Friday, December 3, 2004

Second Ivana to be "Trumped"

I was so appalled by the behavior of Ivana last night on The Apprentice that I hardly know where to begin. Having owned and operated businesses since 1970 and been friends with any number of professional women, it is outrageous to leave the impression that her desperate ploy of "dropping" her skirt for $20.00 was representative. (Unless, of course, that is one's business.)

Listening to the way she trashed the "M&M sisters" (Jennifer M. and Sandy) only increases the outrageousness of her behavior. America is full of professional women who respect themselves and the work that they do, who would never dream of dropping their skirts as a viable alternative for increasing sales. In fact, just the opposite. Today's professional woman goes to great lengths to ensure that her behavior is at all times deserving of respect. That this would have occurred to her, at all, makes one wonder just what is being taught at the business schools today.

There's no question in my mind, that her teammates were as useful as dandruff -- ever-present but serving no recognizable purpose. Kelly knew he was safe from being the previous week's project manager and did little to help Ivana in marketing the candy bars. Kevin was 100% in the wrong to lower the price of their product without consensus from his project manager. Ivana's job was to make sure that he did not lower the price and she could have insisted on it. For that matter, I never understood why she let them all stand together in a little group instead of branching out in different directions to locate a variety of customers.

Towards the end of the show, Ivana explained her behavior as one of desperation but, in retrospect, probably made a wrong choice. However, I did not see any sense of her recognizing her behavior as wrong in either her expression or voice. I really believe she just didn't understand the full impact on her professional life from this choice. And, that is sad.

This year, it seems that The Apprentice has gone out of its way to locate the most immature young women as representatives of the future business women of America. Recognizing that the show is ultimately meant as entertainment, I can make some allowances, but this seemed to be a season of extremely rude and boorish behavior by the women. But, Ivana's behavior topped them all. She lost all professional credibility, in my eyes, yet she will reap thousands from personal appearances because of this outrageous behavior; although, she undoubtedly will be asked to "drop her skirt" in participation. And, years from now, like Monica Lewinsky after her debacle, she will still be wondering why people don't respect her .

So far as Ivana's behavior is concerned, this was a true case of the product not being worth the cost and, as the British are wont to say, "Some things are simply not done."

Friday, November 26, 2004

SUVs - A New Crusade

I never thought I would be willing to take on a new crusade; but, here it is. I think anyone driving the new SUVs needs to fill out a form that explains EXACTLY why they think they need one. They have to be the most dangerous of all vehicles on the road for drivers of ordinary cars.

Rearview mirrors and side mirrors have been placed on vehicles based upon an expected level for all vehicles (excluding, obviously, large trucks and transport vehicles) and the world was capable of dealing with the occasional high-beam driver. BUT, now it's become seriously dangerous for night drivers to go on the road because of these invasive vehicles. SUVs serve no purpose but status for a new generation -- an outrageous reason to impose one's desires onto their fellow citizens.

A perfect example occurred on my recent trip to Tennessee. Because of a rock slide in the Smokies, the lanes were reduced to single lane for both directions, separated by low dividers, giving the effect of maneuvering through a "shute." As Murphy's Law would have it, the weather was fine until reaching this incredibly dangerous section of road. The skies opened and high winds added to the danger. NO! SUVs have made it "eminent death road"! Because of the height of the SUV following behind, using the night view of the rearview mirror was useless. In addition, the beams also lit up the sideview mirrors causing severe viewing limitations. Oncoming vehicles would hit a curve that placed their light beams directly into your eyes causing total night blindness! Humans have now become the, "deer in the headlights."

There was a time when night driving was unpleasant because the eye had to constantly adjust to the light changes of passing vehicles. Now, it has become a dance with death. And, there is no excuse for it, except for the vanity of those people wanting a "new" look for their generation's cars. A station wagon at the same level of other vehicles would serve the purpose of the SUV, carrying larger loads than just passengers. Oh, yeah, I forgot, these folks like to take their vehicles into exotic places. Well, maybe, two of them do; the rest just want the SUV in the drive to give the impression that they drive in exotic places.

I don't understand how a country that has rounded the corners of its childrens' toys, made schoolyard playground equipment out of plastic and put safety harnesses into vehicles for the safety of its citizens could have ever allowed these vehicles onto their roads. Surely, someone at the factory checked them out? It was bad enough when everyone had to have a van but, at least, the oncoming lights problem had a look-to-the-edge-of-the-road-until-it-passes resolution. Now, we have gone too far. You can't escape the invasive SUV lights. Coupled with oncoming traffic, lives are at stake and it is unforgiveable. There is more than one generation on the road and we shouldn't have to tolerate this intrusive killer on our highways.