DUI–Don’t Let This Happen To You

January 28, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: DUI arrest

At dinner with two of my very best friends, my wife and I learned that “Mary” had been arrested at a driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoint this past October setting in motion a draconian series of events:

  • She was handcuffed, taken to jail and put in a filthy holding cell overnight
  • Car impounded on the spot–her passengers including her husband had to call to get a ride home–lots of cash required to reclaim the car the next day. [Your ATM daily cash withdrawal limit may not provide enough cash to get your car back!]
  • Convicted of misdemeanor drunk driving
  • 6 days of community service (one day credit was given for night in jail)–picking up trash on the side of the road–no matter that she’s a professional who could add value in a multitude of professional, non-profit activities
  • 3 months of DUI education classes and counseling–you don’t get your license back until you successfully complete
  • 1 month suspended license (no driving) followed by 5 months restricted license (drive to/from DUI classes, community service and work only)
  • 3 years probation–during term of 3 years probation, must submit to breath/blood tests if asked and ANY (e.g. .01) measurable amount of alcohol in your system will be considered a second DUI offense with much stiffer penalties.
  • If she is caught riding in a car with an intoxicated driver, that could be considered a violation of probation and, even though she may not have had a drink, this could cause a second DUI violation.
  • 2 points on driving record which will impact car insurance rates for a number of years
  • Estimated cost impact may exceed $10,000 and she will feel the impact of this for about 10 years of her life.

“Mary” was the “designated driver” that day, the driver expected to maintain sobriety so the others could enjoy freely. Over a 5-hour period, “Mary” consumed 2 glasses of wine with a full meal. She felt completely normal.

Yet, at the DUI checkpoint, her blood alcohol level was 0.09, 0.01 over the legal limit of 0.08. Her attorney suggested she duplicate the meal and actual wine consumption and get a blood test–the test confirmed that the breathalyzer test was accurate. Who would have thought this possible? Certainly not me. And, certainly not “Mary.”

I’ve known “Mary” since the 6th grade. She’s not a reckless person–she’s never been a reckless person. She’s not a  person to “drink and drive.” Yet, in the eyes of the law, she was “legally” drunk.

Given a smaller body mass, women are at a much greater risk for getting a DUI. Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the more aggressive laws and policing have made drinking and driving really hard to do in this day and age, even more so for women and especially, petite women. The Department of Motor Vehicles in California considers a glass of wine to be 5 ounces.  Most glasses of wine served in homes or restaurants are 6 or 7 ounces.  That second glass of wine can put you over the legal limit so easily. A “glass” is a horrible unit of measure.

So, just don’t drink and drive. A cab or limousine is a mere pittance compared to the mental and financial toll you incur if you are stopped and found guilty of a DUI.

If this week’s posting saves you or a loved one from going through this, I will grateful as I’m sure “Mary” will be, too. Please share this story liberally. You don’t know who you might be helping.

PS: I have knowingly driven while being heavily intoxicated many times earlier in my life, long before the perception of drinking and driving and the laws changed. I thank my lucky stars that I was never suffered the same fate as “Mary,” that I never caused an accident, injury or death to anyone. Because of diabetes, I have about one drink per year now on very special occasions and, then, only if I’m not driving. Today, I can really feel the alcohol in just one drink. And, so can the breathalyzer. I urge real caution.

Thought for the week:

“Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lessons afterwards.” – Vernon Law

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What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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A Road Warrior Without A Smart Phone Is A Weakened Warrior

January 22, 2013

As I caught the Amtrak train in Santa Clara on New Year’s Day evening to head to Eugene, Oregon, I made a major blunder. Here’s what happened.

The train ended up arriving not 10 minutes late as the station signage indicated but only 2 minutes late. As I sat in the car casually talking to my wife, I saw the light of the oncoming train flash suddenly flash into my rear view mirror.

I flew out of my seat to retrieve my stuff from the back of our car and hurried onto the platform to catch the train. There were only 3 of us boarding the train that night in Santa Clara so I knew the stop would be very brief.

As soon as I entered the train, my smart phone Bluetooth earpiece beeped in my ear informing me—to my complete and immediate horror—that I had left my phone in the front of our car. The train doors closed as I returned to my point of entry. I momentarily thought about hitting the emergency stop alarm on the train but thought better of it for a number of reasons.

  • I suspected I might be committing a crime for hitting an emergency stop button for what I’m sure Amtrak wouldn’t consider a true emergency, and,
  • I suspected that my wife had already driven off with my phone so there was no point in trying to exit the train.

So, what to do? I’ve embarked on an 8-day trip and have no cash or coins to summon my car rental company to pick me up at my train station, my wife may not realize I left the phone in the car and, when she’s unable to reach me, will suspect something has gone wrong. My immediate thought was how to contact her to let her know of my dilemma.

