“Kup Choy’s Caveat”

During college one of my part-time jobs was unloading bags of mail from the airplanes at the O’Hare Airport postal service. At the time I was very young, very strong and very dumb but I really didn’t know how dumb I was. Whenever a caravan of mail pulled up to the unloading docks, I was the first one to arrive and the last one to finish. The task r...
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"Writing on the Wall"

I recall applying for an internal management position at my then place of full-time employment almost thirty years ago. My friendly competition included two candidates, both of whom, I often professionally supervised on an informal collegial basis at their request. Of the three applicants, I was the only one to have been credentialed with a doctora...
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Redundant Systems

There is a “rule of thirds” which skilled mariners utilize to assess how far out into the deep blue sea they can go before they run out of fuel and can no longer safely return to their port of departure. Use a 1/3rd to get to where you are going, use 1/3rd to return from whence you came and keep a 1/3rd in reserve in case you run into any unanticip...
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“It’s Only 8 Hours, Sonny Boy!”

It was just a part-time job during the summer between my third and fourth year of high school. Not quite 16 and I was the designated quality-control inspector at a major tool manufacturing company in Chicago. Much to my genuine surprise, I was given with the sole discretionary authority to shut down the production line if there were any problems id...
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Infrastructure

What carpenter in their “right mind” would begin to build a house by starting with the roof? What parent would give their 6 year old keys to the family car before they could ride a bicycle? What employer would promote an entry-level worker to a key executive position on the first day of hire? In the absence of “infrastructure,” you ain’t got nothin...
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"Mop's Here..."

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He was a “full-bird Colonel," of Napoleonic stature, always with an enormous Churchill in his mouth. The highest ranking officer of our army medical reserve unit and the rest of “the brass,” along with the rest of the troops, held him in singular high regard since he was the only soldier amongst us who had direct combat experience having previously...
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Good Servers

A “good server” provides a “good service” by filling a need and, thereby, rendering a valuable service “good and true.” “Good servers” provide “good service” and serve their end-user, client or customer very well, indeed! “Bad servers” leave a bad taste in the mouths of all those they fail to properly serve and none are well-served. Without “good s...
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Silver Linings

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Depression among the elderly. The thought assaults the senses. One conjures images of wintered, diminished existences: life as relentless despair. See the dispirited old man, once proud and vital, now sad eyes glazed and emptied; the fractured, frail widow, demoralized and destitute, incapable of making basic decisions she too long deferred to othe...
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