Sunday, November 27, 2005

Giving Thanks

It that time of year again-- time to give thanks for the things that we enjoy in our lives. The Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to look around at your life, your family, and the world at large and pass the gratitude bowl.

This year I gave thanks for the usual things 97 percent of all Americans gave thanks for: Living in the United States, health, happy families and friends, and our basic freedoms we enjoy.

But what about giving thanks from a broker's point of view?

Brokers are always thankful for more, bigger, and trusting clients being referred to us. We all would be thankful for the new client that brings in their $5 million trust account. We may not be so thankful for the nephew of a friend of a client that wants to "invest" his $1000.

Brokers are thankful for the guy that invented golf, even if we aren't so thankful for the graphite shaft on our driver.

Brokers are thankful for 24-hour sports channels, but we are not as thankful for having to watch a chick flick. Who writes that stuff?

Brokers are thankful for capitalism, but not as thankful for Friday-after-Thanksgiving sales. However, it is pretty funny to watch people on the news reports fighting over the Thanksgiving sales items at 5:00 in the morning! It happens every year.

Brokers are thankful for having football to watch during a long cold winter. Brokers are not thankful for hearing the football stories from the boss of the boss who thinks he was a great player when he rode the bench at a Division XXII college.

Finally, the senior brokers will be happy to see what gifts the newbies offer up this season in order to suck up to us, but we may not be thankful for some of their offerings. After all, if they want to have any hope of possibly working with us in the future, the holiday season is prime suck-up time.

And by the way, for you new guys in the office, I don't need another dozen golf balls. I have more than 30 boxes in my garage. How about a nice 20-year old Scotch and a trip to the spa for the wife? I would be thankful for that.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Mister Happy-Happy

It's time for a visit from the Boss of our Boss's Boss. The guy-- I forget his official title-- will be making a trip into the office to do his checkup on us this week. Excited? Nervous? No. More like bored. Trust me, he earned the office nickname, "Mister Happy-Happy". Maybe it has a lot to do with the silly grin permanently attached to his face.

I honestly believe he came to us from the car makers overseas. Mister Happy-Happy likes to come around to each office and gladhand us and pump us all up, as if he's leading a pre-work exercise class. He has his own special pump-up methods also. First, he speaks with us individually in our offices and always makes a point of reminding you how great it is to live in this country (DUH!), and how great it is to work for our company. I guess it's important to be reminded about this. He likes talking about the greatness of the company, and then the greatness of the"U. S. of A." Every time we see him, it's another variation of the same speech. He then takes the time to ask, "How's the family?", like he remembers anything about your family. Funny to hear the newbies in the office respond to this question when they are still single. We then have a meeting with Mister Happy-Happy and the office executive committee alone, so the gladhanding and kissup continues.

Next, we will hold an office meeting and Mister Happy-Happy will repeat another variation of the same speech he gives every time. However, the funny point is Mister Happy-Happy's "Book of the Month Club" routine. Apparently, someone signed him up for a business book club a few years ago, and it stuck. We get the benefit of him producing the book he most recently read, and hearing the pertinent passages read to us. Yes-- out loud. Next, we get to hear how the author "really did mean" to apply his writing to the brokerage business, and how you yourself can produce the most superior results by reading the book. Just by reading this book you will earn more respect, produce better results for your clients, have a more rewarding business life, completely realign your family into the perfect Brady Bunch family, sexually satisfy your spouse, end world hunger, stop global warming, and save the planet from any stray asteroids. Thankfully, we have the benefit of hearing from Mister Happy-Happy and we get the benefit of his wisdom.

I have got to start scheduling myself some out-of-state financial conference when Mister Happy-Happy makes his appearances. Either that or I'll have to have to find a way to stay awake during his meetings. I think I would prefer to pay for the travel expenses and be gone instead, just so long as I don't have to read his chosen book on the flight.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

And Another Thing About Halloween...

Why is it that all you ladies in the office feel the need to bring in all that extra candy you didn't pawn off on some kid Halloween night? Every November 1st, those damn bowls of mini candy bars, gum, and everything else show up all over the office. It's as if the only thing keeping us alive is candy instead of oxygen. I have a suggestion for next Halloween: either buy less candy at the store, or maybe give out more than one or two pieces to each kid. If it's getting late, start dumping handfuls on the next lucky vampire that shows up at your door. Either that, or buy a better brand of candy to have as leftovers in the office. Maybe something good instead of that off-brand gum from some foreign country you bring in.

And if you need ideas for something to pawn off on the brokers in the office, a nice single malt scotch or a quality vodka may be nice.