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A new way of life; Better??

Discussion in 'YachtForums Yacht Club' started by Capt Ralph, May 18, 2020.

  1. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    In my past life I was a remote engineer for two computer companies, DEC & Fujitsu. The main office for Jacksonville fl (me), was Bedford Ma, San Diago CA and Dallas TX. I saw my bosses face maybe once every two years. Not a problem. I was a remote engineer form the early 80s till early 20teens. My DOD contracts kept pulling me back (Hate it when that happens) but was able to tinker on the docks from before Y2k and still walking them. Oh ,, Limp recently fixed.

    My point. These last few months, the country, corps (big & little), offices and way more have learned what I have known all my career life,,,, Who needs a corp office to spend experiences in??
    McDonalds and TocoBell may never be the same. Their expense to profit has never been so large. Just imagine what would happen if they got serious.
    Amazon, way ahead of the league, may have some competition when the dust settles and some company realizes, Yes, this STUF is for real and makes money. We can deliver you a hot lunch.....
    Lots of those big and expensive office buildings will become museums and paint ball halls. We finally learned to work cheaper and at home. Duh...

    We don't need no stinking expensive office... Office parks,,, Office towers,,, Big Asp Office parking lots...

    If anybody out there can fathom this, make it work for your own company, then this *** bug experience (whatever the frak it's called) may do our economics some good.
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Now, the other side.
    I have had a paycheck since I was in 9th grade. I have worked and contributed near every day since.
    You can pull up your Social Security history and see when and how much you have been taxed your whole life. Yep, My whole life has been taxed pretty well.

    I still have just 2 pennies to rub together in my pocket, That may be all but their mine.

    If anybody has a problem during these suppose heath issues, I'm sorry.
    If you were not prepared, Then I'm sorry for you. SFBs.

    I have tried to retire now for the second time. Every penny seems to be just short of our needs. But were still vertical.

    After 2008, now the new 2020, who is bailing out who should be watched carefully.

    My tax dollars has bailed out to much **** from the early 70's and still on going. My personal donations on top of that, I wish now I had some back.
    Make notice here and now. Any lazy and ill prepared bum walks up with a open hand, I will roll them them and take their sox and coin money, even for a dime.
    **** them. Probably my dime from long ago any way.

    I am a concerned working American citizen, I'm old and tired...
    Ralph Crapps
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Oh, By The Way.
    If you have a different opinion, go open your own thread.
    If you agree, look forward to your positive comments.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    That song should be the theme song for businesses. Making the most of a bad situation.

    The right answers, in my opinion, are not all the way in either direction. It's not 100% online or 100% brick and mortar. It's not 100% in offices or 100% remote. It's not 100% of meetings in person or 100% virtual.

    The companies that survive and flourish will figure things out and develop some new ways of dealing with things.

    Let's note that the increased volume for Amazon has not translated to profits. It's been very expensive additional business. Walmart has experienced similar. One reason is the cost of shipping. Free shipping has become so common. Well, it's not free, just free of charges to the customer. At some point we must recognize convenience brings a cost.

    This is something critical for restaurants to deal with. If there's a heavy shift toward delivery, under the current setup they cannot be profitable. Restaurants give up too large a percentage to people like Doordash and others. It's fine for survival, but delivery just has a cost and the consumer isn't the one paying it. I think you'll see more restaurants starting to do their own deliveries. You will see more restaurants with no physical dining location. However, much of the draw of restaurants has been the entertainment and social aspect and without that there must be concerns if people will continue to pay.

    We started building online business several years ago. Since we did, every store and business differs but a typical scenario has been brick and mortar down 5%, but offset by increasing online from 10 to 20% for a net increase of 10%. We also pull our online orders in the store with the same sales persons you'd get in person and we do our own deliveries. BOPIS (Buy online, pickup in store) and BOPIM (pickup in mall) are growing and we haven't figured out how to handle it long term as we don't know how much will last. Many are adding lockers. We aren't yet.

    Theaters face a challenge I'm not sure they can survive. For years you could watch at home but for many that just wasn't the same experience. Now that the risk of going to the theater is there, it changes the equation. What about concerts? Must they be in huge arenas or simply in a small theater and transmitted online?

    There's got to be one fear here too. The person who doesn't like to get out and do things has often been referred to as anti-social. Socialization by web is great but it's not the same. Being physically present carries value. Touching does as well. We don't want to become an anti-social society. How and when will people feel comfortable returning to concerts or major sports events?

    The other side of the socialization impact, however, has been family time. People have had more time with spouses and with their kids than they ever have before. That can be a huge positive if they fully appreciate it and insist on family time in the future. There are fathers out there who have been hit with the realization that they didn't know their kids until the pandemic.

    Mental illness from the pandemic will be widespread and too few will get the help they need. The lack of socialization brings with it depression. The fear of illness brings anxiety. The financial situation brings stress beyond our previous experiences.

