Friday, November 27, 2009

Natural Consequence Versus Punishment

As human beings, we are a part of the natural world even though some egos would like to say that we’re better than or apart from Nature. Human beings are subject to all the same laws as all other creatures, natural consequences included.

Natural consequences are those things that can’t be helped. They are scientific and subject to the same results if Jack does the experiment or if Jill does the experiment.

An experiment with gravity:
Jack and Jill went up the hill, to fetch a pail of water,
Jack fell down, broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.

Fall at the top of a hill + gravity = Find yourself at the bottom of the hill.
Natural consequence.

Punishment is entirely a different situation. Punishment is not the natural consequence of actions. Punishment does not come from any natural law.

We can see the difference between Natural Consequence versus Punishment in this example:

If a dog failed to finish all the food, the natural consequences might be:
a) another animal might finish the food
b) carrion birds or flies would finish the food
c) the food would rot

If a child failed to clean their plate of all food provided, the natural consequence might be:
a) another person might finish the food
b) the food might go bad
c) an animal might finish the food
d) the food might be thrown away

Not a natural consequence might be one or more of the following:
e) forced to finish the food anyway
f) denied food at another time
g) spanked
h) grounded

Parental authority allows for punishment of children, but don’t let that be misconstrued with anything like the natural consequences of actions.

Threaten a dog, beat a dog, or tease a dog, and the dog will bite.
Natural consequence.

Punishment is simply the choice of the authority/punisher to inflict their will on someone under their authority. When they say to the punished, ‘it’s a natural consequence of your behavior'; the authority seeks to avoid the responsibility for their actions. Avoiding responsibility may go unpunished, but there are always natural consequences.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Worldopoly - A New Game

Just a thought I had today for a new game. Rather than Monopoly, which I love but gets boring when there aren’t enough players, is to have a new game, what should we call it? Worldopoly.

The object or goals of the game would be very challenging taking intelligence, economic savvy and a view to a better future. The instruments of measure would not be money but creating the most participation within the game and you’d have to be a business genius with a work ethic to play. There would be a variety of levels.

Of course the top level comes with the most perks but it also requires ruthless ethics and the desire to have the largest “empire” for lack of another term, at the moment.

Contradicting the current situation where downsizing and eliminating players, this game would be great fun because everyone gets to play, which means it’s really challenging because there is so much going on all the time.

Worldopoly requires Captains of Business to create areas of expertise. Within these areas of expertise which can either be specialized or diversified, the goal is to create a working, thriving economy of trade and productivity.

Awards to the Captains in some agreed upon fashion when the largest number of kingdoms for which they derive their awards are busy, useful and ecologically friendly. Awards go to kingdoms when all the units of population households are participating to the utmost in the economic exchange patterns.

Goal of household is exchange within the kingdom is set for the greatest good to the greatest number with the least amount of exploitation allowing for the growth of levels, expertise and career or trade excellence as a goal rather than the most points for the least work. Responsibility levels call for most exchanges but even at the lowest level human rights are protected.

Awards to the lowest level households increase the economic exchange and therefore benefit the kingdom level and the empire level.

Worldopoly offers win-win situations for everyone concerned. Players are allowed to move their pieces to improve themselves, their households, kingdoms and empires which benefits everyone.

No incentive for non-production at the kingdom or empire level. There is no profit in non-production for kingdom and empire. Their challenge is to improve, inspire and motivate participation. More participation at every lower level, benefits them directly.

The goal: to make the best better creates a competition at all levels to strive for personal fulfillment, personal gain through the aid and participation of the players at all levels.

Of course, the greatest risk comes with the greatest responsibility, and the captains want to create the prettiest, best built, ever lasting empire with the happiest people because it feels good to win. And it’s a win-win. There are no loose-win scenarios, that’s too easy.

Oh but here’s the exciting part: it’s a pyramid of overlapping triangles with ratios for population with unit productivity quotients.

Credit for clean environment, debits for hazardous materials factored in on production for the land mass quotient that supports the population. And it’s all based on working, thriving, healthful choices of units.

