Being of Service: A Three-Suit Sales Day, Brunch person, COVID doctor

While positive comments for shepherding people (painlessly) through suit process are appreciated, as part of my job, taking pride in the process is psychic income. Yes, I get comments for suit-wearing, and picking Glenn Bossnblue as pen name is tied to feeling good about that aspect of my retail micro-economy. It looks like three-suit sales days aren’t going to be unusual. LOTS of good-looking $700+ sports coats getting attention.

My POV remains positive, with suit selling as my bellweather on results, weddings are still #1 reason for suits. After a $3,800 Wednesday, with literally off the rack $500 suit at very end of night, $4,500 Friday ended with $1,200 sale (Jack Victor black-blue sport coat, $785, Bucachi black long-sleeve, $179), multi-color mohair sweater ($239).

(It takes about $1,400/day in sales to pay for myself – hourly draw/commission. 36.5 hrs. week)

Like good defensive backs, I have a short memory of LOUSY – less than $400 sales in 8-hrs. Saturday is 99% forgotten about. A bourbon at The Palms, 25-minutes of shooting hoops in a parking lot with one light, then quality leftovers and brewskies watching the Florida-Florida St. tussle were very relax-able elements. Not New Normal, just unstressed finish watching a rivalry game (a lot like the ’80s versions).

Sunday Brunch was paid for by companion, the opportunity to tip well was earned-deserved every step along the way by Stephanie, whose attendance and intelligence as a professional waitress enhanced a brunch at https://www.opentable.com/green-valley-grill. She did great, smoothing out a less successful Saturday with a Sunday afternoon free lunch, with frequent refills on coffee to info about Spanish Eggs, apppropraite action on the delay of espresso shot on vanilla ice cream with choclate biscotti dessert. $$$ on the table for good-good-good service is the appropriate accolade.

Its not just ego, or a magic blue suit – SERVICE is a legitimate dividing line when deciding to shop at Nordstrom or elsewhere, with me or anyone else. Good sales service isn’t taking your four items of clothing ‘to open a room for you.’

Like Stephanie at brunch, finding that cool 3X Bugachi for bulky guy, or suggesting options beyond a white shirt, that’s the good service guy I tend to be, so I appreciate a similar cooperative communicator.

Being OF SERVICE

The front-line COVID doctor I’m looking forward to meeting this week, yeah, the collective WE can never do justice to what medical personnel, at all levels of service, went through during pandemic. The Novant supervisor who immediately said, “Let’s get you stuck,” while still a Category 5 NC resident – and taking a mere 26 minutes from parking to leaving experience – is a service I won’t forget.

The old axiom of semi-gratitude is that, whatever burdens you’re bearing in life, “someone else has it worse.” In this seasonal expressing of thankfulness, it would take more than my writers imagination to understand looking the beast COVID in the eye daily, and I admire those who put themselves on the line for US.

Yes, I get comments for suit-wearing, and and picking Glenn Bossnblue as new pen name is tied to feeling good about that micro-economy. A bunch of three-suit days, I’ve got a feeling thats not going to be unusual. LOTS of $700+ sports coats recently.

Myself, post-Thanksgiving, 2022. Life at this end of #gshorkonsharonroadseam feels quite stable.

Alterations are always a Service Biggie

Early Monday its a green with black Ted Baker ($845) for wedding suit for next week, and fiancee nurse is staying up after overnight shift to get this important aspect done with him. He’s a marathon runner (100 milers) guy, with bigger calves and wanting to show ankle changes – alterations guy handled tapering like expect from pros. People have no qualms about paying for results, especially expediting.

In my micro-economy, SUITS area being up 57% over last year is no surprise . While we still sell out of common sizes quickly, we have plenty of product overall.

Turned right around, 2nd guy in gray suit

Finishing a great start to finish/rung up client and turning to a highly motivated next prospect is a salesman’s sweet spot. Jonathan was willing to learn and importantly, try on, both shirts (better with 32-33 sleeve) and suits. I affirm try-er on-ers regularly. As a salesperson and journalist-writer, doing fairly quick overviews of designers (Baker, Boss, Millar, Canali, and more recently, Jack Victor) sets the stage for ‘sizing’ customers, getting a jacket on them soon, basing estimates on myself as a 42 regular.

I’ve had lot of success with Boss, always point out how lowering the arm holes-shoulders are perfect for certain builds, with a great profile as a slim cut. Jonathan came in looking for exactly the slim fit, nice charcoal gray (Baker, $845) he’d expected, plus two much better than just white, trim fit Donahue shirts ($155). Bringing two sizes and options is a great closing situation.

Of course, the Boss felt a little better in the shoulders, but I realllly like how the gray looks on me.”

.”Shoulders on BOSS terrific, but I really like how the gray looks.” Bang zoom, thats decision I like to hear at end. Put a hem on it, pick it up in an hour. That a THIRD guy blew through and took a Millar check sports coat ($745) and a pair of white shirts, *that* is how triples should roll.

Although there’s a consistent fear of inflation or recession, my current POV-expectation is, with plenty of product vs. last year, setting goals for better paychecks is Reality. In 2021, I was often selling from an empty cart, burning time online having suits and shirts being shipped from other stores vs. just ringing up Peter Millar shirts/sweaters I *should* have had.

Reminding people how last year was, we still don’t do Black Friday pricing, which could have contributed to my poor showing last Saturday – our regulars know they won’t miss sales, but deal hunters were often disappointed. Now, end of the pay period, you’d better believe I’m wearing my Boss Blue – aka The $$$ Suit – instead of black management felt ‘would help identify us with customers.’ Pssshhh!

Reward those who have or will serve you well. Since first sales job out of college, and Boomer with Attittude, if you wanted more money, the word has been “Its right out there, do more.” Zig Ziglar stated it undeniably: If you get other people what they want, (as a saleperson) you automatically get what you want.

Department is up 57% vs. 2021, butNordstrom’s doesn’t really do Black Friday pricing,. I’m within two of our nice Jack Victor sports jackets of my goal.

Micro-economy still ‘suits me,’ Moore blunder speaks of excitement too

During pandemic, hoops behind Rama Elementary were only ones in Meck. County not double-2×4 stopped from use. New net was least I could do.

With two shifts left this pay period, I’m $2000 from goal, so yes, I’ll wear the Hugo Boss Blue on Saturday. Like Astros no-hitting Phillies, you ride your best players – that suit is $$$.

Having Sunday off, I shrieked with all of Charlotte for HUGE Moore helmet blunder, guess many still care. *Very* interesting game PJ!! up to finale. D’onta Foreman 118 yds, 3 TDs – that O-line was working. #Glenn Bossnblue, author, is a new cdtalententerprises.com product.

FYI, I early-voted, a ten minute commitment from parking and crossed blue line to check in to done. Visited with Mom before that, she just got her new chair with head rest, so took her outside to look at the lake and trees, then shot hoops for 25 minutes before 12:30 lunch and ready for work. That’s why people aren’t willing to surrender their daily freedoms in WFH mode instead of office mandate.

New Normal works for many. Hanging another net at Rama Road Elementary required standing on top of my car and holding onto the rim while threading the loops through. Took about same ten minutes as voting…Broke it in right, you betcha. I’ve liked shooting there forever, draining shots from Anchorage, Alaska part of America painted in parking lot is satisfying.

An undeniable Aww shit! moment

It doesn’t seem possible even yet, that Panthers star receiver DJ Moore would do ‘something like that.’ He’s been a great pro for couple years, a highly regarded route runner and genuinely tough guy to get on the ground. All respects due, and he got the contract extension to prove he’s All That. Yeah, BIG dramatic moment, because with a point after, a crucial victory would have immediately thrust the struggling Panthers back into a playoff position in the division.

Is it possible, watching as kicker Eddie Pineiro missed a 1) 48-yard extra point and 2) a chip shot FG to avoid defeat after Moore’s electrifying moment, we’ve achieved a renewed passion in Panthers fanbase? There wasn’t a bemoaning of being losers who stupid things always happen to, most attitudes include hope that got injected with the 62-yard TD, a beauty of a throw by PJ Walker, and Foreman’s productivity all day.

34 points! From end of third quarter, down 21-13, they displayed their most consistent playmaking all season. Marshall’s 40 yard catch-run to ten was a key play, and despite lots of flags, Panthers still finished the drive. The secondary was getting burned by Demarius Byrd on 47 yd. TD (31-28 ATL, Mariotta’s 3rd TD pass), with 2:14 to go, then CJ Henderson’s interception and 53 yard return changed the game.

A MISSED FG in OT! Some want to point blame there, but without that helmet penalty on Moore, its a cinch comeback W instead of an L – those two clutch misses would’ve never been necessary.

