Category Archives: Thoughts

Thoughts that pop into my head. Things that I ponder from time to time.

The unemployment rate is at 0%! Who wants to work?

You heard me right, the unemployment rate is at 0%! Nobody needs work, everyone is employed. This means there is no need for anybody to file an unemployment claim and everyone is happy because nobody is looking to improve their situation by looking for jobs paying more or jobs that have more benefits.

leonardo decaprio with champagne

Proof that the employment rate is at 0%

I have 3 different ads running, two on Craigslist and one on Linkedin. I have the ads in different categories as well. I have a catchy subject, detailed information about the position, benefits given and a wage about 33% higher than I have ever advertised for. I have had these three ads running for 2 weeks and I have had 0 applications. Zero, nada, zip. This proves that the unemployment rate is at 0%; nobody needs a job. If anyone needed a job, then I would be getting at least some inquiries about the job I am offering. Oh, I also forgot to mention that I have 2 jobs offered for two different departments in our company.

Snap, now I know why I don’t have any applications

Silly me, I just realized something. I am not offering a free gym membership, paid lunches everyday, unlimited time off, yoga sessions in the morning, wine and mingling time after work in our play area complete with ping pong tables, video games and a masseuse. I have also posted the hours you need to work which is only from 9-5 Monday through Friday with no weekends, but I know this is a lot to ask. It’s this non flexible schedule that is causing no one to apply. I have to have our phones answered for some stupid reason, thus I need actual people to answer them. Do you know that the Airbnb headquarters has an indoor tree house and part of a real PanAm passenger plane to play inside of? Alas, I couldn’t afford this perk. Unfortunately we don’t offer employee water slides either. Maybe I should offer some of the perks that Spotify offers. Spotify gives their employees 6 months of paid paternal leave and has egg freezing for their employees which by the way costs in excess of $10,000. I don’t know about you, but I want my free range eggs frozen. You never know when you will need those chicken eggs.

frozen egg

When will the unemployment rate go up?

I’m hoping that the unemployment rate will go up past 0% because we would really like to have some people join our team, but I realize that having to do actual work for a living is a hard choice over playing in an indoor tree-house and having a crying room should your politician of choice not be elected. Maybe I should change my help wanted ad to something like this:

Help Wanted – Work when you feel like it, get paid what you want

  • Flex hours – you tell us when you feel like working
  • Flex pay – you tell us what you want to be paid and we will double it. We pay via Paypal so that you can purchase items on Amazon while you work.
  • Work environment – If you don’t mind, we ask that you work in our state of the art tech center complete with snake slide, espresso bar and kegs on tap. (not to be enjoyed until after 12 each day)
  • Qualifications – The ability to use your cell phone to access such work related apps as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. The skill to issue grievances about your work environment and ability to convey how unfair corporate America is.
  • How to apply – Please apply online and include us in the 50 other companies that you are also mass applying to from your cell phone while you drink your soy latte at Starbucks. Please do not change the position that you are applying for with these 50 other companies so when we see you applying for a web developer position with our company when our ad is clearly for a shipping clerk. That way, we will know that we have other companies to compete with.
    scrooge in bed (possibly crying about the unemployment rate)

Now that I have figured all of the reasons I have had no applicants, I can change my whole way of listing my ad. I will change my entire work environment, find an angel investor and come to that realization that I will keep the work environment dear in my heart and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the employees of my Past, the Present, and the Future. The touchy feelings of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that my employees teach!

My Amazing Tesla Model 3 Delivery Experience

My Tesla Model 3 delivery experience was fantastic, and I will tell you why. I haven’t purchased a new vehicle in almost 20 years. Most of the time, you haggle with a car salesman over price, then after much arm twisting to try and get you to go with the extended warranty, undercoating and expensive sealers, you finally get your car; not with Tesla.

Model 3 tesla

Step by step sequence of Tesla Model 3 delivery

When you get a phone call letting you know that your Tesla Model 3 is ready for pickup, you are given an appointment so that they can get your car ready for presentation as well as have all of the paperwork and one of the team members available to explain the working of the car to you.

They stagger delivery times so that they can:

  • Get you to sign the paperwork
  • Go over the registration details
  • Walk you through the basic operation of your car
  • Answer any questions
  • Let you drive away with your new car

When you go to the Glen Allen Service Center in Virginia, you will see that their lot is full of Model 3’s, ready to be prepped and delivered. I hear that there are even the dual motor versions ready for delivery because a young lady stopped me and told me that hers was ready for pickup next week with the dual motors.

