Friday, August 04, 2006


Today is the last day of my internship. It marks the end of one experience in my transfer; an experience that has been as rewarding as it has been a significant learning experience. If you haven't yet had a chance, read the impetus behind this blog at this post.

I will be blogging again soon, hopefully after this transfer is finally complete.

Until then,

Chris Posey

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I Had Lunch with Dustin Staiger Who Has Been Quoted by Tom Peters and Whose Blog Receives Regular Commentary from John Moore

Over the course of my transfer into corporate marketing and my venture into social media (blogging, to the layman-Dumb and Dumber, revised), I have learned of the compelling nature of one very important marketing/blogging skill: name-dropping. So today, I will dip my toes into this pool and shamelessly report that yesterday, I sat down and had lunch with Dustin Staiger of "Casual Fridays."

Now, my reference to Jenks marketer and guy who has been quoted by Tom Peters is not intended to be gratuitous; I actually wanted to pass along a gem I pulled from our discussion.

For the two of you who follow my blog regularly, you may remember a previous post on my blog citing Jennifer Rice's insightful rebuttal of Laura Ries's concern over Weber's positioning strategies. Yesterday, Jennifer's post came up in my lunchtime conversation with Dustin. We made quick discussion of it and moved on. Later, as we were contemplating the evolution of social media, I expressed concerns I have had with the life expectancy of social media (as I have presented in my blog in a previous post). Then, reaching back to our previous discussion about Rice/Ries (a name similarity which I glibly made a comment about as I stuffed chips and salsa into my mouth, realizing later that I may have been mispronouncing my two positioning/branding heroes' last name for years), Dustin made a great point. To paraphrase, blogging is not the end all, be all of social media. Social media is not about "what you do...[but] how you do it" (Rice). Just as McDonald's is not positioned as a hamburger joint but as a place of convenience, social media is not about blogging but about (in Dustin's words) an "exchange of ideas." (I had to keep saying this phrase over and over in my mind during lunch yesterday just so I wouldn't forget it for today's post.)

The moral: it's not a question of if blogging will go the way of the chatroom, but when it will inevitably happen, what will come after, and how prepared you and I will be for it.

Name droppingly,

Chris Posey

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How do you like that for name-dropping?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Picture of Disquietude

Have you ever held someone in high esteem--all the way up until you actually met him or her? It was at the initial meeting that you realized that this previously assumed upstanding Dr. Jekyll was actually the troglodytic Mr. Hyde. Over the course of my internship, this has happened to me not once but twice. The immediate response is disappointment, and the long term response is avoidance.

Transfer this analogy to business. Have you ever made a decision to visit a service firm (including restaurants) based on reputation, word of mouth, and/or an appreciation for the strength of the brand, only to be disappointed by the front-line experience? You suddenly realized that the highly-touted service provider was really no different than any other provider in the same industry. Or perhaps the high price of the service followed by the low quality of the service provided made it painfully clear to you that the company was only in it for the money. You were, in the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, "the picture of disquietude."

This morning's post by John Moore articulated one such Hyde-like quality that has tainted many a strongly branded service--and its employees (enter Jerry Maguire): "You play with your head-not with your heart."

Now, my idealism and naivete are not so blinding that I don't realize that there is really only one purpose in going into business (enter Jim Cramer): to make money. However, to keep from repulsing those first-time visitors who revere you simply because of your brand reputation, your brand must permeate your service, top down. To wit: no doubt, someday I will join my near 6 month old daughter on her first trip to McDonald's. And I can tell you without a doubt that if any aspect of the service provided to my sweet, wonderful, beautiful, perfect, litttle baby girl who is now and always has been cute (yes, even from Day One) contains "Satan's signature" (back to Jekyll/Hyde), not only will we discontinue our visits at that point, but I will become the biggest brand whatever-is-the-opposite-of-evangelist you have ever seen. I know Ronald McDonald just wants my sweet, precious baby girl's paltry allowance, but if that becomes clear to me, I will be introducing her to the Whopper on our next dad-daughter date. The careful avoidance of such a traitorous transgression should be adhered to not only by the company as a whole, but also by the service providers whom the Company has made the conscious decision to hire. Are they working from paycheck to paycheck? Neither I nor my very intelligent and cute baby girl should be able to sense that.

I'm not simply speaking of the provision of good customer service here. I'm speaking of maintaining brand consistency throughout the service organization. I don't want just any old restaurant for my perfect little angel, I want the McDonald's brand. I don't want to take my baby girl to just any old fun amusement park, I want for her to be immersed in the Disney experience that comes with a brand that permeates the firm, all the way down to the people who sweep up the mouse-covered candy wrappers strewn all over the park.

Fall short in providing the service expected from and consistent with your strong brand and you may very well become the rarely frequented, much avoided "Blackmail House."


Chris Posey

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Friday, July 28, 2006

The Oldest Trick in the Book

Remember back when you were seduced by your cable company? You do, don't you? You were sitting on your couch, no doubt watching the old bag, basic cable, and a temptress cleverly disguised as an innocent little commercial lulled you away, dangling delicious digital cable before your wanting eyes. If only you would call me and give me a try...I'll even let you use me for 3 months at a discounted price! That was all it took. You made the call, your wife looking on suspiciously. And for 3 months, you immersed yourself in cheap, delicious decadence together. (I'm still talking about you and digital cable.) But as is the case with most naughty relationships, time wore away the painted face of digital cable, and you began to recognize what you got yourself into-when the bill arrived in the fourth month and you discovered with horror that you were from then on betrothed to the baggage of paying over $100/month for a service that is now starting to wreak havoc on your marriage ("I want to watch DIY!" "Well I want to see -fill in this blank with the latest chick-flick title-!") and causing you to neglect your children ("Come on kids, lets all watch I, Robot!" "But Dad, this is the third time this week!" "Shut up and eat your pizza rolls!"). It's the oldest trick in the book-lure them in with low prices and when they're addicted, stick it to them!

I present this analogy on the report of a record-setting quarterly net income of $10.36 billion confessed yesterday by Exxon Mobil. Wow. We are indignant! "How can they do this?" we ask. "To me??" As if the oil companies owe us something higher, more noble than to make money off of us.

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. This morning, as I was sitting tenderly in my car after shelling out $30 to fill it up, I thought to myself, "Maybe the oil and gas industry simply pulled off the most effective long-term marketing scheme ever attempted!" You see, all my life, they have teased me with gas prices that have hovered right around a dollar per gallon. Then the wars came and gas producers realized that sure enough, they had me, hook, line, and sinker. They stayed the night with me and washed their make-up off the next morning-and it was not pretty. They were indeed successful. My driving habits have not changed whatsoever. But today, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, and to the oil and gas industry I say, nice one.

