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Friday, May 4, 2012

The Importance of Hiring Heathers

Humorous piece from north of the border, thanks to Peter Carter of
The Importance of Hiring Heathers
By Peter Carter, Posted: May 1, 2012 01:54 PM | Last Updated: May 1, 2012 06:14 PM
Here are a few important facts that I just learned and will no doubt trot out in conversation in the very near future.
The AK-47 assault rifle is named for the Russian poet soldier and inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov and he designed the popular gun in — wait for it — 1947. The “A” stands for automatic.
Next fact: The word boycott comes from a politically active British guy named Charles Boycott.
So along those lines, I think they should name something after Heathers.
Because every Heather I’ve ever met is a dynamo.
We have one here at our magazine — Ad Sales exec Heather Donnelly. She’s a whirlwind. Talks more than me even. She one of those women who does exactly what she says she’s going to do, and her positive energy hoists other people’s moods. You’d like Heather. Everybody does.
She’s very often in spike heels and you know what they say about successfully wearing stilettos. It's a feat in itself. (Get it? Feet?)
I especially like Heather D. because — among other reasons — she’s an integral part of the crack sales squad that keeps our publishing company afloat. Pays the bills is what ads do.
Then there’s Heather McCulloch.
She’s safety coordinator at Milltown Trucking in Oak Bay, N.B., and although I’ve never laid eyes on her, I know that she, too, is a powerhouse.
She is the engine behind this year’s Highway Star of the Year Stephen McKibbon.
Staying behind the scenes, Heather M. assembled Steve’s formidable nomination package and then, once she learned he had won, she rallied her team and ensured that everybody who had to show up in Toronto at the appointed time showed up.
In his speech at the awards ceremony, Heather’s and Steve’s boss Doug Morrow (owner of Milltown) credited Heather with making the whole thing happen.
Every company should have at least one Heather on staff.
I had a crush on a Heather once. Back in high school in Sudbury. Heather Gardner. She was energetic and bright and her only problem was, well, she didn’t like me. It also stung when she asked, in grade 11, why I had chosen to play a flute in the school band instead of — as she put it — “a manly instrument, like the sax.” I figure she’s probably by now a CEO or president of a small Latin American country.
There are other Heathers out there: Heather Locklear for one. Heather Cox.
But none out-heather Donnelly and McCulloch. And both shone brightly around Truck World a couple of weeks back.
Truck World 2012 was a circus of OEMs and suppliers; they lined up and down the glitzy aisles like vendors in some exotic souk and their products ranged from insurance packages to complete tractors. There’s after-market clutch builders and trailer-rack manufacturers. Quite a few chromed wildlife bumper builders. Tire makers. Computer-tracking systems. Fuel companies. And TO A PERSON they proclaim their own competitive edges:

  • “We cost less!”
  • “We’re lighter!”
  • “We’re more fuel efficient!”
  • “We’re built locally!”
  • “We’re built off shore!
  • “We’ve got more distributors!”
  • “We’re faster!”
  • “We’re prettier!”
  • “We’re more durable!”
  • “We’re guaranteed for life!”
Competition like that is great for business; it’s great for the world at large and it’s dizzying; not only does it make my head spin, it makes the world go round.
And one more thing: As far as I can tell, all those people shilling at Truck World? They are all telling the truth. Seriously.
You can’t get away with snowing customers these days. Any retailer will tell you that. The expected level of customer service is simply too high. Immediate access to the Internet delivers instant truth and consumers have their B.S.- radars dialed right up to 11.
As do all the Heathers out there.
So when the marketplace is quite intoxicatingly heady with this kind of excitement in the air, it’s downright heathering. Or heathery. Or something.
Whatever it is, it’s enough to make the forthcoming June issue of Today’s Trucking with its coverage of Truck World 2012 show just as entertaining and cool enough that even my high-school Heather pal will dig it.

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