    Today was the first day reopened for most of our retail businesses. The employees have been talking by facetime and Duo and on the web but they enjoyed so much seeing each other in person. However, it was still so hard for them not to be able to get close, not to hug the friend they've missed. They loved seeing customers and really encountered very few issues enforcing our rules.

    I'm a long term germaphobe and hope more develop. Not to an obsession, but to good judgement. Going to work even when sick is damaging and risky and we need to eliminate it from our norm. Shaking hands is a custom I won't ever return to. I don't know where your hand has been. If we follow distancing, staying in when sick, masks during outbreaks, there's hope in reducing flu and even common cold and I'd certainly hope the compliance with flu vaccines will increase.

    There's been a drive for years toward packing more tables and customers into restaurants and more people into offices. That design practice has to be readdressed. We've not followed it in our businesses. In our corporate office all our offices and desks meet all social distancing requirements with no change. However, contrary to your smaller office leanings, our setup takes more space. Now, we're only letting 30-50% return on a given day right now. A simple example though. At one time the standard office cubical was 8 x 8, 64 sq ft. Over the last ten years, that's gone to 6 x 8, 48 sq ft, and even 6 x 6, 36 sq ft. That's included call center bullpens of 2 x 4, 8 sq ft, the reason when you're talking to customer service you hear other voices. Since the start of our business we've used 10 x 10, 100 sq ft as our minimum and no open bullpens, everyone having walls even if not ceilings.
    Now, we know most of our office jobs can be done from home. We have no idea how we'll use that information yet as we've found it's lacking in many ways. Many companies will go to a lot of shared spaces.

    Working from home and shared spaces have been tried and used widely. They've been found to work only to a limit. Companies that started allowing employees to work 100% from home have retreated and typically started having them come to the office at least one or two days per week. Shared offices have worked well where the employees traveled the majority of their time, but not so well in other situations.

    I hope companies consider all alternatives and find new and better ways, don't reject the past entirely, but don't reject changes either.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You don't get to make that choice or requirement. Now, I don't share any of your social or political views, but won't express my opinions as politics is against forum rules. However, if you start expressing views I find intolerable, I will respond, whether you like it or not. Your lack of compassion for others is most disturbing but I tried to just respond to your original post, not your follow up.
  6. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Obviously, Some people can not read instructions.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2020
  7. Brian G

    Brian G New Member

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    Well said, Olderboater. As usual, you are the voice of reason with well thought out perspectives. Thanks for taking the time to share them with us.
  8. Brian G

    Brian G New Member

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    I can relate to being "old and tired" and at times angry. Life is hard ... boating gives me an escape and an opportunity to be the captain of my own ship instead of feeling like a powerless pawn in some grand scheme. Being on the water, facing challenges, solving problems, and conquering my fears makes me feel alive even as the world around me feels unpredictable at best and discouraging at worst. These are unusual times for sure. Dreaming about that next big trip helps me fight the monotony of life in quarantine.

    Hang in there, Capt Ralph. I'm hoping for brighter days ahead ... for both of us.
  9. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    I hear ya, Ralph. I worked for several yacht brokerage companies and couldn't handle the low level of ethics I was experiencing. My final stint was at Heart Marine (Symbol dealer) in FLL where I reported infractions with their escrow account (I was the broker of record and my license was at risk and I told the owner that I was going to report him if he didn't go straight.) The lady at FDBPR said that I was changing companies looking for the "right one" so 0ften that why didn't I open my own company to conduct business to my standards. I told her I don't have a name, an address, etc. and she said to use my initials and work from home until I find a company with acceptable standards. That was 25 years and over 200 sold yachts ago. Last year I wanted to get back into selling more megayachts, which was my origins, and I went to work for a very large company that made many promises. After spending too much time in a large brokerage office, after seeing the frequent firings and hirings and incompetence and office politics and low level of ethics, I ran back to my home office. I am more productive, less annoyed, able to protect my clients much better, and thankfully I am much happier. My venturing out was a painful reminder of why I was one of the first yacht brokers to have a home office.
  10. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    You have no freaking idea where I have been, What I have seen Or how my compassion for others was and is expressed. It is, I have not much patience for NNBFs like your self.
    Thank you
    You cant help it. You had to comment and beat your lil chest. You had to get involved with your self righteous BS. You just could not leave it alone.
  11. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Capt Ralph - Well isn't this interesting. You post your opinion on a public forum on a subject that seems completely unrelated to the very forum subject matter. Then you invite others to chime in, but only if they agree with you. This whole thread seems misguided, misplaced and posted for the sole intent to create animosity . But hey, please don't respond unless you agree with me.
  12. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    I think once the appropriate medicine is available things will slowly go back to the old normal as human nature lends itself to the herd mentality, maybe 5 years or so. Like a rubber band we have all been stretched but there is still a lot of elastic memory.

    As far as working from home on a large scale, I have found the following:

    Management tends to not fully trust they are getting their full 40 hours out of each at home employee.