On a more adult note, Seth Godin has a great post today about money and marketing. I think he and Herb Kelleher must have been conversing-Seth's 3 tips comprise the very strategy that made Southwest Airlines what it is today. After you read his blog, take one more look at The Imperative-yes, a little shameless self-promotion.


Chris Posey

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Steinbeck on Marketing

Nearly finished with Waiting for Your Cat to Bark. Eisenberg(s) cite John Steinbeck:
Your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes, it helps to pick out that one person--a real person you know, or an imagined one--and write to that one.1

Quick reference to one of my previous posts: When Is This Ever Going to Help Me? Foundational, essential marketing principle in classic American Literature? There you have it. As I've said before: hire an English teacher.


Chris Posey

1 - John Steinbeck. "2/13-14/1962 letter to Robert Wallsten," from Steinbeck: A Life in Letters, Elaine A. Steinbeck and Robert Wallsten, ed. (New York:Viking Penguin, 1975)
Reminder in Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

10 Tips to Create Branded Service Employees

If you read this blog, you know that services marketing in general and the branding of service employees in particular is important to me. Hence, these 10 tips. (note: These principles are adapted to some extent from the book Nuts! by Kevin and Jackie Freiburg (1998) and the May 2005 Harvard Business Review article entitled "Creating the Living Brand," by Neeli and Venkat Bendapudi.)

1. Clearly define the type of person you want to have working for you. Design your interview process around this ideal and determine the maximum number of steps away from the ideal you are willing to go. Then, do not accept anything outside this perimeter.
2. Set high expectations and enable your employees to attain them. Make sure that your training is thorough and relevant and that it captures real-life scenarios as closely as possible. High expectations=challenge=engaged employees.
3. Create a good brand and be unabashedly proud of it. To quote the Bendapudis, "In retail, service is the manifestation of the brand, and service quality depends directly on the employees' attachment to the brand" (4). The pride instilled in a service employee who provides a high quality service is irresistible and readily apparent to customers.
4. Create a culture that brings employees and customers together. This is especially important when a service is perceived as a commodity (grocery stores, banks, churches-but this is for a different post). Sometimes, the relationship is the one and only thing that keeps customers coming back to your shop rather than going to the near identical one across the street, down the street, two blocks over, downtown, etc.
5. Indoctrinate employees with your individual company's unique standards of success and hold them accountable. "The company's business purpose and strategies, its mission, vision, values, and philosophy, all define [guiding] strategies." (Nuts! 105). Encourage employees to think like an owner. When employees realize how a company operates, makes money, makes a profit, etc., those rules previously perceived as arbitrary become not only meaningful but instinctive. Employees move from simply working for the company to maintaining an investment in it. And when your company's method of presenting your unique brand to the public is no longer a priority for employees, it may be time for a talk, or for a change of venue-on their part.
6. Make "security, esteem, and justice" a priority..for your employees (Bendapudi 5). Basic needs are basic needs, whether you are an investment banker or a trash collector. The adage is true: take care of your employees and they will take care of you. Just keep in mind, this care goes well beyond the compensation package--just ask the employees of Southwest Airlines.
7. Put previous experience in its place. Obviously, previous experience is important and can help an employee make a transition into a new position or career a little more smoothly. However, acquisition of many job-specific disciplines can be obtained through training. On the other hand, it is nearly impossible to train people to be "self starters with an entrepreneurial spirit" (Nuts! 98). Many times over the course of my transfer, I have felt that businesspeople are not crazy about the idea of a non-businessperson entering their field. I suspect this is because some businesspeople I know do not want to admit that their job can be done by someone who is has not been totally immersed in business nomenclature and protocol for years. You see, there is nothing magic about learning a process or a vocabulary, but there is something special about those employees who are intrinsically motivated.
8. Allow employees to share in the success of your company in a tangible way. Obviously, profit-sharing is one way to do this. Offering rewards for innovative ideas is another--and when I say "rewards," I don't mean a certificate you produced 5 years ago using Microsoft Publisher that you just went and printed on your dot matrix printer 5 minutes ago ("Be careful with it, the ink is still wet"). Be sure that your rewards are preceived by all as legitimate.
9. Allow anyone and everyone to be a leader. You just may be surprised. Crosstrain to increase potential exponentially.
10. Communicate frequently and openly to inspire lasting trust that is fueled by integrity. OK, so I kind of combined some principles in this tip.


Chris Posey

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Developments on Their Way In and Out

Cool "tweak-able" search engine:

Your new home page with drag-and-drop modules:

Web document sharing service (that is, once they move to Google's system):

E-mail? (I recently read a blog on this and now I can't find it. I've learned my lesson-clip everything!)

I get a little worried about the implementation of Social Media officers/execs/VPs. What happens if/when blogs go the way of the chatroom? Perhaps that's the beauty in such an ambiguous term like "social media"--SMO's will simply evolve into the next new method of talk-less communication.

By the way, when typing a smiley in an e-mail, does the period go directly after the right parenthesis? (the smile) Should one space over a couple of spaces before typing the period? And if a smiley is at the end of a statement that is in parenthesis, how does one close the parenthesis? Is the smile considered the closure? If not, is there a space between the smile and the parenthesis closure? How many spaces?


Chris Posey

Friday, July 21, 2006

Terminal Professionalism

Recently, I was mulling over the books I am currently reading (I like to mull) and I realized that two of which I am reading most conscientiously are at complete opposite ends of the Nonfiction-Marketing spectrum. One, which was loaned to me by my manager's manager, so to speak-my grandmanager, so to speak ("grand" here referring merely to seniority, not age, lest she be reading, consequently increasing my readership by 50%), is Waiting for the Cat to Bark, by Bryan and Jeffery Eisenburg--a very forward-looking marketing treatise which deals with many contemporary marketing issues. The other book (which, incidentally, was written ten years ago), Nuts! by Kevin and Jackie Freiburg, is a history of Southwest Airlines. In the latter, I found a great example of how in the early days, SWA truly understood how to "brand" their employees. Freiburg(s) cites Lighten Up authors C. W. Metcalf and Roma Felible in what they describe as Terminal Professionals: "overworked, overstressed, underpaid, and underplaying individuals" (Nuts! Freiberg, 65). Freiburg(s) then provides the refreshing antithesis: "...the professionals that customers encounter at Southwest are remarkably uninhibited and empathetic individuals who believe that the business of business is to make a profit by serving people and making life more fun" (Ibid, italics added). I realize that this definition of a typical SWA employee was coined by a person who is not actually, nor was he ever, an employee at SWA. But if anything, this actually strengthens the point I am trying to make about services marketing and the branded service employee. The fact that an outsider is able to identify and define unique attributes of an entire workforce is an indication that SWA's brand permeated not only their brightly-colored aircraft, not only their tongue-in-cheek advertising, but also the employees themselves. This does not occur by luck. But I will not go into how it occurs today. This post is already longer than I intended for it to be. I really am trying to do better!