Step by step delivery experience

First, I entered the Tesla Glen Allen VA service center and told the gentleman sitting in the service area that I was here to pick up my Tesla Model 3. He told me to have a seat and he would let the delivery team know that I was there. Another couple was there from Chesapeake VA who was getting ready to have their appointment. That was it, not a long line of people waiting to pick up their car.

I got up and walked around the showroom looking at the Model S and the Model X while I was waiting to be called back. I think I waited around 10-15 minutes before I was called back.

“Mr. Trotman, would you follow me please?” said the guy who was handling my delivery. I walked into a separate room and there sat two beautiful Model 3’s on their own carpet. It was plugged in with a full charge. On the counter behind the car was a small placard with my name on it as well as the delivery paperwork. I walked around the car admiring this vehicle that I had only seen in a picture. It was sort of like a blind date or dating online. She was beautiful, even if I had only seen a “head shot” of her!

Signing the paperwork was very simple as all of the choices for options had been completed online a month earlier as well as the loan application, my insurance and title papers. I think the paperwork took a total of 5 minutes.

How do I operate this contraption?

interior shot of Tesla Model 3

Next, a young lady introduced me to my car and let me walk around it for a little bit admiring it. After a few moments of checking out the curves of the car and seeing it up close for the first time, she had me sit in the drivers seat and started to explain the center display console. For a newbie Tesla owner, there was a lot to absorb, but she took her time and explained it all, answering my questions when needed. She stated that corporate had wanted these deliveries to take 5 minutes, but there was no way she expected new Tesla owners to live with that, feeling short changed on all of the information that they wanted to know.  I think this part alone took about 30 minutes as I needed to know how to operate the car, charge it, what it would and would not do, getting my phone synced to the car as well as explaining the app on my phone.

Next, she said “Congratulations!” and opened the overhead door to let me drive out into the gas guzzling world. We told her that we wanted to drive it around the residential neighborhood behind the service center first before venturing out on the interstate. She gave us directions on where was a good place to take it for it’s virgin drive.

We drove around the neighborhood getting out so that both my wife and I could drive it. After feeling comfortable with the basic operation of the car, I hit the pedal and floored it. The car jumped immediately into action with absolutely no sound at all, only the sound of the tires against the pavement. We were thrust back into our seats and both looked at each other with wide eyes and big grins. This was going to be a FUN car to drive! That was my Tesla Model 3 delivery experience. I hope that yours is just as fun as ours was.

 

Tesla model 3 delivery

https://www.tesla.com/model3

https://www.tesla.com/findus/location/service/richmondglenallen

https://www.facebook.com/gill.trotman.7

Have you lost the art of daydreaming?

A child is daydreaming in a classroom.I read somewhere that if you were in the midst of trying to discover where you wanted to go in life, then you should look retrospectively on your imagined life. Sounds kind of strange doesn’t it? So many times, when we try and think of what we want to become or do in life, we subconsciously place all kinds of limitations on it. We don’t realize many times that we are doing this. We somehow use the successes and the failures of our past to place mental leashes on our dreams. Since we live in the real world, that play world that we lived in as kids slowly disappears as life slaps us in the face. Bit by bit, we stop dreaming during the day; sure we dream at night, but daydreaming  just stops. My teachers used to write to my parents on my report card that I daydreamed too much in class.

I will admit that I did daydream in class. I had so many things that I wanted to become and had quite a vivid imagination. Imagination is very underrated. It is necessary for the advancement of almost any discipline or task we put our hands to. If it wasn’t for imagination, the wheel would never had been invented, much less self driving cars.

After thinking of the challenge put before me, I knew that it was going to take some effort since I hadn’t done this in quite awhile. Most of my daydreaming of late had taken on a very pragmatic nature. Dreaming like I did when I was a kid was going to be a task.

Ground rules for daydreaming

First off, there are some rules you have to keep in mind or rather non-rules. Keep these in mind as you start daydreaming.

  • If money were not an object
  • If there were no time constraints
  • Throw every pragmatic or logical assumption out the window
  • Let your dream have absolutely no boundaries
  • Nothing is silly or stupid
  • Don’t judge your dream even before you get started
  • To hell with thoughts like “it’ll never happen so why dream it”
  • Don’t be afraid to even include friends and associates that you have enjoyed working with in the past in your dream
  • Once you have come up with your dream, write it down amping it up even more

To get you started, I am going to share my wild, no holds barred dream. As I said, this is a retrospective dream, looking back on my imaginary life. Here we go, don’t judge me!

My daydream – an example

“I can’t believe where I am today. At one time, I felt as though God had forgotten why He created me, but now I see that it was to prepare me for where I am today.

