Volume 38, Issue 3, March 2003

theBUSINESS

Questions, Questions, Questions
by Lyle R. Hill

They come in a variety of ways. Some by phone. Once in awhile by fax. Occasionally in the form of a letter, but more often via e-mail. Questions, that is. Lots of questions. Some humorous Ö some serious Ö some ridiculous. I donít answer all of them. Donít have enough time. But every now and then it seems appropriate to respond and to do so publicly Ö in writing. 

Editorís Note: Last names have been eliminated to avoid possible embarrassment.

Question: Could you please weigh in on the duct tape/plastic sheet thing? I know the government says we should be prepared to seal ourselves into a secure room with plastic sheeting and duct tape in the event of a terrorist attack, but after a couple of days wonít I run out of oxygen? 
Don, Iowa

Answer: I have actually given this matter a great deal of thought and, by the way, you are not the only one who has asked for my opinion on this matter. At first, I too was very concerned about the oxygen problem. But while walking through our shop the other day, I stumbled onto the perfect solution. In fact, it was right there in front of me. So here it is Ö instead of using ordinary plastic sheeting, use bubble wrap. Yes, bubble wrap. That way, when you start to run low on oxygen, you can just pop the bubbles to get more fresh air. It will help fight the boredom, too. Although, I would think that you guys in Iowa would already be good at fighting that.

Question: How do I get this consultant guy to stop sending me his e-mails and newsletters, which are full of a bunch of stuff thatís either already been said a thousand times or irrelevant in the first place, without hurting his feelings?
Mike, California

Answer: I have always believed in the ďdirect approach.Ē Simply pick up the phone, call him and let him know that life is too short to be spent reading his junk. This will be effective because Iíve had people use that line on me and it has worked every time. Also, do not worry about hurting his feelings Ö consultants donít have feelings. 

Question: I bumped into Nancy, wife of Koziac the Polish accountant, in the grocery store the other day and noticed that she was wearing a very large cast and sling on her right arm. She has always impressed me as being a kind, soft-spoken, gentle lady, so Iím hoping this wasnít a case of domestic violence. Or was it?
Greg, Illinois

Answer: No Ö not a case of domestic violence. Nancy, wife of Koziac the Polish accountant, broke her arm when she tripped over a curb in the bank parking lot. She was carrying two shopping bags full of cash into the bank to make a deposit and didnít see the curb coming. The Koziacs had been storing the cash in the bedroom of Alan, son of Koziac the Polish accountant, while he was away at college. But with the school year rapidly coming to a close, Alan will soon need his room back so Nancy had packed up the cash and headed to the bank. And donít worry about Nancy Ö even with one arm in a cast and sling she could handle Koziac.

Question: Can you tell me exactly what you were trying to say with the article you wrote recently about Max Perilstein? I wasnít sure if you were trying to say he was a good guy gone bad or a bad guy all along who was now showing his real nature. Or maybe you were just saying he was a good guy no matter what he had to do to earn a living. I wasnít sure quite how to read it. And, lastly, could you tell me if you have heard from Perilstein since the article came out? 
Steve, Georgia

Answer: I have not heard directly from Max (see Maxís response), but other Perilstein family members have contacted me, and apparently Max has not taken this as well as I had hoped. But without throwing any more fuel onto the fire, let me just say this Ö I have stocked up on bubble wrap and duct tape.

 

Lyle R. HillLyle R. Hill is president of MTH Industries of Chicago.

lyle@mthindustries.com


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