In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 16, 2014 / 18 Sivan, 5774

Why Americans Hate Big Business

By Bruce Bialosky

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Big Business does some things that are utterly necessary in modern society. They build airplanes and cars. They run airlines, phone companies, credit card companies and banks. But there is not a person among us, including employees of big businesses, that has not withered with frustration from confronting these businesses with a problem and then receiving little or no results.

Even though big businesses get the most attention, the vast majority of people in the U.S. work for small businesses. Small businesses by nature are more reactive and responsive to their customers. They are closer to the customer and more directly feel the pain of any problem. I have a saying, "It is not that you make a mistake, as everyone makes mistakes, but it is how you deal with the mistake that keeps your customers satisfied."

Our recent encounter with American Airlines is a prime example of the dichotomy between big and small business. We are not some random AA customer, as both my wife and I are lifetime Gold members. That is not to say the pedestrian customer should be handled as we were treated.

We flew First Class (via miles) to Miami en route to Lima, Peru. We received early notification our flight would be delayed an hour. Then it was a delayed a little longer and it became apparent we were going to miss our Miami connection to Lima. My wife -- who handles these matters -- had them change us to a flight on AA's partner airline LAN, which is based in Peru.

Then I went to the counter and asked what was to happen with our bags, tagged for both AA flights. This person clearly did not know. I asked to speak to her supervisor who told me they should be transferred to the LAN flight. But she was not sure. I asked a simple question: "Why don't you pick up the phone and call your people in Miami, give them the tag numbers and make sure they get transferred?" You would have thought I asked to dig up the grave of George Washington. What I asked would have been what any small business person would have done, but the supervisor just confirmed we were on the flight and sent us on our way.

Before you jump in here and think, why did we check bags?, I will tell you why. We have flown all over the world with various airlines and never had a problem. Second, our trip was for an extended time and I am partial to clean underwear and we are not keen on doing laundry on vacation.

When we arrived at the nearly-deserted Miami airport at midnight, we had to race across to the LAN terminal. We arrived at security and were told we could not enter because we did not have LAN boarding passes. We asked the security person to call ahead to LAN who said we were not booked on the flight. At this point, for very experienced travelers like ourselves, we should have gone back to American Airlines, collected our luggage and gone out on the flight the next day, but we were anxious to get to Peru. That was a strategic mistake. It was already 12:30 A.M.

We got on the phone and called the American Airlines 800 number and were told by the person who answered, "Sorry we cannot do anything at this time." One again I said let me speak to your supervisor. 'Amazingly' the supervisor was able to get us on the flight. LAN sent a staff person to security with our boarding passes and we got on the flight; it was quite a nice experience with their lovely staff.

When we arrived in Lima at 5:30 A.M., we went to the LAN people and told them about our luggage. They said the bags were in Miami and coming on the American Airlines flight arriving at 9 P.M. They provided paperwork and everything appeared to be fine. We just had to go the day in our existing clothes. We checked into our hotel, slept some, acclimated to Lima and had a lovely dinner before heading to the airport to collect our luggage.

When we got to the airport we could not just go into collect our luggage because of modern security measures. We went to the American Airlines counter and handed them the paperwork. We were then told: "This is odd, your luggage is checked in on the flight that just arrived and one arriving at 4:30 A.M." We were admitted to baggage claim where we found out our luggage did not arrive. So we went back to the American counter.

This is when big business kicked into its totally helpless mode. We asked a simple question once again: "Would someone call Miami and confirm they have our luggage and it is coming on the next flight?" We never got an answer, though I poised the question numerous times. We then asked -- you guessed it, "Can we speak to your supervisor?" While waiting another staff person steps in and tells us since LAN initiated the paperwork, they were responsible under international law. We pointed out the obvious -- LAN never had the bags, American only had had the bags, so how could they be responsible? After 40 minutes of back and forth between American and LAN, the supervisors showed up.

That is when I told the AA supervisor that, as an American citizen, I am embarrassed an American company was putting this on the Peruvians. Why would anyone want to be partners with you if this is how you treat them? "Why don't you just take responsibility for your actions? For G0D sakes, this could all be resolved if you just called Miami?" Fortunately, the supervisor from LAN took responsibility.

No small business would ever act this way and survive. This is what you do if your customer has a problem:

1. Apologize -- It immediately disarms the customer as angry as they may be.

2. Take Responsibility - almost no matter what happened you should have made it right the first time.

3. Tell the customer you are going to fix it and do so.

I have been coaching businesses for years that this is the way to handle problems. It works. I can only remember one time when a big company representative (AT & T) followed the three steps and I almost fell off my chair and then went on a rant about how wonderful she was. Almost always big business representatives are helpless to resolve a problem. I always end up with a supervisor after wasting untold time with a staff person un-empowered or unwilling to resolve the issue.

Americans are can-do people. We see a problem and we resolve it. That is how we run our businesses. That is why we get so flustered dealing with the airline, credit card companies or cable company when they just don't fix what seems like an easy thing to us. If someone would have just called Miami and checked on the bags we would have all been relieved. Thankfully, the bags showed up the next morning, but one is left to wonder how these people stay in business.

This is why we hate big business. They mostly will not or cannot do. They do not empower their employees to resolve problems. They make us feel like a number. If they only heeded the three steps, they would be so much better off. It reminds me of what Ernestine said: "We don't care; we don't have to; we are the phone company."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee.


06/09/14 Obama's Master Plan
06/02/14 Los Angeles' Solution To Failing Government
05/26/14 Curing The VA Problems
05/19/14 There are worst tax agencies than the IRS
05/12/14 From Target to Benghazi
05/05/14 An American Solution to Income Inequality
04/28/14 Medicaid, the Next Obama Disaster
04/21/14 President Hope abandons it
04/14/14 The Great Divide in America
04/07/14 Banks Play Ball with Government to Hand Over Your Assets
03/24/14 To Frack or Not to Frack, That is the Question
03/17/14 Doing Right While Being So Wrong
03/10/14 Los Angeles: The Next Failed Government?
03/03/14 Dems, How Much Will You Take?
02/24/14 NCAA Juicing Basketball
02/17/14 Thank You President Obama for Freeing Me
02/10/14 What Jack Kennedy Wrought
02/03/14 Women Need To Have Equality
01/27/14 Our Smartest President?
01/20/14 And When I Die
01/13/14 Congressional Extortion
01/06/14 Why Obamacare Cannot Succeed
12/30/13 Why Judge Was Incorrect in NSA Case
12/09/13 The Real Reaction to Obamacare
12/09/13 How to Secure a Proper Iranian Agreement
12/03/13 Frontline/ProPublica's Misguided Attack on The Assisted Living Industry, Part 2
12/02/13 Frontline/ProPublica's Misguided Attack on The Assisted Living Industry, Part 1
11/25/13 Obamacare --- Big Business Gets Screwed Again
11/18/13 Shocking News: Dems Want New 'Revenues'
11/11/13 Do You Want A Nationalized Drug Industry?
11/04/13 Obamacare Schadenfreude
10/28/13 The Second Biggest Issue in America
10/21/13 The New Welfare State

© 2013, Bruce Bialosky