You may notice, I have a special interest in SWA. I don't work for them, and I am just a poor teacher who could not afford to fly on an airplane if I even had the time to. My interest is based on the fact that SWA is a marketing powerhouse. Strong positioning (and speaking of positioning, kudos to Jennifer Rice and her insightful observation about a topic previously ruled by Trout and Reis), consistent branding, and smart advertising...along with a ridiculous amount of talent and tenacity, have made this company successful despite roadblocks I never would have imagined before reading Nuts!. One example of their marketing ability may be seen in their blog, one of the best and most interesting corporate blogs I have read; hence its unchallenged presence in my blogroll. Interestingly enough, today's blog was written by none other than a corporate intern--JUST LIKE ME! This post revealed to me that SWA continues to brand its employees (even their lowly interns), just as they did when they began back in the 70's. Read the post. This is no Terminal Professional. And neither are the other SWA veterans who post nearly every day on their corporate blog. Indeed, Southwest is a company who still understands how to brand their service employees.


Chris Posey

Monday, July 17, 2006

Gotta Million?

Have you read Branding Ad Vice's Walter Koschnitzke's blog today? I was very excited to see that someone else out there has a beef with the service industry. In his post, "Who Manages the Manager", "Walt" (sorry, but I'm not going to attempt that last name again) launches into a near diatribe about the poor service he recently received from both waitress and manager at a Blytheville, Arkansas Perkins restaurant. Now, I should mention that Walt does begin his post with a nod to Perkins for having "quite favorable" service in the past. However, on this particular visit, Walt says that he actually got up and left the restaurant after having waited 50 minutes, and his food still had not arrived.

After reading this blog, I was prompted to take a quick trip to to look at some company financials. I grabbed 2 retailers and 2 restaurants at random. I specifically wanted to see how much this sample of companies was pumping into marketing. The number on Hoover's that most closely approximates this figure is SG&A; however, I must say from the start that SG&A is not entirely marketing, and marketing is not entirely SG&A. But, it serves my purpose in this post. Lowe's spends about 21% of its revenue on SG&A. Limited Brands spends about 26% of its revenue on it. The Cheesecake Factory spends about 37%, and Jim Cramer's beloved Texas Roadhouse spends only a paltry 7%. (Incidentally, all figures are taken from the January '06 report on except for Texas Roadhouse's figures which are taken from Dec. '05). However, even at the low end of the 4 companies, TXRH spent 33.3 million dollars on SG&A in 2005. In other words, if you gave me the money TXRH spent in a year on SG&A, I could spend one-million dollars a day for the entire month of February and still have some left over to buy a cool Pontiac Solstice and a small house in Beverly Hills. Many of us would say, "With that kind of money, they should be able to develop an invincible brand!" And in most cases, we are, for the most part, correct. However, it seems that when some companies (not necessarily the 4 mentioned above) dip their wonder brands into the river Styx, they must be hanging on to them by the service workers. What business owner or CEO in his or her right mind would invest so much into SG&A knowing that when his or her brand was sent to battle, it would have such a vulnerable spot? However, this is exactly what happens on a daily basis when businesspeople fortify the front lines of their multi-million dollar businesses with indifferent, lazy, bitter, preoccupied soldiers. I have said to my wife many times, "I would love it if the owner would come in and see the service offered at this place!" (Perhaps this is why QuikTrip is so successful-its execs are also regular patrons.) But it's not just the service workers. As Walt points out, it's also the managers who consistently permit this type of service. (I nearly went back and changed the title of this post to "Bad Service Workers and the Lazy Bastards who Enable Them," but I thought better of it. My mother might read this someday.)

I am aghast (yes, I said aghast) at the millions and millions of dollars that are squandered by companies that permit managers and service workers to slough off. These people are quite literally the ambassadors of your brand! They are the ones who direct public sentiment. Mr. CEO, do you think that you are the one in charge of how people perceive your brand? Wrong! It is the individual human beings world-wide who come into contact with other human beings on behalf of your investment.

We have financial auditors in place to monitor the financial aspects of a company, to make sure nothing goes awry. Why do we not implement "customer service auditors" to do the same with the company's most influential aspect: the workers who come into contact with the clientele? Give me just one-million dollars and I'll do it for you-I'll even pay my own expenses!


Chris Posey

Thursday, July 13, 2006

When Is This Ever Going to Help Me?

I promised myself that I was going to shorten my posts significantly. Well, to emulate Lloyd Bridges as McCroskey in the movie Airplane, I guess I picked the wrong day to shorten my blogs. But I have come up with more descriptive post titles, so there's one improvement!

Each year, as a high school English teacher, I hear the same indignant question: "How will this ever help me?" I am always amazed at this question because, as long as people are speaking the English language, English class will be helpful. (Note: I said the class will be helpful; the teacher may not be-but that's another post entirely.)

Yesterday evening, I was engaging in one of my guilty pleasures: reading Car Audio and Electronics magazine. No, I'm not one of those guys who "pimps" his ride by bolting an exhaust pipe that is 7" in diameter to his half red, half Fiberglas car, and allows the distortion from a mediocre subwoofer, powered by a strangling, suffocating toy amp, to rattle his rusted trunk. High quality car audio, that is, car audio that sounds studio at any volume level, has simply been a passion of mine for close to 20 years. I have told my wife on many occasions that a dream job of mine would be to be on the marketing team for a car audio company like Alpine, JL Audio, or Kicker. However, Alpine is located in Torrance, CA, JL Audio is in Mirimar, FL, and Kicker-well, Kicker is located in Stillwater Oklahoma (Go Pokes!), and while the commute to Kicker would indeed be shorter than that to either coast, they have not yet given me a call.


