All I want for Christmas

14 December 2016 Categories: Gerry's Corner

With our ever changing environment, I have to continuously make personal changes which I hate. Whether Technology changes our lives or society changes our lives, I am bombarded with constant change.

In my last blogs I have ranted and raved about change. Recently I seen an item on the internet which I could relate to and decided it was worth sharing with you. This item really depicts our changing times.

       “My kids each year ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give them my real answer. I think it’s probably the same answer for a lot of the parents I know, so I decided to share it:

What do I want for Christmas? I want you. I want you to keep coming around. I want you to bring your kids around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help and make me feel needed. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job, your worries, your husbands/wives, your kids, your fur babies. I want you to continue sharing your life with me. Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don’t care.

I spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how, and I’m not bragging, but I did a pretty darn good job. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my work, I’m pretty proud of it.

Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. In fact, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I want you to bring your kids around. I love it when they’re here, and to be honest, sometimes I love it when they leave, too. I want to tease them, play with them, teach them, spoil them, and do the things I didn’t have the time, money, or wisdom to do with you. They’re my “do-over”. When I’m dead and gone, I want them to miss, me. I want them to remember me and say, “Those were good times”.

I want you to spend your money make a better life for you and your family. I have the things I need. I want to see you happy and healthy. When you ask me what I want for Christmas, I say “nothing” because you’ve already been giving my gift all year. I want you.”

I want to be treated, respected, look up to, loved and cared for as my Grandparents were.

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Training for Grandparents

09 June 2016 Categories: Gerry's Corner

You’ve raised a family, took care of your elderly parents and maybe Grandparents and now you expect me to take courses on how to be a grandparent, what is this world coming to?

Last week while on my riding lawnmower cutting approximately 2 acres of grass not lawn but grass, I was doing my usual thinking. It is a time where I try to figure out the world and solve all its problems or more specifically try to understand and solve my own financial or personal issues. I was thinking why is it so difficult to continue being a parent and be a grandparent. I thought I had come up with the answer. Our kids don’t come to us for advice anymore therefore explaining their continuous questionable decisions which inevitably ripple back to us in the form of worry, concern and unfortunately in some cases financially. I am not insinuating that I have serious issues in my family but it is not the parenting role that I would have expected or hoped for. Of course the first conclusion you come to, is it is only with us. Where did we go wrong and how can we fix it?

The next day I read an article in MacLean’s Magazine entitled “Grandma’ll do it” and there it was, I was not just us but rather all of North American was feeling it too. The role of grandparent has totally changed and no one told us. The role is not as it was with our parents or grandparents but it is being redefined by our kids to the point that now we have to be trained. It is no longer something that you learned by living, growing up, getting experience, figuring it out and following our role models that was our elders. Now everything is put into question. Tradition and status quo is no longer. Instead of seeking advice as we did, we are expected to be on standby for whatever they may need, whenever they need it. That could mean nothing for a long time or change to a lot for long time. The big culprit is the internet. The internet has all the answers and everything is immediate which is what kids expect. The kids today regardless of age do not need their parents except when they feel they have a need. This may sound crazy but it means they do not need their parents for advice and wisdom; they need their parents to do things for them to make their personal lives better. The problem is we don’t subscribe to the same values or life styles.

Here is an excerpt from the MacLean’s article (June 13/16 issue) that explains it all: “The fact is, parents no longer see grandparents as oracles of knowledge; the internet provides ready advice for every bum rash, tantrum and night terror. Grandparents are encouraged to catch up with the research, which explains the burgeoning industry of grandparenting classes at hospitals and child learning centres- but at the same time, in an era characterized by angst-ridden child rearing and a surplus of parenting literature, parents often want to make every call themselves. The Boomers, accustomed to having things their own way, are increasingly faced with a dynamic over which they have little control. The parent-grandparent relationship has never been more complicated”

And I thought this was MY problem.

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Receivables

07 June 2016 Categories: Gerry's Corner

One of the toughest things to do in small Business is to collect receivables. It is our money, we have worked for it yet it is so difficult to ask for it when the job is done. In all the years I have been in Business I have to admit I have been very fortunate. Maybe it is because I choose my clients, maybe it is because I make my terms very clear at the outset and in writing, maybe I get to know the financial contact in Accounting or maybe I have just been lucky, for whatever reason it has not been a big issue for me however it is getting harder to get paid in a reasonable time. Big Business in particular has changed their accounting practices where they only pay suppliers in 60 days or 90 days or longer. This is my paycheck and I have to wait this long to get paid? It is ridiculous. Does anybody that works for a company wait more than 2 weeks for a paycheck? I understand the reason for these accounting practices but is it fair to treat the little guy the same way. We need our money too, to pay bills and feed the family. There should be more discretion given in paying suppliers rather than applying general rules. I’m just saying!

