Search Results: 'execupundit'

When complaining, be direct, polite and clear on what can be done to fix your problem

From the Execupundit blog which I regularly enjoy, the advice below for how to complain to a business about poor quality, service or value for money, was published a week or so ago. It was particularly timely as a work colleague had earlier been bemoaning the fact that he wasn’t able to complain anonymously about problems he was having with his gym.

His concerns centered on what the reaction might be from the gym management if he was to give honest feedback – i.e. complain – about the quality of their service, and particularly the value for money of their offering.

Go to them. When you are not happy with a business experience, don’t tweet your disdain, go to them and explain the problem. Then ask for a resolution. Not happy with your grade on that paper? Skip the snarky Facebook status and go to them. Articulate your concerns and walk through how you might improve. Boss not so understanding of the problem you are facing? As satisfying as the social burn may be, why not exercise your diplomatic skills and try to improve you lot by having a meaningful discussion?

 You can read here the ValueIreland Top Tips on How to Complain.

The Silence…. of the Irish

In the past, I’ve referenced the excellent website – one of my favourite daily reads. This is another beautiful post from a few days ago. Very apt for the situation we find ourselves in these days.

The Silence

The scoundrels are understandable. We know they’re weasels. But why don’t otherwise good people protest an injustice in the workplace? Some reasons:

  • They don’t believe it is an injustice.
  • The act has been done before and so they see neither reason for protest nor hope for reform.
  • They are afraid any protest will harm their career.
  • They are worried that if they speak up they may have to do something even bolder.
  • They believe it was an injustice but that it did little harm.
  • Their influential friends have remained silent.
  • They associate complaints with cranks.
  • The system that produced the injustice favors them financially.
  • The injustice is cloaked in a noble reason and they seize upon that rationalization.
  • They are waiting for someone else to speak up.

The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices…

With thanks to the Execupundit, I loved this Quote of the Day for Saturday, January 17th:

The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the “little” choices of the past – by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation, [which was] whispering the lie that “it really doesn’t matter.” It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away – the decisions that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness; habits of self-sacrifice or self-indulgence; habits of duty and honor and integrity – or dishonor and shame.

Were you thinking about how our Irish politician pissed away the good times of the Celtic Tiger and how their cushiness and inaction during the good times makes them seemingly incapable of handling the bad times we’re experiencing now? I know I was when I read this first.

But what surprised me most was who actually said this in the first place. Ronald Reagan. I can’t really say why I was so surprised, but maybe it was because the same man said this:

My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.

Keeping our banks out of the hands of private equity

There’s been some coverage recently of the banking unions calls for the Irish banks not to “fall into the hands” of private equity investors. Obviously, with headlines like “Unions fears 3500 job losses” you can see why they might be worried.

While private equity funds have a “slash and burn” reputation – coming in and reducing costs anywhere possible while at the same time extracting as much money as they can for themselves – its unlikely that the strength of the unions within Irish banking would allow that to happen – in the short term anyway. It hasn’t happened in Eircom – from a job losses as a money saving tactic perspective at least.

There’s the good and the bad of private equity deals – but I don’t know enough to comment fully. The KKR takeover of RJR Nabisco in 1988, one of the most famous, is the subject of “Barbarians at the Gate” which is worth a read.  A positive example of a private equity deal was the £25m takeover of London City Airport by Dermot Desmond in 1995 and its subsequent sale for £1.65bn in 2006.

How and ever, the perception is mostly negative though. Thanks to Michael Wade at, check out this Business Week article “How Private Equity Strangled Mervyns“. Some key quotes from the article:

Cerberus, Sun Capital, and Lubert-Adler stripped the 59-year-old retailer of its assets and threw 30,000 people out of work .

Its 149 remaining stores are being liquidated. More than 18,000 people have been thrown out of work—without severance and, in many cases, weeks of vacation pay—amid the toughest job market in a generation.

Then they stripped it of real estate assets, nearly doubled its rent, and saddled it with $800 million in debt while sucking out more than $400 million in cash for themselves, according to the company. The moves left Mervyns so weak it couldn’t survive.

You can see why people might be worried. It will be interesting to see what sort of deals the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan can come up with. Will competition concerns be thrown out the window in order to save the banks and keep them from the hands of the private equity companies?

And will the same competition considerations be heaved out the same window to allow Ryanair take over Aer Lingus? But more about that later.