It started long ago. All of my life’s experiences created skills that were necessary to prepare me for this. I thought that I was only created to do one thing, but God showed me He created me to do many things, not just one thing. I was always interested in Rocketry. Little did I know that I would discover anti-gravity. This allowed man to escape earth’s gravitational pull without the use of millions of pounds of thrust. We were able to lift more payloads to space using the space that once was used for propellant to hold mission critical payload. After we escaped earth’s gravity, my team, using photon power, propelled the spacecraft to light speed, enabling man to explore new worlds that were once impossible to reach.

photon rocket in outer space.

Anti-gravity also has commercial success as hover boards, passenger planes and other gravity bound products that suddenly “took off”. Tires on cars are a thing of the past. With my profits from anti-gravity, I was able to finally create Walt Disney’s Epcot. It is a place where the most creative minds live and work to create things that benefit mankind. It is not an amusement park, it is what the original plan for Epcot was supposed to be.

The friendships that I created came out of retirement to pull together to make the vision a reality. Steve Story is our corporate attorney who oversees our legal department. Phillip Shucet has found civil engineers like Gary Mackey to create the structure and thoroughfares in Epcot. Jim Tomlinson heads up the hospital. Mike Padden heads up our architectural department. Laurie, my wife makes sure that my creative thinking time is undisturbed. She heads up the ice rink as well as the culinary school.

We now have hologram vision, another invention of mine that beams the picture from your TV into your living room. Fortunately the FCC keeps bad content from jumping into people’s living rooms!

I have a weekly TV show called “Don’t Stop Dreaming”. I found out in my 60’s that acquiring stuff wasn’t important, acquiring dreams was more important. I had stopped asking “What if…” but one day I decided to rekindle my imagination and let it go wild. It had been so long that the rusty gears took awhile to get going, but once they did, they started spinning like a top. Something in my life had jammed the gears, but now they were making up for lost time. I couldn’t stop the ideas from flowing. It was as if God was birthing new ideas in me every day. I said that I wanted to be used and was I ever! There were a lot of obstacles along the way, but with God’s help and a faithful team of dreamers, doors kept opening. A half century ago, I felt as if God had whispered in my ear that He was going to use me for something extraordinary, and let’s just say, it has been far more extraordinary than I could have dreamed.”

Ok, that was my dream. What is yours? You may have no idea. First you have to learn to daydream again. Learning to daydream, using your imagination is not as easy as it once was when we were younger. It’s going to take a little bit of practice. I do this best when I am in a quiet place with paper and pen.

Now, go start daydreaming!

Tesla Model 3, Model S and Model X Sounds!

Have you ever heard a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X?

This is just an idea for Elon Musk and his Tesla team, but I digress. After 11 months, Tesla finally delivered my Model 3. This is the understudy to the Model S, but it is quick, even with the standard motor. It goes 0-60 in 5.1 seconds. This is the same speed as 1995 Chevrolet Corvette LT1. Not bad for a base Model 3.  Being this is my first electric car, I found myself going faster than I should have due to no engine sound.

Tesla Model 3

As I was accelerating with no audible sound at all,  I got this idea. Flipping through the 15″ dashboard screen noticing ALL of the controls and settings that are accessed through the screen, I said to myself, “Why not download all of the coolest car engine sounds there are out there, synchronize it with the accelerator pedal and send it through the speaker system?” You would be able to pick your engine sound and volume of course and as you accelerate, you get that familiar sound of the engine, and not just any engine, a Ferrari,  Dodge Hemi or any other engine! Can you imagine the first ride of a passenger? You simply turn it on before you leave the parking lot and they think you have some massive engine under the hood. After a few miles, you simply dial down the volume to 0 and they look over at you like, “Hey your engine just died.” All you say is, “Gotcha! This is a Tesla dude!”

Why do you blog in the first place?

For us bloggers out there, why do you blog in the first place?

Is it to get subscribers or followers or likes? If this is the reason you blog, then you are simply one of the millions that post to social media just to get feedback that someone likes what you posted. Really? Think about it for a minute. If we showed someone a funny picture or told them a story face to face, would we ask them, “Did you like it? Did you think it was funny? Will you tell other people about it? Please like it. Give me a thumbs up.” I don’t think so.

I am a newbie blogger and I’m already exhausted.