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Resumes

22 January 2016 Categories: Gerry's Corner

Recently I have been working on some recruiting assignments. I noticed that the quality of resumes has deteriorated. With all the assistance available on line, at Education centers and general knowledge, why is the quality so poor on resumes? It may be because people don’t read or see their resume. I still have a problem seeing spelling mistakes and resumes sent in a hurry with wrong names, addresses, phone numbers, copies of resumes and cover letters sent to other companies. If you don’t take care of details and how you present yourself then I cannot trust you to take care of my stuff and be responsible. Jobs are not hand outs to anybody, they are a responsibility. Good luck finding a responsible employer with that attitude. If you don’t care. I don’t want to see your resume.

On the other hand, resumes that are more than 4 pages long require too much time to read. I particularly dislike resumes that are not arranged in chronological order. These resumes read like a documentary. I don’t need a book to read before I go to bed. The people that submit these resumes are usually managers, therefore they have read resumes, interviewed and hired employees. They fail to ask themselves ” What will the reader see and think of this resume?”.

I love recruiting, resume reading, interviewing, etc. but I lose the love when I see “crap”. It is a waste of my time and surely not worthy of presentation to my client. I deal with only people that care.

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Gas Prices

22 January 2016 Categories: Gerry's Corner

Crude oil prices have dropped by 75% since 2014. How come the prices at the gas pumps have only dropped by 25%? Want is wrong with this?

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Digital Pictures

05 January 2016 Categories: Gerry's Corner

It is no secret that I have a problem with Technology. Inasmuch as some forms of Technology are great others cause more headaches than benefits. My issue today is Digital Pictures. The clarity and quality of digital pictures are, I admit, second to none. However the downside is we are losing the history that pictures represent. It used to be you took photographs ( as they were once called ) and placed them in albums. You once had photographs that started in black and white then in color and the color always got better. You were able to sit and flip through albums and see or show the history of your childhood right to modern day. Now everything stays in cameras or goes in computers. The ability to create masterpiece albums is there but very few people have the time to work at building these for future viewing. The consequences are the loss of valuable memories. I have family members that have lost all their pictures because the camera or computer crashed, stolen, got wet, deleted, etc. Those who have albums to see show them to you on cell phones where the screen is too small or has inappropriate lighting therefore you cannot see the picture or cannot appreciate the picture itself. On the computer, the same applies plus when there are a number of you trying to look at the pictures you can’t see the pictures properly. For those of us who are aging our eyesight is not what it used to be therefore looking at a small screen or a computer at an angle, does not make for an enjoyable experience. Yes if one would organize digital albums and have the ability to show these on a big screen TV, it would be the perfect scenario however the reality is who can afford the time and money for such an endeavor. I have fought this new technology till now and I am loosing. It is getting very difficult to find film for my camera and a place to have them developed. It is also very difficult to explain to the grandchildren that they have to wait till their next visit to see the pictures you just took of them.

When my kids had real cameras I used to get from them pictures that they took of their kids. I added these to my collection of albums. Now I very seldom if ever get to see the pictures they took. Let me get a picture of Pepe ( Grandpa in French ) with the grandkids. Then it is see this beautiful picture on my cell phone or digital camera never to be seen again. You can ask for a hard copy but you never get one. The funny thing is I get ganged up on the subject of updating my camera to digital but when there is an important event and they want pictures to display, example Birthday parties they are rifling through my pictures not their own. Why? I can’t find any pictures because I lost them on my camera or computer. I guess technology actually eats these pictures.

I will soon lose the battle of hanging on to the tried and proven. I will change and I will manage my memorable pictures and I will continue to be the source for memories. It is unfortunate that not everyone is managing their memories because it will be lost forever and they will regret this someday.

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Hydro-One

17 April 2015 Categories: Gerry's Corner

A long time ago, an old man was playing with his Grandson. At one point he places the small boy on a chair and says “Jump” The young boy says “I will fall”. The Grandfather replies “No you will not fall because I will catch you” The boy hesitantly, jumps and falls on the floor. He gets up crying and the Grandfather says “Never trust anyone” I heard this story when I was very young. Not sure if it is because of this story that I am so distrusting or if it is part of my personal make up of being over analytical but it is the basis for my next story.

