Why do you wear a logo?

Nov 19th, 2009 | Filed under Opinions and Perspectives

My Grandpa was a great man, he didn’t talk very much , but when he did he made sense, one time he said to me:

“Why do you want to wear a companies logo on your chest and walk around advertising that company.  If a company wanted me to wear their name I would want them to pay me for it”

That was an interesting question. Grandpa always had interesting questions, and stories. I think he only talked about once a week or so, and the stories and questions he would come up with were obviously well thought out.

So why do people flock to the store and pick up things with Nike on them, or Adidas? I mean they make great shoes, but why do these people decide to plaster themselves in logos? What does a Nike swoosh on a hat have anything to do with buying a decent sports shoe?

Do you become a member of the tribe of Nike ?  Are you a special member in the club of Adidas ?

What exactly does it mean to be a member of a shoe company club?

Do the Adidas guys get invited to all the good soccer (football) games or something?

What does a Nike kind of guy do exactly? Does he think about jumping up and down like Michael Jorden, and then tell himself “Just Do It! ” then actually jumps up and down? Does he run a lot?

What about the American Eagle guy? Will he one day gain the knowledge of flight after so many years of draping eagles over his body?

Will the Abercrombie and Finch guy one day be aloud on the official A & F sailboat where he will take the helm as captain after promoting the brand on his chest for so many years?

Do Polo guys play polo?

The Red bull tribe i hear likes to jump off bridges and stuff.

Apparently from what I have read, men especialy purchase things with labels on them, for two reasons.

1) Men are afraid of fashion, and know that buying a logo item will at least let him be accepted by people “in the club”.

2) Men like to belong to some sort of tribe or group, and logos make them feel this way.

Anyhow, I am a member of the No Logo club myself. I am not willing to advertise for companies, and the worst thing is they charge you a premium price to do it.

Join the No Logo club, we save money by not advertising, and live a better life with what we have saved. We also usualy look better.

Lets face it guys, what we really want is women, and they don’t usualy buy logos, and likely don’t appreciate the 60% premium you pay to wear them on your back.

The New Alpha On the Block

Nov 17th, 2009 | Filed under Interesting, Travel

I am currently staying in a typical South East Asian Suburb, on a long road of small, European inspired concrete townhouses. The road appears quite green, with many small trees and plants lining the narrow little one way street, many of the trees grow fruits such as mangoes, oranges, bananas,  jack fruit,  and others I cant remember the name to. Most nights there is a tropical rain storm and, the road will  fill with frogs, who all seem to enjoy  hopping around happily on the wet pavement. After the roads have dried, many  cats will venture out from the dry  safety of their house gates, and go out to attend to their feline business. Many of the houses also have dogs, who stay within the house gates most of the day, with one exception, a particular dog who roams freely,  named Gong.

Gong

Gong is a fairly large dog, and was the king of the road until at least today. Today something happened, and Gong seemed to have  lost some of his turf.

Now when I say Gong is King of the Road, or as my son and I like to call this large dog, King Gong. It is because absolutely no one that Gong does not approve of is alowed to go down our road.

Our road is fairly busy with a lot of various types of traffic, we have guys on motorbikes who sell twelve different types of soup, there are guys  with full charcoal barbecue driving around, that will serve up five different types of  sausages, squid, or chicken with papaya salad there are guys that cut up fresh  fruits for you, guys with  coffee tea, hot chocolate, iced coffees , there are guys with shaved ice and all sorts of candy and flavorings,  as well as three or so ice cream visits each day. We have the flower sellers that sing with their great voices as they  walk down the road selling flowers that smell fantastic, even from up to twenty or so feet away. Pickup trucks full of organized fruit, vegetables, meat and fish driving down the road twice a day, post  men on their motorbikes, and people installing satellites and Internet connections, servicing air conditioners, or painting houses. There are also lots of residents on the little road, who walk to its end for food each day, or back and forward from school , or the bus, or maybe running to work and back in their motorcycles, cars or SUVs, each day.

Its a long busy road, and Gong is King.

If he doesn’t like you he will bark a few times to tell you to go away, if you don’t go away he will bark louder and all the other dogs will join in. On my road, mostly in the gates, there is a dog about every sixty feet or so. If you continue down the road gong will get off his lazy behind and do his work, barking loud with forty or so other excited dogs joining in. Some are little dogs like chihuahuas, and some are quite large, but Gong is their king.

Most new people just turn tail and leave when Gong decides they aren’t welcome, and steps into their path. I am sure if Gong wasn’t here we would have even more traffic. Thank goodness he lets in all the people he does, all the good food sellers that I love so much and the post man, and of course my son and me.

There is a German writer named Hans that visits family on this street every few months or so, he mentioned to me that he had written a piece about Gong in German travel book, something about how he knew the bad guys from the good guys by the sound of their walk down the road. Yes, tales of this dog have actually been published in print.