Voting is of infinitely greater concern

The prospects for near future mayhem and stressful times in the United (really?) States puts Moore’s bonehead move waaaay down the list of what the collective We the People should be thinking about.

As another weekend awaits, stating how I believe in the voting process is based on long term facts, two local elections worked on long ago, AMERICA writ large, and that US thing, is fact. My first vote as a 19 year old freshman was post-Nixon Watergate, as a J-major. A Boomer with Attitude, I’ll always take that responsibility seriously.

My first vote as a 19 year old freshman was post-Nixon Watergate, as a J-major. I’ll always take that responsibility seriously.

Contrast democracy as most of us have lived it, with a Wisconsin politician who proudly stated, “No Republican will ever lose an election again,” based on new proposed voting regulations. WTF?!

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/02/wisconsin-republican-gubernatorial-candidate-tim-michels

Being disappointed/borderline shocked at the final result, the game itself was a good back and forth rivalry games should be. Meanwhile, the Russians have consistently rocketed utilities in the Ukraine, leaving many in the dark and cold of November. Winter approaching without Russian gas is a very real concern for most of Europe.

An American footballer took off his helmet and his team lost the game? Speaking of football, we’re taking the first round of World Cup at the Royale & Blathering in Blightsworth, right? Nobody ‘out there’ cared about it for a second.

Ron Johnson (Senator, WI), and in North Carolina, Candidate (R) Ted Budd want to eliminate the Social Security system, what this Boomer with Attitude has paid into, like MILLIONS have, their whole lives. Pres. Biden understands that basic, which seems lost on every Repub’s talking/non-talking campaigns points about ‘entitlements.’

Took bundled up Mom in her just-arrived new ‘buggy’ outside to see the lake and check foliage. Its 73 degrees today, bike ride as New Normal max affirming..

Will a woman’s right to determine what she does with her body be a MAJOR factor in stomping out ‘white guys know better’ thinking on the most elemental level in 2022 elections? You better believe it, GOP.

DJ Moore will catch more touchdown passes, one unsmart action probably forgiven very soon, and he’ll (almost) certainly keep his helmet on. Perhaps, relative to a one-off event, previous (election) experience proved early and mail-in voting is legitimate and effective, and some of those many millions of already cast votes are from GOP-type people who recognize using other methods of exercising their rights.

If not, those ‘unqualified candidates’ Mr. McConnell spoke of might want to borrow that protective helmet, most deserved defeating.

Ten minutes of effort, and $50 in donations, that’s ballots not bullets America. Things figure to be as close on Tuesday as 34-34 was last week, just a lot more important going forward than what happens regarding a single athlete’s mistake.

Deliberately deciding to have NO PLATFORM to vote for, just saying INFLATION INFLATION INFLATION and threatening litigation by every election-Denier that could destabilize America another two years, I vote against that negative, irrational, non-governmental non-agenda. Sorry if your micro-economy isn’t ‘suiting’ you as well as mine. Stay strong.

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Micro-Economy ‘Suits’ me well – All Blue Weekend as Umpire & Hugo Boss seller, #gshorkonsharonroadseam continues

After posting three straight $2,000 days to hit sales goals, taking a Saturday from retail to umpire four 12 yr. old girls (1 hr.) softball games was a solid touch with American Goodness. Talking with people at fence is intrinsic income, $160 for Sat. behind the plate, 10:00-3:00 is valid micro-economy, working in brilliant weather is karmic. Lease renewal of ideal Charlotte location is important to continuing micro-economic progress over the last year.

People driving a distance are buyers

1st time out with gold-blue paisley tie. Light blue button down, Boss Blue suit, cognac Maddens.

True that. Nordstrom’s draws people from even three hours away.

People are still spending money, we’ll see how things continue to roll. There is MUCH more product available, especially Peter Millar sports and cooler weather coverings. Half-zips jumping out already, the cords, we’ll see – new Brooks Bros. supply of big wales cords ($118) hasn’t been disturbed much.

Weddings are still the major buying point. We run out of the most popular sizes quickly in suits, but we received full runs for most designers (Boss, Baker, Millar, Canali). Sports coats ($645-750+) are steady.

The point of being a ‘professional’ came up recently on LinkedIn site, I have to believe the extra respect I draw looking Right makes a difference, because people tell me so.

Its not just ego, or a magic blue suit – SERVICE is a legitimate dividing line between real good sales help and somebody who just rings your stuff up, or asks if they can take your armload of clothes and open a room for you.

Glenn, Mr. Hugo Boss & Blue 10/08/22

Umpiring – Even negatives are short lived

As a Little League umpire, balls and strikes, outs and safes control the game, hitting and fielding are difference makers. There was really only one altercation over four games, but its the kind most spectators consider when they say, “I could never do that job.”

In this complex world, where handling of nuclear secrets is parsed and litigated, making a coach aware of FACT he has two options: Stop talking right now and stay in the dugout, or watch the rest of the game (down 11-1) from the parking lot with ability to make it stick *immediately,* that is controlling a situation. (Chewing on a twenty minute old event – or a two year old election – isn’t good, let it go Coach)

When you start umpiring, they tell you not to talk with people along the fence, because it only takes one call to turn them against you, but I’m still a yakker. Talking with catchers is my prerogative. I’m 100% sold on umpiring gig as good for American Family Baseball, some small affirmations of respect count personal pride-wise. I got hit 4x Saturday – twice in chest protector, once ‘close’ on upper inside of thigh…thanks for asking.

I’ve got the 22nd open, I might do it again this Fall.

The roof to left is a three car garage, the back yard is large and well-supplied with amenities. Just another corner property in Myers Park, where walking is sort of entertainment.

SHELTER – Another year

Landing at #gshorkonsharonroadseam this time last year was the finale of five moves in five months, so every time I walk or ride around this neighborhood, that’s the standard I use for having improved in my micro-economy. https://cdtalententerprises.com/2021/12/11/vaxxed-check-with-a-comma-threat-of-homeless-handled-well-a-good-suit-feel-to-end-of-2021/ The pickleball courts at Myers Park CC are across the street and Queens University is an easy walk away.

They’re going Division I in hoops this year, I will cheer the local guys regularly.

The flow of traffic fifty feet away on Sharon Road reaches a level that awakens about 7:00am, sometimes earlier with school buses; recent construction in front yard to change flooding at bottom of long downhill section was good work. There are a couple owls hoot-hooting in nearby woods.

The stove is small, so are the sinks, and definitely not enough outlets, but the Booty Loop (bicycling) is four blocks away, I have a screened porch and actual office in 2nd BR, with a quick drive, still on Sharon Road, to work at Nordstrom. My rent is only going up $25 this year, that’s excellent, given concerns about inflation. On a regular basis, nodding to dog walkers around eleven as we all enjoy Fall weather, I’m secure as I can imagine in 2022.

Big Government, Being Part of the Solution

Finding a place to plant my housing flag at end of 2021 counted, so did benefitting from SNAP program. $235/month that millions got as direct deposit during the worst part of the pandemic – instead of the $15 I would ordinarily have qualified for – was a difference maker.

There are PSAs about how a Mother sends kids to bed with soup, nothing for herself, heartbreaking and factual. That counselor telling me everyone was going to qualify for $235, the knowledge I wouldn’t go hungry was beyond a huge weight lifted.

After the program payments ended in June, I had nearly $600 unspent, still about $100 on it. Count me as someone who clearly benefitted from a government that addressed the biggest needs facing average citizens the last two years. Gratitude, yes. Reworking my personal micro-economy a-sap by to get over that homelessness hump, and assuring my food resources were secure, I was given exactly the right and necessary stake to accomplish my here and Now positives.

There’s $$$ in the bank now. Job in retail, food, and Social Security was a restart point in late 2021. IMHO, getting vaccine on March 18th is still THE biggest example of government done right.

I’ve already volunteered for poll worker. I’d rather be part of the solution necessary for this country, in even a small way, and able to know how democratic elections are supposed to operate. In 2020, I asked quite a few questions of a gentleman at E. Independence library about election safety, I had no doubts the voting in Mecklenburg County, NC was secure. I’m going to pay that forward for others.

Voting with enlightened self-interest is easy, Medicare is an obvious factor for this Boomer with Attitude, but if Roe v. Wade is your concern, it seems the ‘Pubs are against whatever most people feel seems right. I promise not to politicize the voting process, just help with the mechanics, like at work.

