Only Winning Matters

I was wandering the Internet, looking for something which wasn’t too important as I have forgotten what I was looking for. While looking, I came across a blog post written by Dan Waldschmidt.

Dan reads very aggressive in and with his life judging by this post. I was struck by the stark contrast between Dan’s life and my own using this post as the focus. Well, mainly the last lines of this post. I wonder if Dan’s thinking for this post is to get us to take responsibility for what does or does not happen in our own life, or only about winning?

“….I say these each day — sometimes several times each day — because I play to win each day.

And I don’t have moments to waste doing things that don’t work.

I want to win.”

What caught my attention is the last phrase, “I want to win”. This phrase stood out because we all, “want to win“. For the ultra competitive however winning is usually most important.

Is always wining, no matter who loses really that important?

Several thoughts entered my mind. Take a moment and see where you line up with Dan’s well targeted, motivational post.

How much do you want to win, and what or who who are you willing to sacrifice to win? Is winning at any cost worth it, all the time, in every situation? What about the people who, “lose” if you win? Do they matter? Do they ever have a chance to win?

Should other people ever be allowed to win if it means you lose? What is the purpose of driving so hard to win?

What are you really winning? Do you need money, self esteem, power?

As these thoughts rolled through my mind, I knew Dan’s post was not for me. I don’t need to drive myself to win for the sake of winning. I do not get satisfaction beating someone else at something, especially when I know they lost before they even began.

I have everything I need and want. The way I see it, in less than a hundred years, which sounds like a long time, but really isn’t, we are born, grow up, grow old, and die. If we are lucky, we die in our old age.

Really, what is there to win in the end, a more expensive funeral?

Proper Care and Feeding of Your Customer

Every business has customers. Large businesses have customers within the business. Customers are what makes the wheels turn for business. How those customers are treated reflects on how the customers treat the business. It is a symbiotic relationship in some ways.

Business customers outside a business generally have the privilege of doing business with a number of companies which sell a product they need. That product may be anything from cleaning services to internal watch springs and gears. in respect to this thought, it is important to keep ones mind on the business at hand.

The closer a business gets to its customers, the more attention needs to be payed to interaction with the customer. The customer might decide the business contact is their soul mate, and wants to share life’s most intimate details with the contact, usually a business representative of some fashion.

Looks are deceiving. You have no idea who your customer really is.

The business representative always needs to remember this is a business transaction, no matter how personal the customer wants to be. In this mindset, the following guidelines should be in effect.

1. Gossip with the customer is losing business. Business relationships come and go. You do not want to end a relationship with a customer who knows things about your business and perhaps personal life you wouldn’t want shared in public. Talking generally and amiably about, sports, the economy, or the weather are safe subjects. Politics, religion, and other similar subjects are beyond off limits.

2. Keep your end of the conversation aimed on the business you are there to transact. Time is money. There is a line between between friendliness and wasting time you could be spending with another customer.

3. Over talking is bad for the business and the bottom line. Talking just to talk can lead to uncomfortable conversation, or conversation you may later wish had never taken place. Some customers have days where they are withdrawn and want little interaction. Be aware of your customers wishes, and your conversation.

4. Keep it professional. Sometimes it is okay to get a little loose, and joke around. Other times one off color comment can lose a valued account or customer. Off color, race, sex, and other jokes along these lines are taboo with your customer, even if they initiate them. You do not have to contribute to the conversation.

5. Don’t waste the customers time. Hanging around too long because of an attractive worker close by, or it’s only a few more minutes until lunch is bad business. The world if full of attractive people who are looking for someone like you. Don’t mess up a business relationship with a relationship that should not have happened. Spend those extra a few minutes reviewing your next customer, or going over what you could have done better with this customer.

6. Ensure the customer is comfortable. If you are busy and behind schedule, that is not your customers problem. Your customer needs to feel important to you, and know you have time for them. Appearing hurried or flustered raises red flags in the customers mind.

A good story about good business customer relations is a story of an ex neighbor who ran a wrecking yard. One of the car companies came out with a special anniversary edition car he fell in love with. The closest dealership that had one of the scarce cars on the lot was over two hours away.

Being frugal, he combined reasons for the trip. He would transport car parts to a wrecking yard a friend owned in that city, pick up two cars, and visit the dealership too. The next day, he loaded up a trailer with car parts, and headed out of town.

