Saturday, September 14, 2013

Church Social - Invitation

I was asked to write up a brief (2 sentence) invitation to our annual church fall social. This will be printed on small cards and passed around at church and around our neighborhood. The NecktieNinja never does anything half way. Here is what I submitted. I'll let you know if they end up using my write up or not:

"Come one, come all to the Hockinson Ward fall festival of delight for Autumn-Halloweeny type games and food with harvest themed decorations and splendid company of friends, complete with a chili cook off competition to be judged by impartial persons of the most incorruptible nature and unmistakable integrity; all with the glorious purpose of celebrating our Hockinson Ward unitedness and wonderment. 

Bring your friends."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Workplace Romance

The Office on NBC recently aired its final episode and I've been in a state of complete depression ever since saying goodbye to Jim and Pam. They are the most successful office couple in the history of workplace romance but they are the rare exception. Most office romances end in tragedy and it's worse for the spectators than it is for the couple. Watching your coworkers break up is almost as bad as watching your coworkers hook up. It's just awkward for everyone no matter what chapter in the tragedy you are witnessing so I say better to avoid putting your colleagues through that experience and either stay single or date someone from outside of work.
This video is a little spoof on workplace romance. This is another video that could easily have a part 2 or 3 or 4 to it.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Minimum Job Requirements

I know a lot of people looking for employment now or who went through a period of unemployment during the recession and I've heard a common complaint about employers who post impossible minimum requirements. This video is for you. Don't let the unfair job market depress you; just watch this video, laugh a little, then go start a business of your own. If you've been through the unemployment roller coast, I say just start your own business and take the ugly duckling's advice who after realizing his true status in the world "now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around". 

Some of these job descriptions are pretty comical and I wonder if some of the impossible job descriptions I've seen posted ever get filled or if employers give up on finding Superman and just settle for someone who is an amazing professional rather than a perfect superhero. 

p.s. The person who contributed most to this video is my friend Dan Kubus who is currently looking for a job. He has an advanced degree in music education and is looking for a music teaching position. Also, he plays the piano better than anyone I've ever heard. Contact me in the notes and I'll connect you to Dan.

Friday, April 19, 2013

1 new job + 6 new chickens

I started a new job last month and have been adjusting to the new schedule, commute and travel requirements. I've been working on my next video for the last few weeks and hope to post it in the coming days.

Yes, I am still alive and yes I plan to post more videos. My frequency will likely change from a weekly event to an every other week or monthly schedule. If this offends you, I invite you to express your anger through some hostile tweets containing my Twitter handle @NecktieNinja. This will have the double benefit of allowing you to vent some frustration while stirring up some publicity on my behalf.

Another reason for my delay is I've been spending a lot of time building this chicken coop.

Please keep the ideas coming for future videos. If I haven't used one of your ideas yet, it's probably going to get used on some future video. Don't lose hope. Thanks to those who have subscribed to my YouTube channel. For those who haven't subscribed yet, you might want to consider it. Follow this link to watch my previous videos and be sure to click the subscribe button.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

How to Dress for Success at Work

There are a lot of Do's and Don'ts when it comes to your workplace attire and --THIS VIDEO-- captures some of them; I hope you like it.

This is a topic I'll probably extend into a part II in the future because I only covered a few things in this video. You notice I focused exclusively on men's clothing in this video because I've never been a woman and don't have much to say on that subject. If you leave me some comments on this blog or on my YouTube channel with suggestions, I'll incorporate your suggestions in the part II of "How to Dress for Success at Work" video. I'll definitely need some help on the Do's and the Don'ts for women. This is my 8th video and I've had a blast putting these together every week and wanted to thank the 3 of you who actually watch these videos. Feel free to share them on Facebook or MySpace or wherever you connect with your digital friends. The other 7 videos can be viewed by --CLICKING HERE--

You can also follow me on Twitter where I post some mid-week commentaries on the white collar world.

