Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dear Car Companies "WHY"

I have this 1997 Ford Explorer in the garage that has a feature that many new cars do not have and I want to know why?

So we also have a 2015 Chevy Tahoe and it has that new key fob that is wireless so you don't put a key in the ignition (Or the door). However (I know I am from KS) but the ability to get into the car without the fob is great!. Or to lock the key in the car and use your code to get in. Hey, I have a computer that I use a key to get into and it protects information worth 100 times more than that car?

When I was a lake person, I used to love this feature because I could lock the keys in the car and not worry about dropping them in the lake.

So what are the draw backs to this system. Well, I guess someone could break the window and get the keys and drive off. However I would like to think that I am good at hiding the key not just in the visor? OK fine that is the drawback. How about a locking console where you put the key and it is opened with the code at the same time as the door?

It looks like Ford has the lock on this type of lock? (Pun intended)

So lets take this a step further. How about if you are so paranoid than you have finger print id with a code? Heck that would have better security than my iPhone (Or any thing else for that matter)

Since I have that out of my system how about a feature on my 1984 Corvette that cars need. To open the rear hatch you can use;
*Button on edge of drivers door
*Button on edge of passenger door
*Button in console
Simplicity and you can get to open that hatch from anywhere. Hey it is just a button. (Sure the new cars have a FOB to do that too) But I like the ease of this.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Anki & Over Drive has CUSTOMER SERVICE!

Santa delivered Anki Overdrive and many accessories. First of all you have to remember I am a tech guy and it takes quite a bit to impress me when it comes to technology. Anki has done this absolutely right. SUPER easy to set up (Like 5 to 10 minutes from opening box to racing)

The game play (Yes I call it game play) is interactive and fun. It is like a video game with real cars! I would personally state it is like augmented reality. You have the real cars and virtual interaction with them. How the cars know where they are, how quickly they interact, how great the app is and how flawless the interaction is really is unbelievable.

Carsen (Now 9) Loves Anki Overdrive! Competitive and requires thinking to win!

Now after we opened the package we identified that only 3 of the four cars would charge. I sent an email to support and received a response quickly from Nuno at Anki. He is an Anki Brand Ambassador. Love that title by the way. Now to be honest I have dealt with lots of people (Especially in technology) and very, very few live up to expectation none the less exceed my expectation. Well after giving the needed information to Nuno he said he would ship out a replacement part (Yes I have to ship the defective unit back) What I didn't expect was it would be at the house in less than 24 hours!

I have a prepaid UPS shipping label to send the defective part back and now all is well.

Like Anki's motto


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sometimes you have to ignore feedback

Many times I get feedback when I don't ask for it. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is a bit off. I still welcome it however the key is the ability to listen to the over all pulse of those around you. To be honest I am not exactly sure how to do that. I have a god given gift to read people and I really lean on it at times.

Just remember that a lot of the times those with the loudest voice have to least to add. Those with the softest may be the best advisers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Taking out the trash is in my job description!

I remember when I started working several decades ago and was carrying out groceries that when we were not busy it was my job to do whatever needed done around the store.
Cleaning the bathroom
Taking out the trash
Facing shelves
Working back stock
Replacing light bulbs
And so much more as long as it was "Mostly" safe. As I moved jobs to Radio Shack that trend continued. Whatever it took to take care of the customer and keep the store running. Again taking out the trash was required and many other things I didn't like doing.

Last comes my job at Nex-Tech where once again I have found myself taking out the trash. Not as frequently for sure but several times a year for sure. I never once would have thought it to be a problem. This is where my point comes in...

I have heard lately "That is not in my job description!" To be honest my first reaction? Fire them. Ok I calm down a bit but not a lot. If I did just what was in my job description...Wait my job description as a supervisor includes leadership. Leadership means doing what is necessary for your team. And taking out the trash is sometimes necessary. Beyond that, what was being ask of this person was really thought of as a benefit not something negative. Rather they were trying to make a point. (In a negative way)

So how would I handle this?
1. Ask them to write the job description. Hey it is tough!
2. Every job description I have seen says something like 5% misc. IE Whatever you need to do so really everything is in your job description
3. As a supervisor I thing an interview question would be, would you take out the trash or whatever is needed within safety regulations? Moral code?
4. If you have to lean on your "Job Description" as a supervisor I go back to my gut reaction!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Facebook killed my blog?

I was recently ask why I stopped blogging and that got me wondering. I wrote most of the content in the morning. Really what I started doing was spending time reading others content, jokes and viewing pictures. Not that anything is wrong with that, I further realized that I have missed the focus time. This time I spent writing gave me a chance to focus on the day and thinking about new things. Hopefully I will find time to do more writing.

Not that I have stopped writing, rather the writing became more work focused. Content for the Nex-Tech blog and other places.

I will try and find more time for this. Oh who am I kidding I will probably keep spending time reading your jokes...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

15 Years and Counting

I was recently notified that I had completed my 15th year of work at Nex-Tech. A lot of memories started to come to me reviewing those 15 years, many of these were good and a few were bad however overall I have really grown up with Nex-Tech. If my math is right I started when I was 26. A lot of things have changed in my life and with Nex-Tech.