I know everyone is complaining about Hydro-One when it comes to cost, billings, service, etc. with no one listening to us. Here is a different personal experience. A few years ago, I chose to start reading my Hydro meter on a daily basis. Every day at the same approximate time I go out to get my mail and I take the reading from my meter. I have the new (time of use) meter. I record daily what my electrical usage is. Initially it permitted me to analyze my usage (24 hours) depending on the day of the week and what activity took place different from the previous day. At the start it helped me make a few changes to use more low-peak electricity rather than the high-peak. Over the last 2 years we have been able to reduce our high peak consumption to less than 20%. I have also been able to calculate certain appliance’s consumption and compare the usage when the appliance is on or off. The Education from this exercise has been invaluable. I now turn certain things off during the day and back on at night and the same for whether I am here or away. It has also permitted me to keep track of my consumption to verify Hydro-One’s calculations. During summer months I average 18-23 kilowatts a day and winter months are at 25-32 kilowatts. I can explain the fluctuations in usage in great detail. Example: number of people in house visiting, extra cooking, sub-pump usage, furnace, etc. I know it may sound anal but it is game for me and I enjoy it.

As much as I have control over my Hydro and masterminded my little system of analysis, I have a problem that I need help with. Recently, I had 2 consecutive days where my hydro usage is inexplicable. The one day my usage was 21 kilowatts. The day after was an identical day for usage except the Hydro was off for 8 hours because of windy weather. My reading for that day was higher at 28 kilowatts. What I can’t understand is why one 24 hour day uses 21kw and the following day of 16 hours used 28kw. What the hell is going on? There is no reason for this to happen. Are we getting ripped off or what? Hydro-One can you explain this?

Now can you see why I trust no one or anything?

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Service Canada-Beware

15 April 2015 Categories: Gerry's Corner

Recently the on line Job Bank sponsored by Service Canada has been not only updated but totally changed. The changes are ridiculous and cumbersome. I remember when this service first started it was so bad that no one wanted to use it. It took them a long time to update it and even though not perfect, it was an improvement. It took a long time to master navigating this site but we dealt with it. Over time the site became the number one site for employers and job seekers that was both effective and free. Now the changes incorporate so many new rules and laws that it is discouraging to use. One of the many elements of the new site is the corporate employee using the service or the small employer must provide a social insurance number. Why a SIN when it is an employer using it for employment advertising. Some employees and companies are refusing to give this information. If you do not use the site for more than 90 days you must re-register. What for?? It has been almost 8 weeks now and my application has not been accepted yet. It seems like my type of Business falls between the cracks. I have had a number of conversations with them and either the system is down or the person I am talking to does know how to help me. What a mess! So like others I have to resort to other means of employment advertising.

Why is it, when the Government gets involved everything gets screwed up? They totally miss the objective of making things easier for employers and job seekers to link up.

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Voicemail Disppears

14 April 2015 Categories: Gerry's Corner

Recently I read an article in Macleans Magazine that reported Coca-Cola doing away with voicemail, companywide. Is this an idiotic idea? Another means to NOT have people communicating with each other. Very soon Interpersonal skills will be obsolete for a job. Coca-Cola recommended employees use other forms of social media to communicate. I personally find this idea tragic. In my Business, communicating with Companies is far more efficient when I speak to the decision makers. More is accomplished in a shorter period of time than bouncing short messages back and forth that don’t give me the information I need to proceed with my project. As it stands the world is communicating in very brief messages that do no supply the necessary details and cannot be understood because of so many abbreviations and bad spelling. I find it at time waster, sending 3-4 emails to get all my information.

I am not sure that making voicemail disappear is a time saver. The world should be wary of what Technology is doing to business because we may just see the world taken over by computers and human beings will be obsolete.

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Gas Prices Again

05 March 2015 Categories: Gerry's Corner

This is really pissing me off. My Blog on January 26/15 has other information on this subject.

      Price per Barrel         Gas Pump Prices              Date

            $ 46.00                      $  .81 per liter          January 26/15

             $ 50.00                     $ 1.08 per liter         Current

       What is wrong with this picture? Am I the only one who feels being gouged? Who is watching this for us? Who is protecting us?

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