Still Figuring it All Out

Feb. 1, 2009
As indicated in a previous article, I seem to be plagued with That just doesn't make sense or Am I crazy? thoughts all the time. Until a number of years

As indicated in a previous article, I seem to be plagued with “That just doesn't make sense” or “Am I crazy?” thoughts all the time. Until a number of years ago, I pretty much took things at face value, possibly because of pure naiveté, stupidity or eccentricity. No matter what numbed my brain, I can vaguely remember trusting bankers, politicians and even people in the media. I've never really felt any fondness toward lawyers, so perhaps I wasn't living life as a total buffoon. Anyway, I wonder if any of these things seem just a bit strange or if I should just be content to huddle in the corner with my binky.

  • Approval of $700 billion to save the subprime mortgage business that the government changed to bail out banks. And nobody seems to care.

  • The HARDI HVACR Systems and Equipment Council meeting at the fall conference had more than 120 wholesalers discussing current industry issues, and only Daikin and Mitsubishi were in attendance, while a number other OEMs were on the golf course. Don't the others think their biggest customers are important?

  • A Giants receiver with a $35 million contract goes to a high-end New York City nightclub wearing sweatpants and shoots himself in the leg with an unregistered gun. Hmm.

  • Our politicians believe it is necessary to bailout the U.S. auto manufacturers in order to protect them from bankruptcy and thereby support a behemoth industry plagued with unreasonable hourly pay, pay for not working, healthcare for life, obscene pension plans, etc., etc., etc. I thought bankruptcy has been a successful bail- out strategy for many companies, and individuals for that matter, for many years. Then to make it worse, the politicians promised the unions that if they got into office, they would enact the Employees Free Choice Act, which allows unions to organize targeted businesses without a secret vote. And one of the targeted industries is wholesale distribution firms with small numbers of employees. Will the same politicians listen and potentially bail out these businesses in five to 10 years when they are in the same boat with contracts their business cannot support?

  • Rap music?

  • A media that is blatantly biased, with anchorpersons who make no effort to hide their personal opinions and criticisms, and who believe they have a duty to educate all the “ignorant” masses that support the advertisers that pay their salaries. Does this make any sense to anyone else?

  • Members who receive the quarterly Targeted & Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (T.R.E.N.D.S ) for free and do not literally live with the information and make calculated decisions from conceivably the most valuable and current data available to our industry.

  • The New York Times, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune are in deep financial trouble, saying the Internet has taken over their business. Doesn't it seem like they had their head in the same place as the steel, auto and buggy whip industries?

  • Global warming? To be or not to be is the question.

  • How much more money do we throw at our educational system until someone realizes it isn't working? Could there be another problem?

Oh boy! Now my head really hurts. What is a mother to do?

In the end, I guess, I'm finally tired of sitting around musing at life and the absurdity that seems all around me. I think I'll get a new blanket, a bottle of scotch, some beef jerky and get serious about how I am going to bring some sanity to this world. If you're with me, get your own blanket and give me a call.
Don Frendberg,
Executive vice president/COO