Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Right Decision

Weeks ago, S stated that she needed a job that would add more interest to the daily grind. Therefore, she had made the decision to leave a career in retail sales to take a position in child daycare. Because she was new to the field, she would be starting as an assistant-although she was herself a grandmother.

When she stopped in after her first day, you could immediately tell that she had made the right decision. Everyone within listening distance stopped his or her discussions to absorb her enthusiasm.

“Yes, there were two of us with fifteen 3 year olds-- all day. And just transitioning into being potty trained. But they were very well behaved-For many of them this was the first time they were away from their parents. In fact, they were adorable”

On and on she went. Everyone agreed they had never seen her is so uplifted a state.

What happened to S confirms a theory I have held for quite some time. The closer you are to working in cooperation with a basic force of nature the happier you will be in your job. The love and protection of children is one of the strongest elements of human nature. By changing jobs, S had made the jump from a derivative activity set by civilization to riding a basic force.

Oh yes there was one negative of the new job. Apparently it is a basic rule of childcare that you always address the children at their height by kneeling or bending over. S did say “My back is killing me from all the leaning over-I definitely will have to get in better shape.”

Thursday, September 21, 2006

We're Back

We are back. A lot has changed in the last five months.

The real estate boom is over for now. All of the “For Sale” signs are staying up and many have had “price reduced” added. The inflow of people with cash from selling their city house has dropped to a trickle

Admitting that moderation of the market was necessary, the opinion of almost everyone in the business is that the hard landing is due to the self-fulfilling prophecies that the media has been selling for years. The image of an impending housing bubble collapse finally became burned into every potential buyer’s mind.

However, there is still enthusiasm for the future. The experienced agents have seen these cycles many times in the past. Being close to the Washington DC has conditioned everyone to expect never-ending growth.

The lawn care business was hit with a double whammy this summer-high gasoline prices and the August drought. Although the drought is over, the grass is really growing in the cool weather, and gas prices are falling, the summer is now over. A winter with lots of snow removal requirements would be helpful.

The summer cost of gasoline has been bad for everyone. The real cost is being borne by workers who need heavy trucks to carry their tools to their work sites-which are never close to home. This was made worse by the knowledge that the pumped up costs were going to companies who are splitting the profits into channels that end up funding many of our enemies.

As for all that “oil is a free market” talk. Notice where the prices have dropped most drastically? The mid-west.- the only area where there is the wide availability of a competing fuel-ethanol.

Lots more to discuss in the next post