Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

The only blog that you really want to read…or ignore.

Tag Archives: work

Hey…it’s Friday…everything will be ok, right?

It’s Spring Break here in our house and my daughter has spent the past week in Washington D.C. with her school group. She’s an 8th grader and has really enjoyed the trip.  The tour is organized by one of the teachers that seems to love to take a group of 8th graders every year back to D. C. and do a whirlwind tour.

Only two kids have been lost.  Both of them were boys and both of them had their mothers as their mini-tour group leader.  It looks like those helicopter moms left someone behind.  That goodness they don’t work in the military.   I can’t wait to hear the whole story and then to hear their (Mom’s) version of the incident.  Of course, after I heard the stories from my daughter, I really wanted to text the moms about what happen…but I didn’t. I didn’t even post a question on Facebook about how they managed to lose their own kid.  They shall remain nameless.

Have a great weekend.  Don’t eat too many French fries!

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Why I hate my customers…

I don’t always hate my customers but sometimes they just make it so easy and I just can’t help myself.  It seems that people just try to be stupid.  They want me to be upset with them.  Most people who contact me, do need help and the problem is easy to solve. I do school photography; I don’t sell rocket boosters for NASA.  It’s pretty easy.

However, the other day, someone emailed me about my school retake policy. They asked “Do I have to pay for retakes?”
Gee, maybe if you actually read the Retake Policy (that is right in front of you, you know, the one you are holding in your hand), then you would know the answer.  It is right there, in black and white, clearly printed in easy to read text that says “Retake Policy”. What does it say? It says all retakes are NO CHARGE. It goes on to further explain that for whatever reason, no matter what, we will do a retake at NO CHARGE.  We won’t charge you at all!  If you had bothered to actually read the policy, then you would be wasting my time with your stupid question. It’s not that hard, you had to read the back of the photo envelope to find my email address and there is a bold headline that says “Retake Policy”. It’s really easy to see.  If you had given a shit then you would know that.

The other customer I hate is the one that sends me an email but doesn’t bother to give me any information about the situation or leave a contact phone number or email address. Just yesterday, someone used Square to send me a message. She got the wrong photo packet, and asked could I send the correct one to the school? She left her name on the Square message but she doesn’t accept a reply message on Square. (I guess that is an option on Square).

So all I have is her name.  I don’t have her phone number, I don’t have her email address, and I have no way to get a hold of her because she chose the Square message option where she won’t accept reply messages.  I can’t reply back to her.

Sure, I’d love to help you get the right photo packet, but could you make it a little harder?  Can you make my job a little more difficult?

I have no clue on what school her kids attend.  It could be anyone of my 30 different accounts.  Which kid needs the correct photo packet?  

The third customer I talked to said both her kids got the wrong packet. She said she ordered 1-8×10 for each kid. You know what? She didn’t. I looked up her original form and she filled out both of them incorrectly.  Not once but twice.

It’s crap like this that makes me hate my customers.  I’m pretty sure they do it on purpose.

  

Could you be better?

I’m pretty good at my job. Sure, I know I have room to improve, make myself and my company better, make more money, etc.  And if I worked for someone (other than myself),  I’d say I’m a solid B+/A- worker. I get the job done and I do a great job at it.

But that made me wonder: What if I was better at another job (or career) and I just don’t know it?  Hell, I know I could be a great ticket taker at the movie theater. I wouldn’t be pulling down an awesome salary but I would be awesome at it.

So with an easy job; yeah, I would be awesome. But what if there is a job out there that I would be even better at…there was “more” for me to excel at at? I would reach a higher level of success at that job instead of my current job?  How do I figure out what that is?

How many of us are really good at our jobs but in another career field, we would be awesome?

Clearly, I’m awesome at a lot of things. And I’m modest too. I just don’t know what I would be better at. What talents and knowledge haven’t I tapped into?

What makes you great? Do you know?

  

Life Got You Down? Enjoy Some Pan Flute Music….

Forget about more cowbell…sometimes you just need some Pan Flute in your sad little life.

I don’t have to tell you that life gets to be a little crazy these days.  Most likely, you are just plain tired from driving your minivan from kids’ soccer game to kids’ soccer game.  Maybe your days are a blur of commuting from your house to your office and then back home again.  Perhaps, you are missing the connection between you and your significant other?  Maybe, you just need to reconnect with your inner romantic soul after a tough day at work….

May I suggest some relaxing pan flute love songs?

Sunshine kills my work day…

I’m out on location and we are experiencing some beautiful sunshine here in the Seattle area. Usually on days like these, I would blow off work. Instead, I embrace it with open arms. Why should I enjoy an awesome day like today?

I should stay inside and close the drapes.

