awake at 3am writing this post. You have four adults who have a chance to do the right thing in front of a bunch of kids, and none of them could bring themselves to do it.

Who knows if we would have gone on to win. If it’s all fair, I don’t even really care. But the fact that those people can go merrily on and live with themselves and not think twice about this bewilders and frustrates me.

Sure, a 5th grade basketball game is a small thing and has probably already been forgotten by many who attended. But to me, it’s these small teachable moments that can make a huge difference in the children we raise and who we are as a society.

I would like to think a simple sense of right and wrong would have led someone to step up and do the right thing. I don’t hold anyone to any standards to which I don’t hold myself. If that situation would have been reversed, we would have told the refs it should not have counted. It’s just that simple.

It’s funny, because our other coach wanted to talk to me about how we did and assess the final minutes. But I can’t even remember them. All I could think about after that was that there wasn’t one responsible adult around to admit what they saw.

Perhaps what they say about the Stanwood program really is true and it permeates throughout all of their coaches. I have no idea, and it doesn’t matter anyway. It’s not me who will suffer. And it’s not our kids – they’ve probably already forgotten.

It’s the kids in their program who will never have a decent set of role models in that program who will suffer. Hopefully, they’re finding good examples elsewhere and might still turn into solid and upstanding adults.

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Embrasion

Embrasion – when a group of people embrace something you want them to embrace.

Embrasion… feel free to use it yourself.

Just remember, you heard it here first.

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Good creative is good creative

The last time I was in Atlanta, I woke up around 5:30 (not unusual for me) and went for a walk around downtown area.

When I got around the CNN building area, I looked across this huge field and saw this billboard…

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This is one of those ads for which I would have loved to be in the room during development. It’s probably not one that could evolve into a campaign. But sometimes, when you get an idea this good, you have to go for the one-off.

Three cheers for the group that came up with it. It’s possible the execution could possibly have been better, but with an idea that good, it really didn’t matter.

Huzzah.

 

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Why don’t people like the government? No accountability

I was recently at the Post Office in a rather long line (at least 10 in front of me).

This was the scene at the customer service desks…

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You’ll notice there was no shortage of people (on the left), but no one working the counter (on the right). This persisted for at least three minutes.

In a private sector business, if you hoped to stay in business and have people recommend you, you would be well-served to provide outstanding customer service and create an experience that people enjoyed and relied upon.

The Post Office simply serves as a symbol of all government services. There is no accountability. They take their role for granted. They know that no matter what kind of service they provide, people will have to use them to get certain things done.

This is the very nature of bureaucracy. It’s not focused on the end result – a satisfied customer. It’s focused on process that covers everyone’s possible liability and ensures that no one in the process chain is in a position to stick their neck out (which often looks like going above and beyond to help someone).

Government workers know that if their business needs money, they can just tax people to take more to support their work. And this has been happening to the greatest extent ever under the current President and Congress.

Compare this with the legendary stories of the Zappo’s customer service team and you will see the two extremes of customer service. The difference is that without that customer service approach, Zappo’s could be gone any day. Yet no matter how the government behaves, they’ll always be able to take funding from taxpayers with no incentive to serve.

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