Just Say No to "No"

Written by Tony Hendra

“Power Lunch”: Aroundrepparttar table, two men and a woman check you out as you talk. You know your firm can double their sales; after weeks of presentations to their flunkies, you want to clinchrepparttar 118300 deal. They, however, loatherepparttar 118301 prospect of having to make a decision far fromrepparttar 118302 safe buck-passing womb of boardroom and E?mail.

The waiter arrives at your table, askingrepparttar 118303 usual "Can I get you something fromrepparttar 118304 bar?" Yes, yell your guts, a round of Cosmopolitan Martinis would do us a world of good. Might warm up these flash-frozen bean-counters. But your brain knows better: The mere suspicion of a shadow of a possibility that you'd like a drink will be interpreted to mean your next stop isrepparttar 118305 Betty Ford Center. And that your staff is a gang of FUBAR pinheads fromrepparttar 118306 chorus of The Student Prince who fart atrepparttar 118307 word "deadline" and try to fax beer to clients.

So you pass, opting forrepparttar 118308 safe glass of bottled water guaranteed to keep your (and their) mind unmuddled and beans countable. Yes, your pitch is clear, precise, strategic, proactive -and as flat asrepparttar 118309 Evian in your wineglass. You're condemned to more months of review, asrepparttar 118310 teetotaling trio depart, muttering optimistic nothings. Thanks to businesslike lucidity, no business has been done; for lack of liquids, your liquidity is threatened.

No one needs to point out to you that we're becalmed in an economic Sargasso Sea. You make a living if you’re lucky, but zing ain't there. Fifteen years ago, money bred like cockroaches inrepparttar 118311 kitchen cabinet. Thirty-five years before thatrepparttar 118312 economy went on a fifteen-year jag of metastatic growth. What didrepparttar 118313 Fifties, that economic Eden we're all trying to get back to - not to mention that carefully edited version ofrepparttar 118314 Fifties,repparttar 118315 Eighties - have that we don't have? A Republican president? Nope. Lower taxes? Uh-uh. It's much simpler than that: People drank at lunch.

You're not paranoid -- the house really hates you!

Written by Cathy Goodwin, PhD

Lonesome. When Ms. Angelou moved into a designer house in California, she says, nothing worked. Her pictures didn’t look right onrepparttar walls. Cakes fell inrepparttar 118299 oven. Curtains fell offrepparttar 118300 rods. The house, she concluded, hated her. And it wasn’t much consolation to realizerepparttar 118301 house hated her husband, too. What I want to know is, how could she tell? Let’s face it, most houses hate their new owners. They have adapted torepparttar 118302 rhythm of one family and resent being sold. Like most cats that you rescue fromrepparttar 118303 pound, your house probably believes, "If I’d waited longer, a better owner would have come along. So I’m going to make this one’s life miserable." Those who are trained in modern research methods will be skeptical, but there’s plenty of evidence. Everyone knows what happens when you move into a new house. "You’ll see a lot of repair services inrepparttar 118304 first six months," I was warned. "When a house hasn’t changed hands in five years or more, lots of little things will happen when you move in." Now, you’ll notice this doesn’t happen when you rent a house or apartment. Some friends of mine rented a house while they saved to buy their own property. For two years,repparttar 118305 refrigerator purred andrepparttar 118306 air conditioner hummed contentedly. The plumbing flowed silently andrepparttar 118307 insect life remained hidden. Encouraged ("see, a house isn’t so bad after all!") they tookrepparttar 118308 plunge and bought their own home. I’d like to say they’re doing great but in fact they’ve dropped out of sight. They can’t take phone calls any more. "Sorry, we can’t tie up this line. We’re holdingrepparttar 118309 phone open till we hear fromrepparttar 118310 handyman..." Orrepparttar 118311 pest control guy, orrepparttar 118312 electrician. They considered Call Waiting but were afraid to jinxrepparttar 118313 only object inrepparttar 118314 house that seemed to be working.

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