His parts transaction took longer than he had planned, and it was about two hours before the car dealership closed for the day. Rather than get cleaned up first and have the dealership close on him, he went straight to the dealership.

When the first salesman approached him, he told the salesman exactly why he was there. He was interested in buying this special edition car that the dealership said in a phone call they had on the lot. The salesman, after looking him over, decided he couldn’t afford such a car, but was polite enough to show the car to him. They discussed the car, and it’s attributes for a few minutes, exchanging thoughts on the car.

He told the salesman he wanted to take the car for a test drive, to see if the car was all it was claimed to be. The salesman who was so willing b.s., was not ready for this question. Looking at a man in scruffy worn work clothes, the salesman decided he could not afford the car and denied the test drive because it didn’t look like he could afford to buy any new car.

The neighbor asked the salesman to follow him to his truck and trailer. When they arrived the neighbor reached into the cab and pulled out a gym bag. They walked back over to the car and the neighbor unzipped the bag. Tipping the bag over, wrapped stacks of $100.00 bills fell out, covering the hood of the car. The stacks of money totaled the price of the car plus about thirty percent.

The salesman was overwhelmed. After some blubbering, he said he would be happy to go out on a test drive. Putting the money back into the bag, the neighbor said, no, he’d changed his mind, and he walked back to his truck and trailer and left the lot.

In this story, the salesman was so busy thinking about how great a salesman he was, he completely lost focus on what would what he was there for. The salesman lost what would have been a major sale, maybe bigger than this months commission.

When I listen to junior salesman give their pitch, I remember the wrecking yard owner and his dream car. He did buy one a few weeks later from another dealership. Often salesmen are so busy peddling a line, they either forgot, or never learned why they are part of the conversation.

Of course my neighbor venting his frustration told me and others about his terrible experience at the car lot. All of us listeners, of course shared the story, because that is what we do.

Giving it All Away

Child Prodigy?

Striking child’s art! Perhaps a  child’s rendition of a homeless man?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was at a McDonald’s waiting in line for coffee. There was a homeless man in front of me who had a single dollar bill and had ordered off the $1.00 menu. He was digging in his pockets for change.

The man asked if I had a dollar he could have so he could get a second burger. I gave him a dollar. He asked for a second $1.00 burger and an order of hash browns. He pulled out a pocket full of change and placed it on the counter.

The Manager asked the cashier of he had enough money. The Cashier said if he did not, she would make up the difference.

After the counting was complete, the man had a dime, a nickel, and a collection of pennies which the Cashier had pushed back to him.

The man collected all the change and put the change into the Ronald McDonald House collection box. He donated all the money he had….

Internet Sales Bury Local Business

Everyone who thinks about where to locate their new business or open a new store has heard the phrase, “Location, location, location”.  What the big deal about location? The area a business is located can mean the difference between a thriving, growing business and a business that goes from startup to shutdown in a matter of weeks.

I want to focus on a local business that has been in business for decades. (What really occurred is unknown, below is my thoughts.) The business of this business is shoes, and a small amount of shoe accessories. Their business model is very good, and the customer base reflects this fact. Some businesses like to track where their customers live, this is one of them. Keep selling shoes in mind as you read on.

Tracking where customers live provides more insight in knowing how far your customers are willing to travel for your product and their likely economic status. This business tracks customers by zip code.

Over a period of time, say five years, you find your most active customers are within xx miles of your business street address. It is also obvious from your tracking that new customers are emerging from areas where the city is growing and expanding.  This is usually families moving into new growth areas, or perhaps the city has grown into one or more small communities and the roads have improved enough to bring consumers looking for better prices.

We have to be realistic here. Most shoes are not unique. Competing businesses sell the same shoes we do. Companies that produce shoes are more than willing to sell the same shoes to locally competing businesses. It is all one income stream to them.

This shoe store did the smart thing and opened a second store in a new location where competition between stores would not be an issue. Each store had its own area and market. Sales in the new location skyrocketed. New customers were coming in the door daily. The original store maintained all its previous business.

By opening in the new well chosen location, the second had thousands of potential drive-by customers every day who were eager to spend money. The new location was located in a stand alone building at a mall. Prime territory.

