From The Bronx To Jamaica

manischewitz
So as a kid, I remember the older folks joking that “wine is fine, but liquor is quicker!”



As we went for some wine for Shabbat in Fort Lauderdale by the beach, we had a whole bunch of surprises in one evening…



– First, I was more than a little surprised to find a bottle of Manischewitz Concord Grape wine–in of all places, CVS!



– On the way to CVS, we ran into the Jamaican Man, from our last vacation, who makes straw hats on the corner by the beach, and he sees me and somehow recognizes me–next thing I know he is practically embracing me as if I am one of his best friends, high-fiving and fist-bumping me–yeah, me the Jewish boy from the Bronx (this was a riot)!



– On the way back, there is a lady with her kids in tow on the street, and all of a sudden she turns to one of the younger kids and says in her accented English, “That’s almost a $100, you little SH*T!” We could barely believe our ears. 



What a lot of surprises all in one evening from the Bronx to Jamaica. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Which Part of “Men’s Room” Don’t You Understand?

So after my swim, I’m in the men’s locker room.

There are dozens of folks showering and changing.

All of a sudden in strolls a lady.

First she walks one way through the locker room–looking up and down the aisles.

Then she walks the other way through again–glancing this way and that way.

The men are looking at each other like what in G-d’s name is she doing.

Some of the men start yelling at her to get out (maybe the others are sort of glad she’s there)!

She sort of nods at them, turns unapologetically and strolls back out.

The men are bantering back and forth now–like what was that all about? Is she nuts or something?

On the way out of the facility, I stop by the front desk and ask innocently, “Do you know that their is a women walking around the men’s locker room?”

One supervisor goes, “Oh, that happens. The men do that too–going into the lady’s locker room.”

Oh really–is this a professional swim club or a Roman orgy?

The other supervisor, a little more reasonable here, says if someone can point her out, he’ll have a talk with her.

The kid behind the desk says, “Thanks for letting us know.”

The funny thing is there is a sign in the locker room that prohibits photos and videos–but, I guess in-person viewing is permissible–good to know. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Naked And Yelled At

Naked And Yelled At

So true story…I’m in the changing room at the pool.

There is a guy there, just a few feet away, naked.

The pool supervisor comes over and says, “Hey, where’s your brother?”

The guy says, “Why?”

The pool supervisor says, “He asked for a change in schedule, and I told him he can work on Mondays, and he’s not here.”

The guy annoyed, says, “I’ll tell him.”

The pool supervisor, shakes his head, and walks away.

The guy turns to me and says, “You know this is the only job where your boss can come up to you when you’re stark naked and start yelling at you!”

I say, “Yeah, and you can’t even say it’s sexual harassment.” 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shout, Let It All Out or Shut Up and Take 10

Shout, Let It All Out or Shut Up and Take 10

I like this photo…”I don’t know what we’re yelling about!!”

On one hand, some people may yell out of frustration or anger–because they feel terribly wronged or even abused by someone else (i.e. they feel a “righteous anger”).

On the other hand, others may yell because they are mentally unstable or just can’t handle their sh*t (i.e. “they are losing it”).

Some may yell like in martial arts training to scare the other person and get them to back off. I remember someone telling me back in NYC that if you’re about to be attacked, start to talk to yourself, act crazy, foam at the mouth, and yell…this way maybe they will leave you alone (i.e. “they’ll look for an easier target”).

While some studies are saying that yelling is becoming less of a problem, the sheer number of articles on this topic tell a different story. From yelling at your children to yelling at your employees, the yelling phenomenon is alive and well.

Parents are yelling more, maybe to avoid spanking, which is now more a social taboo. Studies show that 75% of parents scream at their kids about once a month–this includes shouting, cursing, calling them “lazy,” “stupid,” or otherwise belittling and blaming them. The problem is that yelling only makes the kids depressed, angrier, and creates more behavioral problems, not less.

In this way, shouting at children is no different than physically abusing them (e.g. hitting, pushing, etc.)

Similarly, when superiors or customers scream at employees, the workers feel they are in an out of control situation where they are powerless. There are numerous negative impacts that this has on them, including problems with memory, reduced creativity, worse performance, and higher turnover rates.

While some people may not resort to actual yelling in the workplace, they instead do “silent yelling–sending flaming emails, making faces or otherwise denigrating employees or simply marginalizing them. In other words, they don’t yell, but rather are silent and deadly, nonetheless.

Businessweek quotes Rahm Emanuel about how he motivates people, “Sometimes–I don’t want to say scream at them–but you have to be…forceful.”

Rather than yell or scream, the common advice is to bring it down–way down–using measures from taking a deep breath to meditating, counting to ten or waiting 24 hours before responding, describing how you feel to focusing on problem-solving.

The key is to calm down, act with your brains not your brawn, and figure out how to get to the root cause of the problem and solve it.

People may raise their voice to vent or make a point, in the heat of the moment, or if they are being personally attacked, but in general, as it says in Ethics of Our Fathers, “Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations.” 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Soukup)