Only have interviewed for 1 job in my life (Bagging groceries in Topeka) Sitting in the conference room being interviewed by Jesse Morgan was a real growing point. If that wasn’t scary enough Jeff Wick came in to really pour on the pressure. Being notified a few days later, I must have handled the pressure pretty well? I had spent 7 years at RadioShack working my way through college and then on to RadioShack management. It was bitter sweet leaving. Recently married and trying to find my way in a new responsible world, it was time for me to leave the 60 plus hour average work week not to mention the holiday season of might as well sleep in the store. So I packed up my box of things off my desk and moved across the parking lot to Nex-Tech. Now looking at the news related to RadioShack and speaking to the one employee that is still with that company that I knew. Sure glad I choose this path.

Having worked with a lot of young people at RadioShack I remember thinking how progressive Nex-Tech was letting a 12 year old run the Internet Department. Later realizing he was the younger brother of two that I would work with. The cubical was new to me, heck at the Shack we had one desk and it was cluttered most of the time. At the time the Internet Help Desk was in the Hays office and I learned so much from Ronald Wilburn on the other side of my cubicle. He had to be one of the most patient people on the planet. Listening to him be counselor to so many people on their technical equipment. When I would get frustrated with how things were going, I could sit back and listen in and find a new level of customer service, patience and persistence.

Jesse had built quite the team of Inside Sales people. There are many of these friends still with Nex-Tech. Bill Brown which I could tell you stories about however your own stories are probably even funnier, and Mary Thom. You have to be careful with the quiet ones. We worked closely together under Jesse’s direction for several years. Jesse (Nex-Tech Historian) would teach us the technology. I think he thought I should know something about telephony and networking working for RadioShack for so many years. Unfortunately not. So Jesse spent months (OK years) teaching me;

• Networking, Thinnet, Thicknet, 10BaseT, Hubs, 33.6 Modems.
• Hardware – starting at the 60 MHz computer to the AS400. Even tape drives.
• Software – Windows 95, ME (Don’t get him started), Windows 2000, Office 97
I think Jesse still has an 8 inch floppy drive in his office.
So many life changing events have happened to me during my time with Nex-Tech. I remember clearly which cube I sat in hearing about 9-11. The age of streaming video had not happened yet. So we all set around in shock hearing and reading about what was going on in the world. Not really understanding the true impact that was to follow for many years. I became a father twice while being here. Shortly after the birth of my second son the most impactful thing happened with the fatal car accident and Brian Burton. Brian being the father of a young daughter and his son on the way. I still think about this and will for the rest of my life. I learned how important it is to make sure your family is taken care of in the event of a tragedy. Before this I didn’t really realize the impact a company can have on your family. Nex-Tech provided.

I had mentors all over Nex-Tech. From Donna and Diana teaching me the importance of consistency to Gary who showed me the patience a new supervisor needs. Darren teaching me the way of planning. And so many more. I was thinking back to my early days experience with RadioShack and about my 5th year I was speaking with another store manager about how many people we had seen come and go. We had headed beyond 100 and lost count. Being at Nex-Tech for 15 years I realize how many of the people are still with the company. This is a tribute to a good company.

Many people did not make it through the years. They moved on to their perfect career and continuing to grow in new and different areas. It is not a bad thing. In fact many times it has been a positive thing. For people and companies. Some of the best success stories I have seen is where people continue to grow due to their experiences with Nex-Tech.

I also remember when there was changes to my supervision and wondering who was going to be next never thinking that it could be me. I sat in my cubicle on some Tuesday when Roy Inlow had an impactful conversation with me say I needed to give it a try. Who knew I was qualified none the less would get the position. Sometimes you need others around you to give you a kick in the right direction.
It has been important for me to continue to grow my skill set. I recently took a look at my book shelf at home and realized that over the years I have read over 100 books in which some have been more helpful than others. Still the important piece is to continue to grow. Some of the people over time have grown their skills beyond opportunities that Nex-tech had. Some did not grow their skills and the company passed them by. I believe this is the way of corporate culture.

Recently I was referred to as an Intrapreneur (Spell check really does not like this word). This is someone who looks for new business opportunities within an organization. One thing I can tell you is I am definitely not an entrepreneur. I cannot tolerate that kind of risk. The challenge really is finding new ways of doing things within the organization from generating new revenue to changing the process in which the organization does things. Both things I enjoy.

As I get a few years older, and realizing that I have worked in my twenties, all of my thirties and now my forties at Nex-Tech my perspective changes on my job. The importance of Customer service continues to ring through as the most important thing that needs done. Not just external customers but internal customers also. Helping those in the company serve customers is just as important.
As Nex-Tech grew, at some point I began referencing to it as “The Company” like some reference out of The Office. This allowed me to point at it as some adversary. Only in the last couple of years did I realize that I was really pointing at myself. I am part of “The Company” and with 15 years of working at Nex-Tech I was as responsible as anyone as to where we are at. I have to step up and lead from my position and make Nex-Tech what I want it to be in my own small way.

Some would say I am half way there. Hey, put in another 15 years and you can retire! That isn’t my goal. My plan is to work until I am unable to be valuable. Sure, I will probably slow down. The future may not be in the area I am currently and it will probably change one way or another. I still remember the advice my dad gave me on retirement. “Don’t do it”. Maybe in 15 year Justin McClung will look 25 and be able to fill in that beard? I have to hang around and see if that happens.

As I look back over the history one thing that I never realized is that I had the capability to influence not only my direction but many around me. In fact that influence was and is deeper than expected.

I look forward to the next 30 years or more. Building something I can be proud to be a part of. Nex-Tech has been a large part of my life for the last 15 years. Now I want to be a large part of Nex-Tech for the next 15 leaving something to the next 26 year old wanting to build a family and career.