After a few years, the second location had to find a new location. No business would willingly want to vacate such a prime location. Sales were terrific, and the repeat customer base was large. It was apparently decided a move of a few miles should be a non-issue.

The move it turned out, was to not only an issue, but a deal breaker. The second store closed within a few years of moving off the mall property to it’s new home.

Sixty years ago this Gas Station was in a prime location. Slowly business dwindled as expenses increased.

 

What happened at the second now defunct store? The second store according to circulating rumors blames its closing on the Internet. Too many customers found they could buy the same products online for less and online their customer base ran away it was decided by rumor control. How about a reality check?

While the Internet may have caused some sales erosion, the first store is as healthy as before. The true cause of the second store closing was the lack of the thousands of eyeballs from mall traffic.

People generally want to touch and try on shoes. No matter how descriptive and detailed the online ad is, it does not give a customer the opportunity to feel and try out a shoe. People also prefer to support local business whenever possible.

The second store closed not because of the Internet, but because of location. Tens of thousands of mall shoppers a week knew they could probably find the shoe they wanted at the store across the parking lot, for less than they would pay in the big box mall stores. Mall shoppers flocked to the store across the parking lot.

Money is money and savings are savings after all. More importantly it was not two minutes across the parking lot. It was a headache of major proportion to drive to and from the second stores new location.

When the store changed location to their second less desirable location something major happened. The new store lost  the eyeballs of thousands of mall goers every day. The store had relocated to near a major artery road, but it was choked traffic with poor store access. The good times were over.

Location is critical in a saturated market such as shoes where almost every big box and Mom and Pop store is selling everything from $1.00 flip flops to high end heels and boots. If a business is selling a highly desirable product not readily available at every strip mall, customers will put up with a more remote location and poor off the street access if the price is right because of perceived need.

Before you decide on a location, ensure your business model reflects how serious location is for a business that depends on customers driving to your business. What does your future business have to offer customers in exchange for inconvenience? If the answer is very little, look for a new location.

Do Your Employees Stink?

Every business that meets face to face with it’s customers needs to concern itself with how its employees smell. The matter of basic hygiene where you probably expect your employees adhere to normal standards. At issue is each persons definition of normal hygiene standards.

Employee smell may be more involved than having taken a bath and using deodorant. Many people, and this is a more common trait in women, are especially sensitive to smells. For these people, a scent or fragrance that goes unnoticed by most of us, is noticed by these people.

Small business can not afford to lose customers because of an offensive smelling employee. If a new customer visits your business, and is turned off by the way the employee smells, you have lost a sale and a repeat customer. Customers are the most valuable asset a company has.

Depending on where your business is located, employee hygiene changes. However, it is not unreasonable to put in place general guidelines for your employees. Requesting how employees smell while at work is not unreasonable. With a little creativity, smell or lack of  could become part of your companies culture.

Customers prefer to smell food and not your employee!

Common smells that will turn off some first time and repeat customers are:

Body odor. Acceptable body odor varies from area to area, and country to country. No matter what the standard is, some people manage to go beyond what is acceptable.

Bad breath. Bad breath is a turn off for most people. If an employee is in a customer’s personal space and they haven’t brushed their teeth in a few days, or have eaten strong food such as garlic, the customer is not going to appreciate it.

Smoking, whether using tobacco products or electronic cigarettes leaves an odor on employees many customers can do without. You probably can not deem that your employees do not smoke or use electronic cigarettes, but you should be able to prohibit use of these products in and around the workplace. This is not an assault on people using tobacco products or electronic cigarettes, but creates an awareness for employees who work in close contact with their customer.

Laundry detergent, fabric softener and scented dryer sheets. Some of the individual scents each brings to our clothes may be okay. Mixed together these strong scents are sometimes too much.

Personal body soap, bar soap and shampoo are often contribute to how we smell to others. This is especially true for some shampoos targeted at women, though men are now being targeted too. Shampoo that has a strong exotic flower scent, or a trademark scent is great for a night out on the town, but may be a turnoff in the work environment.

Perfume and cologne can be a real problem too. An employee using either product, especially if they are younger or older, may not have a sense of the correct amount to use. Add a little warm air, and a strong scent becomes overpowering.

No one wants to see their food being prepared by someone whose hands look like they were cleaning engine parts earlier, gloves or not. No one wants to helped by someone whose personal smell makes them want to vomit.

Personal hygiene and cleanliness contribute to the success or failure of a customer oriented business. Your lost customer won’t bother telling you they won’t return because one your employees who assisted them stinks literally – to the customer.

There is no one size fits all standard for employee cleanliness. Each business is different and its needs are varied. However, business owners, managers and employees need to be aware of the effect their cleanliness habits or lack thereof have on the repeat customer base.

As uncomfortable as it may be, these situations are manageable during the interview process. Put your expectations out there for prospective employees to hear. Let them know before being hired what your employee hygiene expectations are. This way no one is surprised in a future moment.

Customer Value Verses Customer Money

This is a comparison of two businesses. They both are in the food service industry. The areas they are located in are about the same, but they manage their business completely different.

One of these, a Mom and Pop business, has an inviting entrance and a pleasant atmosphere which invites repeat business. The second, a popular chain, has an entrance that looks like it is one of the worst neighborhoods in the city. Once inside, the walls are adorned with the usual fare, plus more negative signage.

The negative signage tells the customers in a very negative way how long they can stay, and if they can use the facilities or not. Between the entrance and the barrage of signage inside my expectations were low. The place was neat and clean. I was also surprised at how good customer service was. Though there was a big downside of the staff being focused on the wrong things.

Customer satisfaction is second to money at this business.

Customer satisfaction is second to money at this business.

The staff were sales people and not wait staff. Every comment from the person helping me was to sell me more than I asked for. Did I want to add on to what I ordered for so much more? Did I want more choices than the items I picked? Did I want to double the size of my order for less than the stated price? Worst of all, there was a tip jar at the register. I was told as I paid my bill there was a tip jar – as if I could not see it – and all tips were appreciated.

 

 

The second location was the complete opposite of this. The service was prompt and totally customer focused. I was asked if I preferred a smaller portion than the portion listed on the menu for less money? The person who was waiting on us came to the table no less than eight times checking to see if there was anything that they could do. Top off the drinks, bring more napkins, refill the water glasses, more ice in the drink, more cream for the coffee, and other real reasons to show up at the table. The check was brought at the end of the meal and not during the meal. We were asked if we wanted to-go drinks to take with us (lemonade and coffee).

Repeat customers is the goal of this business

Repeat customers is the goal of this business

Both of these restaurants are in the same price range. Yet one totally out sells the other without so much as a hint of a sales pitch. One enjoys a growing list of repeat customers, while the other is trying its best to fleece every customer who walks through the door.

Put another way, one business will thrive in any economy. One business may be near to closing even though it sells a more popular product. Which business would you wish to spend your hard earned money at, and which business would you likely never visit again? If you are a business owner, which business more closely resembles you own business?

Running a business where customers walk in off the street is difficult. Competition is tough, and profit margins are generally small. However a businesses that focuses on making the customer and not the customer’s money the number one priority stays in business longer and is more successful than a business who thinks their product is far superior that customer focus takes a distant second customer’s money.

When anyone asks my opinion on a good place to eat, a fun place to visit or a good place to see, places where I felt special come to mind quickly and they are what I recommend. When you are asked your opinion on where to go or where to eat, where do you recommend?

Purpose of Business is Profit

This is a business story. There are lessons to be learned here, more than about what is and is not the scope of any business.

I had a friend who had quite a good understanding of business, even though he had never gone beyond a high school education. I guess, he was a natural to some extent. I was thinking of him the other day, and something that happened in a little out of way tavern in the middle of nowhere several years ago.

It was about this time of year. The two of us had been traveling for a number of hours for a business purchase. We completed our business and were on the return trip. We were both tired and hungry. As we drove along some back road, a well kept tavern appeared on the side of the road.

We decided it was time to stop and rest. While there we would have some food and coffee, getting rested for the remainder of the trip. The building was very nice for being so far from anywhere.

The walls were paneled wood, and well oiled. The lighting was soft, but no overly so. The only employee present, the bartender, turned out to be the owner. He had owned the place for some years, and he prided himself on everything about his business from the building that housed it, to the paper napkins we would use during our meal.