I’ve been a Harambee reader for a summer school program, all they required was about ten minutes of time with students. Putting in some inconvenient hours being at a polling place early, that’s reasonable for a Good Citizen, right? https://cdtalententerprises.com/2019/06/28/well-delivered-messages-work-wonders-at-all-levels/

Panthers HC Rhule is Fired

Another shade of Blue for the weekend was the Carolina Panthers 37-15 shellacking by the 49ers, Coach Rhule’s end a move everyone saw coming. I don’t recall hearing the death knell comment “The organization has full confidence…” but whatever he considered an understanding with Mr. Tepper, going 1-4 while losing three straight at home didn’t hit any positive standard.

He won’t be mourned. A pre-season analysis that Rhule needed 9 wins as a significant jump in success to keep earning paychecks seemed optimistic as hell now. No, it didn’t look like the Carolina Panthers offense was about to catch fire and get close to that number.

Tack on #1 quarterback Baker Mayfield getting dinged enough to probably miss the next game, Charlotte justifiably has the blues.

For one of my customers who mentioned tickets perhaps being available, this looks like a golden opportunity to unload a couple, right? I’d still go. Have the wheels fallen off enough that Sam Darnold reappears, and becomes the leader Panthers GM Scott Fitterer thought he’d fixed the Panthers QB problem with last year?

Luckily, the icky situation Panthers face won’t affect my micro-economy, where consistent effort brings results. Those gentlemen I worked quite hard for Sunday will come back, we’ll order them suits, expedited if necessary. Panthers woes won’t affect midterm elections either, when America crosses its collective fingers and retains its democracy by Voting Blue.

New cards are coming, #gshorkonsharonroadseam is looking good for 2022-23. Figure on left: Part of ‘Welcome to Real World’ poster, 1st CDTE project.

Triple shots of Bugachi, Double suits on Dad made Micro-economy shine, Hoops in Charlotte sun makes Monday better than Panthers was

Selling *eleven* of those very good-feeling shirts ($170) Sunday was product knowledge and good service. Finding 3-size 3Xs – I didn’t know they existed until checking the computer -was a $500 difference maker. Was on sales floor 20 minutes Monday when Mr. Froelich and his son literally walked into a pair of 44L Peter Millar suits ($895). Way to start a day, and appreciate banker Dad who knew suits, shared enthusiasm about A-1 service while getting two really good ones for son’s job in CA .

Totally unexpected: $20 tip from a 40-yr. old gentleman after I ‘sized’ him, and provided 10 minutes of good intell on suit factors. ie. Fill or indent of shoulders, sleeve length (S-R-L), 6″ standard difference between jacket size and pants, ‘close’ and ‘tight’ on slim cuts. He’d never had a clue what to look for in the process.

Wore Boss Blue jacket, Nautica shirt and Nantucket Red pants, new Steve Madden shoes ($120, cognac) Sat., went full ‘Blue’ Sunday.

Alpha Dog? OK for Baker, feelin’ it a little myself with Micro-economy

— Glenn S., ‘Mr. Hugo Boss Blue,’ 9/11/22

Nobody doubted Baker Mayfield’s worth during the 4th quarter of Panthers first game of the season, especially his seven yard scamper for TD. Despite losing the first game of season at home to Browns 26-24, there are a reliable number of fans still on Panther bandwagon, most looking for more McCaffrey carries.

STATS – Mayfield https://www.pff.com/nfl/players/baker-mayfield/46518 produced a TD run, the difference (6 pts.) in 17.9 ppg for Panthers in 2021. Just sayin’.

Robby Anderson is happy with 75 yard TD catch, check. DJ Moore 3/43 receiving, tough day for new kid Ekwonu to block DE Myles Garrett (2 sacks) – check. One TD (1 yd. run) no injuries for McCaffrey, with 10 rushes/33 yards and 4 catches/24 receiving yards. Check. Panthers had 4 fumbles off snap miscues – fixing that is mandatory.

The defense wasn’t stellar most of day – Nick Chubb had 141 yards on 22 carries – but held late, so Cleveland’s York needed a 58-yard bomb for the winning FG. Browns weren’t supposed to give up 17 in the 4th, so Mayfield gets ‘almost’ credit. Sunday still goes down as a loss, BUT…I expect to buy a ticket or two, a game for $40 could be real this year.

My micro-economy – We have product, I have expertise

  • Brookes Brothers small corduroy shirts ($118), big rugby stripes and big wale pants (golden brown, green) will kill. Yes, more preppy stuff than we’ve seen, and this is a great market for it. Sales-wise, it doesn’t seem we’re losing anything to Peter Millar reopening in nearby Phillips Place.
  • Plenty of Canali suits, a wall full of Ted Baker, sports coats, and even tuxedos available now. Hugo Boss gets prime spot across front of department, with plenty of ‘Blues,’ which I (perhaps immodestly) have repped well. Talks with customers affirms they trust me as very competent, able to impart inform/opinions. Leading people to good choices 1-1 with great SERVICE counts in micro-economy.
  • All three suits Monday were Millars, a natural choice if a guy is ‘thicker.’ Gentleman with fiancée carrying a dramatically wrong size Boss (they liked the color coming in, naturally) listened-followed up well about successful change to Millar cut. Having six people in Alterations Dept. allows us to commit to tight needs, like a three day turnaround. Free hemming and a reasonable $15 expedite fee is a relief for customers, their professional opinions always a great hole card for us salespeople.
  • Finding 3X Bugachis were actually in the store, because I checked the inventory on computer, became a $500+ sale instead of sending a guy with bowling ball-type shoulders away with zero. “It feels great!” is the most common response of Bugachi ‘tryer oners,’ and its a low maintenance garment – hang dry, no wrinkles or ironing – with 8-way stretch that stays close but not tight.
  • Settling on a solid cream/striped tie (Donahue, $115) that shadowed Mom’s dress, with a classy off-white oooo! feeling Bugachi, the step-Dad in charcoal suit was a great ‘tryer oner.’ Both were happy with decision – after three calls about groom changing suit colors, they could say, “No sweat, we’ve got ours.”
  • Greatest challenge is still, “This young man needs a suit,” because they’re usually thin guys. I find a short presentation of What Abouts with designers usually moves the needle positively. Kudos to the Mom who happily got her son all in black (“Like Neo in ‘The Matrix'”) all smiling for the effort, finding a $299 Topman jacket and $129 pant separates. An $850 Baker (Size 36) looked great, but 29 waist pants wouldn’t have lasted long on growing 16 year old.

About hoop shooting, Lifestyle, New Normal

Heading for October, #gshorkonsharonroadseam has been a stable, productive, very nice, safe to be location, a 1000% step up, being across the street from the Myers Park CC pickleball courts for 11 months, not tip-toeing with homelessness. Its a world of difference about New Normal. https://cdtalententerprises.com/2021/12/11/vaxxed-check-with-a-comma-threat-of-homeless-handled-well-a-good-suit-feel-to-end-of-2021/

Working afternoon-evening shift at Nordstrom, I’ve put $$$ in the bank, re-established my writing discipline at creative and professional content creation levels. I take pride in how affirming physical elements are with cycling, read with my Mom weekly, good days are cherished.

Two things I’ve always believed in absolutely – my jump shot, and a God-given, frequently sharpened writing ability. With two bricks, you’ve got something to build with.

Getting out for even 25 minutes of hoops regularly in gorgeous Charlotte sunshine has been a bedrock to my physical state forever. At 65, five months into my 29th year in Charlotte, I’m a Boomer with Attitude, and tagging a hoops session on after work is still a terrific habit.

What constitutes New Normal is the Social Security and Medicare that kicked in this year. Pretty sure I’m going to finally need glasses.

Growing up, even before first FICA deduction, we Boomers heard regularly about shaky finances with Social Security UNLESS things were changed, These benefits are long-term commitments, NOT ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS subject to political rhetoric or negotiated loss. It was insurance, a safety net, and we Boomers paid up every step through FICA.

Reading with Mom started with bike riding earlier to beat summer heat, a very affirming new habit.

I was glad when my first check arrived last August. Apparently there’s a COLA (cost of living adjustment) I’ll benefit from soon as well.

Millions of people getting a chunk of student debt forgiven? Not a problem by me. Graduating in Spring of 1975, when South Vietnam was overrun in track-speed time – the worst finish to a US war in history, including the documented final ‘copter out rooftop desperation – I’ve always felt WAY lucky to not have been involved in that meat grinder. My year older brother Mike, driving around the country in a 37’ RV with two beagles, actually had a valid number.

Taking ten grand or so off a couple million poor bastards debt, my Normal as Any Life since then is worth cutting somebody else extra slack. Not my $$$, really. And hey! we don’t need to hear “It’s not enough!” either.

