Apr 14, 2010

Employee Disengagement: Why It Matters

A Case Study in Driving Employee Engagement looks at the impact of employee disengagement in the workplace. It looks at the costs, what to do with a disengaged employee, and how to keep engaged employees from losing their enthusiasm.

Apr 5, 2010

A Day in The City

Just came back from an Easter weekend stay at my friends' in Connecticut. While we were there, we decided to take in a Broadway show. I let my wife decide on the show, since I had no real preference. She picked "In The Heights" because, she said, it had great reviews. Yeah, right! I think it was because of Corbin Bleu... At first she called him Cordon Bleu; I wonder if it wasn't a comment on his "tastiness." But I digress.

We rode the train from CT to Grand Central Station. No much to say except that I've been in planes that had more leg room that the place where we were sitting. Since we arrived at two hours before the show, we had plenty of time to walk around and take in some of the sights and the sunshine. Indeed, it was a lovely day in The City. So we grabbed a couple of slices of pie and headed to Times Square.

It had been a long time since I'd been in Manhattan and it was quite different from what I remember. Maybe it was because we went in early spring, but the streets weren't as crowded as I remember them. People were polite, they didn't seem rushed, and I found it was a generally relaxed atmosphere. Heck, if it wasn't for all the tall buildings, you coulda been in Montreal!

By the time we passed through Times Square, it was time for the show to begin so we settled down. It was a great choice. In a word, it's the intertwined stories of people living in the barrio, in Washington Heights. It chronicles the struggles and the dreams of people who have been working hard to make something of their lives, after having started from practically nothing. THe music was a great mix of salsa, reggaeton, bachata, hip hop, and so on. Not your typical Broadway musical, to say the least. There was a lot of energy emanating from the stage. The orchestra was top notch and the lighting and effects were fantastic. Highly recommended if you get a chance.

After the show, we headed to Central Park where we took the time to visit some of the locations we had seen so often in movies: the skating rink, the little bridges, and so on. We found this guy trying to make a living:

and this guy trying to look cool:

and this lovely woman making the apple tree look good:

We went to eat at a Brazilian restaurant on 46th street. Great food and their Capinhero (I think that's what it's called) was excellent. Unfortunately, the restaurant made an errot while serving our food. Though I notified the waiter about it, he did nothing to make amends... so I had to take it out on his tip. Too bad because otherwise, it was a fine dinner.

We stepped out again and headed to Times Square to see the nigh lights and to get some souvenirs for the kids. I was surprised to find that there was more action and more people in the streets than there had been in the afternoon. This, despite the fact the the temperature had dropped considerably.

We got the souvenirs and headed back to Grand Central. That's when we realized that I left the souvenir bag on the counter at the shop. We didn't feel like doing the 40-minute walk to and from the shop so we hailed a cab, instead. Then we experienced Manhattan traffic jams at 9:30PM. I think it would have been faster if we had gone on foot.

To return to Grand Central, we hailed another cab but on 44th street, instead of 42nd like we did the first time. We we got on the cab (at the corner of 44th and 8th avenue) we told the driver we wanted to go to Grand Central station. His reply? "Can you tell me how to get there?" Here we are, tourists from Montreal and we have to tell the driver how to get to Grand Central Station, one of the great landmarks of the city.

Only in New Yohk!

Apr 1, 2010

Hollywood, here I come!

Ever since I won the lottery two weeks ago, things have really taken a drastic turn. The ad is true: it doesn't really change things, except that...

It was a harder secret to keep than what I expected. I had to keep things the same at work, at home, with friends, and family. I didn't want to let the cat out of the bag until I knew exactly what I was going to do. Now that it's settled, I can finally let it out!

A couple of friends of mine, Nick and Eddy, moved to California a few years ago to make it big in show business. They haven't hit the big time yet, but they're making a decent living and they really like it there. What's more important, though, is that in the seven years they've been there, they managed to create a pretty nice network, and they have the ear of a couple of people close to some producers.

One of those producers is Jon Favreau. Nick says that Favreau may have an interest in my retelling of Peter Pan as a darker character, tortured by the fact that he was abandoned by his parents in the grime of New York. He liked the (partial) synopsis and would like to hear more, but he's too busy right now with the Iron Man II tsunami coming up. So I'm going to work on it some more and head down to LaLa land to pitch my idea and my vision.

I'm not quite sure how it's going to turn out, but I have a few interesting ideas for casting: Charlize Theron as Tinkerbell, the exotic dancer; I'm torn between Scarlet Johansen and Lauren Ambrose as Wendy the waitress. I originally thought of Gary Oldman as Kap'n Hook, the Kingpin but after seeing Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds, I'm thinking he might make a better villain. I'm thinking of giving myself a part as one of Hook's cronies, but I dunno if that'll work. Anyway, we're still a long way from that.

So my plan is to wait until after the launch of Iron Man and then make my pitch. Exciting times!

My wife and the children don't know about this yet, I'm planning on springing it on them as an Easter surprise. I'm planning on taking them on a trip this summer, all I have to do now is figure out the destination. I'll see where they want to go. I'd like to check out Australia, but by then it'll be winter time. Maybe I'll wait until next winter and go to Hawaii instead.

For now, though, I put a sizable deposit on a brand new 2010 Mercedes S600 for the family and I'm thinking of getting a little something for me too. I had to borrow some money for the deposit, though, since I still have to cash in the money. But it's all planned: I'll surprise my wife and the kids by taking them out to Loto-Quebec and having the car waiting outside when we come out.

Well, it was supposed to be a surprise but my nosey daughter read over my shoulder and saw the title of this post. So now she's asking all sorts of questions, that I don't want to answer just yet. She'll probably be telling everybody at school now... *Sigh* Oh well, such is life with kids, I guess.

In the meantime, every night before I go to sleep I just admire that ticket. Dang! Look at it, it's so beautiful. It's almost like it has a glow around it!

Hmmmm.... that's weird....

Lemme check something....

HOLY !!*"?/(!(?!*"(?Y/"!&?"/(?*?(?)!"@!##!&+!@))(#!!)!!!)(><!!!

WHAT THE !()!#@$)#$)*!_&*@!!^$!(!@(^#@!*$@^!!!!!



I am in DEEEEEP trouble.

P.S. April Fool's!