Oh, the pain…
Alright, I’m not going to lie. I had a couple of pretty rough days at the factory recently. Changes are coming, but not until after the holidays. Until then, I need to sort of muddle through. I could live without all the extra sleeping. Being in perpetual agony seems to be making me ever so tired. I realize my body needs to rest and recuperate, but I’ve got things to do fer cryin’ out loud!
Yeah, so walking around for 12 hours on concrete floors is less than ideal when you’ve got freakishly flat feet. Two decades sitting down doing software-related work left me rather overweight, so that’s putting rather a lot of stress on my joints besides. Most nights, I hardly notice it. Every now and again I get this dreadful flare-up. Last week, my left knee gave out. I had to hobble around for about 3 hours waiting for my shift to be over. Sitting down and having a couple of acetaminophens delayed the inevitable collapse, but I spent the weekend largely asleep.
When I woke up, I wrapped up my knee in a bandage and put my ankle braces on. Seriously, ouch. That absolutely sucks. I wasn’t sure that 3 days convalescing was going to do the trick. It only sort of did. I got through Monday and Tuesday in a fair amount of pain, but I got through.
Can’t wait until it’s over. I’ll be joining an internal improvement team after the holidays. They apparently spend more time sitting down than my usual line of work, so that will be a welcome change. I’m a bit worried that I’m going to lose a lot of ground on the weight loss I’ve accomplished while I’ve been working there, but it beats the tar out of just falling over in a heap like a marionette with the strings cut because my knee and/or ankle gives out on me entirely at an inopportune moment.
Some More Rules
Rule #46: Not yet cited in Star Trek episodes, movies or novels
Okay, enough griping. Let’s get back to the Rules of Acquisition. #46 is another one that wasn’t specifically cited in canon so lemme throw this little gem at you:
Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
Yes, this is how I usually get through the night. Finding some joy amid the pain will typically take the edge off. When I can’t find some joy to cling on to, I can generally grab hold of a meditative peace associated with just focusing on the task at hand and riding the process of simply doing something through to break time. If I can’t find joy, at least there’s a kind of zen distraction I can adopt.
Rule #47: Never trust a man wearing a better suit than your own
The Ferengi are a very status conscious lot. Their assumption is that anyone more evidently wealthy than themselves is probably also dangerously shrewd and likely to be able to put one over on you. Okay, that might be true of a lot of people here in the real world, too. There are a lot of guys with really nice suits who are now going down in flames over the #MeToo craze that’s sweeping the nation. Politicians, entertainment moguls, news anchors and blockbuster superstar actors are being called out for their misogynistic misdeeds.
Rule #48: The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife
Wow, history is replete with examples of this one. Julius Caesar, Emperor Caracalla, Caliph Uthman, Thomas à Becket, Good King Wenceslas, Chief Pontiac, Jean-Paul Marat and many others have met their end literally in this way. However, from a business perspective, one envisions the hostile takeover as the symbolic stab in the back. In the information marketing arena, people have to watch out for shifty affiliates. People come out of the woodwork with big promises, horrible grammar and dastardly plans. Be sure to only approve affiliates you know personally, have observed for some time on social media or who are recommended by people you trust. It’s good to play a hunch and give noobs a chance, but you’ve got to be careful who you trust.
Rules #49-51: Not yet cited in Star Trek episodes, movies or novels
Here’s one from the father of the assembly line:
A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.
Henry Ford may have been Ferengi at heart, but he makes a good point. This is a point echoed by Jim and Ricky at Income School. If you are helping someone to solve a problem. If you are saving them time and effort searching all over the internet for the answers to their questions. If you are providing value, you will get traffic and you will make money.
Obviously, we all get into this to make some money but it’s actually putting the cart before the horse if you focus on the money instead of focusing on providing value that will lead to the earning of money. The more value you bring, the more you stand to earn.
Rule #52: Never ask when you can take
The Ferengi are known to be a bit sticky-fingered. They don’t mind filching something that they can resell for pure profit. That’s rude. Don’t do that.
What you can take away from this one is that you cannot copyright an idea. A specific execution of an idea is definitely the intellectual property of whoever came up with that specific idea and should not be plagiarized, stolen, knocked off or what have you. That being said, you can take a look at all the possible solutions to a given issue. Find out what works and adjust it, then sell the adjusted solution. The ingenious spin you give to the problem is your own. You may have been inspired by this idea or that, but if you have a novel solution then you’re the inventor and you deserve the credit and the profit from making that solution available to your customers.
Rule #53: Never trust anybody taller than you
The Ferengi are sort of short. They’re suspicious little trolls and definitely not designed to go toe-to-toe with a Klingon, Jem’Hadar or Breen warrior. I don’t know that there’s anything I can do to rehabilitate this rule. Don’t judge people. Don’t discriminate by height or any other superficial criteria. Judge others by their actions. When they are trustworthy, trust them. When they are not, don’t.
Rule #54: Rate divided by time equals profit
This is actually surprisingly short-sighted. This is definitely from a job-holder’s perspective. I guess when it’s all you know, it’s all you can see. Given the other rules about stealing and reselling, they’re not really paying too close attention to the other rules or the general desire for profit. Real money comes from leverage, not from hourly output. Any Ferengi would know better. This is a nonsensical rule. It’s from an authorized novel. Not surprising they’d make this mistake. Rules from the actual shows are more insightful.
Rule #55: Take joy from profit, and profit from joy
This one’s also from a novel, but at least it speaks to the Ferengi mindset. Profit is the Ferengi’s raison d’etre, plain and simple. Given Rule #18: A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all, it stands to reason that a Ferengi can genuinely take joy from their profit and that a wise Ferengi could certainly find a way to profit from someone’s joy.
The same can definitely be said of us. A happy customer is a satisfied customer. A satisfied customer not only doesn’t want/need a refund, but they’ll come back to spend even more money with you if you’re making them happy. That’s taking profit from joy. Delight your customers and they will return for more.
That’s enough for now. I’ve had my feet up for a while. They’re still uncomfortably crampy, tingly, stinging and generally not wanting to be walked on, but at least I could spend the time sharing these thoughts with you. Stay tuned for the next batch. Until then, I wish you peace, comfort, joy and profits.