Category Archives: Business practices

World’s richest man shares thoughts…

William Henry Gates III better known as “Bill Gates” is the world’s richest man (at least for now) according to Fortune Magazine.  Many people are fascinated about the man who’s accrued more wealth than anyone else for most of the years Fortune has compiled their list for the past 20 or so years.  I’ll admit I also wonder what the richest person in the world thinks and wonder if what he says and thinks that may inspire me to do the same.

So, where can we find these profound thoughts?  He wrote “The Road Ahead” in 1995.  So, here’s the first chance beyond his emails and communication to his coworkers and friends that the public could read about what he was thinking.  He followed up in 1999 with “Business @ the Speed of Thought. ”  Of course Gates is profiled in the media quite often, but since that’s unpredictable when he’ll be quoted, there’s a few other ways to follow this very successful individual. Continue reading

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Wow! Cigarettes aren’t cheap!

10.50 Camel CigarettesEver since quitting smoking in 1st grade (yes, I smoked for a full week when I was 7 years old!), I’ve been an opponent of cigarettes.  However, my folks run a convenience store and growing up, I’ve always seen prices of smokes up close since I handed over those “packs” to customers for a dollar plus and up.  I saw this on Yahoo’s News & the images associated with the news and literally almost fell backwards in my chair.  While I think this is a great thing that tobacco’s gotten very expensive, I was still a little floored at how much it now costs for a pack of cigarettes.  I wonder though how much of this $10.50 is margin versus how much is actually the price going up.  I realize that taxes and other tariffs account for a lot of this price, but just like gas prices, I wonder if the tobacco companies’ profits have grown in line with the prices of the products they sell.

On a side note, why is it that oil companies do make much more money when they’re gouging customers throughout the world with higher prices?  I mean, while a barrel rises in price, why is it that the margins seem to increase as well for the leading oil companies in the world?  It’s definitely not my parents or the many convenience store and gas station owners fault because their margins stay the same.  I’ve seen it up close.

Tisk, tisk oil companies…

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Hagwon Advice…

esl kidsI’ve been around the (Korean) block a few times…

More specifically, I’ve been in the English as a Foreign Language (and as CDI or Chungdahm Learning likes to call it their patented ESL programs) industry for more than five years in Korea.  I get questions constantly about how to enter the industry, who to choose for work and honestly what to do if interested in this field if you want work.

Well, I just got another question (or should I say set of questions) asked of me about work here in Korea as an English teacher.  Instead of just answering this gentleman directly and minimizing the impact, I thought I’d write it up here so a few more can read and hopefully benefit from my advice.  In addition to reading the following, you can also read my piece called “Advice for Teachers” (they titled it that way even though I didn’t) which should actually be named “Advice for ‘Prospective’ English Teachers (in Korea).”

The guy asks: Continue reading

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Not the best week thus far…

The other morning, I fell down the stairs in my apartment for the first time.

stairs

It wasn’t a pleasant fall either…

I slid down the last three or so stairs landing face down on the floor. I looked up thinking “Jeez, I had better be careful next time.” I then look down to my arm which is throbbing to find the following “rug burn” (I guess the best term I can pin down for now). It didn’t help to add it to the recovering cigarette burn to my arm (no, I’m not joining the ranks of all the smokers here, but in an attempt to pat the back of one of our newer teachers who was smoking (out on the town), I caught the end of his cigarette instead).

Anyway, now writing this, all I can think of the phrase we may use when getting older “I’ve fallen and I can’t get back up!” I hope I never reach this point. Continue reading

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Facebook down again…

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It’s definitely not a life crisis or emergency and may be something secluded to us here in the Asian region (oh, did I ever mention Asia will represent MOST OF THE WORLD soon if not already?), but it’s annoying. I’ve been waking up a bit early and going to sleep later most days since getting back from a quick trip abroad. My body clock isn’t back to normal, but I also have a million things on my mind and feel like I need to do. Anyhoo, in the midst of all the stress, I have to admit facebook is a nice stress release. Did I say “stress release?”

Today it’s a STRESSOR instead of a stress relief.

I’ve tried to log in for the past hour and all I get is a page that hangs. You can see from these images that I have the hourglass icon because it’s hanging or the page displays improperly because I can’t get anything back from the Facebook servers.

ScreenHunter_01 May. 28 10.26

 

 

 

 

 

I guess the post I wrote a few months ago is finally coming true…or at least more signs point to it.

 

ScreenHunter_02 May. 28 10.26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(USUALLY this shows up on the right hand side, but resolved to the left and basically in a broken page)


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Talk about sh*t hitting the fan…

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Is it me?  Or did I just land in the country most well known for “drama?”  