I immediately booted my laptop and WiFi device and sent my wife an email to her smart phone. Fortunately, she quickly acknowledged she had my phone. We agreed she would drive to Oakland and reunite me with my phone within the hour. Thanks, Nancy! Whew!!

I am dependent on my smart phone for staying in touch with my world. The feeling of “Oh my God—I don’t have my phone,” revealed just how reliant I am on this device.

I offered to have my wife ship me my phone but that would have meant being without my phone for 2 business days—a suboptimal situation. Could I have made it 2 days? Sure. But, I really didn’t want to find out what that would be like.

A road warrior without a smart phone is a weakened warrior.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Dave Gardner

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2 Challenges Innovators Face

January 21, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: innovation

I had the pleasure of meeting Craig Calfee at Calfee Design, a bicycle designer and manufacturer in Northern California. His first innovation was a carbon fiber frame bike; Greg Lemond rode Calfee’s carbon fiber bike to victory in the 1991 Tour de France.

Another innovation Craig has brought to the marketplace is the bamboo frame bicycle. Craig told me entrepreneurs face two key questions from prospective buyers when bringing true innovation to market:

  • Will it work?
  • Will people laugh at me if I buy it?

It works. I can’t imagine people laughing when they see how it’s been implemented and understand the fundamentals around bamboo strength and structural integrity. Finally, the bamboo bike frame is gorgeous.

This innovation has allowed Craig to create jobs in Africa utilizing highly-renewable, green bamboo materials. And, he is selling bamboo bikes and bamboo bike frame kits here. This innovation is helping a lot of people thrive who needed an opportunity.

Note: If you are in Northern California, you can learn more about these bikes during an Association for Corporate Growth Silicon Valley dinner meeting on February 21, 2013 in Sunnyvale called “Transportation of the Future–Flying Cars and More.” Full disclosure: I’m moderating the panel discussion.

Thought for the week:

“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.”  – Robert Anthony

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What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

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Recent Blog Posts I’ve Written That May Interest You:

West Coast Business Travel On Amtrak

Bill Clinton Keynotes Dell World 2012–Ideas Worth Pondering

FAA Review of 787 Is An Illusion

Allegiant Air Needs to Improve Customer Experience

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Bill Clinton Keynotes Dell World 2012

January 16, 2013

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton took the stage during Dell World 2012 in Austin, Texas, at 12:12 pm on 12/12/12 to a standing ovation. I want to share the essence of some of his thoughts that were captured on Twitter during his presentation.

  • President Clinton sees the world improving due to what he coined as “networks of creative cooperation.” He sees these networks as helping the world realize solutions to its most daunting challenges much faster.
  • The “world is too unequal, not just in income but in access to education.” The implication of this inequality is there cannot be a true global marketplace with gross global inequalities. It is not possible to build a true global marketplace when billions of people do not have access to money, food, water and education.
  • The market economy needs some inequality and inefficiency to encourage risk-taking but too much shuts things down.
  • Poor countries need systems and to reward good conduct for positive results. Rich countries take too much for granted, e.g., electricity, toilets, education and roads. He mentioned that one place he visited in Africa required 1.5 days to travel 11 miles via the “road.”
  • The dilemma in rich societies: Systems become more interested in holding on to what they have got than creating the future.
  • Global political instability is a significant challenge the world faces and fosters economic instability.
  • If baby boomers consume healthcare dollars at the same rate as the prior generation, it will break the bank. Baby boomers need to be healthier than the prior generation.
  • Climate change debate needs to be focused around how to deal with the problem, not whether the problem exists.
  • If we want to help entrepreneurs and small businesses do more, we need to ensure that we have the fastest download speeds in the world. Technology infrastructure is key to being competitive in a global economy.
  • We should fix the tax code to allow for the repatriation of overseas corporate profits and use those tax funds for essential infrastructure investments which will create jobs.
  • We need to start lending to small businesses and help them with healthcare and environmental costs via the tax structure.
  • Healthcare costs have risen at a rate far greater than inflation and the impact has been that employees are not getting raises because of healthcare costs.
  • We have to live with differences and still feel good about ourselves. He strongly recommended a book The Big Sort: Why The Clustering Of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart. Here is part of the book’s description from Amazon.com.: Over the past three decades, we have been choosing the neighborhood (and church and news show) compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. The result is a country that has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred that people do no’t know and cannot understand those who live a few miles away. How this came to be, and its dire implications for our country, is the subject of this ground-breaking work. In The Big Sort, Bishop has taken his analysis to a new level. He begins with stories about how we live today and then draws on history, economics and our changing political landscape to create one of the most compelling big picture accounts of America in recent memory.
  • The hardest thing to do is to get an old country like the U.S. to invest in tomorrow, e.g., education, research.
  • The greatest barrier to change: the future never has a lobby as strong as the status quo.
  • When Bill Clinton was inaugurated in January 1993 — 20 years ago — a cellular phone weighed 5 pounds and there were a total of 50 websites in the world.