FYI

One very New Normal was ordering a case of wine through National Geographic ($59.99++). Never let it be said I didn’t do the least I could for a good cause. Also, a personal ‘double down’ on a Democratic ‘7 seats for $7’ campaign, see what evil they can stop with my $15. (Sort of) New Normal – I’m squeezing in a four game Sunday of Little League umpiring for 13 year olds, only 2nd time out this year. American Family Baseball rocks.

Social Security benefits are long-term commitments, NOT ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS subject to political rhetoric or negotiated loss. It was insurance, a safety net, and we Boomers paid up every step through FICA.

— Me, because documented naysayers that GOP are, their reaching for the legendary ‘3rd Rail’ by talking about Social Security as a budget drag is truly, breathtakingly stupid. (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Ron Johnson.)

How I feel about life since our North Carolina COVID shutdown https://cdtalententerprises.com/2020/03/30/hoops-heat-for-lockdown-prep-weekend-worries-about-ny/ and the relative freedom of going unmasked to a stadium full of Panther fans in September, 2022? New Normal has been working out pretty good, even thumped some tennis balls against a wall in semi-celebration of ‘official’ end of pandemic. Thanks Brandon!

Caught a Knights afternoon game, a Homer Dog with beef dog, bacon bits, coleslaw.

Hugo Boss ‘Blue’ as micro-economy bonus, New Normal as Fine Summer, Opportunity Knocks in America, Mayfield on my Mind

During recent Anniversary Sale, had two-5 suit days then and fairly steady couple weeks into August since, so I treated-invested myself in style, such a great suit. Nailing $4000 on a Monday night Fact: People are still spending $$$. Still about my micro-economy, sold four more suits Saturday, two after signing out! Loved stopping at a 50 cent lemonade stand around the corner, classic 80s weather for biking the Booty Loop is sweet.

Panthers training camp quote, “You want to pick him 12 times just to make him (Mayfield) shut up,” is going to be a classic.

She noticed the Hugo Boss ‘Haze’, He Stated His Case

Never a bad thing to have a good-looking woman want to take a picture of you in a really nice suit.

Reporting regularly from prime turf here in (Nordstrom) Charlotte, I’m not seeing the economic malaise some have been fearing. There have definitely been slack times, but those I’m serving-talking with, nobody is really squawking at prices, and suits are about $150 more than at start of the year ($895-950 on Boss, Baker, Millar stock, Canali’s $1,695 sport coats).

We’ve gotten way better than previous product levels support , starting just before Anniversary Sale in early July.The new configuration of Suits area supports fact not everyone in department should be trying to sell suits.

The two couples I helped late Saturday were a 100% gift-wrapped pair of sales. After talking with one where wife thought he should check out other suits vs. ‘just’ Boss, even though they both loved how he looked, I gave them a card with suit info, and checked out at 8:00.

Recognizing I’d left my notebook in a drawer, I drove around the mall, and after putting on my blinkers to scoot in, they came walking from the parking garage and said, “Oh, sorry you’re leaving, but we’d like to order that suit.”

Without even checking back in, I ordered his ‘Blue,’ then had to ask about wanting to see other suits.

“I made my case,” he said, she said, “He knew he wanted that suit.” Since both were still smiling, he did an excellent job.

The incredible part was a couple standing behind him immediately asking if I could size him for a sports coat, because he was leaving for Atlanta the next day, then deciding to buy a $950 gray Baker. That’s over $1800 in sales, and I knocked it all out in 25 minutes.

— Me, 8/20/22, and then I had a bourbon at the Palms, in tribute to Wil Butler, Gentleman.

People spend money on selected, useful, quality items

  • Saying “Everyone likes Peter Millar” is truth. No doubt about Moms buying for sons heading to college. consistently and right now. We can’t keep pants in stock, I thought we were on replenishment with suits?
  • That $4,000 Monday, I was only person-cashier in half the department for last two hours, and customers seemed to buy what they had in their hands.
  • First contact of the day was rewarded by changing search from size 18 neck to 17.5 “Because I’m not wearing a tie,” and wound up with three (Donahue, $155) shirts instead of none.
  • I was standing right next to a Nordstrom hyper-light check sport coat ($259) in 42Reg, and found 34/30 Nordstrom pants, when a client who needed a jacket for funeral asked what he might be able to wear without alterations.
  • Helped a Dad with a younger child and stroller child, to try on four suits! He wants three more soon, and is losing weight steadily. He’s got my card.

My on-going point is still about keeping customer service as best practices, its a consistent and reasonable dividing line for people. Gentleman who checked out shirts the other day, came back with fiancée for one we’d felt good about with a nice Calvin Klein blue suit. She’s a frequent shopper there, let me know previous Nordy service “your reputation for getting best possible results is great by me, or even for those who don’t know exactly what they want.”

I like the vibe of knowing people I talk with are getting what I’m sending out (‘If it doesn’t say Trim, its not, and shirt looks like this…’) and its still a minor Boomer challenge to put people into good-better looking stuff. College-kid lady appreciated my finding the last, Small gray Millar half-zip on a Few & Final rounder. My attitude is, if its here, I’ll bring it. People’s smiles come through any mask when you bring the size and color needed.

That customer service best practices and a consistent, knowledge based-style is a reasonable dividing line for people regarding my efforts, opinions, and stories is an on-going belief.

50 Cent pink lemonade (and Mayfield)

Around the corner on Sharon, #gshorkonsharonroadseam

Having two quarters in my pocket wasn’t New Normal, just very much like we’d all like to imagine Before was like, walking through my #gshorkonsharonroadseam neighborhood and happening on a lemonade stand with several adults around, just before a rainstorm hit. I’ve never forgotten a truck driver type who asked me why I was snapping the lid down on the pitcher, he might want some more. His buddies bought some too. If I’d had a buck or two the other day, I would have tipped well – though less than the pair of $5s in the till.

Getting two offers for a ride home once it started raining, I said no, I’d planned on walking in the rain. One of the Moms with a golf cart full of kids, handed me a Modelo, and that’s as friendly as it gets, North Carolina or anywhere else.

#cdtalententerprises.com

Baker, ‘and it wasn’t close’

Baker Mayfield is going to be welcomed, and yes, Panthers needed an alpha-type for quarterback; Brian Burns get the role on defense. He’s going to benefit greatly from having McCaffrey to hand the ball to and catching check-downs, and a muuuuch improved offensive line. I can’t be the only person who thinks CMC made O-line look better than they might have been with his 1000-1000 season, but they’re solid now. Even have backups. (Yes, healthy comes up with CMC, but never from me).

Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo has emphasized line play elsewhere (Giants), https://www.panthers.com/team/coaches-roster/ben-mcadoo, and new Line Coach James Campen (from Green Bay, 19 yrs. a coach) was an upgrade too. https://www.panthers.com/team/coaches-roster/james-campen

Rhule finally said it was Baker, and everybody likes gritty guys gettin’ it done. The training camp quote, “You want to pick him 12 times just to make him shut up,” is going to be a classic. Baker is going to earn plenty of acclaim, and dough, after converting part ($3.5MM) of his Browns salary into incentive $$$ with Panthers. Charlotte likes its sports people to do good in the community, just sayin’.

This offense can go long now. Mayfield can make all the throws, that 13-play drive against Pats last week is exactly what you’d want your #1 to do. DJ Moore will earn that contract https://www.nfl.com/news/panthers-sign-wr-d-j-moore-to-three-year-extension-worth-61-9m-in-new-money#: Anderson will be happy, several rookies have shined.

The team has a strong core of leaders, Phil Snow’s Panther defense could be special. With Baker ‘Our Guy Under Center,’ the best possible upgrade mission will have been accomplished, thank you GM Scott Fitterer.

9-8 and playoff whispers for team will mean Rhule’s last three years are locked in.

–Glenn Shorkey, http://www.cdtalententerprises.com/ 8/24/22

Mayfield won’t throw dumb INTs because he feels a sack is worse, he isn’t an anxious rookie, nor is he broken physically, after playing hurt in 2021 with a sore left shoulder. Seeing the mess that Cleveland is QB-wise with Watson’s suspension, he should feel free to chime in on the Sweet Caroline’s “So Good! So Good! So Goods!” any time he, or wife Emily Wilkinson, feel like it.

WFH upgrade, 5 suit day count in micro-economy, Boomer with Attitude starts Year 28 of Charlotte Experience with ‘New Normal’

With sincere thanks to NY bro David’s effort in delivering the desk 800 miles, having a chocolate donut with Mom, and snap decision to drive to/stay overnight at Steve’s place in the VA mountains are quality family time. ‘Stable’ is $700 of new wheels not being a crisis, #gshorkonsharonroadseam is Home in Year 28.