Oh, wait, I forgot, I was talking about grammar. Anyway, as I was reading about this incredible VW Bug that had been packed full of enough car audio equipment to double the car's weight (they actually referred to their twelve-inchers as midbass!), I caught a glimpse of my hero, Chip Foose's name listed in an ad on the opposite page, so of course, I had to read the entire ad. Car audio electronics manufacturer Arc Audio was displaying their 3 latest equipment lines, one line of which was ascribed in name to said hero. I have always respected Arc Audio, not because of their marketing prowess, but because of their high quality equipment (I think there is a lesson there, but I have already rabbit-trailed enough in this post). Arc, like many other companies who pour a ton of money into R & D and high quality components, has a comparatively small marketing budget (perhaps they should read The Imperative). This was painfully apparent in the ad I was viewing, as it had not one, but two errors: one spelling, one punctuation. The errors were painfully obvious because there was very little text and a few small graphics on the page-the rest of the page was black. The errors were printed in big, bold, naked letters. Even a 16-21 year old male-CA&E's target audience-could have caught at least one of the mistakes. (I must admit, I only caught one at first; my wife caught the other.)

So how does this translate into meaning? How will grammar help the execs at Arc Audio? It all comes down to the obsessive care that I want for the retailers of the products on which I spend my hard-earned cash to exercise. If Arc Audio is going to miss such bold, brazen errors in their publications--publications that will reach far more people than will ever come into contact with their products on a tangible level--how do I, the consumer, know that the same type of carelessness is not taking place in their production? I know that Arc makes great products, but this is because I have followed Arc products for a while. But many people who read CA&E are newbies or casual readers. They may not know any better.

I once contacted a financial services company about errors I found on the index/home/front page of their website. In jest, I ended the e-mail with, "So can I have a job?" They replied quickly, thanked me, and told me that if I lived in the California area, we could talk. (What's up with the great jobs in California??) An editor is a valuable marketing resource, and proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, etc. are all essential to legitimate, credible advertising. Precision and obsessive care in marketing and advertising sends a loud message. Don't skimp. Hire an English teacher. That is all.


Chris Posey

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Ugh. Busy weekend. I completed half of a 2-hr. class for my MBA program: 9-5 Saturday and 9-5 Sunday. The good news: the class was incredibly interesting, perhaps the most interesting class I have taken thus far (although I did hate to miss my particularly marketing-sensitive church service Sunday morning). More good news: in two weeks, when I complete the class, I will truly be on the downhill slope of my program. More good news: my manager's manager (so to speak) just brought me Waiting for Your Cat to Bark by Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenburg, to be the first in our department to look it over. What a day!

The Imperative
I'm not going to go into detail about the class I am currently taking. You're probably not interested in that. And half of my current readership already knows much, much more about the class than she would ever want to know, as I have kept her up late the last two nights going on and on about the insights gained so far. The other half of my readership will be sure to be subjected to the same dronings, probably this coming Thursday night over a burger cooked on the grill, as we take part in our ritual Thursday night show-viewing, which has been a tradition since before the show "Friends" was syndicated and was still pumping out fresh, humorous writing and dialogue--you know, the pre-"we-demand-1-million-dollars-per-episode" era.

So here's what I really want to talk about: MARKETING IS NOT A LUXURY. From the outside, that is, from the viewpoint of one who has not yet been completely baptized into corporate/firm life, I sometimes get the idea that businesses believe that marketing is optional. That it is an afterthought. It's the heated seats in the prospective new car-if we have enough money left over after we buy the important things (power locks, A/C, etc.), we'll put what we can afford (read: we'll spend just enough that we don't really feel it) into marketing. (Forgive me if I'm just being cynical.)

I was looking at the SBA website this morning (how did you like the way I worded that? as though looking through the SBA site is just a part of my daily routine...please, I Googled "sample business plans" if you must know) and on the first page I viewed, one sage penned the following:
Before you begin writing your business plan, consider four core questions:
  • What service or product does your business provide and what needs does it fill?

  • Who are the potential customers for your product or service and why will they purchase it from you?

  • How will you reach your potential customers?

  • Where will you get the financial resources to start your business?

So lets look at these one-by-one and ask ourselves, which business discipline is responsible (at least in great part) for honoring these commands:
What service or product does your business provide and what needs does it fill?-Marketing
Who are the potential customers for your product or service and why will they purchase it from you?-Marketing
How will you reach your potential customers?-Marketing
Where will you get the financial resources to start your business?-Finance and Accounting
Sorry for the anticlimactic ending there. But you get my point.

Continuing on in the business plan-writing process, one must then define his business, speak of his marketing plan, and address the competition; again, marketing, marketing, marketing.

I will summarize: marketing is not, it cannot be an afterthought, a necessary evil. We cannot condescend to include marketing in our most basic, essential, foundational business planning. And once it is implemented into our plans, it must be reviewed, revised, and reimplemented for the life of the company.

And for those of you who conduct marketing projects for your clients: have you taken a look at your client's business plan? Do you know the mission statement of your client's company? Do you understand the heart of your client's company, or are you just providing arbitrary research and pat answers? (see John Jantsch's weekend blog)

I will admit, I am beyond a rookie in the art of marketing, but even in my "youthful" state, I believe in its value, its necessity in a thriving business. I hope you do too.


Chris Posey

Friday, July 07, 2006


I hope your Independence Day went well. To read about a great Independence Day tradition, check out Pup's blog.

Choosey Marketers
This morning, I was reading through the newest posts on my blogroll. This is my morning cube-coffee ritual. I have gleaned some great information from the blogs to the right. I particularly enjoy Duct Tape Marketing, Marketing Headhunter (although, I wish he lived and worked in Tulsa-I would be a loyal client!), The 1 to 1 Blog, and especially Wonder Branding. But I digress.

Recent posts on a number of blogs are discussing the "controversy" surrounding Shawn Corey Carter and his boycotting of Cristal champagne. Brand Noise is one of those blogs. I enjoy their blog, and no doubt, the marketing knowledge of New York-based, Brand Noise sponsor, Scenario DNA's newest, freshest employee trumps my marketing knowledge exponentially. However, I did find it ironic that the post immediately below the Cristal exposée (and by the way, you wouldn't believe the amount of time and trouble I just went through to get that little ' above the middle e in exposée) was about price discrimination. "Why is this ironic?" is, I'm sure, the question that all of you loyal readers out there are asking. Stay on the edge of your seat a little longer. A little longer. OK, here it is: both articles deal with choosing one's customers; however, the article about Cristal implies that it may not be a good idea, while the article about Brand Afficionados suggests that this is simply a part of the deal. I love the closing sentences of the Brand Afficionados post:
The buyers who care most about quality tend also to be those who are least willing to jump over discount hurdles. To the extent these hurdles work, business travelers and buyers of black laptops have little grounds for complaint.
Again, let me emphasize, this is not to be critical of Brand Noise's postings whatsoever. No doubt, the crux of the Cristal post is the implication of racism that accompanies the customer choice Cristal has made. (However, in light of the widespread nature of hip hop across all races, I would hardly say that to disparage hip hop is hardly a comment about race. One might even say that Mr. Carter is choosing his customers too, by suggesting that hip hop is associated with those who belong to a particular race.) Nevertheless, I suppose my question is, to what extent should brand managers and marketers choose their customers? We hear of firing customers all the time. It's a part of the process. We hear of target audiences which would seem, by definition, to be exclusive and exclusionary. What is wrong with a firm wishing not to be associated with particular elements, simply out of a desire to preserve an image that, no doubt, came from an investment of thousands, maybe even millions of dollars? Sure, it would be wonderful if every single person in the world would buy any and every product, thus negating the need for "sales limiters" (for lack of a better word); but if that were the case, I would have no career to transfer into, because there would be no need for marketers. So as long as we are having to target, train, and fire customers, what is wrong with choosing ( and, consequently, excluding) customers?

