The Corey Story

My random wanderings and things I find entertaining

Archive for March, 2010

Etiquette Awareness — So Pushy It Was Funny!

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 31, 2010

So, I did something I don’t usually do. I allowed myself to be talked into a “frequent purchaser” type of program at a store. I had 30 days to try it out; if I didn’t want to continue with it, all I needed to do was call the toll free number before this date and cancel, otherwise my credit card would be charged the low, low price of $xx each month … My only excuse was I was very tired, the salesman talked really fast, and oh, that glass of wine with dinner didn’t help. (My husband couldn’t believe it either, and he was there.)

When I called to cancel the agreement two weeks later, having not once taken advantage of any of the special offers at any of the area stores (which told me how much I would have actually used the darn thing) I was very pleasantly greeted by a young woman who said she would be happy to help me. After calmly obtaining my name and the necessary information, I found it interesting that she suddenly switched over to warp speed and began verbally reiterating all of the benefits I would receive as a subscriber to this program. Smiling to myself, I patiently let her finish, at which point I thought I heard her say something along the lines of if I was not interested in continuing I would need to call back before this date to cancel.

Excuse me? That was the point of my call! So I asked this very pleasant young woman if my credit card was going to be charged the $xx monthly fee for this program. “Not for another two weeks” was her very chipper reply, “so enjoy the services. If you decide to cancel after that, then you will need to call back.”

Obviously, I saw no need to call back in the future and took care of the matter then and there. But I did get a good laugh out of the whole thing!


Active listening means intentionally focusing on the other person in order to understand what is being said. As the listener, you should be able to repeat back, in your own words, what was said. This does not mean that you agree with what is being said; it is meant to show your understanding of the other person’s perspective.

Are you listening to your customers or simply pushing your services?

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”


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Support Q Center and win Muse tickets

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 30, 2010

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Office Space at Q Center for Rent!

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 29, 2010

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What does your bank believe in?

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 25, 2010

Sound like a bank you would like to support?

Call Jeff Hurder (503) 445-2157

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Smart Energy Glass Turns Windows into Energy Generators

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 25, 2010

Posted by geri via GNN

Saturday, 20 March 2010

An innovative Dutch company, recently developed an organic-based glass coating called Smart Energy Glass. Windows made with this glass are transformed into solar energy collectors. The energy captured can either be used immediately or fed back into a power grid, adding to a building’s energy efficiency and sustainability. (Ode)

The windows can be adjusted as the sun changes to allow in more light or create more privacy, and thus effecting the amount of energy generated.

WATCH the marketing video at

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Etiquette Awareness — Networking Impressions

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 23, 2010

Networking. It’s what you do to promote yourself and obtain referrals, meet new people, learn about the services they have to offer and how you can be of help to them, whether you are a business owner, someone who is employed by a company, or in the job seeking market.

I would like to share some observations from a recent networking meeting I attended:

  • An individual chewing gum, mouth open, the entire time. Smacking sounds optional.
  • A nicely attired young man, white dress shirt, tie, slacks … and filthy sneakers.
  • During his self-introduction, someone mentioned a competitor by name and blatantly insulted and criticized their practices in comparison.
  • After introducing himself by professional title, an individual stated that he was there to network, “although I don’t think any of you are of the caliber and client level I typically deal with.” Ouch! You have no idea who I know or with whom I associate.
  • 8 out of 14 people introduced themselves by first name only. How do you want to be remembered? Use both of your names!
  • As a follow-up to receiving my business card at the meeting, one person put me on their email list of informational updates. Possession of my card does not constitute permission to add me to an email list; that is SPAM and it is illegal (not to mention extremely irritating).

Keep in mind that these were simply my observations; this is not a result of any actual interaction I had with these people.


People watch people; they notice body language, they way you dress, the expression on your face and the words you speak. They form conclusions about you, how you do business, what type of person you are, often times without ever speaking with you directly.

What kind of message are you sending?

