CXRE » Life

How to discourage unwanted advances

You could argue that there are worse problems than receiving unwanted romantic advances, but at the end of the day if the advances really are unwanted, it’s still a problem. Women in particular don’t have to be told that at the very least, unwanted attention from a man can be a nuisance, and sometimes when that attention comes from a neighbor or “harmless” guy in the neighborhood, the solution is sometimes to grin and bear it. But what if Mr. Harmless is also a little touchy feely? If you’re a woman or care about one, pass on this story of “Anonymous from New Mexico,” who in her letter to New York Times Social Q’s columnist Philip Galanes, complained about a touchy-feely grocer who had “always been friendly. But lately he’s started patting me on the arm and kissing my fingers as I reach past him.” She goes on to say that she wants to shut […]

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Need a parking spot? There’s an app for that.

Imagine if instead of endlessly circling the block looking for a parking spot, you could somehow search for a space online, find one, and pay five bucks to secure it. That’s the idea behind StreetParkNYC, a Web app that entrepreneur Rufus Davis launched a few weeks ago. It works like this: A parking spot seeker enters an address for the neighborhood in which he’s seeking a space as well as the time he’d like to find one; the program then returns search results showing fellow motorists who have let Streetparknyc.com know of their intent to vacate their parking spots around the time you hope to get one.  If your search comes back with no hits, the app will ask you if you want to be more flexible about where and when you hope to park. If the spot seeker does find a match, he agrees to pay $5 for the coordinates of the space; the […]

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How to get a free room upgrade

If you’ve ever been in line behind someone who has asked a hotel clerk for an upgrade, you may have noticed a couple things: 1) The person didn’t ask in an effective way 2) The person didn’t get the upgrade It’s not enough to just flat out ask for an upgrade or even to ask for it nicely – you have to give the desk clerk a good reason to say yes. One of the most overused tricks hotel guests use when booking a room is saying they’d appreciate an upgrade because it’s their honeymoon or anniversary. Unless you show the front desk clerk the “Just Married” cans that were attached to your car or present your marriage certificate, he likely won’t believe you. A better approach is to scale it back a notch. Walk up to the front desk clerk and say something like, “This is a special trip for us, and we’re not […]

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Office supplies are entertainment expenses

Tell someone you’re heading for a casino and you’ll often get a piece of cautionary wisdom having to do with not losing your shirt. A specific warning that seems to come up a lot is, “Don’t gamble more than you’re willing to lose in an evening’s entertainment.” The problem with that advice is that it makes you start thinking that gambling is an evening’s entertainment, and after grimly losing your set limit during ten unfortunate minutes at a blackjack table, it hits you: this is not entertaining, and that advice just didn’t work for me. Which brings us, in a very unlikely fashion, to office supplies. If you’re a parent or know one, you know how aggravating it is when kids lose interest in costly toys they’ve begged their parents to buy. Part of the problem rests with the tendency of some parents to ignore yet another bit of wisdom: “Those kids like playing with […]

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Put first things first

Imagine walking into a room and on a table is a bucket. Beside it are three very large rocks, about six smaller rocks, about a dozen pebbles, and a pile of sand. Now imagine that you’re asked to place each of those things in the bucket in a specific order, and explain why. The explanation, according to most business school professors who enjoy this analogy, is simple: each of those items represents the priorities in your life. With that in mind, you place the large rocks in first, as these represent your big goals – healthy family, better job, bigger house, for instance – followed by the medium priorities or smaller rocks. You get the idea. The pebbles, then the sand come next. But guess what? If you don’t have enough room for all the pebbles and sand, you stop filling the bucket. If this analogy sounds familiar, it’s because it mirrors what 7 Habits […]

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