A special thanks to my wife who helped write this video and to Stephanie who made the "Hi, My Name Is" name tag for this video.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Warren Buffett

In early 2010, I traveled to Omaha, Nebraska with some of my MBA classmates from the University of Iowa to Berkshire Hathaway headquarters for a Q&A session with Warren Buffett. After the Q&A, we went to Piccolo Pete's for lunch and I got to sit at the same table as Warren Buffett and ask him a few questions. I have plenty of pictures from the event but completely forgot that I had some video footage until this week. What a find!

I mentioned the experience briefly in my Name Dropping video which you can find here if you haven't seen it yet :

Thursday, February 21, 2013

MLM Sales at Work

Every office has a guy or gal who makes you feel sub-human if you won't buy the latest Amway products from them or contribute to their son or daughter's school fundraiser. This video is dedicated to them and I encourage you to forward this video on to anyone who needs it. I have to admit, I did ask my coworkers last year if they wanted to buy some candles for my daughter's dance team but my approach was tactful and I made it easy for them to say "no" while still preserving the friendship.

Watch the video here :

I have been approached to join a few multi-level marketing businesses before and the sales pitch always has a desperate tone. They won't take "no" for an answer and it's hard to stay friends if you've rejected someone who's trying to recruit you or sell to you. That's why they call it N.F.L. marketing (No Friends Left). It's sad that I have to avoid certain people at work or in the hallway at church because I don't want a sales pitch from a friend.

As much as I love to see my loved ones filled with the false hope that get rich quick MLM schemes bring into their eyes, it's really awkward to have to turn them down over and over again. My thought is usually, "if the last thing you were into was supposed to be your key to success, then why are you still broke and trying to sell me stuff I don't need with this new company?"

Here's a non-exhaustive list of stuff that friends have tried to guilt me into buying :
Prepaid Legal
Magnet bracelets that improve your circulation
Magic berry juice that heals all ailments
Ameriprise Financial Advising (from someone who couldn't balance a checkbook)
Money Giving Club (this one is hilarious...I'll blog about this one in a later post)


Saturday, February 16, 2013

What's in a (business) name?

We celebrated my daughter’s 6th birthday today at the Old Spaghetti
Factory and after ordering my usual penne delight, I wondered how they
ever came up with such a bad name for a restaurant. When I think of
eating, I don’t ever picture myself in a factory. In fact, the word
factory usually conjures up some image of a dark and damp room filled
with underpaid workers and bad ventilation. That’s exactly the kind of
place I want to take my daughter to for her birthday but it is HER
birthday so we go where she wants I guess. I was just grateful she
didn’t choose Chuck E. Cheese’s which by the way, is also a bad name
for a business. The Old Spaghetti Factory does have decent food so at
least their bad news is limited to the name only; I wish I could say
the same for Chuck E. Cheese’s.

It's hard to erase a negative first impression so why do companies stick with bad business names? The restaurant buffet business model starts in an uphill battle from the outset, then when you slap a ridiculous name on the door like "Chuck-A-Rama", I don't know how enough customers look past the ugly name to keep them in business. Chuck-A-Rama; by the way, has been in business for over 47 years. What other business names (whether food related or not) do you find ridiculous? I'm researching bad business names for a future video. Leave a comment on this blog or on my YouTube channel or on Twitter to contribute to the theme of bad business names.

WATCH MY VIDEOS on my YouTube Channel at :


Friday, February 15, 2013

I already have an iPad (or other tablet); why should I buy an E-reader?

In college I had a lot of PDF's to read and the biggest problem with PDF’s is I had to read them on a computer....a computer that could play movies, surf the internet, play games, send & receive emails, edit videos, read news, play music and check up on my social network. I never got anything done in college because my PC did everything I wasn't supposed to be doing during homework time. The days I didn't bring my computer to school were some of my most productive days. Feel free to disagree with me if you are a multitasker extraordinaire but I know that for me and most people, we would never read more than 5 pages of a book on an iPad or a Kindle Fire without going to YouTube to watch Gangnam Style for the 199th time.