By the way, for those of you who don't know, Shawn Corey Carter is the entertainer who refers to himself publicly as "Jay-Z."
Cristal has been around for 230 years. A typical price [for a bottle] is $200 or more.

Monday, July 03, 2006


Tomorrow is July 4. That means two things: tomorrow, I will be comforting my Weimaraner all evening because she is afraid of the sound of fireworks, and my internship is halfway over. That is sad. I love my cube (although at times, I feel like I need to get up and do laps around this 5th-floor track), and I have been completely empowered by my badge (see previous posts if you have no idea what I am talking about). Despite the fact that I am now in the autumn of my internship, I am feeling pretty good: my manager left me a project to do while she is gone today-ah, glorious empowerment! Not only that, but I was able to do some things for my manager's boss last Friday. Sure, I was a little nervous about it-you see, the thing that they don't realize is that with every project they ask me to do, I am filled with this strange vacillation wherein on one side, I think, "I can't do this-I have no idea what I'm doing" and on the other side I think, "This is what I've been learning for the past 1 1/2 years, and I will not stop until this is finished." So far, they have not asked me to come into their offices and shut the door-never a good sign. And so, the transfer continues.

The Genre of "Creepy Advertising"
It was not until I began my graduate work that I realized the significant difference between marketing and advertising, and any marketer or advertiser who may read this blog (and neither my wife nor my best friend are; therefore, I suppose we could strike those last words altogether, as these two individuals comprise my entire readership) should be able to determine easily that I am not in advertising. (Not to suggest that that I am a wiz at marketing yet either; give me a break! I'm just an Intern!) It is in light of my lack of advertising knowledge that I ask this question: what's up with the creepy painted wood characters in commercials these days? I am speaking of the Quaker Oats commercials, with the creepy Quaker who is carted around an elementary school in a wagon; the Burger King commercials, with the creepy painted wood mask that is worn by a King of Burgers who shows up outside a patron's bedroom window and even in one soul's bed; and the Tractor Supply Company's commercials which consist of 2 country-style painted wood fellows who face dilemmas that really don't seem like dilemmas to me at all. I am considering adding these painted wood characters to my short list of phobias (see my previous post about my one notable phobia). How is it that this new genre of advertising is seen as effective? (Perhaps I can answer my own question by acknowledging the fact that I am perpetuating these companies' messages in this very blog!) Nevertheless, they freak me out, and in my opinion, they are not even in the same ballpark as Big Buckin' Chicken-also a little creepy, but not to the extent that the painted wood characters are.

I end this post with a couple of annoying spelling errors (using the term loosely in the second case) that I am seeing more and more these days: definately and insure. The first problem is obvious. The second problem is tougher because the word "insure" is a real word-not like the non-word "definately," which requires no further discussion. Regarding ensure and insure, I'll admit, I'm being a tad strict-even the American Heritage Dictionary concedes that the two words may be interchanged. However, it's not a bad idea to limit the use of "insure" to financial matters (as most dictionaries will suggest) and to use the "e-" variety when you are referring to taking steps to make sure that something happens. And by the way, there is no d in congratulations.

Enjoy the 4th. God Bless America.

Chris Posey

Friday, June 30, 2006


It has been a few days. The two people who actually follow my blog both asked me about this hiatus. I explained that, after reading blog after blog from my blogroll, I realized that most bloggers do not produce every day. Some sites have an entire staff lined up in order that they can submit every day! Some sites (like Southwest's blogsite) are daily updated by various random employees who work (not necessarily in a blogging capacity) for the company, which, by the way, I think is an awesome idea. But I am just one man! Anyway, I guess what I'm saying here is, I am cutting down on my blog-posting frequency. No doubt, marketing gurus across the country-nay, across the world-who seek the counsel of this teacher whose aspirations to transfer into corporate marketing landed him a badge-carrying interning stint in a small "cube" in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will surely be feeling deprived.

Welcome to my best friend (we'll just call him "Pup") to the blogosphere. Take a moment to check out his blog, WAIT...I THINK I HAVE A PENNY. His link is posted in my blogroll, so once this entry is archived, and you don't feel like digging around in my archives (who would do such a thing?), you can find his site there.

Like I Said...
As I was perusing the latest marketing/branding/advertising blogs this morning, I found one that captured an important aspect of what I have referred to as The Living Brand (see HBR, May 2005 and my previous blogs). In his blog entitled, "Mimicking Whole Foods Market," John Moore comments, "competitors can replicate products and programs but they can’t replicate people." Let me explain the context of this insightful quote: retail giants Wal Mart, Publix, and Giant have been jumping on the "Lifestyle Stores" bandwagon with their own earthy, marketplace branches. Moore predicts (and I concur-not that that really quantifies anything) that these stores will "fall short." This will occur, not because these companies have not done their best to replicate the physical environment experienced at WFM, but because they have not created the culture that WFM has created. Again, I qoute Moore, "It’s the people that matter more in creating a brand than do products or programs." I call this "The Living Brand." (Actually, Bendapudi and Bendapudi call it the Living Brand. I simply reference them.) I believe that creating this Living Brand is the platform of differentiation upon which CMO's, CBO's, C(enter whatever letter you like here that could possibly be the first letter in an executive title-namely, a marketing-oriented executive)O's should be working. You see, I can buy a product anywhere, from anyone, or from nowhere and no one (Internet). But to receive service that conveys the company's mission in a near-tangible way, that is what is going to keep me coming back, perhaps even passing a couple of similar retailers on the way (like I do when I drive past Kum and Go on my way to QuikTrip). Sometimes, I will even pay a little more at said companies, just to get their branded service (like what I always get at Car Toys, even though their entire staff knows that right now, I am just a poor teacher with little to spend on their pricey wares). But be warned: creating this type of corporate culture requires time and money. Is it worth it? Perhaps we should just ask the execs and stockholders (where applicable) at WFM, QuikTrip, Cold Stone Creamery, Marriott, etc., etc.