In reality, I want the sun. Ah, sunshine come here my elusive lover. How you tease me!

I may complain a great deal about our rainy Northwest weather but today is not one of those days. I just wish I was caught up on my work so I could skip out of work. Instead, I’m playing catch up with digital images and I’m out on location (outside) for another 45 minutes.

I also hate writing and posting from my phone on WordPress. It is so cumbersome, I mess up on my tags, I get lost in the interface menu. I feel like an idiot. I blame it on the sun.

Have a great afternoon. Sorry, that I would be able to offer any worthless advice today….the sunshine had zapped my powers of sarcasm.

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Sunshine kills my work day…

I’m out on location and we are experiencing some beautiful sunshine here in the Seattle area. Usually on days like these, I would blow off work. Instead, I embrace it with open arms. Why should I enjoy an awesome day like today?

I should stay inside and close the drapes.

In reality, I want the sun. Ah, sunshine come here my elusive lover. How you tease me!

I may complain a great deal about our rainy Northwest weather but today is not one of those days. I just wish I was caught up on my work so I could skip out of work. Instead, I’m playing catch up with digital images and I’m out on location (outside) for another 45 minutes.

I also hate writing and posting from my phone on WordPress. It is so cumbersome, I mess up on my tags, I get lost in the interface menu. I feel like an idiot. I blame it on the sun.

Have a great afternoon. Sorry, that I would be able to offer any worthless advice today….the sunshine had zapped my powers of sarcasm.

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Things to Demotivate You….

Sigh. It is hard to keep motivated when you have a blog about worthless advice. I find myself distracted by all the happiness and goodness of the world. Once in a while, there is some stupid financial advice you can cling to to Demotivate you. My favorite: Make more money and spend less. Whoa. Heart stopping advice.

Facebook doesn’t help either. People are always updating their Facebook status with “I’m having a great time with my family on our trip to Maui”. Or “I just won $300 at the casino and I’m currently up $600”. No one admits they have just lost their kid’s college fund (if they even bother to start one). No one says they hate their overbearing uncle during the family reunion on Kauai. I thought you were suppose to over share on Facebook? Isn’t that what your Facebook friends want?

You don’t want to be happy all the time. You want to get upset and be angry. Oh, does that offend you when I say something like that? Should I be happy all the time and have positive thoughts all the time? Should I shrug my shoulders up and say “Oh Well” when there is a school yard shooting? Should I not be angry when there is injustice in the world?

You can’t be positive all the time. There are times when you won’t be happy. I know I won’t be a billionaire in my chosen career path. The numbers just don’t support it. I can make a very comfortable living but I won’t be flying on a private jet from photo session to photo session. That doesn’t upset me. I’m ok with that.

I do wish I was a better blogger and a better writer. I wish I could have the dedication to sit down between my other projects and write a bestselling novel. However, I accept the fact I’m lazy and making excuses for not doing the things I should be doing or the things I want to do. I own my failures and understand that in their own twisted way they help to motivate me.

I’m sorry, I’m suppose to be talking about demotivating you, not helping you! Silly me, trying to better the world through my logical thought process. If something is really important to you, then you should do them. Unless it is a meth habit, you shouldn’t do it. Highly addictive and it will cause you to make bad choices. Most of the time, you hurt your family and friends. Hmm, maybe you shouldn’t do what you want, right?

I want to run my car into the stupid driver in front of me but I don’t. I want to sleep in but I get my butt up and work. I’ll work late to catch up when I fall behind. I don’t get to do whatever I want because I’m a responsible adult with grown up bills to pay. Sigh. Now, I’m feeling more demotivated. I’m glad I was about to work though this “up and happy” moment.

Back to life and reality!! To the freeways!

How Not To Be That Idiot Driver

I’m not much of a commuter so when I do have to drive somewhere, I pride myself on not being an idiot. I know where I am going and what freeways and exits I need to take. I know where the problems will be and when I should merge or exit.

Today, some idiot decided she needed to merge in front of me without bothering to look. She must have known she had three choices: speed up on the on ramp and cut me off, crash into me, or stay at her present speed and gently merge in behind me. As we know from my present tone that she cut me off.

Now, I didn’t blare my horn, tailgate her, or even get that upset. I just shook my head in amazement. Seriously, it was that important to get ahead of me in your Blue Tahoe? Like it made the traffic go that much faster? And don’t bother to look at me as you merge, the rest of us will gladly watch out for your vehicle this morning.

I did catch up to her as I neared my final destination and she was texting on her phone. I honestly could have cut back in front of her, slammed on my brakes, caused an accident, and gotten a new work truck out of it.

But I didn’t.

And I live to write another day without back pain!

Thanks for allowing me to vent and release.

This is the Yard that Child Slave Labor Built!

