In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

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

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

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

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

April 14, 2014

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

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

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

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

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

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

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

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

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

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

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

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

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

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

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

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

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

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

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

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

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

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

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

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

April 8, 2014

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

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

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

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

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

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

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

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

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

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

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

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

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

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

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

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

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

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

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

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

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

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

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

Jewish World Review May 30, 2011 / 26 Iyar, 5771

What are you paying for?

By Alan Douglas

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We are all suckers for kindness, flattery, and sympathy, so please be warned that you are probably not going to heed my advice. One of the primary motivations for going to Disney World is the assurance that you will be served by people (and maybe a few cartoon characters) who will not offend you and who will be cordial and smile (if not whistle) while they work. A non-threatening atmosphere is extremely pleasant. To actually be in a commercial environment where those you come in contact with appear happy to be talking with you is Nirvana. Most of us are so starved for affection, that we gladly accept any offered, even if those giving it are "faking it". We know the Magic Kingdom is not really magic, but that does not deter our enjoyment of the experience. Self-deception can be enjoyable and motivational, but remember to draw the line somewhere.

When you pay for things such as medical care, legal advice, car repair, or even something as insignificant as a haircut, it is time to draw the line. Restaurants with a wonderful view of the harbor may not feel they need to serve great food. The atmosphere, the ambiance, and view may be worth the price of admission. Eating establishments with picture-perfect scenery may take your breath away. If it is special enough to serve as the right setting for a marriage proposal or fiftieth wedding anniversary, then who would be so picky as to complain if the food was a bit overcooked? But when it comes to the important things, do not become satisfied or distracted by the sideshows. Demand the service or product you need. Focus on what is important.

The reverential respect we previously gave doctors, religious leaders, and high school principles, is vanishing. But when we find that someone with authority actually went out of their way to remember the little people, we cannot help but melt. Just because the Senator remembers your name, or the Mayor asks about your kids, does not make them any better or more qualified to do their jobs. A good bedside manner may very well put you more at ease. And if you feel more comfortable, you will share more with your health care provider. But that is not the point. You must take responsibility for making sure you are treated properly. Select those whom you believe you can trust, but as Ronald Reagan said to the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union, "Trust, but verify." How many people chatter incessantly about how their doctor is "so nice" and "really listens? " Yes, he may "listen", but did he make inquires that covered your situations? Did he respond fully to your questions? Ask the same person where their doctor/friend attended medical school. Ask what post-medical school training their doctor had or what designations they've earned. Those relate to competency.

Before you "fall in love" with your auto mechanic or dentists, know their professional credentials. Check your karma meter at the door. Conduct basic research in hopes of determining what it is exactly that they have done that makes them a more suitable fit for providing you with professional services. It has nothing to do with one's astrological sign, horoscope, or birthday. It is this person's level of skill, and how consistently and accurately they keep these skills up to date. If you get the "don't you trust me?" question, be prepared to answer it. Be ready to feel uncomfortable as you adamantly protect yours and your family's best interests. This does not require you to be rude, but do be prepared to face an unpleasant situation. Begin by having some questions already prepared in advance of your appointments, and be ready to face unknown situations, which will more than likely cause discomfort as well. Dr. Seuss said, "Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." Want some help? Here are a few general questions which you may use for your benefit.

"If I was to ask for a second opinion, which three professionals would you recommend?" If they respond by getting huffy, or can only name their partner or former associate, alarm bells should be going off in your head. Professionals network with other professionals of the same caliber. Loners are losers, stay away from them. "Although I will consider what you are recommending, what are some of my other options?" With the follow-up question of, "What are some of the more popular ones you may suggest?" Do not look at this as being persnickety; you are simply discovering your options. Based on the professional's "educated" opinions you can conduct your own experiment. Review and evaluate what they favor. Is it what is most popular or is it what would be best for you? Walter Lippman said, "Where everyone thinks alike, no one thinks very much." A true professional is objective enough to give weights to the options that are accurate, rather than prejudicial. And last, but not least, my favorite question to pose to your trusted advisorů"What if, your recommendation is wrong?" Infallibility comes in limited supply on earth, so be alert to those who claim to possess it. You want someone working on your behalf with confidence, but you want them to also consider the consequences and alternatives if they are wrong. Optimism and hope can sure make a fellow feel fine, but having a back-up plan has saved many a pessimist.

So if you start liking your boss, employees, accountant, or builder a lot, personally, it's okay. As long as you realize it is personal. Professional performance is entirely about something else.

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

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Law, Etiquette and 5 Rules
Confusing Kindness with Weakness
When Katie Couric Got Pulled Off the Air…
Don't second guess the deceased
Pain and legacies
Being in the No
The Sixth Sense
Dogs in Danger
Facebook, LinkedIn and the Zuckerberg Exit
Simon Bolivar Would Tell Glenn Beck to, ‘Put A Sock In It’
Children and Grandchildren
Swearing, Shoes, and Mark Twain
How my poor man's Porsche, Virgil, prepared me for life
Leases and Landing Gear
The Oscars, Obama and Job Creation
Damages and Penalties
Obstacles with Impossibilities
Making Others Feel Bad
Referrals and Recommendations
Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas