For the most part my leadership conference was a bust. I didn’t feel like they went over anything that was ground breaking, or even above common sense. Most of the courses taught said “Leadership is blah blah blah or “this blah blah blah stuff happens in the work force blah blah blech.” They didn’t really tell us anything that most of us have seen for ourselves. I, personally, would have loved to see something about “here’s how you deal with these situations” or “here are organizational tips so that you can get your team to work more effectively and more efficiently.” The one good class we had was on “Finance for Engineers” and even that started to go bad. Last year we had a finance class that talked about the Corporation Wide Finance stuff — Return on Investment, Return on Sales, etc. This year they started going over the same things until I asked specifically to learn about what we, as future managers, would need to know about budgets, finances, etc; that’s when he turned the class into the stuff we needed to know.
One of the other classes has turned out to be the most useful, although it took me a couple days and a real world experience to see how useful it really was. We had a class on Negotiation Basics and for the most part it was kinda obvious: there’s 5 different kinds of negotiators (compromisers, blah blah, i forget the other 4 by name but it’s like: the ones that try to do equal for the two, the ones that try to get the most benefit for the two, the ones who look for benefit for themselves, etc). The one useful thing I got out of the class was actually a story that the presentor told. She mentioned how she went to a tile store (or some store) where they had a sign up for “50% off Sale, ends Saturday.” It was Sunday, but the sign was still up. She managed to convince the store to give her the sale since the sign was still up.
After all this, what’s the point of this post? Two weeks ago I decided to print a bunch of my photos (“umm… I thought you were getting to the point of this post.” Just wait, I will!). I printed about 20 of my favorite photos from the past year or two (a couple from Yosemite, a couple from Greece, etc). Costco was the cheapest but they messed up my cropping and about half the pictures were ruined (they cropped off the parts I actually wanted to see). Since all my pictures are on SmugMug I decided to try them out for my re-do’s. Not only were the croppings correct, but the colors, clarity, and sharpness were all better on the SmugMug prints. So now I had 20 printed pictures lying on the floor in my room. They needed frames…. badly! Sasha and I drove to the local Michaels (and arts and crafts store). Turns out we too had just missed the 40% off sale, by a day. The guy had told Sasha we could come back in a week for their next sale but I didn’t really want to wait. I managed to use my negotiation skills: “If we buy 15 frames, will you give us the 40% off sale from last week.” He looked at me, thought about it for a second and said “If you buy 15, I’ll give you the sale!” So sure enough, Sasha and I bough about 15 frames between the two of us. I also walked out with a Mat Cutter Set (retail value $110, but I only paid $65), to which he pulled out next weeks coupons and applied the “40% off 1 item” to it. The dude and my negotiating skills just saved me $160 and Sasha about $50! Wahoo.
Change of topic: This week is going to be hectic. Everyone in my 5 person group is basically out of town except for me — reporting to the big VP head honcho himself! It’s a bit intimidating, but I suppose now is my time to shine. The only problem is that tomorrow and wednesday is the day that the interns are doing their presentations, and as co-lead of the presentation committee, I’m supposed to help out. Today I was at work till about 7:15pm printing stuff and getting ready for tomorrow. Unfortunately I’ll be in an all-day meeting and won’t get to see the interns give their presentations! Ce la ve I suppose.
I watched the “Jungles” Planet Earth video today. I managed to get a HD copy in 720p on a DVD from a co-worker. It looks absolutely AWESOME on my big plasma tv.
Bed time, 11:30pm is too late when I need to be up at 6am!