My neighbors are having phase 2 of their landscaping yard done over the next few days by professionals.  As you can imagine, I feel that this is cheating because everyone knows that if your children haven’t broken their little backs, toes, and fingers making your yard awesome, then you haven’t done anything worth talking about.

This Do-It-Yourself (DIY) work or die attitude has been passed down from generation to generation on both my mother’s side and father’s side of my family.  It is in my blood to see my children (and the neighborhood children) slave away moving rocks from one side of the yard to the other.  I compare of my efforts of creating a wonderful yard to that of the English aristocrats that keep their rose gardens all prim and proper.  I often wear my big fluffy hat as I garden in the flower beds while I wait for my afternoon tea.

Crumpets anyone? photo from http://www.vancouverislandgardentrail.com

Nothing impresses on small children the value of hard work when they can look their hands and see the blisters forming.  To get that visual of a day’s hard work in your hand is nothing short of accomplishment in my mind.  And a few stones that fall onto their toes once in a while will teach them that you always need proper footwear at my house.  Hobble home young underage yard worker, tomorrow is another day of back breaking labor!

One of my favorite moments of teaching is when a child starts to cry after being worked to the bone.  If you can push them a little bit more, they can learn how to push themselves to success.  My motto: If you ain’t crying, you ain’t trying.  They need to learn their boundaries and how to push themselves past the point of self imposed limits.  Success comes to those that push themselves (or are pushed by a slave driver parent).

Valuable lessons abound in making your yard an oasis for you to enjoy.  One of my favorite lessons is to change the project midstream so all of the hard work my kids just did was for nothing.  All of their hard work building that fence is gone once I realize I want the fence three more feet to the left.  Kind of reminds you of your boss at work, doesn’t it?  See!  Another lesson from adult life brought home for children to learn from!  Can you hear your boss now?

“Johnson, remember how I had you write that twenty page report on how we can make our workflow more efficient?  Well, we are switching focus again so your goal oriented results report isn’t going to cut it now.  You’ll have to do it all over.  And I need it by Monday.  Don’t forget the cover sheet on your TPS report too!”

So my request to move the fence three feet to the left is just preparing them for the future.  Am I a great teacher or what?

To get the most out of child workers, you should also offer incentives.  You don’t actually have to follow through on the incentives, but you should offer them.  Tell them: If you finish that 65 foot long rock wall by tonight, I’ll take you to the lake tomorrow!  As you can imagine, when they fail to finish you can tell them that you would love to take them to the lake but you can’t reward failure.  That just wouldn’t be fair.  By setting unrealistic goals, you know that you’ll never have to follow through with your rewards.  Again, another great realistic life lesson for your kids to experience.  Their future boss will do the exact same thing to them in their future job.  They will hate him as much as they hated you as a child.  Yet, they won’t quite make the connection until they are older and in therapy.  By then it will be too late.

You should view your yard as an outdoor classroom.  It is always changing; as are the lessons you are teaching your children.  The neighborhood kids can be invaluable teaching tools as they are extra help for the really big projects and to show the concept of favoritism.  You can treat them better than your own kids. This is to show your kids that they need to work even harder in a fruitless effort to gain your love and attention.  Always tell the neighbor kid he is doing an awesome job but ignore your own kid.  Then sit back and watch your kid step up their efforts.  The sad look in their little faces as they wait for that one positive comment from you to justify their existence is a reward in itself.

As summer rolls on, you should always look to the future of child labor.  Even if your kids are grown up, you can tap into your grandkids.  What if you are young and have no children?  Consider the neighbor kids or even a cousin or two.  Never pay a professional when you can easily watch a half hour TV program and have kids there to assist you in your landscaping dreams!

Ah!  Rock walls....

Ah! Rock walls….

April, the month of doom for my blog….

April has managed to kick me in the butt.  I’m busy at work and my blog has fallen to the wayside (like my children…well, I think I have kids or at least I have a vague memory of them).  It’s not like I don’t want to write in my blog but I feel guilty writing when I know I have work to do.  It seems like endless projects like to pop up to steal my time away. Quite annoying, eh?

Keep in mind that we have all been told that if something is important, you’ll make time for it.  I make time for work, for my family, and the millions over projects.  Blogging is important but it doesn’t pay the bills and hence why I’m still a photographer (and not a bestselling writer!).

I like writing but I also like to make sure my writing is something to be proud of.  Sure, not everything I write is prize winning but I want you to read it, to enjoy it, and want more.

Is that too much to ask for?  To have readers that care?  Readers that worship me?

Now, I’m going to make the effort to finish off the month of April with a bang in the blog department.  Let’s pump out some great blog entries for you to thinks about and enjoy.

Thanks for reading.  Leave those comments (good and bad!).

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