The argument for tablets over E-readers is the multipurpose argument. People want their machine to do everything from reading to taking pictures. A few years back a friend of mine bought shoes that had a bottle opener built into one of the soles....neat idea I guess but who needs a bottle opener under their shoe? I just need my shoe to facilitate walking. Maybe it's because when I see something shiny I get distracted but I need a simple device for reading otherwise I won't read. For the same reason, I disagree with some people's complaint of the Kindle E-readers’ inferior web browser or the slow MP3 player. I haven't even looked for the MP3 player on my Kindle E-reader yet because I'm afraid once I find it, I'll stop reading after every 3 pages to go listen to my favorite Justin Bieber song.

Before I continue, I do own an iPad and I LOVE IT! I’m just saying that my book reading has plummeted since I bought the iPad. Here’s a chart showing an exact count of the non-fiction books I read during the 10 months before and after my iPad purchase.
Technology continues to get “better” every year. I put the word “better” in quotes because maybe there’s value in slowing things down a bit for some good old fashioned reading once in awhile. Maybe it’s ok that our shoes only cover our feet and don’t have the ability to transmit Morse Code to Mars. I wonder if I’m better off with my amazing iPad machine with the hundreds of apps that make my life so much “better”? I wonder what the comparison chart looks like that compares quality time spent with my kids before and after the iPad?

If you already own a tablet and want to get into reading or want to simply just read more and watch less television, I HIGHLY recommend the Kindle E-readers. I have an iPad and a Kindle E-reader and love them both. I've included some links here for you to check them out for yourself. Read the reviews and pick the one best for you.

Disclosure:   Jordan Fife is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Despite this disclosure statement, you can be sure that any recommended products or services I use personally and believe will add value to readers. I would not recommend anything I didn't personally use and believe in. For this reason, you will never see a recommendation from me to buy a Shake Weight®.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Name Dropping

 Every office has that guy or gal who drops names all the time. Don't be that person. CLICK HERE to access a video I made about the subject. 

Pass it on to everyone you know; especially the name droppers in your life. Maybe after watching the video they will have a change of heart and try other means for career advancement like pretending to have the same interests as the boss or taking credit for projects they contributed little to. Either of these options would be less annoying than name dropping. I catch myself doing it sometimes and it’s not healthy. There are better ways to get ahead.

I have REALLY appreciated the comments and suggestions on what new topics to cover in future videos. Because of you (dear internet people), I have plenty of ideas for making fun of the white collar world. Please keep the ideas coming. In the mean time, enjoy this week’s video on name dropping and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and forward this link to your coworkers and friends.

CLICK HERE for my video from last week called Post-Nominal Letters, in case you missed it.

Did I mention I know Warren Buffett?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Everyone is an Expert

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” —JOHN LE CARRÉ

I started to work full-time in the "business" world in 2004 and have accumulated some pet peeves about life in an office since then. My favorite television show is "The Office" and I enjoy the Dilbert comics as well but commenting on the quirks and oddities of working in a business environment seems to make the days more enjoyable. You have to have a sense of humor about life; the alternative is to just complain about it and no one wants to be around a whiner. This blog and associated YouTube channel are meant to laugh at the white collar world and more importantly, to laugh at myself. I invite you to laugh with me.

I'm amazed at how many experts the internet has created since it's invention by Al Gore. There are people who blog about dogs because they watched their neighbor's dog one weekend in the 90's and they now know enough about dogs to blog about them daily. You will hear me refer to my master's degree and neck tie in my videos as the only source of my expertise. In addition to making fun of the business world, this whole blog and video experiment is also a little jab at how easy it is to be an expert these days. You just need a computer and a phone line; thank you Al Gore!

CLICK HERE to view my first video that pokes fun at people who drop the post-nominal letters after their names a little too freely.

If you enjoyed the video, please subscribe to my channel and leave a comment. Let me know what other pet peeves about the white collar world you want me to address and I'll do my best to accommodate your request. WATCH MY OTHER VIDEOS HERE