Lunch With TED

Lunch With TED

Every once in a while, I find myself having lunch by myself – at work or at home. In such situation, a favourite companion has been TED.

This YouTube playlist collates some of these dates with TED that you may find interesting as well:



The Valuable Time of Maturity


This might be a first .. a poem on my blog!

Some poems resonate with you because it reflects your thinking. Maybe this one caught my attention for this reason. Many parts of it reflect how I feel at this season of my life.


The Valuable Time of Maturity
Mário de Andrade
Brazilian poet, novelist & photographer

I counted my years and discovered that I have
less time to live going forward than I have lived until now.

I have more past than future.
I feel like the boy who received a bowl of candies.
The first ones, he ate ungracious,
but when he realized there were only a few left,
he began to taste them deeply.

I do not have time to deal with mediocrity.
I do not want to be in meetings that parade inflamed egos.

I am bothered by the envious, who seek to discredit
the most able, to usurp their places,
coveting their seats, talent, achievements and luck.

I do not have time for endless conversations,
useless to discuss about the lives of others
who are not part of mine.

I do not have time to manage sensitivities of people
who despite their chronological age, are immature.

I cannot stand the result that generates
from those struggling for power.

People do not discuss content, only the labels.
My time has become scarce to discuss labels,
I want the essence, my soul is in a hurry…
Not many candies in the bowl…

I want to live close to human people,
very human, who laugh of their own stumbles,
and away from those turned smug and overconfident
with their triumphs,
away from those filled with self-importance,
Who do not run away from their responsibilities ..
Who defend human dignity.
And who only want to walk on the side of truth
and honesty.
The essential is what makes
life worthwhile.

I want to surround myself with people,
who knows how to touch the hearts of people ….
People to whom the hard knocks of life,
taught them to grow with softness in their soul.

Yes …. I am in a hurry … to live with intensity,
that only maturity can bring.
I intend not to waste any part of the goodies
I have left …
I’m sure they will be more exquisite,
than most of which so far I’ve eaten.

My goal is to arrive to the end satisfied and in peace
with my loved ones and my conscience.
I hope that your goal is the same,
because either way you will get there too.

Star Of Paris

Star Of Paris – Tour Eiffel

Fuji X-T2 at 18mm (XF 18-55F2.8-4 R LM OIS)
f/22 at 1/1250sec, ISO 400


Beware Reasonableness


Here is a customer experience story for you. Today, I had given my car for servicing at my regular service station. As usual, there was a delay when I went to pick it up at the scheduled time. The car was still being washed. Post the wait & settling the bill, I finally got the car. I was keen to get home & avoid the evening traffic snarls. To my surprise though, I saw that the car was still dirty at many places.

On further inspection, I discovered it had not been washed at all. Not only was I charged for it, but I was also made to wait long for the wash. Obviously, I was furious and frustrated. I made a complaint to the managers. And I was on my way out after agreeing for a wash the next time there.

That’s it? Nothing more? Why didn’t I make a bigger issue of it? Why settle so quickly?

Beware the soul sucking force of reasonableness.
– Chip & Dan Heath

Inspite of the service station being clearly at fault, the reason I did not make a mountain of the issue was probably what had happened at the service station earlier in the day. Several acts that defied business reasonableness.

  • Early in the morning when I was dropping the car off, I had met the service manager. He wished me as soon as he saw me & ensured someone was attending to me at the earliest.
  • During both my visits on this occasion, I was offered drinking water (such a relief in Indian summers) & hot beverages.
  • Even more important, the person serving the water & beverages was genuinely smiling at customers. He seemed keen to serve & not just going through the motions.
  • And there was more than one person smiling at visiting customers, trying to make them feel comfortable & ensuring they were attended to quickly.
  • Even when the issue was discovered, there was no attempt to avoid the issue or blaming on lame excuses. All three levels of managers (service advisor, service team manager & the service station in-charge) –  acknowledged the issue, took responsibility for the same and apologised.

Decisions to the do the above acts could’ve all faced the challenge of corporate reasonableness. It is reasonable to save money by not giving free packaged water or beverages? Smiling, making customer feel comfortable & well attended to – this is a car service station, not a hotel for god’s sake!

The reasonableness defying acts were them building up their equity by take the initiative to give, give & give (the job jab jab in Gary Vaynerchuck’s terms). They cashed in their equity (the right hook) when they asked me to excuse them for their obvious mistake.