Things on my mind besides hair

March 20, 2008
By: Dan Davis

I"ve got plenty of thoughts this week, but they are all over the board. Here are a few of them that don"t deal with
the NCAA college basketball championship tournament.

1. I talked with my high school buddy and college roommate on Sunday evening. He"s about to break off and start his
own business with two of his co-workers. The reason? A bone-headed supervisor.

He relayed this story to me involving his supervisor, and I easily could see how frustration would build:

Supervisor: Why is that employee wearing her jacket indoors?

Employee: I think she"s just warm-blooded. She gets cold very easily.

Supervisor: Do you think that"s professional attire for the office?

Employee: I think she"s just cold.

Supervisor: I mean, do you think she should be wearing her jacket indoors?

Employee: When she"s cold, it might make sense.

Supervisor: But it"s not very professional for the office.

(Both parties involved in the conversation look at each other without speaking for 30 seconds.)

Employee: If you want to tell her to take her jacket off, go ahead. I"m not going to do it.

And that was apparently one of the supervisor"s better ideas.

I"m firmly convinced that new business start-ups are not fueled by Small Business Administration loans or burning
entrepreneurial dreams. It"s because people get sick ofworking for people who have no concept of what they should be doing, no respect for the people doing the job, and no idea that any problem exists.

2. So are we in a recession? Technically, no. Experts define a recession as two consecutive business quarters with negative growth in the nation"s GDP. Of course, we technically didn"t meet that definition in 2001 either, according to Dr. Chris Kuehl, the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association consulting economist, and no one is claiming we didn"t have a recession then.

People are asking me to be more vocal about spreading the stories about metal fabricators" successes. They are right. I"ve heard from many fabricators who are busy as can be as they fill orders for customers in agricultural, aerospace, defense, food preparation, medical, power generation, and other metal-hungry industries. The weakness of the U.S. dollar undoubtedly has encouraged exports and has kept many of these industry sectors hopping.

However, I can"t say the same for those metal fabricators and formers that serve the automotive industry. For that
matter, the commercial building sector is slowing down as well.

So where does that put the metal fabricating industry? It"s stuck right in the middle, subject to a variety of economic influences.

Not a good enough answer? I"ll let the UCLA School of Business provide the final answer. Anderson forecasters predict GDP to be growing at 2.5 percent by the end of this year. That"s not enough growth to produce the jobs needed for a healthy economy, but it"s not the dire situation that some economists are ready to settle for either.

3. The last bit of snow has almost melted. Opening day for the Major League Baseball season is right around the corner. Income taxes are due in less than three weeks. Life can be so cruel.

Dan Davis

Dan Davis

FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 815-227-8281