Taking ‘ick’ out of sales

March 3, 2010 Bring up the topic of sales, and you’ll likely get eye rolls from people who believe that “selling” is all about high-pressure tactics, telemarketing calls at dinner, pushy, plaid-jacketed liars and smooth-talking, slick-haired hucksters peddling snake oil out their trunks.In a Gallup annual honesty and ethics poll, sales people consistently rank below Congressmen and lawyers.   Only lobbyists scored lower.Ouch.

Some accounts of history are biased

March 3, 2010 “Why don’t they just teach what happened?” my friend asked. At our weekly meeting with the guys, I told about attending a workshop for secondary history teachers in northeast Mississippi.During the morning session, specialists from “Teaching for Change” — a politically progressive, D.C.-based resource for kindergarten through 12th grade — regaled participants with a host of activities and methodologies (pedagogy, for those academically inclined) proven to increase students’ interest in history.

Ready for spring to get here

March 3, 2010 The first clear, dry, almost-warm weekend and I’m out in the yard, soaking up the sun. Everybody I talk to seems to be in accordance — we’re ready for warm weather to get there. It’s almost as bad as a kid waiting for Christmas.

‘Sick by Vanilla’ ice cream

March 2, 2010 Late at night, right around the witching hour, and I’m  lying on the couch, watching “My Name is Earl” re-runs, eating something called “Death by Chocolate” directly out of the box. That’s only because I’m a courteous guy and don’t see the need to dirty up an ice cream bowl that would have to be washed. That’s how I roll.

Cuts could be in future

March 1, 2010 LITTLE ROCK —  The first fiscal session in Arkansas history lasted three weeks and went very smoothly.There  were some disagreements between the governor and legislators over a few budget issues, but the amount of money in dispute was a small fraction of less than one percent of total state spending. As always happens during legislative sessions, the disagreements were ironed out after both sides compromised.

Wearing heels at 3

March 1, 2010 Like a lot of little girls growing up I loved trying on my mother’s high heels and can still remember the “clip clop” sound they made as I pranced around in her size 8 1/2s.And, I’ll never forget how mad Mom would get when she’d go to use her makeup and discover some little girl had helped herself to the blush and mauve- and wine-colored lipsticks.While Mom never went for the bright red lipstick like I love, I can’t help but wonder if she’s not who I get my affinity for wearing lipstick from. (After all, everything seems better with a little on.)

Becker: Big Labor’s Plan B

February 26, 2010 Over the past year business owners and workers from across the state rallied together to convey their strong opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). This legislation would fundamentally rewrite the nation’s labor laws by usurping secret ballot elections and allowing government bureaucrats to set contracts without consent from employers or employees, giving labor unions a clear and unfair advantage.