The food was of course excellent. Nothing fancy, way better than the standard out of the way back country bar usually provides. I remember I had a cheeseburger. It was fresh and cooked to perfection with grilled onions, and cheddar cheese. I can still taste the burger when I think about it. The home made steak fries and coleslaw that came with my burger were also fresh, and very good.

When we finished eating, we asked if there was coffee. The bartender said there was, and it would take a few minutes to make if we would wait. Of course we would wait, the thought of coffee promised to be every bit as good as the meal we finished.

Coffee arrived a few minutes later, and it was very good. Not too strong, not overly hot, not bitter. As with the rest of the meal and surroundings, it was more than we expected.

Unusual however were the cups the coffee was served in. Not elegant, but certainly not run of the mill. They were very tasteful and unique glass coffee mugs. I had never seen anything like them before, and neither had my friend. He wasn’t sure what was better the coffee or the mugs the coffee was served in.

What is the true purpose of Business?

Purpose of business is profit

As we sipped our coffee and discussed the trip, my friend told me how much he would like to have four of these coffee mugs we were holding in our hands. The more he thought about it, the more he wanted four of them.

The bartender/owner came to the table asking if we would like a refill on the coffee. My friend told the man how much he liked the mugs, and could he buy four of them? He was willing to pay a reasonable price.

The bartender/owner remained quiet, and thought for a few seconds. He then told my friend, the mugs were unique to the business, and he purchased them through one of his suppliers. He continued he didn’t have any extra mugs he would sell.

I don’t know if was from being tired, or my friend wanted four mugs so dearly, but after listening he said, ”Would you rather sell me four mugs or would you prefer I stole them?”

I don’t know who was more shocked the bartender/owner or myself. My friend was was as honest as the day was long. I couldn’t believe what I just heard!

The bartender/owner was also quite taken aback, and I could tell from his expression he was on the brink of asking us to pay our bill and leave right now. Before he could continue that thought, my friend broke the silence.

He said, the building was exceptional, the food just as good, and the glass coffee mugs were indeed unique. However was it possible, more mugs could be purchased to replace the four mugs he wanted to buy?

I thought in this moment was to be had a brilliant business lesson. Here is a business owner, who is in business to make a living. Up until this moment he was doing this by operating a tavern and feeding his customers in a pleasant atmosphere. He took pride in everything about his business.

The bartender/owner walked away without saying anything more. I thought in the moment we had overstayed our welcome, and we were going to be asked to leave. He went into a back room for a minute or so, came out and beckoned my friend to the bar.

My friend went to the bar, and they conversed for a minute or so. Some money exchanged hands, and my friend walked back to the table with his four coffee mugs well wrapped and packaged.

The point to all this is what is the business of business? Up to that moment, the tavern owner never dreamed he would be selling his coffee mugs. My friend was obviously not driving across country in search of the lost mug. Yet business had been conducted, a surprise to both parties involved in the transaction with myself more surprised than both of them.

Business does not come naturally to me as it did for my friend. To the detriment of my bottom line, I may have asked us to leave, before I thought through all my options. If you own and operate a business, are you open to all avenues of income your business can generate? If you were the owner of the tavern, what would you have done?

Cracked Skin Relief is Cheap and Effective

I have had problems with cracking skin for a long time. Cracked skin comes on with the dry fall weather and comes and goes over the winter until spring. Cracked skin hurts. Cracked skin hurts more when it becomes infected.

It is not a strong pain. Just a reminder every time you step or pick up something that your skin is cracked. Many people have said the obvious. Use lotion. While lotion helps, lotion does not seem to be any kind of fix. I have also been told to wear plastic gloves. Again not a good solution.

The main problem with cracking skin is thick dry skin I have found. Especially around my heels. The skin gets thick from the summer weather when I tend to go barefoot more often. Also my hand skin sometimes cracks. Usually it is on the tip of my finger on either side of my finger nail. Occasionally a crack will show up on the edge of my hand.

The best fix I know for fall and winter cracking skin

The best fix I know for fall and winter cracking skin

After so many years of trial and error, I still do not have a good method in place to prevent my skin from cracking. I have however found a method that helps. When my skin now cracks, I found I can heal my cracking skin faster than normal. This method heals up a skin crack in the fastest possible way. I will share it with you so you can try it out too.

Cracking skin left alone, because it is only an irritant and not real pain often becomes infected. Then a mild irritant becomes a major pain. Then we wish we would have done something about it before the skin cracked.

For feet and hands where the skin is thick, I find a nail file works very well. Often just filing away the dead skin keeps the skin from cracking. I also found an item that acts as a skin rasp collecting the shaved skin for deposit rather than letting the skin fall to the floor.

A nail file works well on its own. Just put a sheet of paper under the area you are going to file to catch the skin dust. The more aggressive the nail file the faster the dead skin build up is removed. I have found the nail file tends to leave live skin alone.

When my skin cracks anyway, I have found a simple solution. Hydrogen Peroxide and lotion that coats the skin, although any lotion will work. Using a few drops hydrogen peroxide on the cracked skin area disinfects the cracked skin. Infected skin does not heal well.

After a few applications of hydrogen peroxide dry the cracked area. I have found toilet paper works fine. Hydrogen Peroxide is like bleach and will bleach a colored cloth, so unless it is scrap material, cloth is not a good choice.

After the cracked area is dry, apply a drop or two of lotion. Some lotions work better than others, although even olive oil will suffice if lotion is not an option. Allow the lotion time to dry.

I have found cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and coating with lotion three times a day promotes the fastest healing. As the cracked skin heals, dead skin around the crack should be removed daily by filing or sanding. This promotes the healing process and allows the skin to mend quickly.

The most effective deterrent to cracking skin I have found is the nail file or skin rasp. Skin that is supple and not covered with callous is much less likely to crack than thick dry calloused skin that is being forced to flex.

This is the best method for managing winter skin cracks I have found. If you have fall and winter cracking skin, I hope my method helps you.

Does The Kitchen Area Look Like This Too?

I went out out for lunch today with friends. I parked on the street side of the restaurant. This side of the restaurant is not the side with the entrance, but it is not obvious when one parks where the entrance is.

The main entrance is to the left of where I parked. This view is to the right of where I parked. This dumpster area is also visible from the street and more the parking area. This is the area for customers who want close parking want to park.

This restaurant is a chain restaurant. There are two of these eateries in town. The other has a door to hide the trash bin. The door at the second location is always closed and the area clean, unless an employee is dumping trash.

Being a chain, one would think there are certain common standards for the business to follow? Standards do not seem to be present for the dumpster area. Management’s focus and concerns do not appear to include the whole customer experience.

My side view as I stepped out of my vehicle was this messy dumpster area with trash laying on the ground next to the dumpster. Being a curious person, the first thought that came into my mind after seeing the dumpster and the trash laying around it was:

“Does the kitchen look like this too?”

 

No customer of yours should see this. Look at your business with customer eyes.

No customer of yours should see this. Look at your business with customer eyes.

 

Maybe the kitchen is spotless. I’ll give the restaurant the benefit of doubt.  Neglecting the dumpster area however leaves or creates room for doubt. There is little doubt, this restaurant is the poorer performing of the two in town. Losing the potential revenue of repeat customers, and some first time customers with this area view.

This may be an off day, or this may be business as usual. How many diners are willing to gamble on their stomach?If I were not meeting other people for lunch, I would have gone to one of the other twenty or so restaurants within a few miles of this one.

As it is, I will not be back in the near future. What I will do, is share my observation with you the reader. Then  I will email the restaurant letting them know the dumpster area did not add to my appetite or dining experience.

Focus in business is a good thing. Focus is minding the bottom line and makes a difference between healthy profit and failure for business. Someone in  every business needs to see the business with a wholistic view. See what the customer will see. Hear what the customer may or may not hear. Someone in the business needs to see the business as the competition see the business.

No competitor, and rarely  is going to knock on the door and say, “You know your dumpster are looks pretty gross. Why don’t you clean it up and put a gate up so we don’t have to look at it?” Instead, the competition looks in the cash registers and thinks, “I hope the dumpster are over there stays open and trashy. It sure helps our bottom line!” Customers as in my case usually tell others about their experience and rarely tell the business.

When running a business it is not overly difficult or complex to succeed with a good product. Chains are chains because they have a product customers want. Not looking at the business from a customers perspective damages the bottom line. Myopia and business never make good partners.

Followup: Poor management leads to poor decisions. I went to the website to express my concerns on this matter, and the website was a database canned comment collection type web site which did not address my concerns.