    I personally have found that I work more hours at home than before and my quality of life suffers

    What is the magic combination of the two points above- not sure but have no problem going back to the office. Long term societal issues of not interacting with co-workers and people in general is an experiment that is doomed imo. The thought of a sterile society not shaking hands and fear of humankind within your 2 meter circle is problematic and destructive, the power of the human touch is well documented and isolation only grows a population of loneliness that we were never meant for.

    There are work segments though that thrive without corporate offices to check-in, local/remote service techs, software and IT are a few that come to mind. Met a MIT grad who was a Software Tech and had never personally met her boss in 10 years of employment, all interaction takes place on video chat, but she loved the challenge/rush of software debugging at any customer location around the world, basically a flying doctor on call 24/7.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Most of the people I know who do business with the public (retail) come home signing the same mantra "I hate people". Kids today don't socialize. They harass and bully each other, and the internet is perfectly designed for that. Can't tell you the last time I saw kids playing sandlot ball, and I expect it'll be awhile before Little League and such organized sports feel safe to start back up. Except for those who can afford private schools going to school is a game of dodge the gangs and drug dealers so you can spend your day waiting for the school shooter to show up. Then there's the predators. And none of that takes into account what will happen as society reopens now with absolutely nothing changed (no cure, no vaccine), and those who survive become totally afraid when the next wave hits us. I don't have much faith in the idea that life will return to anything close to normal.
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    And I won't ever leave it alone. If you call it self righteous BS to care about others and do what you can for them, then I call live with that.
  15. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    But your crusade is not about others. It's a you thing. Now some others are wondering off of the topic that I tried to avoid. No, you had to bring in your chest beating , greater than all and your personal chest beating.
  16. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Good feedback PB. As someone who is accountable for several thousand employees here's my $.02 in the work from home. Yes, there are some jobs that can do this and be productive. I think it is very industry and company dependent and has to be looked at on a case by case basis. We currently have a large group working from home and we are just getting by. I don't see it sustainable for long term. There is a lot more burden on managers to ensure productivity vs. when people are close by in an office setting. There is also no substitute for the interactive and spontaneous communication that happens in the office setting. Lastly, I think it will be very difficult to onboard new employees and assess advancement capabilities when folks are working individually from home.
  17. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You mention management mistrust and a growing trend which I absolutely hate and would never consider doing is to install software and track every key stroke and even sign an employee out when they go too long outside the view of their computer. It's monitoring of the worst kind. Judge on the basis of the job and if you have to resort to such tactics, it simply shows what a lousy manager you are.

    You finding that working from home interferes with your personal life is something many find. It's just difficult to separate. We have a home office and generally limit our home work to being in it. That's our way of separating, and while working from home we worked a fixed, scheduled time, 9:00-5:00 with 30 minutes break for lunch. Took a lot of discipline to fold up work at 5:00 and leave what we were working on until morning, but we did well at it.

    As to human touch, I somewhat agree, but I'll never go back to shaking hands as a normal practice. I'll hug before I shake hands. The other thing I'll maintain is separation when carrying on conversation, not permanently 6 feet, but don't invade my personal space either. You don't have to be in my face to speak to me. But then I've always felt that. Just the number of people who spit when talking is shocking.

    You mention IT and I find it interesting as they're often known as loners, not in need of socialization. I've found, however, that when involved with others in the business and actually going on site, most enjoy their jobs more.

    I think one thing for those working at home is the quality of the home office. I find working from a laptop, even the best laptop, not to equal a desktop computer for those spending hours on it. Peripherals, the same way, must have it all. IT pros generally do, but those in other fields often don't.

    One issue on working from home is that in the past employers have seen it as a way to save money by having fewer offices. I've found it costs in some ways as you now need the office and the home office. It can save time by eliminating the commute. I know a major consulting firm that tried to cut back office space. Most consultants spent time at clients so they went to shared desk space. Employees hated it. They couldn't leave anything at their desk, had no sense of belonging or permanency. Less than nine months later the strategy was reversed.
  18. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Your post makes me think of sports teams. There's a lot of argument on the value of fitting together and teamwork but it seems that there is a proven value of time together. Even with all the technology and web meetings and everything else available, I see no way to have the same comradery working apart. I don't see the same level of sharing of ideas and information. Definitely not the same hands on sharing. Yesterday was our first day in having any sizable staff back in the office and stores and separation was maintained, but just the joy I saw of people back together was amazing. If you like the people you work with, then being at work with them greatly enhances the experience. If you don't like them, then you'll be much happier working from home.
  19. timvail

    timvail Senior Member

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    For several years I have conducted hearings In Person along with several other persons present including lawyers and doctors. For the past several weeks these hearings have continued, but on a very different platform. Audio/video hearings although save time travelling along with expenses related to this process, something is missing. There is no substitue for not being present with people, when serious decisions are being made. I expect we will continue with this platform for some time. Im not friends with these people, but do miss the basic human contact when interacting with others. My 2 cents worth.