Braverman's Blog
Terry Braverman and Company

United, We Fall

Poor customer service. Flight cancellations. Lost baggage. One hour holds on the phone for customer service. Never mind that you’re a loyal, frequent flying, Premier Access, Presidential Plus Card member of the United Club, like I am. United Airlines is an equal opportunity offender.

It’s hard to fathom that Presidential Plus card members pay $395 annually, not only for the privilege of shoddy service, but also unapparent restrictions. Case in point: last month I was at the Manila airport, holding a return ticket on United back to L.A. United does not have a lounge at MNL, but Star Alliance partner Thai Airways does. The United Club card proudly displays the Star Alliance logo with the words “Star Alliance Lounge” underneath it, and the United logo next to it. On the back of the card it states, “Present this card to enjoy access to United Club locations as well as affiliated partner lounges around the world,” though it goes on to add in vague terms, “Partner lounges may require additional proof of eligibility.”

In Honor of Chanukah This Week…


Let’s try it for 8 days. Who knows? POB 43

Couch potato pancake in search of the right applesauce.

Divorced Jewish man seeks partner to attend synagogue, light Sabbath candles, celebrate holidays, build Sukkah together, attend brisses, bar mitzvahs. Religion not important. POB 658

Orthodox woman with money, seeks man who got money or can get money. Get it? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. POB 72.

Saved by the Bell

Imagination Sharpens the Dull Blade of Routine A friend told me she was very glum after her husband died. She was burned out, having thrown herself totally into the relationship and had nothing left to give to herself.

“I didn’t know what to do with myself,” she recalled. “I had spoken to my therapist and asked her if that is what I had been doing all my life, and she said yes. I was really in the pits. I felt like giving up, and seriously considered suicide. Then the phone rang. I picked up the receiver, and I suddenly burst out laughing, because I had this vision of myself lying in a coffin, the phone rings, and I say, `Just a minute, I can’t die yet. I have to answer the phone.’

Clarity, the Ultimate Decongestant

If your head seems to be stuffed up with clutter and uncertainty, it’s time to stop what you’re doing, regroup, and either find a quiet place for yourself or solicit feedback from others to regain clarity. We all “hit the wall” from time to time, but it is essential to be conscious of those times and take appropriate steps to clear our heads.

Last week I was the luncheon keynote speaker at an annual conference. Leading up to the introduction as the speaker there are many things going on in my mind ¬ setting up my back of the room products table, remembering to give my typed intro to the person introducing me, putting a glass of water on the podium box, loading the Powerpoint part of my presentation onto the laptop and testing it, testing the sound system in the room, checking the lighting, tweaking parts of my presentation, etc., etc. Something about the room logistically didn’t seem right, but with so many thoughts pinballing around in my brain I had to leave the room and find space to clear my head and determine what was awry. The room I was to speak in was somewhat long and narrow, which meant that people in the back would feel more remote from the “action,” e.g., exercises I planned for the group. I asked the audio-visual and logistics people if we could move my stage area so I would be more central in the room and therefore closer to everyone. It took some rearranging of tables and running power cables, but it worked like a charm!

You Can Bank on This Relationship

There are embarrassing moments in business that may be tough to live down, especially if you’re a banking rep. A networking associate shared this story about a former colleague: “An associate of mine went out to see a client after taking over the banking relationship for the company, and her first meeting was with the CFO. The CFO was taking her on a tour of the corporate offices and he said to her, ‘Cheryl, I need to show you the president’s office because it’s so elegant, comfortable, and has many amenities.’ She said, ‘Well, maybe we shouldn’t disturb him.’ The CFO replied, ‘It’s no problem. He’s not in yet.’

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