I enjoy writing my content, I really do, but I don’t write it to impress you. I write it because for me it is therapy. It’s sort of like a public journal of thoughts I wouldn’t mind talking to you about in person. They say that if you are a blogger, you should spend most of your time promoting your blog instead of writing it. I get that, but what if the purpose of your blog is to share good ideas and thoughts with others? If you spend all of your creative time in promoting your blog, then it would seem that your blog content would be rather thin as you just want to create content fast enough to publish it. It’s sort of like a writer rushing the end of his or her story just to meet a deadline. Have you ever read a book where the end just sort of happened? You are sitting there reading the last sentence saying to yourself, “That’s it? That’s the ending!!!!???”
Quill pen with the writing 'The End'

What we create, should be an extension of ourselves.

We shouldn’t try and copy someone else or you end up just being another version of other people. Why would you want to do that? I don’t know about you, but I know that I have good ideas and that what I write is worth reading and my music videos are worth listening to. Logging in to your site stats every 2 hours to see how many people have viewed it is simply neurotic. What I have done is to link these blog posts to my Facebook page, have a link in my personal email address and share those certain posts that I think others will appreciate with just them. You have to do a little self promotion or what you write won’t matter because nobody will see it, but spending the majority of your time self-promoting instead of being creative is not what I want to do. No, I will not be a Huffington Post, but I don’t want to be that blog anyway. That’s not the reason I started doing this and hopefully that is not the reason that you started doing this either.

The American Work Force is in deep…..

This post is for people who are 54 to 72 years of age, better known as the baby boomer generation. So, if you aren’t in this age group, then just click back to Google land. That being said, I will begin my lament. The American work force is in deep doo-doo. I know, because I employ those people that are less than 54 years of age, most of them in their 20’s and lower 30’s. The sense of entitlement is off the charts. The lack of gratitude is unbelievable. Those of you that are not baby boomers are not going to be able to relate to this. We grew up in a different America. (I know that some of you are going to say, “Good, I’m glad I wasn’t born in your Victorian age) Our parents were the product of having to walk through the great depression. There was no Social Security, no welfare, no unemployment compensation. You depended on family to help get you through tough times; you didn’t look to the government for a handout.
Most of us did not live in McMansions. We lived in small bungalows or one story ranches. The house payment was something that every working family was able to pay without both parents having to work. We owned one car. We used public transportation. We had one TV in the house and we had 3 stations. That was good enough for us. You were able to be an electrician, a carpenter, a salesperson or a baker and afford a decent place to live. Health insurance was reasonable and there was the possibility of retiring from one company that you worked at all of your adult life.

I have talked to many CEO’s and they are having a hard time filling positions. People just don’t want to work. They get these kind of responses:

  • It’s too hard, I thought this job was going to be easy.
  • I want to master this job in one month like my old job.
  • Google employees get to work when they want and work from home.
  • I want unlimited time off.
  • This job is boring.
  • I want to be a YouTube sensation.

I have answers for these statements above:

  • Any job that is worth anything takes practice and repetition to be good. If you want easy, then go bag groceries, but beware, you can’t put canned goods on top of eggs.
  • If you mastered a job in one month, then it wasn’t much of a job. Any job that you can master in one month is sort of like an assembly worker putting a rivet into a fender on a car. Pick up rivet, insert in rivet gun, pop rivet in fender, repeat.
  • You have no skills that Google would want. If you want to work for Google, then you need to be a top notch coder and then if you are the best of the best at Google, MAYBE they might let you work from home every now and then.
  • If you have unlimited time off, why am I paying you to work? I tell you what, I will give you unlimited time off, it’s called “You’re fired!!”
  • Well now, isn’t that special. This job is boring. How about your last job selling phones at Verizon. Was that exciting applying customer’s payments on phone accounts that got cut off because they value having a cell phone more than buying groceries? Even being an astronaut gets boring after the 300th time. Deal with it or go find another job.
  • Everybody wants to be a YouTube sensation. Create a YouTube channel after you get off work and find your voice that others want to listen to. You need to learn to use video and audio software. You have to work everyday at producing quality content. Most good YouTubers work 12 hours per day, 7 days per week. Don’t believe me, listen to one of the top YouTubers Casey Neistat.