Its a reboot for #WFH (#workfromhome) career to have family heirloom upright secretary back. Uncramped work area in second bedroom vs. living room, and Mom’s favorite rug becomes the space I’ve needed. #gshorkonsharonroadseam
Bro David and Mom, who still likes her donuts.

Ready to hop on my trusty 12spd Miyata and GO! after finishing this blog is very much included in any New Normal, and I’ve taken comfort from maintaining a decently high physical balance even before lockdown end of March, 2020 or Medicare 65 Boomer.

Working a retail schedule, I push myself to continue above average habits on cooking-eating and exercise. I refuse to consider current 190 means I’ve lost muscle mass from 193 ‘best,’ become a littler, older man.

I hadn’t stepped on a scale until lately, and I’m not worried.

Take a collective breath on another glorious, sunny North Carolina blue sky, high 80s day instead, and catch the Rangers-Lightning game later pal, New Normal isn’t all bad. One-ninety? I look good. Doing two laps of the Booty Loop nearby? Sure, and riding, walking around, or close to work, #gshorkonsharonroadseam is a great New Normal.

I say Boomer with Attitude, and my physical body movement is still an expected positive. I’d like to thump some tennis balls to check out my swing, after shoulder injury from a bike accident two years ago, but I pulled a calf muscle. What do you mean, did I stretch first?

–Me, officially Medicare-old 65.

New Normal

New Normal was willing to take part in a sweaty Hotwalkers Ball tent with LOTS of excited people at the Queens Cup Steeplechases in early May, my first major crowd time in a while really. Bros Steve, Dave and I went to Charlotte FC soccer game Saturday, 26,000 in lower bowl, but I hadn’t considered how close things would be on the train I took in. I’m three-vaxed, but last four stops to stadium were maximum crowded, and I don’t pretend to be bullet-proof to whatever else comes down the pike.

Yes, I used ‘bullet-proof’ instead of other words, not lightly, but because these most recent slaughters cannot possibly EVER be considered as a New Normal.

–Me, and 90% of America

Will Ukraine and Russia pummeling each other – using former Russian satellites ammunition, aircraft, and tanks- become part of New Normal? If Poland feels Ukraine’s pain based on pre-World War II, Booyah! Everyone wants to be in NATO now. Putin’s self-fulfilling worst fear. The button, and pulling the whole world down with nukes – does that reenter the world worries as New Normal?

I was four and living in West Palm Beach, FL during Cuban Missile Crisis of ’61, even a kid could feel the tension. I can’t fathom full out war outside my door like in Ukraine.

A week before Fourth of July, the economic pros say 50/50 on recession, while I finally had inventory and posted a four suit week. My writing gig as http://www.cdtalententerprises.com proceeds.

Bros Weekend -Soccer, Mom, Road trip

The donut with Mom was a son who cared treat, David even had a big ol’ glazy fritter for me, as we wheeled her out to the gazebo in middle of Carmel Hills parking lot. Since then, I turned getting her out of the room where I usually fed her lunch into a New Normal for me, reading to her twice a week while getting rides in earlier to beat real heat.

We three decided to road trip up to Steve’s place in Meadows O’ Dan, VA (147 miles) right after visit with Mom, and figured out the TV situation in time to see two blowout games. It was the first time I’d been up there, and it gave David a two hour head start on return to upstate New York on Monday.

First visit to Steve’s place in Meadows o’ Dan, VA. peaceful. Eggs & coffee, discussion beyond just sports, 15 min. drive to a ‘real’ road, then pedal to the metal driving

The Bro stuff wasn’t anything extraordinary, except that we haven’t done it all that much recently. We did a goodly amount of opinion passing during a British movie about a WWII espionage effort that helped a successful invasion of Sicily, and several episodes of a whacky as hell series regarding a pregnant 40-yr. old Brit and younger American who cares. Both of them seemed to know about it.

Going back, it took a full 15 minutes on twisty roads to get to something I could connect with at I-77 . Blowing down the highway to get someplace on time is a road trip staple, affirming I can plan and execute with precision.

Nailing a FIVE SUIT DAY after getting back, on a MONDAY! Ooo-rah!

Already doing a happy dance from two customers buying two suits each, a gentleman appeared just before closing, said he had an emergency in New Orleans the next day, and needed a black suit right then. Two black Baker suits was all I had in stock, one was the 44 Regular customer needed. Whether one of us was lucky, or maybe living Right, it worked for my micro-economy.

My Micro-Economy

It wasn’t pollen, but something had me draining crazy bad for three days, enough that I called out on Wednesday. After day four of those little pills, results for drying up were as desired. No suit sales again (one for week) but still $2000+ overall Saturday. One customer liked the shirt I suggested so much, he had me order THE LAST ONE in system to get 34/35 sleeve.

We’ve done it more often than should have to for standard replenishment level items.

A former Davidson football player – so said the tee shirt – bought five of the eight Peter Millar shirts he tried on (surprisingly, three Smalls) while upgrading his look to what others in his office are wearing. Right, everyone still likes Peter Millar.

Knowing the back is FULL of suits that we’re not supposed to sell until *mid-JULY* for Anniversary (and will be strongly discounted then), when I have people NOW who will pay full price, its a definite crimp in my micro-economy.

Inflation? As the WORLD gets things back in gear supplying whatever to whomever, there will still be choke points, like Ukraine (winter wheat) and Shanghai shipping (20% of shipping, lockdown) but annual 9.1% rate isn’t the sweet spot. We, the collective America, don’t have any sway on that, so we’ll have to adjust micro-economics to reflect What Is in real time. More umpiring income again this Fall?

Getting new rubber all the way around for 2013 Hyundai Sonata, the $700 wasn’t a crisis in my micro-economy. Saying “Do it” without a hitch is a cool New Normal. WFH gigs as consistent parts of micro-economy is still New Normal.

Lifestyle

Yes, I’ve watched a lot of hockey and hoops after work, don’t know if I’ll apologize for wasting time either. Watching our sports is a very real part of Normal Culture. Nobody is putting out COVID warnings for all those raucous crowds for March Madness, 75,000 here in Charlotte for home opener, and plenty of towel-waving people in tight, dramatic hockey games I’ve watched.

Minus The Breath of Death possibility of recent past that COVID-19 represented, having dates for Whitewater Center concerts in search of Ms. or Mr. Right could be New Normal good too.

#gshorkonsharonroadseam is still where Home is.

8 Examples of Great for Mother’s Day – When She’s Happy, Everyone’s Happy (@the mall)

After a sometimes frustrating day directly related to on-going supply problems – like no tuxedos to sell! – from time spent on tie selection to finding a pair of size Small black shorts, Mom’s deserve their reputations for successful shopping. They also appreciate those who help them.

Moms #1 and #2

Day after Mother’s Day, not lilies. #gshorkonsharonroadseam

Abe Madkour, Publisher/Exec. Editor of Sports Business Journal/Daily, and wife Christina are what personal relationship building with clients is all about. Sunday they brought three suits to put together shirts and tie outfits with – two blues and a darker one, with plaid elements of copper/burgundy.

A frequent question of mine is, “Is he a good try-er on-er?” and while she said not particularly, “Abe knows where he wants to get to on situations, and he does what’s necessary.” That involved trying on five and buying three shirts, including ordering a lavender-speck shirt that set offs an A-1 hot raspberry and dark paisley tie choice. IMHO, guys are mostly past the not trying on attitudes of yore.

Collectively we nailed his “I want some things that always look good, and one combination that’s definitely major pop!”

Coming from our alterations area and having the lady and teen son already at checkout with a decent pile of clothes, was a revelation. Best practices first question is to ask whether they’d been working with anyone – maybe they’re getting another item in back – her response a gratifying, “I’m working with YOU.”

Just sayin’, glad the current manager was close enough to hear that, we’ve had some hoo-ha! about customer grabbing recently.

What became an $800 sale began with my questioning whether black shorts she wanted to order in Small matched options on my screen. Going back to find another size to help with search, she returned with the desired black shorts, a large ‘S’ on front tag kid hadn’t seen. If that isn’t the archetypical Mom move…

Going back to find another size that might help with search, she returned with the desired black shorts, a large ‘S ‘on front tag.

If that isn’t the archetypical Mom move…

Half-way through the ringing up, Ray passed behind me and said, “I forgot all about them,” later explaining he’d gone upstairs after putting them in the dressing area to have a quick sandwich on a busy day. He relaxed, forgot, and yet no bad feelings because he knew the sandwich, not me, was the point.

#3 – Mom got lilies

Brother Steve took some great looking lilies to Mom at Carmel Hills, and said she was awake and coherent while he served her lunch. She was a strong eater the last time I was there, and nobody minimizes what Good-er Days means to all of us.