Chris Posey

Monday, June 26, 2006


Hm, it's six, twenty-six, o-six (or as some would say, ought-six). Isn't something bad supposed to happen today?

I Am No Ben Bernanke
Of course, as under fire as the new Fed Chair has been lately, I'm OK with that. But despite the recent criticisms of Dr. Bernanke, you have to admit, he's probably one hell of an economist. This is one area in which the two of us are quite different, (well, this and that grisly beard he has that extends much too low on his neck); hence, my lack of understanding about why marketing (and, some may add, advertising) is not the savior to the oligopoly. Mr. Bernanke probably understands why, and I think it would be great if he were to read this intern's blogsite (that currently, only 4 people are even aware of and maybe two of those 4 actually read) and explain to me why it is that banks, entertainment companies, oil companies, cable television companies, etc., industries in which very few companies hold very much of the power, do not spend their time, effort, and extra cash on differentiation. Consumers see many of these companies as commodity providers-two words that cause marketers to tremble in their cubes (see entry: Lunch 6-16-06--another 666-type date-there's something weird at stake here). Why would a client choose one company over another in these situations? Take the wireless industry. It's not like a customer is going to be able to get a significantly better price on a wireless phone plan from one wireless company over another. So why not differentiate, say, in the area of service? I like what Citi is doing right now (or at least, what they say they're doing-I have not experienced this personally): one of their most recent advertising campaigns implies that with Citi, you'll actually be able to talk to a human being on a customer service call rather than a computer. (And no, Sprint, having computer-generated customer service recordings with verbal pauses like "OK" and "Well..." does not make it seem any less like I'm having to deal with computerized customer service.) This is one area of differentiation in an oligopoly-the credit card "industry" (is it an industry?) that I believe is effective.
Why do I spend money on gas exclusively at Quiktrip rather than Kum and Go? Well, for one thing, every time I say "Kum and Go," I get this incredibly strong urge to giggle like a school-boy. But the real reason is that Quiktrip has separated itself from the rest of the pack by making the conscious effort to brand its employees (see post 6-23-06). I don't mean that executives heat up metal implements and press them into the skin of everyone they hire. I mean that Quiktrip employees categorically act different from other convenience store employees, they treat their customers differently, and they provide a service that is unique and valued by their customers (which leads into an entirely different discussion about satisfaction vs. loyalty vs. commitment advocacy, but I digress).
So, ologopolists around the world, rather than dissecting the pay scale of your already underpaid staff (read: high turnover rate), couldn't you instead make an investment in differentiation and become a mini-monopoly in your own, newly created, unique market? Dr. Bernanke, can you help me out here?


Chris Posey

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Weekend Blurb

Finally copied and uploaded my beloved badge. It is now nestled in my user profile for all to view. (Note: previously lamented moniker of "TEMP," and name spelling correction made by Sharpie-wielding wife. (Thanks Honey.)

Friday, June 23, 2006


Ah, casual Friday. Of course, I can't say that casual Friday is unique to the corporate world. While I have already experienced several corporate perks on a very tiny, intern-sized level this summer (see previous posts), I must admit that I also have the opportunity to wear jeans on Fridays as a teacher. So there's one shared perk.

The Living Brand
Have you noticed that, in general, customer service stinks? Who out there is administering surveys to determine public sentiment about customer service nation wide? More and more, it seems that the people who, of their own volition, chose a specific place to actively seek employment, endured days/weeks of training, shook their head yes and smiled about all of the job duties that were described to them, and then, intentionally donned some of the most ridiculous uniforms I have ever seen, have an air of indignation when they are asked to actually perform the duties of their chosen job. There are, however, a few diamonds in the rough. In May of 2005, Harvard Business Review published an article by Bendapudi and Bendapudi in which they defined "The Living Brand." In a nutshell, the two describe a "bond between employees and the brand" found at certain companies-Quiktrip and Wawa, two convenience stores, to be specific-and this bond is so consistent and so unique, it becomes as tangible as physical aspects of product branding (125). In a sense, the employees themselves become the company's brand. I believe this is essential in the service industry. There is so much bad service out there, the few companies who do brand their service employees will stick out (in a good way).

More of this throughout the summer.


Chris Posey

Thursday, June 22, 2006


One exciting aspect of my transfer into the corporate world, a transition that I hope will be facilitated by the marketing internship I am currently participating in, is the fact that I can see the building in which I work for miles away. As I drive north on Highway 169, I can look to the west and see the sky-scraping beacon in the distance.

This morning, I forewent my traditional morning chapter of CNBC's SquawkBox on my XM Satellite Radio, and opted instead for A Perfect Circle. I skipped ahead to track 7, The Outsider, my favorite Perfect Circle song. Unfortunately, I reached the climactic point of the song as I was creeping around a congested clover-leaf onto Highway 51; I simply felt robbed. As soon as the song finished its short denouement, I immediately replayed it, adjusting the volume until I thought I could hear my speakers buzzing. This concerned me, so I turned my stereo down to see if I could isolate the buzzing. I couldn't, and I realized that during my experiment, I had missed half of the song. I also realized that I was approaching the revered dual sky-scraping beacon I would spend the next 9 hours in, and I was not close enough to that favorite climactic point. I fast forwarded the CD to a point in the song that would allow me to experience this section before pulling into the parking lot. Despite the fact that I had ruined the experience thus far, I was able to enjoy the climax as I zoomed past the left-turning schmucks, which brought some small amount of compensatory pleasure.

Later, more about services marketing.

Until then,

Chris Posey

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

6-21-06,after lunch

New Wine in Old Wineskins
Just attended a lunch meeting with the Tulsa chapter of the BMA. (That's Business Marketing Association to those of you who, like me at this point, have not yet been fully baptized into the marketing industry.) The discussion was incredibly interesting: New media vs. traditional advertising. The speakers were all quite able veterans, two from web marketing firms (speaking loosely), one from the radio and television side, and one CEO of a direct mail company in town. There was a great deal of discussion about blogging, especially with regard to reaching Gen Y. The discussion inspired me to ask the following:

1. How can blogging be used in the corporate setting?
2. What industries may benefit most/least from blogging?
-and one of personal interest:
3. Is it now a necessity for new, progressive, up-and-coming marketers to be proficient in web authoring?