The only email was a gift card email address. I sent my email to them with the picture. Not surprisingly I received a reply back that the gift card department can not manage my email, and perhaps I should address my concerns on the web page response system?

Not appreciating this answer I replied, perhaps they could forward my email much faster than I could find a valid email address. Following this, i went online to find the email of the CEO. It seems the company has filed for bankruptcy.

This is a great example of how poor upper management grows poor management, and poor top level decisions lead to poor decisions down the chain. Perhaps when bought out, the chain will make a comeback. Let’s hope so, it has a very good product.

Driving with Deer

Driving with the possibility of having one or more deer dart out on the road varies by where you are driving. This article applies to driving on a road where the probability of deer being present is high. When driving in deer country, the way you drive should be modified, especially at night or in other poor visibility driving conditions.

Take notice of the landscape you are driving through. What is the terrain around the road you are driving on. Can a deer run out on the road without being seen until the deer is on the road, or do you have  clear view of both sides of the road?

Always heed Deer are present in area signs

Always heed Deer are present in area signs

 

Is it day or night time? Deer are most active during dawn and dusk, but if they are being bothered by predators such as pack dogs, they will run. Running into the road may be the only direction a deer can escape danger in.

Evening or poor visibility changes your driving options

Evening or poor visibility changes your driving options

What season you are in makes a difference. Deer breed or ‘Rut’ in the late fall. When this happens male deer known as Buck, rounds up as many female deer, known as Does, as he can, hoping to breed with each of his new found harem. Often some of the Doe’s are not in the mood to breed at the moment and try to run off given the chance.

The Buck, herds the Does moving them in front of him in an attempt to keep them together and distance himself from rival Bucks attentions.The Does, are being pushed or herded, so stepping out on the road in front of a moving car is no different for them than moving through the woods.

Your view of the road and sides of the road is much better during the daylight hours. You have a better chance of seeing a deer moving toward the road than you do when the lighting is poor. Deer are adaptably colored. They are difficult to see any time of the day or night.

Look for movement first and the shape of a deer secondly, while scanning both sides of the roadway. Our eyes are better at noticing movement than they are picking out a deer partially hidden by shrubs or grass.

Travel at a reasonable speed. The distance you can slow down, stop or swerve if need be is more important than how long the trip will take. The trip will take much longer if you hit a deer and you are hurt and your car damaged.

If you are driving at night, slow down. You have to observe everything you watch in the daytime when deer may be present. With it being night time, you are now depending on your headlights to light the road for you. Most car headlights do a better job of lighting the road ahead than they do lighting the sides of the road.

If memory serves, about fifty-five miles per hour or eight-eight kilometer per hour is about the fastest one can drive and have a reasonable chance of avoiding hitting a deer with ample visual warning.

Any faster than these speeds and you greatly increase the probability that you are overdriving your headlights. Of course road conditions and visual warning times are the best indicator of the speed you should drive at.

Be careful of overdriving your headlights. Drive too fast in the wrong conditions, and the deer you see becomes the deer you hit.

Overdriving Your Headlights

 

“Overdriving your headlights means not being able to stop inside the illuminated area ahead. It is difficult to judge other vehicles’ speeds and distances at night. Do not overdrive your headlights—it creates a blind “crash area” in front of your vehicle. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area ahead.”

When possible, ensure a vehicle is in front of you or on the side a deer is likely to come from

When possible, ensure a vehicle is in front of you or on the side a deer is likely to come from

Whenever possible after you have taken other precautions, get behind a blocker vehicle. A blocker vehicle is any vehicle you can follow that will hit any deer that come onto the road. In the picture below the vehicle, semi-truck in this case is in the far right lane. Any deer venturing on the road is going to be hit by the truck, and not by my vehicle. I have a clear view of the left side of the road giving me plenty of time to stop or swerve if need be.

Common sense rules the road when driving on roads known for having deer in the area. Requirements vary from location to location on signage. When you see a road sign notifying you there are deer in the area for the next xxx miles take heed. Deer warning signs are posted whenever a certain number of deer are hit or killed in a specified time.

I took this picture this morning. I took the picture through my car window. Deer can and will be anywhere.

Unless there are high fences, deer can be anywhere

Unless there are high fences, deer can be anywhere