Units could be a co-operative population number accounting for different life phases. Pluses and Minuses factored in at the kingdom and empire levels for a variety of situations. Health care and vacations factored into a minimal equation of pursuit of happiness points at the unit level so that the minimum could be based on a 2 members + a number of additional or replacement units. All life phases are factored so that monetary “work” and volunteer “work” and household “duties” are valued at as the unit contribution so that all unit needs, as well as societal needs are met.

Bean-counters would find a challenge to factor in all the variables to level a unit production point system. Rewards at the kingdom level grow exponentially with each functioning unit. The glory to the captains not only creates a dazzling level of awe and inspiration of legendary proportion, the competition between empires makes for challenge and intrigue because if captains are unable to have so many productive kingdoms, they loose status, and perhaps the number of kingdoms contributing to the empire is less, because it just too much to handle. Same applies to kingdoms that become less environmentally friendly or have fewer productive units, the leadership risks challenge and replacement by the captains who would directly loose by the bad management or accumulation of non-contributory kingdoms. The win-win model is key to
this game.

Excesses are not allowable and actually cost the player, unit, kingdom & empire exponentially. For example, bad behavior at a player level impacts live-style, lower life-style impact productivity, which impacts unit worth which impacts kingdom totals which impact empire glory. It’s to the empire’s advantage (and possible expansion to greater glory) to encourage higher levels of behavior and ethics.

Kingdom leaders are stretched to include more bright ideas and increase the collective knowledge based in their own responsibility/privilege balance by adding population ratio required contemporaries with which to play/compete.

Allowances are allotted for self-adjustment, change of status and learning curves, however, time limitations and production ratios are more important as shifting organization balances the ratios of number of players, units, kingdom leaders and empire captains with a natural equilibrium. Checks and balances on a new level, new game, that’s Worldopoly.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Make Money Move

Talking heads suggesting that minimum wage is a living disgust the rational human being. The equation is simple even the slow media personality should be able to follow the equation to the number indicated allowing for variables of location across the country.

First the questions:
Educated /trained professionals and trades-people should be able to attain what level of societal success, in general. The general answers will set the societal expectation and standard.

Ability of Home-ownership?
Option for Children?
Option for Extended Vacations?

Requirement of Health care, Housing, Sustenance this is the base:
Lower levels are where people begin, they can work out of lower levels by showing loyalty to a company or developing area of expertise.

Single Person/ Entry/Bottom = housing, utilities, sustenance, health care, car, insurance, clothing, vacation (time & money). (18 – 21 years old)

For a moral society, partnership should be encouraged by making coupling affordable. One partner should have the option to care for the household duties of both without adversely impacting financial & social status at five years of work or entry level expertise. Options offered for home-ownership or children or vacations or new cars. (21 – 25 years old)

For a healthful society, families should be encouraged by making children affordable. One partner should be encouraged and have the option to care for the household duties and the children without adversely impacting financial & social status somewhere between five & ten years experience or five years of expertise. Options offered home-ownership & vacations & new cars or home-ownership & children & new cars or vacations & children & new cars. (24 – 34 years old)

Minimum for productive members, all options should be attainable at fifteen years of experience or ten years of expertise. (33 – 43 years old) These would be the years of societal equilibrium.

Of course, options for more training or more education get the minimum faster and there is always the bigger and better options for work-a-holics or rich-kids.

Productive member pay-day is that all options are attainable by 45 years of age for the average person/family: House, Kids, Cars, Vacations = Happy Population = Lots or Money Moving!

So the challenge becomes the big-guy’s dilemma, how to encourage economic moves that pay the working person what is right, what he/she has earned.

Entry level, kid’s wages, minimum wage isn’t even sustenance in any economic arena in the US. If you think it is, you are wrong and you have never lived on minimum wage.

GOOD NEWS: The benefits to a thriving economy that offers people these options as basic life milestones is that moving money makes money move.