With plentiful traffic throughout Mother’s Day, lacking certain basics in current suit-tuxedo market affects my micro-economy directly. Having kept a selling streak going over a decently long stretch, over a month, when ‘Not available in black’ is the search answer for a size 40 or 42 (but plenty of 38 Shorts) for anything, you have a clear supply problem.

Putting guys into any Peter Millar suits or jackets has been iffy, the only positive is knowing how brisk my selling COULD BE if product was available.

Guys know why they are buying suits, weddings or old stuff doesn’t fit. If I can’t get a prom guy hooked up, I can ‘size him’ as information for all to go forward with in search. As a small point of personal pride, a Mom or Dad’s thank you so much! for the time and information, call it small ‘L’ legend building.

Me, often, because it counts plenty to provide that extra service.

Maybe that’s when you earn those times a Mom finds her son’s shorts and says, “YOU are helping me.”

#5 A fantastic leftover stir fry

Knowing all it’d take to satisfy me at 8:00pm would be a pack of noodles and the rest of squash, broccoli, orange pepper, onion, mushrooms and last of hickory smoked sauce, with two country ribs of chunked pork from Saturday night mmm-mmm! ahhh . Microwaved and again proof that leftover Chinese is always worth eating, just boil fast noodles, add crispy chow mein noodles, feet up, watching playoff hockey.

Three hours, two pair of socks!

Until walking into jackpot situation at register with Ms. Combs and son, the only sale on my scoreboard was two pair of socks. Two bing! bing! situations later, its a much brighter day. The challenge of juggling opinions – including a daughter and teen friend’s votes – with the Madkour’s was smile-worthy. Dad told us four guys, “If Momma’s happy, everyone’s happy,” a truth I helped many attain yesterday.

There’s no question about telling people there’s an online place at bottom of receipt if they want to tell management how helpful I was. Also, how #cdtalententerprises.com on card I often give them has blogs specifically about my POV on economy from behind the register.

— Me, lately.

A regular flow of prospects was available most of seven hours, and I’m a pro, never a need to panic, especially since we’ve gotten Peter Millar product. EVERYBODY likes Millar stuff. Salesperson-wise, its simple to enlighten customers about the fact more is now available size-wise. People smile when I add, “At least some of its finally off a ship, onto a truck, and gotten to here.”

Pointing out new possibilities is an easy intro to whether there’s something they want. “Do you have…?” is music to my ears.

SERVICE is still the keyword. Finding that single 17.5″ neck, 36-37″ sleeve the computer says is available ALWAYS counts. People might have gotten used to ordering on line, but getting good help face-to-face is a factor many, many people mention regarding me.

Talking to multiple shoppers will mean some are already with another salesperson, integrity is appreciated, often found lacking in retail. Talking with Abe and Christina Madkour was a terrific luck of the draw while walking through suits, other times its just a comment or two and keep walking. I considered it a social interaction, actually fun, the back-forth of likes and how abouts, time agreeably invested.

I later recognized I’d played hoops with Abe over twenty years ago, Sunday or Monday night at St. Gabriel. Might have even approached him about sports-business writing, a talent I still work with.

#7 People buy from people they like

Yes, I absolutely was stylish Sunday, thanks to another appearance of my light green Palm Springs jacket, with mallards on classic green Vineyard Vines tie, slim cut blue with white slashes (Nordstrom brand) pants and sneakers. Classic white with green stripe Polo shirt was sharp, useful showing what ‘Trim’ means vs. Regular. Its not just a coincidence a Woman like Christina asked me for help making Abe look sharp.

#8 A half-hour shooting session after work, a hockey story

#gshorkonsharonroadseam

As both long time de-stressor and thinking resource, shooting hoops has always helped keep my scene stable. During worst of pandemic, the three rims in back of Rama Road School were only ones in Charlotte without rims rendered useless by 2×4 section across them. There’s a colored map of US in parking lot, sometimes I shoot from Anchorage, Alaska.

This picture of a now raggedy red-white-blue net, our backyard court in Schenectady, NY often had such a net. Easy to remember how Mom, in her sewing room upstairs, would hear a Shit! slip out of her teenage sons during 3-3 games, everyone knew it was a five minute penalty.

Another Mom memory while watching the hockey. Back in college, brother Steve brought Mom, Dad, Aunt Jo, Uncle Howard, and cousin Mike, to my Brockport Girls Hockey Club game at Cornell’s Lynah Arena, before his JV hoops game.

Keeping the story short, our rag-tag ten girls – some without cages on borrowed intramural helmets – opened an 8-2 can of whupass on a 20 girl Ithaca College team with identical equipment, helmets, and jerseys. Four girls with two goals apiece, Judy Dufresne was a star in goal. My feet didn’t touch the ice afterwards, walking over to offer their coach a “Good game.”

After borrowing green jerseys from the Brockport Men’s team Friday after practice, I’d tossed them in an equipment bag, never thinking about them until passing cold, wet, stankin’ jerseys out to the girls Saturday afternoon.

When they objected to the conditions, all I said was, “Put them on, we need to tape numbers on the back.” It seemed like Ithaca didn’t want to go near our girls… Many are probably grannies now. (Forty-three years ago. smh, the thought of those jerseys when I opened that bag. I’m crying laughing…)

Between periods, when I went into the stands to talk to my family, Mom mentioned “All the girls seem to have enormous rear ends.”

She had no idea the pants were padded.

Thanks for the memories Mom, and all the rest of the Mom-ness along the way.

‘Great Suit Feeling’ in retail continues, Queens Cup races a social grace, Panthers get stud left tackle Ekwonu

My personal micro-economy gets #1 for attention, but the steeplechases are a premier Must-Do live in NC sunshine event, one I’ve enjoyed five times. Our American football? vs. futbol team has drafted help in a VERY big way. Hellllloooo Ikem Ekwonu!

Tony did a great job on an old pinstripe

Customers respond to someone who walks the talk with style, redone pinstripe was a worthy micro-economy investment.

An analogy between what the Carolina Panthers have recently said regarding QB Sam Darnold and my new-look classic blue suit is righteous. You appreciate the bones-skills, but it doesn’t look quite right.

Who didn’t know the Panthers have been wringing their hands, about how to upgrade the position AND fix an underlying problem with offensive protection, specifically at left tackle in the draft? Darnold hadn’t overly-impressed anyone in ten starts in 2021, picking up his 5th year option early was seen as a misstep.

Then, in days before yesterdays draft, there were headlines about ‘Mr. Tepper likes QB Panthers have,’ and ‘Steve Smith says Carolina hasn’t seen how good Sam Darnold can really be’ (duh), and similar stories.

Did someone in the brain trust decide running down Darnold for $18MM due in another season and negatives of stats https://www.pff.com/nfl/players/sam-darnold/29048 was less effective than putting a “We could win with Sam!” face on things? (Still, I doubt anybody would want to be in Baker Mayfield’s cleats right now…)

Relative to my suit – I can’t really remember how old it is, certainly from the previous centuryit owed me nothing. ‘Just a suit,’ like Darnold coming from Jets, just a QB.

It didn’t cost anywhere near $18 million to make important changes though.

Panther fans won’t be as unanimous about how Ekwonu (salvation by local boy!) and Darnold (still here, huh?) present themselves when things get real this fall, but everyone has been positive about my suit’s transformation. Tightening things up with Darnold’s game would be a similar deal.

While wearing an older-‘experienced’ pinstripe suit and ties was already classier than most coworkers wear at Nordstrom’s, I believe customers relate to a professional image. ‘I have the suit, what can I do with it?’ didn’t take Scott Fitterer-level smarts to invest $145 in upgrading this regularly used asset. (Thanks Tony!)

  • Legs not billowy, tapered now.
  • No cuffs, almost showing ankle, Shortest I’ve worn in forever.
  • I still have pleats! Waist and behind taken in
  • The top button, at bottom of lapel, is repositioned.
  • Jacket difference is huge,*definitely* feels closer, sleeker. Wallet goes to back pocket, it changes the line on right side.
  • We didn’t mess with lapels – its always a classic pinstripe.
  • An inch off bottom was an immediate, noticeable change. ($52)

Yes, I picked up the option on doing another suit – then negotiated with the shoe shine guy for polishing and a tight left boot situation. Spirit of the season on ‘additional considerations’?

Queens Cup Steeplechases

The aura of Good Will that permeates the QCS is legendary. Congrats on Silver Anniversary!

Whatever they’d told me a ticket cost at Harris Teeter, I’d have gladly paid it. The event history is a specific charity – Alzheimer’s Association in this, the events Silver Anniversary running – gets a significant jolt from proceeds. For $60, after three years away, vowing NOT to miss this All Kinds of Good social event to WORK! was easy. Using the “Never is heard a discouraging word” is Truth – once you’ve been, you’ll know.