Gong is getting old now, he used to control about three square kilometers of turf, besides controlling our entire kilometer long street, he controls the one right of it, as well as across the overpass, and around a street or two there.

The other day I saw Gong going down the overpass, and there was another larger dog following him. It looked completely calm. Gong would stop now and then and bear his teeth to growl as the other dog, but would not attack, he walked about four feet at a time stopping to growl, but the other dog just followed like he didn’t care. All the way back to Gongs house, where Gong went inside and lay down, as the other dog walked past and down the road. Peeing all over Gongs Turf.

A week or so has passed since then, and today all the dogs were going nuts as this dog was again peeing right in front of Gongs house, as well as all the other dogs gates on that part of the road.

It looks like my road may have a new King. Too bad Gong is old, he sure kept us all safe. Maybe Gong will decide to show the other dog why he has lead for so many years, if not, I hope this new dog king is good hearted also.

Whats the price? – Rant

Nov 17th, 2009 | Filed under Rants

I have been looking all day for a promotional pen manufacturer that will ship to me for a reasonable price, I find tons of pens, but no pricing.  I have wasted about three hours on this and am just giving up for now. So I thought I would rant a bit about having price tags on stuff.

In my career in sales, I have sold inexpensive items such as $5 portable radios, and $3 headphones,  I have also sold $100,000 Cadillac , and top end home theatre systems sometimes costing more than $60 000,

I have seen all kinds of sleaze and greed in my time, and the worst of it is when you put a high commission salesperson with a product with no price tag.

Often a $70 item suddenly becomes $300, or a $500 suddenly becomes $2000, and believe it or not people don’t know any better and actually buy these things.  Sure they usually know the price of the main item, but not all the little extras they try and sell you after. The guy ripping them off will lower the price until they buy anyhow, or “switch products” to get in their price range,  and judge how much they will sell it for by how much trust they feel they have from the customer.

Anyhow, here I am trying to buy pens online, and there are no prices, whats the secret? Do you expect me to draw you a bank cheque? I’m sorry I cant buy for “secret prices” how do you even put a secret price on the pay slip for me to sign?

If everything has price tags my days and everyone else’s will just be that more efficient, and the guys that rip you off not only wont be able to rip people off anymore, but when they go shopping themselves they wont get ripped off either.

There should be a law that all items without a price tags  are free.

Mercenary for the Man

Nov 13th, 2009 | Filed under Opinions and Perspectives, Travel, Work

Although almost two decades have past,  my time employed with a  large North American electronics company, still deeply effects my perspective on corporate  life. I started out as a simple salesman, but over time  moved myself up through the various positions the company offered, and by the age of twenty two I had a hundred and fifty people below me on the corporate ladder, and only two above. I was making myself quite a decent income.

During my last two years with this company, I found that my boss had started to ask me to take over more and more responsibility. I was told that if I did the work now, great wealth would follow, as time went on, I gave more and more of my time and energy to the company, sixty plus hours a week was pretty normal, often with business trips thrown in, where I was basically “at work” 24 hours a day.

After a couple of years,  I began to go beyond asking, and demanded the raise they had promised me, there were various long winded “reasons” why it could not be given to me, but the truth was, that the pay of my non-owner boss above me, would have had to be slashed to pay me for all his work I was doing for him.

The incredible work hours of the last two years, had taken a huge toll on my social life without helping my financial status at all. They had me working my ass off for nothing. I was “chasing carrots” I would never be given.  I cant believe I let them do this for me for almost two years.  I had been given much more responsibility, and many more headaches,  but no reward. My corporate slavery had distanced me from my close friends,  and ended up losing me my girlfriend. My work had become the unhealthy centre of my life.

Disgusted at how the company had strung me along for two years, and heartbroken over my lost love, I quit the job, though they tried tossing money at me to get me back, I had already lost my faith in them, so off I went. I took the money I had  saved from working there for so long, bought myself a backpack, and began to travel around the world.

Sixteen months later, while hanging out on a beach in Thailand I ended up meeting five English teachers on vacation from their work in Korea. We spent a few very fun days together, since I was starting to run out of travel money, but didn’t really want to go home, I began asking them about their work in Korea. They all agreed with one another that they didn’t like the job, and even went on to say they didn’t like the country, the people the boss or anything.

I was a bit taken aback by their unanimous dislike for their job, and asked them “Why on earth do you work there then?”

One guy said something that has stuck with me to this day, and I have often considered just how much I agree with this, he said: “I don’t work for companies, I work for myself, I do it for money, I am a mercenary.”

Obviously he wasn’t a real “mercenary”, he was an English teacher, but I liked his idea. He didn’t do what he did for his company, or his boss, he just did it for the money.

Since that time I have always approached work this way. I don’t care what a jerk my boss is, or if I like the company, and I don’t do things to help my boss or the company for free, because in the end, the company and the boss only care about the money, they don’t care about you. They only want you to do things for free, because it saves them money.