I’m not saying that everyone that I have hired is a lazy, entitled prick or prickett. I’m saying that most of them are, or are leaning that way. I have hired 3 Asian interns over the past 2 summers and they have blown me away. They are not just on time. They arrive early, they don’t take lunch until they are at a good stopping point, they don’t take smoke breaks or potty breaks every 6.5 minutes. They type usually 90+ wpm with like 1 error and they pick up tasks so fast that I keep asking them, “Don’t you have any questions?” When I check their work, it is correct. They take criticism constructively. They don’t tell the rest of the staff, “He is so mean, he told me that I needed to improve.” Do you know why this is? It’s because their family background is more like my parents and grandparents. To do something well that you are proud of, you had to work at it. It wasn’t something that you perfected in one month. If you have noticed, many of the YouTube sensational instrument players (violin, cello, piano etc) are of Asian descent. To become good at something, you have to practice. This means you have to lay down your phone, tablet or keyboard and you have to apply yourself. Your boss is your boss, not your friend. He or she is someone that is in authority and typically they got there because they put in the time over the years, not due to nepotism.  When I used to talk face to face with my construction customers, they complained “All the Mexicans are taking our jobs.” Do you know why? They are willing to work longer and for less money than you are. They don’t insist on driving an $85K Ford F-350 or living on 5 acres with a $750,000 home. They do what our fathers and grandfathers did.

I’m all about hiring the best person for the job, that means if he or she is 3rd generation American or 1st generation Asian, it doesn’t matter. I need a job done and I’m looking for the best person to do that job. I just want to get a fair amount of work for the more than fair wage that I pay. It’s time to stop playing the entitlement card and learn from, God forbid, Baby Boomers about working hard, playing hard and feeling good about what you did before you punch out for the day.

Be careful what you wish for

    Be careful what you wish for. These things aren’t just wishes, they are seeds that go into your innermost being and take root. These thoughts get put into our subconscious and like a computer program, start to run. If you don’t want them to be fulfilled, then you need to run an anti virus in your thoughts and tell your subconscious that you really didn’t mean this to stop that thought from becoming reality. If these are positive good thoughts, then they will also begin to take root. They will begin to order your steps to fulfill that which is most important to you. They will even override what you normally would do to fulfill their purpose. This can be a great thing as long as ypu want this to happen.

But, be careful what you “wish” for, it probably will happen.

I hated history class!

As a baby boomer, I often wonder why I’m suddenly interested in history. I hated history class in both high school and college. Now, I can’t wait to go to Colonial Williamsburg, watch the history channel or visit Monticello. Anything nostalgic or retro is in. The 50’s furniture we grew to hate as teenagers is now affectionately called “mid century” style and very popular. Talk to any Baby Boomer guy and they will tell you they love to watch ‘American Pickers’ on the history channel.
The two guys on this show, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are the epitome of our generation. They look for anything old and nostalgic. When we watch this show, we see things from our childhood that flood our memories with an easier time, at least in our own mind.  Maybe this is why I enjoy renovating things, be it an old home, car or old piece of machinery. Don’t get me wrong, I also love thinking about the future and all of the inventions that people are coming up with. It’s as if I have one hand in the past and one hand in the future with my body in the present. My two favorite places in Disneyworld are Epcot, where you can learn about nation’s history and Tomorrowland, where a child could dream of going into space and learning about all of the technologies that were emerging.

I’ve often threatened to buy a “mid century” home and totally furnish and decorate it in “mid century” style; I mean down to the old black and white TV’s with reruns of ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘Leave it to Beaver’. Somehow, even though there were a lot of scary things going on in the 50’s like the cold war, as youngsters, we felt insulated. There weren’t reality TV shows and continuous news networks that bombarded us with more than we could handle. There were only 3 channels and the quality of the video wasn’t that good so that reality and fiction weren’t blurred as they are today.

We were told as kids that we could do anything. We were trying to figure out how to get men to the moon.  Buck Rogers was the precursor to Star Trek. We were thinking of the future.  That future included leaving our past behind. People were moving out of the city into the suburbs. We wanted the new ranch style homes. We didn’t want to live on the farm or in a row house. We wanted a 100 x 100 lot with an attached garage. Most families had only one car, a modest home and making a living wasn’t as hard. We were a more formal nation. We wore a coat and tie to the movies as well as on an “air”plane. I know there was social unrest and the past wasn’t as kind to many, but the present isn’t exactly kind to all of us either.

There is a saying that if we don’t remember our history, we are doomed to repeat it, both good and bad. Many of the books that my teachers tried to get me to read while I was in school, I now actually buy and read in my spare time! Talking to many of my peers, they say the same thing, they became interested in history over the past 10-15 years.  Colonial Williamsburg is having a hard time staying afloat due to their attendance waning. The Rockefellers  felt that our nation’s history was important enough to save, so they funded the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg.

I don’t know why I have become so nostalgic about the past. Maybe I see the unrest in our nation and the uncertainty of the present, wishing that I could somehow go back to what seemed like a more calmer period in our history. I know that I’m probably looking back through rose colored glasses, but let me continue to live in my memories, as memories can be changed to fit whatever we want to remember.

I’m interested to know if you find yourself more interested in history as you get older or is it just me and those in my circle.