I hope you will take a few minutes to ponder some of these thoughts. Is there anything in this for you and your team about how these realities might guide your thinking in the months and years ahead?

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

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FAA Review of 787 Is An Illusion

January 15, 2013

Ray LaHood, the head of the U.S. Government’s Department of Transportation, declared the the Boeing 787 is safe to fly. Yet, in the same press event, LaHood announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will conduct a complete safety review of the 787 to reassess the electrical systems and production process/quality control. This action is unprecedented.

Boeing_787

The FAA doesn’t have the expertise to lead or devise a definitive plan to execute this effort. Given the complexity of the plane and the task, it could take several years before a FAA reassessment plan could be designed and implemented unless Boeing is really going to lead this effort. I suspect the FAA will participate in a safety review but will not lead the effort as has been advanced.

Doesn’t Boeing have the most to gain or lose from the current problems being reported? Boeing must have an extreme sense of urgency to understand and initiate corrective action for any and all of the problems that have surfaced that represent potential threats to the airworthiness of the aircraft.

One can only imagine the setback a catastrophic failure of a 787 would represent for Boeing and the airline industry which is counting on this product to increase efficiencies airlines face serving a global marketplace.

A Japan Airlines 787 had to abort a trip from Boston to Japan due to a fuel leak in a fuel nozzle.  CNN reports that the plane was later flown back to Japan for a more thorough examination. Personally, I would have flown it to Boeing in Seattle or South Carolina for that examination rather than half-way around the world. But, that’s just me.

A final thought: I’m not sure I want Ray LaHood to be a cheerleader for Boeing and the airworthiness of the Boeing 787.  The effort to certify a plane is extensive and exhaustive–I wrote about it in Fast Company. The FAA has already invested some 200,000 hours in the original certification process. But, the sample size for certification is limited.  It is certainly reasonable that supply chain complexities and design or producibility issues will surface as production is ramped up. Realistically, though, the burden is on Boeing.  The FAA can provide oversight, but, let’s not kid ourselves: the oversight is limited.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

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Turbocharging Your Business

January 14, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: turbocharge your business

“A GREAT mentor is somebody who has an extraordinary hopefulness for you because they know how much more is possible. They want you to fulfill your destiny path, within your own life. They want to help you discover and reprogram your actions. A GREAT mentor is somebody who has a very clinical, critical, transactional and empirical understanding, and the ability to really see what YOU can be in many dimensions.” – Jay Abraham

I first met Jay at his Consultant’s Bootcamp in January 1993. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t think of Jay’s work and his influence on me. My clients benefit from the value Jay expresses so very well above.

Just before Thanksgiving, I began working with a new client. My expertise and its application offer the potential to double or triple my client’s revenues in the next 18-24 months, removing a limitation that has capped revenue growth in his business for some 20 years. How is this possible? By simplifying the complex for his highly-configurable products and by reframing the value he offers from a customer’s perspective.

My client’s business is going to thrive. Who wants to be next?

Thought for the week:

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

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What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Allegiant Air Needs to Improve Customer Experience

January 11, 2013

My recent decision to travel from Silicon Valley to Eugene, Oregon, via Amtrak is due to frustration with Allegiant Air on its twice weekly trips between Oakland, California, and Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is not the easiest place to fly to. Long delays and the announcement of delays until after you arrive at the airport are my biggest complaints about Allegiant Air. Perhaps they are trying too hard to save money.

  • The airport staff is pretty junior and not well-prepared for dealing with customers having a “not so great” customer experience.
  • Allegiant Air is flying old MD-80 aircraft they purchased for about $4 million each, a dirt cheap price. They painted them nicely and changed out the interiors to make it feel like you’re on a new aircraft. But, that beauty is only skin deep. Mechanical delays are common—too common for my taste. I’m sure they meet FAA standards, a requirement to fly in the U.S.
  • There was no kiosk to print a boarding pass at the airport—I had to stand in line for an hour after I left my boarding pass sitting on my printer in my office. Big mistake on my part! Yet, to save money, they don’t have kiosks like other airlines.

Finally, Allegiant Air has a Twitter account but they don’t monitor or provide updates via Twitter. They give you a phone number to call on their Twitter profile and warn you that you won’t get a response via Twitter. They had issued a total of 3 tweets from their account back on the 20th of December. I call this “the illusion of using social media.” “Oh, you can communicate or complain about Allegiant on Twitter but this isn’t a way Allegiant chooses to communicate with customers” They want you to call them. What’s wrong with this picture. It’s 2013. Hello?

Allegiant Air needs to pick up its game in terms of communicating with passengers. If Allegiant Air knows hours earlier that they are going to be late several hours, they should let their customers know as soon as they detect this. We are adults. We can handle it. Nobody wants to wait in an airport for 3 or 4 hours if we don’t have to. This only compounds the problem of being late.

Being a low cost carrier doesn’t suggest that their customers should experience lower quality service and a poor customer experience.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© Dave Gardner 2013

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