Of course I still do my work as well as I can, you need to do a very good job to be a demanding employee, but if people ask me to take another responsibility, I will ask if there is an immediate raise involved before i agree to do it. My loyalty now has a price.

I also became a mercenary for the man.

Developing Countries and Robots

Nov 10th, 2009 | Filed under Interesting, Opinions and Perspectives, Travel

The Term Developing Countries is thrown around quite a bit in “Developed Countries”, there are actually very few people in “Developed” countries. In common practice, only Japan in Asia, Canada and the United States in northern America, Australia and New Zealand in Oceana  and Western Europe are considered “developed” regions or areas. In international trade statistics they consider, the Southern African Customs Union, and Israel as a developed areas.

If you look on a map, this isn’t really that much of the world, obviously places like Australia and Canada are huge, but they only contain a combined  total of about 55 million people so if you start considering populations, again its just not that many people.  In fact all “developed” nations all trade together and have international stock exchanges. They are sort of all from the same club.

I find it funny how one country or group of countries (like a club), can decide who will,  and who will not be considered “developed”. Of course there are some countries that and “more shiny” than others. If you go to countries like The United States, Canada, and Australia, you we astonished at how well they are laid out. The reason for this is they have been developing their cities and towns and roadways etc, with the modern day inventions of telephones, electricity, and automobiles considered in the planning. If you go to the newest places, like most of Australia, and the west coast of the United States and Canada, these cities are so new, all has been logically pre planned before the city was even built. This is in large contrast to older places where people build houses without the consideration of all the things that had yet to be invented. I mean when Varanasi in India was built six thousand years ago, they didn’t consider where the cars would go.

It is true that most modern scientific inventions are accredited to “developed” countries, or at least almost all International Patents are registered by “developed” countries. Basically being a member of the club means you know its systems, and membership does have privileges.

I am faced with issues on the money making side of my life currently where artists over in “developing” nations have drawn some artwork that another company in America is actively copywriting for themselves, cutting this small company, that is not “in the know”, out of the profits, and the ability to sell their own designs. Sad isn’t it?

An average person arriving from a “New” country to any old country tends to judge a book by its cover, traffic congestion, overhead wires, crooked streets, non sequential addresses, and old buildings, just don’t look the same as the new shiny glass buildings, with underground wiring, on strait roadways.

The wild dogs and in the streets in some “developing” nations, are considered dangerous to people from western countries that have never dealt with wild dogs before,  they think the country just doesn’t know how to deal with those issues, when the fact is the religion says to just leave nature to nature and they don’t believe in killing them or “fixing” them. I have been walking around packs and huge groups of wild dogs for about 8 years now and have never been bit. In fact I am glad they are there, because they will bark at strangers, and help keep my little road safe for us people who live here.

Too many people travel from these types of places, judge the book by its cover and make a decision that they should be the teachers, since it is obvious they are superior.

Obviously “developed” countries, do have some things to teach “developing” ones about things like technology, and modern day business, but having the ability to build robots,  does not mean they are superior at everything else.

Some people are so full of themselves they think that they, coming from a developed country,  can somehow teach Indians how to play the guitar, which India  actually invented themselves thousands of years ago. Or cooking, like we all don’t know how to cook. I mean maybe they don’t make a better hamburger or fish and chips in Asia than they do back home, but thank god they have so many other things to cook that taste better and are healthier for us.

Some thick headed idiots actually get mad at people in non-English speaking countries for not speaking English…

When I was twenty two, I went to several doctors in Canada about a nasal infection I had. I was recommended many prescription drugs and when they didn’t work eventually an operation. I decided I wasn’t bothered about it enough to get an operation. When I saw a doctor in India about it, he gave me a little device similar to a chicken baster and told me to squirt water with salt in it up my nose 2 times a day. This cured me in about a week. The same doctor recommended on a different occasion chewing on some raw ginger for my sore thought, it didn’t taste that bad and I only had to do it once a day to get rid of my sore throat for the day. Did you know drinking warm water breaks up phlegm when you have bronchitis, and cold drinks make it worse? Makes sense doesn’t it?

I have an 8 year old son that has been living in “undeveloped” countries with me for the last three years. At home in Canada children that are less than about 10 years old are generally kept inside or supervised by the parent, to keep them safe from sickos and perverts. In Asia you just let them run free and so do all the other kids, and all the neighborhood kids and parents, and anyone else that lives there looks out for them and they are safe.

We run over to these countries so often for work, or holidays, and often don’t bother to listen or ask what they have to teach us. We teach them all we know and leave. In the end they have all their knowledge and all of ours. This isn’t really a good plan for long term competition. You cant speak and listen at the same time. Our big headedness could one day be our downfall.

No one ever asks why some things are better in “developing” countries than the in “developed” countries, I mean we build the best robots, so obviously we have nothing to learn from anyone else, right?

Wrong! Living life has absolutely nothing to do with making robots.