I just had my 85th birthday, which is a time for reflection and contemplation of the future. When you are 21, who in the devil thinks they will ever be 85, and if they do, what a calamity that must be! I certainly need to go on the offensive to avoid the “Old Fogey” label, and all of the stereotype perception that goes with it. I think I will start by upgrading my communication skills. You see I lived through an era where lots of “stuff happened.” It happened in my military career, student career, medical electronic design career, business career, automobile restoration hobby and writing career. “Stuff” just happens to everybody; there is no news in that. But I think I will start my communications upgrade with how I communicate about “stuff” that happens to me.
In my younger years when stuff happened, I just acknowledged it, tried to evaluate the cause, and what could be done about. I mostly kept to my own council, but I sought council from others when it was advisable and available. I just did not see the need to spread the stuff around. However, now with the tremendous presence of internet communication, it is incumbent on me to broadcast my stuff for all the world to commiserate with me and to participate in how to manage the problem at hand. To do this, I need to upgrade my communication vocabulary to match modern expectations. For example: I am a professional engineer, which means that I have a certain educational background and have demonstrated proficiency in some area of engineering expertise.
To just say that I am a “Professional Engineer” is no longer adequate. I must now say: “I am a highly accomplished professional engineer with superior education credentials who has world class knowledge and experience in the field of medical electronics, where I had a brilliant design career that garnered the attention of the outstanding leaders in both the medical profession and the business community.” So, let me use this very elevated background platform to restate how I now need to communicate about stuff in a manner to meet current internet communication expectations.
Here is how I used to communication a situation:
When painting the door of my Chrysler, I thinned the paint too much. It was a mix of a little too much gun pressure, a little too slow gun movement, and the paint developed runs. I let it dry, sanded it down, and shot it again with the paint gun. Looks good now.
Here is how I need to upgrade communicating a situation:
I don’t know what has happened to the automotive paint industry but be warned. The quality has just gone to hell. I paid the unjustified high price and tried to paint the door of my Chrysler. The stupid paint, because of its low quality, developed runs that just totally ruined the door. I was totally upset with the result, which required me to wait a whole damn day for it to dry, and then I had to spend a huge amount of time just to remove their mistake. On top of that, I was forced to spray it again, which was just more wasted time and expense. Let me know if you have experienced a problem like this. I think we may be able to band together and force some much needed changes in the automotive paint industry. We are all tired of paying for their high priced crap! #BadPaint #WasteOfMyDay #AutomotivePaintIndustry #HowToMakeChangesInAutomotivePaintIndustry #EnoughOfPayingHighPrices
I want to continue practicing upgrading my communication, so let’s jump into another scenario.
I bled the replacement brakes on my Chrysler, and I did not close one bleed screw completely, which caused a loss of brake force. The car rolled down the driveway into the street before I could stop it with the emergency brake. My neighbor was driving down the street and stopped in time to avoid hitting the car. He helped me push the car back up the driveway. I will have to be more careful in the future.
Well, first it was exploding air bags, and now it is defective brake cylinders. I had a huge problem when a brake cylinder failed to hold pressure, and the car uncontrollably sped down the driveway and into the street where my thoughtless neighbor just missed hitting it. At least he had the decency to help me push it back up the driveway. He knows that I do car restorations and thus can expect problems to occur. I think he should really be a little more considerate and drive down the next street.
So what to do about these brake cylinders that fail to operate properly? You think the government will take action? Fat chance of that. They are in the pocket of the manufacturers. No, it is we who suffer the life endangering consequences of these faulty products who must take action. I am considering contacting a lawyer that advertises on TV. If you share my outrage, let your voice be heard while you still have a breath. #BadBrakes #WhatIsThisWorldComingTo #WeMustTakeAction #FaultyCars #BrakeCylindersThatFail
I think I am catching on to this upgraded communication. Let me know what you think:
I took my car to a national meet, where it was carefully judged for restoration quality and accuracy. The judges noticed a few areas that were incorrect and needed improvement. I will take care of those before the next meet.
Who are these high and mighty judges that feel they are qualified to criticize my perfect restorations? They think they have all the knowledge in the world, and they totally ignore my world class reputation for accuracy and quality of restoration. I find it highly insulting, not to mention unjustified, that they would find fault with my perfectly restored car. Everyone knows that the car club is run by a clique of old timers that just want to run down those of us that have superior skills and knowledge that they wish they had. I just want to be recognized for my superiority, and then I will show a willingness to accept an apology from them for their insult. If you, like me, think that changes are long overdue, then let’s gets moving in that direction. #NewOfficers #TimeForNewJudgesAtCarMeets #WhenInsultedAtACompetition #CliqueOfOldTimers
So there you have it. I have demonstrated that I am now mainstream in my communication ability. This is particularly comforting since I now no longer have to take responsibility for my stuff. If you do not buy my book and read it, I can blame it on your failure to recognize greatness in literature. I am not completely comfortable yet in my new skill and will try to improve as time goes on. In the meantime, let me congratulate you on being a super supportive fan of my book The Bootlegger ’40 Ford. Your unappalled good taste in literature I find most admirable, and your enthusiastic support I know will be emulated by a hoard of new buyers. That seems so much more modern than: “Thanks for buying the book. Tell a friend.”

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