Incidentally, I was informed of and invited to said lunch meeting by the creator of "Casual Fridays," a branding/marketing/management blog that you will find listed in my blog links to the right. Visit his blog. He has a lot of interesting posts.


A Rose by Any Other Name
How much do you suppose workers in the service industry are affected by the name of the company they work for? Assume that two hotel chains, one named after Clem Budget and one named after Alvin Superior were the same in nearly every way: same payroll, same resources available, same labor pool. To what extent do you believe that the employees of these companies would "live up" to the name of the chain? Is a company name a self-fulfilling prophecy with regard to its service employees? Despite the fact that Budget and Superior pay the same and have comparable facilities, how much does company name alone affect the service aspect of these companies? I know there has been much research on the effect a company name has on the consumer, but what about its effect on its own employees? Surely someone has seen/done any research on this. Pretty basic concept. This is the type of issue I would like to connect to research I am doing over a concept examined recently by HBR: the living brand. More about the living brand and my research plans later.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


The Transfer
I think that the question I have heard most as I have begun my MBA program is, "So what prompted you to make this decision?" You know, the decision to transfer from the education world to the corporate world. I always refer back to an epiphany that I had about two and a half years ago. I was working at Carrabba's. This was my third job. I was also teaching high school English, and I was (and still am) an adjunct instructor at a local community college. It was a cold, end-of-the-year month, yet another evening away from my soon-to-be-wife. I clearly remember, at the moment of the epiphany, I was standing in front of the dish pit, scraping the rejected remains of a stranger's meal into a trash can full to the top of similar contents. As I was doing so, two of the dishroom employees were laughing and joking as though these were the greatest moments of their lives. I could not understand what they were saying, and I had wondered if they were talking and laughing about me. (I am at times a little paranoid.) It was at that moment, standing near the bread machine that was so much trouble to clean that I thought to myself, "Something has to change." I knew that it was going to be tough to raise children on two teachers' salaries (my wife is also a teacher). And I knew that I wanted to provide for my wife and children differently. (I had no children at this point, but knew they would be coming in the relatively near future.) My wife and I have never wanted to be rich. We simply wanted to be able to live having only one job apiece (she was also working at Carrabba's and regularly teaching dance outside of her regular school obligations as the varsity drill team coach). We wanted to be able to spend time together, and to spend time with our children. Both of us have been heavily invlolved in school activities since we began teaching, sometimes obligatorily ("now that you are moving to the high school, how would you like to be the yearbook sponsor?"), sometimes voluntarily, and we are out of the house several times a week outside of our normal work hours. (Incidentally, to all who believe that teachers show up for work at 8:00 and leave at 3:00, you are sadly mistaken.)

Business has been an interest of mine in years past. I can remember about 9 years ago talking on the phone to guy who was at one time a close friend of mine about going the business route-namely into marketing. This was at a previous crossroads in my life, following a stint into youth ministry. I wanted to move out of the church in a professional capacity, and I was contemplating education or business. My friend had earned his MBA immediately after completing his undergraduate work, and was pursuing a career in marketing. I was interrogating him about his job and related jobs. Marketing was at that time an immature interest of mine. My friend was less than receptive to my contemplations-a response I get from most businessmen. I don't understand this response. Perhaps they don't like the idea that a person could go into business just as easily as one could go into education? Anyway, I chose the education route. I tell people that it is because of a family heritage in education, and while that is partly true, I'm sure that much of my decision had to do with an intense fear of math.

I began my MBA in the Spring of '05. My first classes were the foundational business law class and the foundational marketing class. I loved my marketing class from day one. I devoured the articles we were to read, and I looked for opportunities to speak in class every week (despite the fact that I truly had no idea what I was talking about). I can remember one evening that I wanted to comment so badly, that I finally blurted out some garbled combination of words and sounds, interrupting my professor in the process. Since that first semester, I have taken what I consider to be the most important class in my MBA program, an elective entitled "Services Marketing." It was in this class that I acquired an interest in an often overlooked aspect of marketing: the service industry. This class totally took me by surprise, and led me into a continuation of study over the topic this summer-a study of branding and the service employee.

I love my program and I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship so far this summer. My goals? Immediate: work at a marketing firm (and whatever other steps I need to take to do so). Long term: chief branding officer or something more entrepreneurial.

Thank you for reading my story.

Next time: a little bit about my independent study.

Until then,

Chris Posey

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lunch 6-19-06

My Phobia
I came to terms with my 170 pound medium build years ago. A question I am often asked is if, as a male teacher, I coach. I try to reply with something clever-this helps the question-asker not to feel so dumb for asking a scrawny male English teacher a question that implies some sort of physical ability, while at the same time, suggesting that clever aesthetes like myself do not require physical prowess. At least this is what I tell myself. However, despite my modest stance, I do not have too many phobias. I would hold a snake if it were offered. I see spiders as one of the most disgusting of creatures, but I have no problem approaching them for the kill and have even allowed a tarantula to walk on my arm. And while I think that one day I will board an escalator the will take me to hell without my knowing it, I don't mind riding them if it means I don't have to climb stairs.

I do however have one admitted phobia: plumbing. I can't stand to touch it, be near it, or even look at it in certain situations. Two days ago, I had to face my phobia. You see, our 20 year old house has been having some problems lately. The details of these problems will come later. Suffice it to say that I found myself on my knees in my front yard, intentionally touching "the dreaded apparatus" (from Seinfeld-although not in the same context). My most recent housing woes required that I turn off the water supply to my house at the water meter. For those of you who don't know, the valve on a water meter is very stiff and tough to turn-it generally requires the use of a water meter "key"-a piece of rebar with a T-handle at one end, and a slot at the other. To close the water meter, one must simply place the slot on the valve and turn. My step-father has one of these keys, and he brought it by, at my request. Unfortunately at the time of our planned shutoff, we were experiencing a torrential rain native to Oklahoma. But the job had to be completed. So there I knelt, being protected from the storm by my step-father who held a mini-umbrella that was no longer able to close and which happily boasted of its origin, New York Life, in blue letters which contrasted with the bright, white material that made up the umbrella. Kneeling in the soaked grass, I lifted the cover off of the water meter to discover nothing but dirty rain water. The water meter was full to the top of the stuff. I ran to my garage and grabbed a small plastic bucket which I had intended to bail the water out with. The bucket promptly disintegrated. So, in an act of desperation, I plunged my hand into the brown water, navigated to the valve-topped pipe, and blindly guided the key to my immersed hand. Of course, the key fell off multiple times required the same process each time. But finally, I was able to shut it off.