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”


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Les Schwab had to pay out $2 million for discrimination based on gender

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 22, 2010

Les Schwab settles EEOC suit for $2M

By Eric Mortenson, The Oregonian

March 11, 2010, 5:18PM

Les Schwab Tire Centers are known for their hustling workers, who literally come running when customers roll up for new tires, brake jobs or other work. Trouble is, the workers manning the air wrenches and vehicle lifts were just that — men. The Oregon-based company’s service bays and sales ranks were no place for women, a federal lawsuit alleged, because the company persistently engaged in discriminatory hiring practices. As a result, women were denied Les Schwab management jobs because sales and service experience was a prerequisite for promotion.

On Thursday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Seattle announced Les Schwab Tire Centers will pay a $2 million penalty and train the managers and employees of its 420 stores on the finer points of gender equity.

The negotiated settlement ended a six-year legal fight that involved Les Schwab operations in seven western states.

Les Schwab is based in Prineville. The company admitted no wrong. In a prepared statement, human resources Vice

President lodie Hueske said the company was pleased to resolve litigation that “recognizes Les Schwab’s continued

commitment to equal opportunity practices in the workplace.”

The EEOC put a different spin on the outcome.

William Tamayo, regional attorney for the EEOC in Seattle, said the commission determined that more than 200 women

should have been hired between 2004 and 2007, the period of investigation. They included a woman who had worked at a Wal-Mart tire center and another who had been an Army helicopter mechanic, Tamayo said.

“Some women never got interviewed, while in other cases, men with no relevant experience were hired,” he said.

The case began in 2004 when two women who had worked at Les Schwab outlets in Washington state filed a class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination and retaliation. The EEOC picked it up from there, pursuing evidence of “failure to hire” cases as the original plaintiffs settled their individual claims, Tamayo said.

A settlement decree filed in the case orders Les Schwab to pay a $2 million penalty, some of which will be used for back pay owed to women who were discriminated against. In addition, the company must provide a list of all women who applied for sales and service jobs after Dec. 1, 2007, plus a list of all men hired from that date. The decree also says all employees must be provided training on equal employment opportunity issues, including sex discrimination in hiring and promotion. The company also was ordered to continue recruiting female applicants for sales and service positions, in part by contacting technical schools and community colleges and participating in job fairs.

Company founder Les Schwab was one of Oregon’s best-known business owners. He founded the tire company in 1952 in Prineville, and built it into an enterprise that produces $1.6 billion in annual sales. He died in 2007 at age 89. Schwab, by all accounts, was a product of his time, and clearly believed his store managers should be men. In a 2006 interview, an EEOC official said a sexist attitude “permeates” the company culture.

The settlement decree orders the company to include a disclaimer when it distributes copies of Schwab’s autobiography, “Pride in Performance: Keep on Going!”

The disclaimer distinguishes between Schwab’s life story and the company’s current personnel policies. It concludes, “.. Our goal is to maintain a work environment that is open and welcoming to everyone regardless of background or gender.”

Eric Mortenson; 503-294-7636,

Les Schwab Tire settles discrimination case

By Jonathan Brinckman, The Oregonian

July 01, 2008, 11:44AM

The Montana operation of Les Schwab Tire Centers has agreed to pay a $185,000 settlement in a racial discrimination case brought by a member of the Blackfeet Nation. The Seattle office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Tuesday that the company, based in Bend, will also implement anti-discrimination policies and training procedures.

The EEOC’s complaint said that the company refused to stop the co-workers of Earle Nevins from making derogatory comments and insulting jokes about him and his Native American heritage. When he complained about the daily harassment, management told Nevins that his co-workers were merely engaging in “horseplay.” The EEOC said Nevins was fired illegally for repeatedly complaining about the harassment.

The company agreed to settle the case for $185,000 and the promise of improving its procedures.

— Anne Saker,

@ 2008 All rights reserved.

Own a business and want to protect yourself? Contact us for info on Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)


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Our Marriage Matters Video

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 19, 2010

Turn your volume way up to hear…

Sign the Freedom to Marry Pledge

Help the cause and spread the word.

It takes only seconds and can change lives forever.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

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Pano from Panorama Point

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 18, 2010

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Video – Tony Robbins on Motivation in a Slump

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 18, 2010

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