What happened to grace, forgiveness?

My recent article on civility and the need for it is well explained by a recent article in USA Today.  Here is a full copy of just a part of it written by Jon Gabriel, editor in chief of Ricochet.com and a contributor to

The Arizona Republic:

We now live in a “Cancel Culture” which is the tendency for public-facing organizations to cancel speakers or performers because of something done a long time ago that is now deemed inappropriate.  It is spreading for one simple reason: It works. Instead of debating ideas or competing for entertainment dollars, you can just demand anyone who annoys you to be cast out of polite society.

Way back in the mists of time, say five years ago, if you didn’t like a TV show or movie, you wouldn’t watch it. Now you can ensure that no one watches it, just by slinging some outrage on social media.

Our new-found “woke mentality” is America’s new Puritanism. Instead of using a handy list of sins written thousands of years ago, modern sins are ever-changing. A joke that was deemed progressive a decade ago is retroactively condemned as hate speech.

“If you say the wrong thing, everyone is throwing the first stone. It’s a perversion. It’s really, ‘Look how righteous I am, and now I’m going to press refresh all day long to see how many likes I get in my righteousness.”

When the mob has burned one witch, they tighten the buckles on their hats and pore through old YouTube videos for their next victim.

It’s time for the perpetually offended on the left and right to bring back two concepts the Puritans were at least familiar with: grace and forgiveness.

Cost-Effectiveness of Relationships

After attending a three-day meeting on EE and DR programs, the trend these days was obvious: program cost-effectiveness is a real challenge!

People were scraping up crumbs and peeking under rocks searching for savings.  Others were quietly celebrating a trend they find appealing given flat or declining load growth and load factors.

No one ever raised the question:  If we stop working with our customers through these EE and DR initiatives, is that going to open the door to others to come in and replace our relationships?

Yet, when I talked to these professionals, most agreed said it was going to be extremely hard to reacquire this position of “Trusted Energy Advisor” in the future and that all of the investment in that trust built over years would atrophy.

Well then, shouldn’t the future costs of trying to rebuild this relationship be a factor in the formula?  Why should cost-effectiveness be all about a historical point of view?

Or, if you really don’t care about your customer’s success with EE and DR, are you prepared to lose that relationship to others?  And, are you really all that comfortable letting your customers know you only care when they are valuable to you?

All this reminds me of the slogan on my dentist’s lighted mirror:  Only floss the teeth you want to keep!

Want to learn more about this topic? Join us on Nov. 14th at 1:00 PM Eastern for an AESP Webinar Event: Achieving Cost-Effectiveness Amid Increasing Challenges. 

Yucky Blog

I recently read an article in USA Today that made me cringe.  Evidently, according to the survey, almost half of Americans do not change their underwear every day with some wearing the same pair for a week or more.

Maybe I am oversensitive, but that made me say “yuck!”  Then again, perhaps we live in a country that has become obsessed with cleanliness.

This study brought to my mind an encounter I had with a key energy executive from Canada at a national energy conference.  We were enjoying dinner together when he told me that he believed energy efficiency has to start in the home.  Feeling he had a story behind that I asked what he had done … which I assume is what he wanted to talk about.  Here is what he proudly shared:

“The key is to conserve and reuse hot water in the home.  After dinner, we fill the tub and I take my bath first, then my wife bathes in the same water. Then we bathe the children. Then we add some soap powder to the water and pre-wash the day’s dirty clothes before putting them into the washing machine.”

A member of my staff was listening to the story and asked him how much money he thought he had saved with this energy and water conservation program.  He was quick to respond with, “I carefully analyzed my usage over time before and after we instituted this procedure, and I know for a fact we have $79 a year!”

I noticed my employee taking out his checkbook from his coat pocket, making out a check and handing it to the executive, saying, “Here is $79;  I want you to stop doing that.”

Here is the article:

A survey released by underwear company Tommy John suggests Americans might not be changing their underwear.

Or, at least, quite a few aren’t bothering to put on a fresh pair every day. 

Tommy John surveyed 1,000 Americans and discovered 45 percent wore the same pair of underwear for “two days or longer.” The results of the survey were released this month on Tommy John’s website. 

Thirteen percent of those surveyed said they wore the same underwear for a week or more. Tommy John said men were 2.5 times more likely than women to wear the same underwear for a week or more.

In a separate survey of 1,000 people, 46 percent of those surveyed by Tommy John said they owned the same pair of underwear at least one year. An additional 38 percent said they had no idea how long they owned their oldest pair of underwear. 

“It’s crucial to update your underwear wardrobe every six months to a year to ensure you’re protected from harmful infections and health risks,” Tommy John said. “Women should be especially careful, as they’re more at risk than men to experience health issues due to unclean underwear.”

The company even provided a few tips for keeping underwear clean:

    • Tumble dry your underwear on low heat for 30 minutes after washing.
    • Don’t mix your underwear in the same load with your significant other or children if they’re sick.
    • Avoid washing contaminated underwear with other pairs and clothing.
    • Wash your underwear separately from clothing containing other bodily fluids. If any article of clothing is stained, it’s better to wash it separately from your underwear.

Ghost Kitchens

Boo!  Not really trying to scare you, but given it’s Halloween, it seemed timely to share this latest trend: you may be familiar with ghost employees, but now we have ghost kitchens.

The idea is emerging from people’s desire for prepared food to be delivered to their homes or offices.  Grubhub and Dash are just of the few delivery services, and I am sure you are aware that Uber and Lift have both joined in this service.

Here is an excellent article on it from a recent USA Today.

You will notice that commercial kitchens are becoming multi-brand production facilities.  From an efficiency perspective, this makes a lot of sense.  But, what it says to me is that we are seeing a fracture in traditional accounting and business management models.  Think about how complex the multi-company billing model has to get to accommodate this style of business.  Perhaps Blockchain will finally get a foothold here.  It does seem a natural place for the distributed ledger approach.

We need to study what is happening here.  It is a brave new world of business models.  It will also naturally result in a multi-company model for quality control and customer satisfaction.  Lots of ways to ding customer loyalty on this one.

I guess this is pretty scary now that I think about it.

Training Doctors for Climate Change?

There are times when I wonder where critical thinking has gone.  One of my recent blogs about beach umbrellas proves we can pass laws straining gnats while swallowing camels (a phrase Jesus used).

Now, it seems even the medical community has gone over the cliff.  Please do not think about whether climate change is real or not.  That is not the point.  Scan this article on the front page of the New York Times and think critically about whether medical schools really need to have a curriculum on a gradual change in temperature.

I would argue that the only schools of medicine that possibly need this at this time are those of psychology and psychiatry.

The others have way too much to cover already especially with the reemergence of diseases we thought we cured decades ago now that we have such a large group of immigrants.

To me, this all speaks volumes about where we all are as critical thinkers.