There are ‘good horsies’ in a central area, where children and sorority sisters can be led around on or have pictures taken astride. If the Raptor Center can be allowed out again safely, previous owls and hawks were excellent for kids, wildlife up close. Newbies are the greatest to show around, its impossible not to strike up conversations with total strangers over cornhole, haberdashery, or tailgating.

The bright yellow Garcia tie with blue-blue Bugachi, topped with ‘antique’ 1979 Ferrari hat, from final Watkins Glen (NY) Formula I race.

It’ll be seersucker or Nantucket Red pants, and because I’m saving #1 Tommy Bahama shirt for a costume change, a bright yellow Garcia autograph tie with good-fitting blue-blue Bugachi (long sleeve, $160) to show some Ukrainian support. Ahhh! and an ‘antique’ Ferrari hat, purchased with poker winnings at Watkins Glen Formula races waaaay back, never fails to get comment.

I haven’t experienced the major sponsor tents – in tiers along the finish line, after a loooong final straightway – but the Top Tailgate award winner (entrants around infield of the 1.5 mi. turf) is often an excellent place to get an additional beverage or snacks.

Operationally, its a slow drive through Waxhaw (Note: Took 1:15 to go last mile, coming from south on 75), to get to the GA (general admission) gates, so allow some time for that. If you don’t catch one of the small tour buses, the walk in from the far out fields is a decent trek. Being even a little early on the 1:30ish first race, you’ve got a shot at closer parking.

The After-Party (Hotwalkers Ball) is a buffet and an always jumping band, which continues about 1 1/2 hours after last (of usually six) races.

Micro-economy still a Great Suit Feeling

While pleased with my own haberdashery after suit upgrade, setting up one dude with something that spoke of ‘uptown casual’ tone of invitation for QCS was fun for all.

We were on a Millar sportscoat (silver-gray-black with almost Panther-blue window pane, $700) early, but the final choices were a blue Hugo Boss unlined hyperlight ($390), Millar sueded-medium gray pants (a must have, $158), Bugachi short sleeve ($150) white with smaller, three-color swirls, and cognac Mangianni weave belt ($150). I told him most of his outfit was free, if you put it against the original sportcoat $$.

Cranked it ($4,700) on Monday, capping a hustling last two hours with a $2,000 Canali suit as they counted down the last 15 minutes to 8:00 close. That made me #2 in the store, and Tuesday night I sold handled another suit past 8:00. For someone who STILL hasn’t gotten a Sunday in six weeks, my numbers are strong.

I’ve interviewed for another sales situation (with a much higher upside to a good day) that’s appeared, so my micro-economy is like millions of others – ready to do more than listen, I’m ready to make moves.

Absolutely nailed a Hugo Boss black suit, 44 Regular, first shot out of barrel Friday. Gentleman was impressed with long-sleeve Bugachi black shirt (ooooCotton! $160), killer textured off-black belt ($1300 total), scoring a last minute-kick save! on classic black funeral outfit for him. The hem on pants (+$60 alterations) was ready in morning.

Losing another suit to politics was an unfortunate situation, but I’ll be over it well before I’m done with my second Lazy Bird Brown Ale tomorrow.

My micro-economy is like millions of others in USA – ready to do more than listen, I’m ready to make moves.

We’ll see how my picking of horseflesh – there’s no real betting, just sayin’ “I think the gray one” – results stacks up with whenever/whomever the Panthers get to pick again.

Extra note about draft: Panthers GM Scott Fitterer is the bomb-diggity, trading up to third round to get Matt Corral, the necessary QB upgrade that was Item 1-A in draft. https://www.nfl.com/news/panthers-trade-up-to-select-ole-miss-qb-matt-corral-in-third-round-of-2022-nfl-d

Income stream vs. Inflation – Umpiring passion affirms micro-economy decision making

As #gshorkonsharonroadseam begins a sixth month of housing stability, a $320 payoff for umpiring seven Little League games during a weekend of Carolina sunshine was a no-sweat affirmation on all levels of my micro-economy.

As a side-hustle, umpiring ($40-50/game) means doing something this Boomer considers meaningful for $20+ an hour. The MVMT watch is an inexpensive ($100) reminder of the self-motivation over last six months.

When selling an $1,800 Canali suit Monday was just a cherry on top of four days of positive results, its easy to admit things worked pretty close to optimal in my micro-economy.

By all means, have some gratitude when that happens, and its very okay to tell ‘your people’ when good opportunities and events happen along a sometimes rugged way, not just the dammit! stuff.

I admit to being half-stunned when Don Mason – the head of one organization I get assignments from – asked while I filled out some tax paperwork, “So, did you finally find a place to live?” Until this past week, when he texted to ask if I wanted to do any Sunday gigs, I hadn’t been in communication with him since October.

While I was tip-toeing with homelessness, Don fixed some concerns by cutting me two replacement checks, cash that filled real holes, and I was glad to let him know my current situation. https://cdtalententerprises.com/2021/12/11/vaxxed-check-with-a-comma-threat-of-homeless-handled-well-a-good-suit-feel-to-end-of-2021/ Few pull themselves out of troubled times without help from others. My family helped for sure, Don was supportive as well, a difference maker.

Once I got past the 5-moves-in-5-months hairiness he’d heard about and baseball ended, I was so very glad to be at #gshorkonsharonroadseam with lovely homes everywhere I walk, I concentrated on a Nordstrom’s ‘target rich environment’ at Christmas and commission checks.

I admit to wearing a scruffy pair of gray pants to umpire Sunday, and several other umps offered gear like plate shoes (foot protection) and alternative color shirts. I appreciated Don’s concern, and with my bank balance considerably up, moving to a good apartment #gshorkonsharonroadseam across the street from Myers Park Country Club’s tennis courts, finishing a second book, (https://www.wattpad.com/story/218725526-with-platinum-fury-focus) and resurfacing my writing-editing business #cdtalententerprises, yes, people should hear from you when things are going a heckuva lot better.

If you enjoy your side gigs AND make a couple extra bucks, that’s a great combination of passion and productivity. Micro-economy fact: $320 umpiring, 14 hrs. game time vs. $12.80 draw = 24. 5 retail hours. Much better work conditions.

I’m willing to add that income stream again, potentially $4000-5000. Coach-pitch is a minor hoot to watch-umpire, with the coaches and grandparents in attendance soooo sincere and supportive. The five run rule keeps two hour games moving reasonably. I get $40/game, I don’t even gear up, just the blue shirt and hat, and everyone is glad to chat.

Saturday I got home and created an excellent chicken stir fry lunch in time for the first semi-final (sorry Nova), then got my NCAA groove on, right to end of Duke-NC. That’s a pretty relaxing schedule, only took two foul tips in the mask Sunday, too.

At first I’d objected to a Nordstrom schedule with three Sundays in a row off (plus Easter), weekends usually having better shopper traffic. Set against actual commission I might get working a retail Sunday ($59 total last pay period), my micro-economy will continue rolling with alternative cash flow.

“Don’t quit your day job” (until…)

My opinion as an umpire is the one that counts, being in control an affirming factor and part of the job description. Getting others to clear rooms or fold shirts at Nordstrom’s won’t happen because I wear Blue.

— Me, a sad fact about that day job.

There hasn’t been a day recently – and Friday was April Fool’s – when aaaab-so-LOOTELY every necessary element of that day’s business worked out in A-1 fashion for me, launching four productive days and culminating in that Canali suit on Monday.

Three specific suits I’d done the phone work to order for clients all arrived in the tah-dah! nick of time, one was a clutch overnight delivery.

  • Client #1 (Mark) and his wife were super pleased with his perfect shade of lean blue Baker suit, which required only hemming the pants (one hour) to make it ready. Turns out, he’s a dentist, and after three years of pandemic neglect, I asked if he was accepting new clients, so I picked up an extra major goodness besides selling a suit.
  • Mr. Greenberg’s charcoal suit and he arrived at almost the same time – he’d been tracking it on FedEx, was ready to roll.
  • Sondra’s 42L in black (Ted Baker) indeed arrived as expected, I learned Thursday we weren’t as time crunched as she’d previously explained.

Before I knew all those suits would work out so successfully, Nik and his Mom (Nicole) came in. While everyone was quickly pleased with his glowing-good Baker suit, the Bugachi shirts (great feel, wash and hang dry – no ironing!) were a revelation to his Mom, and I couldn’t help smiling at her “No argument, you ARE getting that!” after he tried on a great tan check (Peter Millar), in an overall $2,100 sale.