Just visited my great friend Derek at his wedding in Hawaii with the beautiful bride Bonnie and great friends.  It was seriously a beautiful wedding. Here’s the couple dancing to “Bella’s Lullaby” played by you would think a professional piano player, but rather by their niece “Rachel” who is AMAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZING!!!! (think of Will Ferrell yelling this like he did at the Harvard Commencement speech).

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Not being able to access Google…

Wow, but the other night was really (virtually) painful.  It also showed me how much I am reliant on Google as a search tool.  Basically, I think it was on the 13th when for some reason every time I did a search on Google, I got the following message returned to me: 

 

we're sorry virus check spyware remover message from google

we're sorry virus check spyware remover message from google

And an additional pop up message saying “TypeError x0 is undefined” as well attacks my browser like this: 

 

TypeError x0 is undefined

TypeError x0 is undefined

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What’s the opposite of salutation? What do you call that the greeting at the end of a letter/email?

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What is the antonym of salutation?

This is totally random, but today I was trying to tell someone how I failed to end the email properly.  Immediately, what popped into my head was “salutation” which of course means: “a word or phrase serving as the prefatory greeting in a letter or speech.”  As you can see, it is how we start the letter vs. ending the letter.

So, what do we call the greeting at the end before your signature? Continue reading

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‘Dat Darn (WordPress) Blogs of the Day “special formula” is hard to figure out…

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wordpress-blogs-of-the-dayAs wordpress.com’s “Blogs of the Day” growing blogs list page says, they throw up the rankings based on:

“The most popular WordPress.com blogs are ranked here according to a special formula.”  Special formula?

I’ve been there a few times, but most recently on January 26, 2009.  The Real South Korea ranked I think it was #38 on the “Growing Blogs” list.  Two days before I was thrown on the list, I had about 830 views.  The day after, it shot up to almost double to 1621 views which may have triggered this listing.  The day after though, it only jumped up a little more to 1731, but that was the day I was posted #38.  Continue reading

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Customer Service Contact information is still a pain to get – even in Korea: Case in point – SK Broadband

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SK Broadband

SK Broadband

I recently moved.  I’ll definitely be posting about the experience here because it’s literally the 5th time I’ve moved here in Korea in my less than 3 years here and has to be the 100th time I’ve moved in the past 17+ years.  Let’s just say I’m a professional mover at this point & no, I’m not the one moving the “stuff.”  Rather, at least, I’m not the one who’s getting “paid” to move the stuff — I’ve been doing most of the paying.

Anyhoo, the reason I’m writing this post is to dedicate this to all of you who are looking to set up or change your Broadband provider in South Korea and happen to already be using SK Broadband.  If you need to get a hold of them and wanted to find their phone number conveniently online, you’re basically out of luck.  Similar to what I’ve said before about it being a pain to obtain customer service contact information like emails from ironically “online companies” (Amazon.com’s being one of the more difficult ones to find online despite being a HUGE ONLINE advocate) , this experience to try and find SK Broadband’s customer service department’s phone number before they closed was stressful.  Another similar example was finding a place or other way to contact the customer service department of one of the biggest online companies in the world at this point (Google)Continue reading

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If, then… I wish someone would develop a contingency software tool!

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if then

if then

Many of us work hard — very hard for that matter.  We’re willing to put many hours into our work and at times are incredibly efficient.  Howeer, many of our coworkers ask us “Is xyz done yet?”  “Can you tell me where abc is right now?”  We’re usually waiting for someone else in the big puzzle we call work to finish something that would let us do our job ultimately.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some form of project management or task management software that helped us point out the true kinks or dependencies we have in our daily “to do” lists?  Perhaps the ideal software could also help us understand how long the delays are and if the things (or people) who hold us up continue to do so & at what frequency?  Perhaps, it will ultimately become an HR or rather a Human Resources tool which helps us understand who’s more efficient in an organization?  Continue reading

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Ingenious online marketing site: Subservient Chicken dot com

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Burger King

Burger King

Thanks to Facebook and Ashley Parks, one of our teachers in our company, I just learned about a website the online marketing crew over at Burger King concocted called “Subservient Chicken.”  You get a website of a live guy (or it appears he’s live & it could be a gal for all we know) dressed up in a chicken who takes commands from online viewers.  At first, I don’t know why, but I told it to “die.”  Well, it didn’t do as asked.  While waiting, I saw it scratching it’s head with it’s wing (hand, I mean). Continue reading

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Achieving a promotion in 6 months what normally takes 10+ years

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Didn’t realize it at the time, but when I was promoted twice in a matter of 6 months from Instructor to Faculty Manager and to my current title of Director, I found out from reading some literature recently it can take a normal Korean 10+ years to obtain the title below me called “gwajang” — a mid-level management position.  If it takes regularly 10+ years for that position and I’m in a title even higher and obtained it in less than 6 months, I should definitely be proud of my accomplishment.  I guess my previous experience made it easier along with my age & supposed wisdom.  Some days I neglect to realize all that I’ve done actually while here…


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