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     Imagine coming here for a business meeting from a small town in another country. You’re just starting to learn English. Your host picks you up at Newark Airport and–intent on getting you to her office in “The Big Apple”–heads for the New Jersey Turnpike and the Lincoln Tunnel into midtown Manhattan. Great Guggamuggah! Talk about culture shock!

     You’ve struggled with deciphering the difference between driving on the parkway and parking in the driveway. You read signs: “CASH” and “NO CASH.” You get cash at this little booth? No, it must mean you give cash. Then why go to “CASH” and pay if you can go to “NO CASH” and act broke and get by for free?

     “EXIT” or “NO EXIT” or “EXIT ONLY” present intriguing options. Then, just to screw up your brain, is “LAST EXIT BEFORE TOLL” (so why not take it to avoid having to choose between “CASH” and “NO CASH”?). Aah, then there’s the whole question about whether “U TURN” or “NO U TURN” that’s just past the “CASH” “NO CASH.” 

     I mean, why would U turn and have to pay again and why would U not be allowed to turn (especially if U needed to re-turn to the little booth to use the bathroom or something)? And wouldn’t your curiosity be aroused in 90-degree July weather about “BRIDGE FREEZES BEFORE ROADWAY”?

     This doesn’t even compare to the questions the signs raise about your head.

     Uh, “CURVES AHEAD” and “STOP AHEAD” are puzzling, but you start to wonder about what kinds of animalistic creatures would urge you to “BRAKE AHEAD.” Then you see “JUGHANDLE AHEAD”…whew! And the radio blames traffic on “RUBBERNECKERS”???

     Standing still next to the “KEEP MOVING” sign in the middle of the tunnel, your host tells you how many hundred feet you are under the Hudson River and then notes how old the tunnel is and that it periodically springs a leak or two but that you’d probably only have to be there awhile. YUGZOWIE!

     So you finally get to the office. The 35th floor reception room with 4-inch thick buzzer entry glass doors next to the elevator has 6 plastic potted palms complete with strategically located yellowing leaves, a plastic-looking gum-chewing receptionist with spike heels, a 6-inch skirt and a plastic tube and a half’s worth of lipstick plastered between her nose and her chin.

     The coffee table sports three ragged copies of PEOPLE magazine from 1997, a National Geographic with the cover missing, and a few odd pages (aren’t they all?) of last week’s New York Times. The carpet has a large stain that resembles a Law & Order murder scene without chalk lines.

     There are dozens of moving black things breeding in the overhead fluorescents. Something piped out of ceiling speakers that resembles music is playing under the static. The coffee maker in the corner looks and smells like it’s been cooking for two days.

     Are you ready for your return flight yet?

     The business road to reception is filled with stuff we all take for granted. We’re used to rushing through this crummy airport route filled with confusion and traffic congestion. We’re used to rushing into office buildings and through disgusting and completely inhospitable reception areas every day without ever stopping to take inventory of what it must look like to a first time visitor.

     We KNOW there are no second first impressions, but we get ourselves in the mindset of thinking no one notices or cares about these things. They do and they do!

     When you take a customer, client, patient, prospect, associate, vendor, employee, friend or relative into your community and work environment , be sensitive to what that person is experiencing (especially someone from out of town!) and take the trouble to clean up the act before that individual’s arrival. Please note the word “before.” Thank you.   

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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One comment so far


  1. Joannahon 28 Mar 2009 at 4:34 am

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
    Joannah <>

    Hi Joannah! Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to comment. I genuinely appreciate your compliments and truly DO hope to see you visiting regularly with so many of my other wonderful friends. (P.S. Your Scones look yummy. I urge everyone to visit your site!) Thanks – Hal

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