Let's see:
Houses (buying & selling = employment = money moving)
Home Repairs (employment + supplies = money moving)
Cars (buying & selling = employment = money moving)
Car Repair (employment + supplies = money moving)
Insurance (employment = money moving)
Food (employment + supplies = money moving)
Clothes (employment = supplies = money moving)
Vacations (employment + supplies = money moving)
Kids (employment + supplies = money moving)

The possibilities are endless, but you have to make sure that the lowest guy has the basics covered easily and everyone else does better.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Customers, please don't bother us!

Mr. Franklin, my boss would get upset if the phone wasn’t answered by the second ring. Why? The customer was important to Mr. Franklin. Without the customers he wouldn’t be in business. The cultural standard for companies was to have the best customer service possible. A company wanted the best customer service because they wanted to have more customers and happy customers were good customers, loyal customers. So way back then, I answered the phone quickly and courteously because I didn’t want to disappoint my boss or the customer.

If the occasion happened when I didn’t have an immediate answer for the customer or another company employee was required and on another line, the customer was asked if they preferred to a) leave a message, or b) could hold for a short time. If they said they would like to hold, we were to notify the company person/department that they had a call waiting. At first, it was by note, then we upgraded to a flashing button on the phone. The idea was for the customer to be the least inconvenienced as possible. Why? Because we wanted to serve the customer, so they would be our customer.

By the attitude (and time on hold), today’s company couldn’t care less which company you use, or what services you have with them.

Case in point, I want to add to my service, don’t have to, just want to. Before I decide how much service to add, I’d like to know my options, the cost, you know, the details, the fine print. So, I called. The first thing the recording announces: Go to www.we.don’ to find your own answers or hold for 10 minutes.

I opt for both. I hold the line and turn on my computer.

The website isn’t intuitive but I navigate to the service area which provides only general information and a shopping cart. I click on all the links to hidden information to find some additional charges but still not all the answers to my questions.

After 20 minutes, Mark answers the phone.

Customer Service: “Hi I’m Mark. How can I make you very pleased with our service?”

I laugh: “Mark, at this point VERY pleased isn’t even on the scale. I’ve been on hold 20 minutes. But if you could answer some questions I have about…”I continued to explain what I wanted, that the website offered only general information, I needed answers to my questions before adding to my service.

Mark was very pleasant and said: “Let me see if I can get that information for you. Would you mind holding while I get that information?”

“Okay, I’ll wait a minute.”

Ten minutes later. “Hi this is Veronica, I’m sorry but your account isn’t showing on my screen.”

Back to square one.

Veronica answered the questions and was in the process of filling the shopping cart attached to my account.

“No. I don’t want to add the service unless you can attach it to my current plan.”

“But it doesn’t make a difference.”

“Yes it does. I want everything all on the same contract.”

“But you have different dates now.”

“No, my contracts are all together.”

“On your account, it shows… you’re a very long time customer… oh… they are on the same date. Why is that?”

“Because, if I’m not happy… I can decide not to renew my contract, all on the same day.”

“Really? Wow…So can I add the service?”

“Unless you can add it to the current contract, I’ll just wait.”

“You won’t have to wait and it will only be a $175.00 fee to cancel if you don’t renew your other contract.”

“Yes I know.”

“So I can add the service?”

“No, because I don’t want to have the fees attached to different dates.”

“No one ever asks about that.”

“It seems so.”

“On a scale of 1-5, 5 being best, how would you rate my service on this call.”

“I didn’t really get any service, but I was on hold for more than 30 minutes before you answered some of my questions.”

“I’m sorry.”

Bottom line:Cost to this company because they were unable to provide the additional service without penalty fees: $100. Plus I’ve gone from not thrilled, to unhappy with their attitude toward me, their customer.

But what’s $100. times how ever many other customers get frustrated?

My old boss, Mr. Franklin would have been angry if any of his customers were treated with such distain. He would have fired the offender and personally called the customer and made sure they were pleased with the service, his personal attention, and probably thrown in a little extra to make up for the trouble.

Don’t fret over me. I’m not holding my breath until a supervisor calls to make sure this long time customer is a happy customer. They won’t be making more money off me for additional services I want because they’ve made it too aggravating to add it. It affects their bottom line every day, but they really don’t care so long as customers don’t inconvenience them.