Chris Posey


Before I forget, if anyone can tell me how to change the formatting of the Description of my blog (the text above that talks about a 35 year old teacher moving to the corporate world), please let me know. I tried using HTML last Friday and it didn't work. Also, is it possible to insert a link in a current post that would take people back to previous posts?

This morning, I nearly forgot my badge and my insulated mug. I actually had to make a special trip by my house (more about this later) to pick them up.

Father's Day went well. It was my first one, and now that I have experienced Father's Day as a father, I have moved the day from just above Columbus Day or Arbor Day (remember the Arbor Day episode of The Little Rascals?) to the same tier as Christmas and my birthday. Selfish, I know. But that should be no surprise to you if you follow my blog.

For Father's Day, I received from my wife and daughter a golf shirt, a book, and a mug with my daughter's picture on it which will replace one of the two insulated mugs presented to me on the first day of my internship a couple or few days each week.

I am now reading the following books:
This Book May Save Your Life, by AM Homes
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
Positioning, by Al Reis and Jack Trout
Riding for the Brand, by Jim Whitt

The Homes piece was the book I received for Father's Day. I saw a review of it on the Today show recently and mentioned it to my wife. So far, it is interesting and contains good writing. I began the Chabon piece at the beginning of the summer, but put it down for 2 weeks while some people repaired our flooded house (more on that later). Several years ago, I decided that I needed to be reading Pulitzer Prize winners, so I went to Barnes and Noble with the same, fleeting inspiration I had last Friday when I began this blog, and I snatched up about 5 winners. I proceeded to slosh through Empire Falls right away. The others have sat on my shelf since. (Let's just say, Empire Falls emasculated my aforementioned inspiration). It was in a moment of guitar-lesson-taking, blogging-style inspiration, I picked up the Chabon piece, dusted it off, and began reading it. After 300 pages, it's just about to kill me-and I still have not reached that half-way point yet. Of course, the writing is incredible. But the plot-that aspect of literature that intellectuals are not supposed to care about but secretly do-is sucking my will to live out right through my eyeballs. The Reis/Trout piece is great. It is a marketing classic (and if you don't believe me, the cover will attest to this fact). These guys are great, and although the book is a tad repetitious, it is very practical and full of valuable information, especially for a newbie like me. I just started the Whitt piece. It was written by a local author and was given to me by my manager. (Man, I love this internship!) I have not been able to draw a conclusion about it yet. It is also book about marketing.

I will now close-I need to meet with my manager to find out what I will be doing today. I realize I did not mention what prompted the change from education to the corporate world. Maybe at lunch.


Chris Posey

Friday, June 16, 2006

Lunch 6-16-06

I just downed a surprisingly good Arby's sub right here at the very desk I am producing this blog from. I ended up using my lunch hour to get a haircut (uh, yeah I wore my badge), so I had to do my eating in the cube afterwards.

My Cube
Yes, I have my very own cubicle. You may think, "You're stuck in a cubicle?" But actually, it's not so bad. I don't see it as my only space-I see the entire floor, nay, the entire sky-scraping building as my space. My cubicle is simply a place where I can get some quiet privacy when I want to do some work. When I began here on June 1, I was shown to my cubicle (or "cube" as most people who know their way around a business office call it). Outside my cube was stapled a piece of paper with my name on it. I was pretty excited that I was already claiming space in the building. Then, as I entered, I saw on my desk an array of mini-insulated thermoses, water bottles, and other chachkies, each lovingly embossed with the company name and logo. I was elated, and I now alternate thermoses, red-and-blue, each day, and of course, as I drink my coffee each morning, the logos must face me.

The Lunch Hour
I referred previously to my lunch hour. This is also a new phenomenon. As a teacher, I eat when the students eat. I get 55 minutes to eat, a time period rigidly defined by sounding bells at its beginning and end. I meet other teachers in the lounge (going out to eat, and certainly getting a haircut, would simply not be possible in this block of time) and typically, we discuss students. All of you who wonder if teachers sit around and talk about students in the teacher's lounge during lunch, the answer is a resounding yes. But at my internship, I can take lunch, pretty much whenever I want. As long as I don't have a conflict or something that needs to be finished immediately, I would dare say that I could eat lunch as early as 10:00 AM or as late as 3:00 PM. A couple of days ago, I had to see my doctor (nothing bad). The only time he had available was 10:20. I ran it by my manager at the beginning of the day, and a couple of hours later, I was in his office.

Soon, I hope to get to a potentially significant topic of this blog: marketing.
Next time: How does one decide to go from teaching to the corporate world?


Chris Posey

6-16-06 8:46 AM (CST)

It was destined to happen. I realized this morning as I was meeting with my manager that I, like thousands and thousands of people out there, had something unique, something essential, something compelling to offer the one or two people who accidentally typed my blog address into their address box and, by force of habit, read what was presented to them on the screen; hence, this blog.

My gift to the two of you: the details of how a high school English teacher is attempting to make the transfer into the corporate world.

Certainly some of you are thinking, "How can you make such a move? How can you tempt the devil? [and from those of you hard-core hippies] How can you sell out like that?" Well, perhaps my [no, I'm not going to use the word "rantings"-I'd like to see how many times that word is used in blogspace] observations over the next 2 months will answer those questions. And if they don't, I really don't know what else to tell you.

On June 1, 2006, I began a marketing internship at a car rental corporate headquarters located in Tulsa. I don't have the time right now to share with you all of the experiences I've had in just the past two weeks. Those nuggets will come over time. Suffice it to say, the experience has been good. Once I learn how to use the scanner here, I hope to upload a picture of my ID card-an item I proudly clip to my belt each and every work day (and the occasional indulgence on weekends). This item is a great source of pride for me, as it is the first token, the first tangible representation of my transfer into the corporate world. The only fly in the ointment is the fact that on said badge is a word that brings a degree of sadness: "TEMP" in bold, capital letters. I'm a little embarrassed for people to see the word. It is a constant reminder that my time as an intern here is going to run out soon. Everything else on this key to the breakroom, key to the 5th floor, key to the entire sky-scraping building is just right-well, except for the fact that they misspelled my name. They left the "y" off of my last name. But my wife, who has the uncanny ability to duplicate most types of printed text, Sharpie-ed in a "y" for me.

I must adjourn this session, but no doubt, I will post more again this very day. Blogging, like the guitar lessons of my adolescent years, will probably be a practice I partake in heavily at first, only to taper off after a short amount of time.


Chris Posey

PS-We all know now that I am currently an English teacher. However, please do not spend your time scrutinizing my spelling, grammar, style, etc., for I will be making no attempt to preserve the English language in this Blog.