I congratulated him regularly for his willingness to keep trying things on, it makes a difference,

My best practices explanation to wives-significant others is, suits are different. “Out there” non-shopper guys don’t know how many times they’ll have to put on-take stuff off. If he puts on-takes off 5x with suits, he’s probably seen two designers and two sizes, and he knows the reward – a new suit – is close.

Me, often, and its been magic when guys recognize that truth. (I’ve sold 20 suits/jackets/tuxedos in last 21 workdays)

That doesn’t mean it works for suits, it actually pushes regular trying on! Doing the looking doesn’t have to be miserable, its my job to put items in front of potential customers for yay/nay consideration. The younger guy needing a tie to match his prom dates dress wasn’t thinking a paisley blue and silver tie, but when she showed me the dress picture, and school colors are light blue, that’s exactly where things went.

Income stream – inflation

The elf I painted for one of my brothers, who worked at Home Depot to keep his house years ago.

So, most economic discussions the last couple years revolved around the effects of COVID, including moving the work environment to the home office or kitchen table. Whether WFH employees in higher or lower cost of living areas should get different paychecks was asked on LinkedIn and other sites many times, as was willingness to accept lower pay for the option. https://www.businessinsider.com/remote-working-from-home-thirdemployees-would-take-pay-cut-2021-11

Looking at the inadequate supply of suits in my store – having to order a 42 Regular in a popular Baker style speaks loudly – there’s an ongoing supply-demand problem. Suits have moved up $75-$100 in last couple months, those weddings and proms will keep coming, and the $750 sports coats (Millar) are going well at the other end of Sharon Road from my place.

While the US economy is rocking, its still going to take a while to even things out. Relative to the Ukrainian situation, I believe we’re getting it right much more than US – or specifically Biden in the polls – is sometimes given credit for. Having plenty of ammo in my micro-economy is a fact.

I could easily bike to work if gas prices get too crazy – its only about three miles. My rent and Social Security check are close to a balance, my Blue Cross-ACA is reasonable, but I’d suspend my entry to those benefits if another long-term gig utilizing my writing-editing background works out. I constitute a resource https://www.linkedin.com/in/glennshorkey/ and honestly expect to keep wordsmithing all the way to the end (10 years?).

Seems like Boomer talents are back in vogue, pushing, or maybe allowing semi-retired to put their shoulders into a collective effort to move things along better. Enlightened self-interest still works as an incentive to collaboration. Umpiring isn’t just balls, strikes, outs, its doing something necessary for the greater good, AND I make more than gas money for the effort.

Having tried multi-level marketing in the past, handling my micro-economy with three income streams is still a best practices route. There’s no real need to panic buy ‘before it goes up’ either – the used washer/dryer I’m putting on my back porch ($250) are in very good shape, a purchase that wouldn’t have happened three months ago. Just sayin’…

Weddings, return to office, Peter Millar ‘Make you a suit’ Guy pumping my micro-economy

Third house on Brandon Circle, across street from my apartment. #gshorkonsharonroadseam is a good-looking ‘hood to walk around.

Seven out of last nine days I’ve had a suit or tuxedo sale at Nordstrom’s, and coming out 40% over goal last pay period means there’s no need to change positive projections into March-May.

“Don’t make me put on the black hat…” (great accessory though it is)

Kicking effort to the max – no break, only two people in department, no suit sale competitors that Sunday pre-Valentines Day – and working a terrific split while helping a newbie salesperson with a tuxedo ordering-Hugo Boss suit-sport coat triple play, made a gooood difference in my micro-economy.

SERVICE continues to be my point of excellence, but having some luck always works. Manager pulled off a tuxedo transfer that Monday, which arrived for alterations on Tuesday! and customer picked up WEDNESDAY (a day earlier than promised). He and wife were thrilled, but until I watched Marquelle for 25 minutes on phone Monday, I only knew he’d accomplished it for me before.

Telling my client of his effort, and introducing him as part of the package-difference maker, is good team stuff. Derrick (the new guy) got congrats on first suit ($2600 total) from the customer’s wife, she said he could handle any situation now, her hubby being juuuust a little tough-demanding.

Luck isThe wife-to-be, who handed her guy an off the rack amazing fit of a 44L sport coat, is smile-worthy. Super-affirming to cut the tags off so he could wear it out of the store. (With shirt, $800)

Kyle, an exactly my size 42 Regular, who came in two minutes later, as they announced 15 minutes to store closing. He’d left his clothes for an event at home, wanted a black Ted Baker, which became a first shot ($895) perfect fit – he only needed the pants hemmed. Ready the next day, $0 to expedite it.

–Me, 3/1/22

The Peter Millar Guy

Emphasizing which designers have trimmer side cuts, “and Hugo Boss moves the arm holes down, allowing guys with size in shoulders and arms to be comfortable vs. squeezed” has become part of my introductory patter. #gshorkonsharonroadseam

The pastries and warm coffee for the 8:00 ‘Make you a suit’ session with long-time (45 years) suit guru Rich Biegel were okay, and he’s going to get some immediate business, because recently I’ve been seeing strange shaped guys who need such help.

Biegel gave Nordstrom’s suit people across the organization props for selling a high percentage of suits at full price, which he linked to the perception of service provided, both affirming. Although I wasn’t aware of how popular the line was early on, after months of exposure to sizing guys, differentiating the Millar line as what those who definitely don’t fit in ‘younger cuts’ suits like Baker and Boss feel comfortable in, is obvious now.

Emphasizing which designers have trimmer side cuts, “and Hugo Boss moves the arm holes down, allowing guys with size in shoulders and arms to be comfortable vs. squeezed” has become part of my introductory patter with those buying a suit. It demystifies the more or less question up front. Millar has that touch more size, beyond leanness taken out of Baker, and its a comfortable price point ($650 sport coats, now $895 suits). Canali’s are a clear price point difference ($2,095).

The obvious questions about the cost of such a garment and production delivery time seem reasonably good for special fits. If 25-30% over regular price and delivered in four weeks is to be believed, there’s someone whose shoulders fit in a 48 and the rest of him – that extra tire at belt level, and shorter than average arms – becomes a challenge I’m better prepared to discuss in future. If that someone wanted *several* suits made for him (not custom though), that could be a new layer of business for me.

Tailoring is what Mr. Biegel was essentially promoting, and appreciation for the six people at Nordstrom’s who are aces in the hole for a suit seller, is very real. Working with (or ignoring) certain physical elements makes a difference – while everyone has a small difference in shoulders, Rich recognized my right side was a whole inch lower (bike accident two years ago, I was ‘tore up’), and that would be incorporated in making a suit.

Answers to the obvious question about cost and delivery time for such a garment seemed reasonable. If 25% over regular price and delivered in four weeks is to be believed, I’m better prepared to discuss ‘making a suit’ with someone whose shoulders fit in a 48, but the rest is a challenge.

When your suit seller knows their business

Holding-helping clients put it on allows ‘seating’ a jacket to best advantage, instead of letting guys swing it overhead, shrugging into it, and doing The Hulk move. Smoothing shoulders can reveal forward lean of shoulder or arm positioning considerations for sleeve most never consider.

Checking the sleeve length (hint of shirt or onto hand), lapels (comfortable or tight in chest), at the button (absolutely), and ‘it covers your butt’ fills essential boxes – the rest is what mirrors, girlfriends, wives, Moms, and fiancees are for.

Lifestyle and safety

Saturday was a day without a suit sale, and losing several hours of possible production – after a gunshot in the mall caused a surge of fast-moving people through our store and closed the mall for an hour – was legitimate. We’ve been trained on getting people in department out the back way, and we cleared customers as expected.

The guard at Gucci not having a holster for his gun was the alleged problem, but not enough employees came back into store to run the registers, so we closed down.

I’m somewhat more concerned about a very real rise in the number of customers and co-workers who immediately stopped wearing masks when the North Carolina mandate expired. Its been a small comfort that it was store policy, given how numbers have risen every time that hasn’t been enforced for last two years. I won’t be wearing anything while cycling the greenway today either – never did.

Tonight will be a meeting of my Men’s Club, and next week’s annual Fish Fry (March 11, St. Gabriel School cafeteria) will be the focus. Our Lenten Fish Fry and our Christmas tree sale have been a legendary thing over 30 years, and this will be our third community event since Thanksgiving. Protocols and numbers sure, but this seems just a little more like what life used to be like.

With fingers crossed for some similar degree of ‘Normal,’ I’m also thankful for the opportunity to bring flowers to Mom for her 88th birthday on 3/1/22. This was first time we (brother Steve and wife, Mere) have been allowed to visit since Christmas.

Now #gshorkonsharonroadseam instead of City View, still smarter than one trick bear