Politics At The Office

Talk about pushing the limits! I got this email from one of the directors at the office where I currently work. Below it you can read my response.

Michael there is no hope for you. Obama will get into office and you along with the rest of us will reap the wonderful rewards of no checks and balances in the congress/senate/presidency. We will “share the wealth” by increasing all kinds of money to welfare because that is what sharing the wealth is. I was always taught growing up that the sky is the limit, life will be what I make of it and I have lived by that motto all of my life. I work hard for everything I have and I want to chose how I spend my money. I do not want the government to spend my money on how they want to give money to people who think they are “initialed” to it verses working for it and give to those people who currently do not pay any taxes as all.

My brother and his wife own their own business. They took the risk, put their home up as collateral and have worked 24hours a day 7 days a week building that business up. I have admired and am very proud of what they have accomplished. Their pay their fair share of taxes now (higher income folks in the US currently pay the 2nd highest tax rate in the world). They have earned everything they have made and I am very proud of them. It’s the American dream and the American way. The government does not deserve any more $ then they currently get from them. Neil & Rausa provide jobs for people and insurance and retirement. I have talked with my brother and he had plans of expansion and is now not proceeding because of the fear of higher taxes because he will not be able to now afford to hire additional people for growth. Ask him what he thinks of Mr Obama.

And fellow readers, here is what I wrote back…

#1 You are believing the fallacy that Obama will raise all taxes.
#2 You can see now where the current Bush and McCain style of leadership is getting us – recession and unemployment
#3 McCain fought for no regulation – this is what caused our current problems and the exact no checks and balances you are talking about
#4 Under McCain you get a $5000 taxable credit for health insurance that right now costs $12,000 plus per year – and that also doesn’t help when you are unemployed.
#5 I agree that I would rather not have the government spend my money. That is why I elect who is in the government.
#6 On the other hand, more important than my money, I do not want the government interfering in my marriage, my wife and daughter’s biology, or sending my son to a false war that had the real design of making the rich guys richer while their sons and daughters don’t fight in the war.

Finally – I agree, there is no hope for me if your hope is that I change to look down on the poor and those who need my help. I have lived my life so as to help others, protect the innocent and stand up for the rights of those who have no voice. I will continue to do so – no matter who is the president.

So, here is my question. Was I out of line in responding? I am just getting very tired of the constant attacks. Plus I only have two more weeks in the office anyway!

Does Your Phone Control You?

Have you ever been meeting in someone’s office and had the phone ring? Do they turn away from their meeting with you to answer it? How about sitting around at the dinner table with the family. When the phone rings do you leave the family to answer the phone? In both of these situations, what do you think that says about priorities? Are you setting your priorities, or are the phone and the people calling?

Suckeled by the cell phoneAll too often when I am at one of my kid’s events I see parents spending the entire time on their cell phones. Now I am not talking about emergencies. We have all had those. I can vividly remember one of my son’s soccer games where I spent the entire game way off to the side talking to various technicians about problems with the network at my office. No, I am talking about the parents who spend the entire game talking about just junk and not watching their children play. And don’t think for a second that the kids don’t notice. They make a play, turn to the stands, and see that mom or dad is talking on the phone.

At work there are tons of distractions. But, when you schedule time with a colleague that is a reserved time that should only be interrupted for the most important of emergencies. By agreeing to the meeting you both have set aside that time to deal with whatever the agenda is. To have a member of that meeting turn away to answer either an unknown or trivial phone call is not only rude, it shows where on the rank of importance your meeting falls. It also implies that your time is of no value, because it can be wasted for whatever purpose.

I firmly believe that I schedule my priorities and that I should not let anyone else, by whatever means, rearrange those for me. If I am in a meeting with you, I do not answer the phone. In fact most of the time I will silence the ringer. Same goes for my son’s soccer game – I do not answer the phone while he is playing.

People often say to me, “I called you but you didn’t answer.” My response is, “I was busy right then, did you leave a message?” What kills me is when they say, “no, it wasn’t that important.” Well then why did you call?! And why would you expect me to interrupt something important that I was doing and that I had scheduled for something that, in your own words, “wasn’t that important”?

Remember, we all have control of our lives. We must, on a daily and hourly basis, exert that control or it will be taken away. Time is the only resource that we all, from richest to poorest, have in equal amounts. What you chose to do with that time is up to you. You control when you answer the phone and you control how interruptions affect your life.

Right? Wrong? Crazy? Am I so far off base here that I am in a different ballpark? Please let me know how you interact not only with your phone but with other people and their phones.