Collections of Dilip Prakash

Archive for November 2008

PEOPLE WONDER WHY THE CALL CENTRE GUYS R PAID SO MUCH……FOR JUST
BEING ON THE PHONE.
TAKE A LOOK:

1 ) Tech Support : “I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop.”
Customer : “Ok.”
Tech Support : “Did you get a pop-up menu?”
Customer : “No.”
Tech Support : “Ok. Right click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?”
Customer : “No.”
Tech Support : “Ok, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until
this point?”
Customer : “Sure, you told me to write ‘click’ and I wrote ‘click’.”

—————————————-

2) Customer : “I received the software update you sent, but I am still
getting the same error message.”
Tech Support : “Did you install the update?”
Customer: “No. Oh, am I supposed to install it to get it to work?”

————————————————–

3)Customer : “I’m having trouble installing Microsoft Word.”
Tech Support : “Tell me what you’ve done.”
Customer : “I typed ‘A: SETUP’.”
Tech Support : “Ma’am, remove the disk and tell me what it says.”
Customer : “It says ‘[PC manufacturer] Restore and Recovery disk’.”
Tech Support : “Insert the MS Word setup disk.”
Customer : “What?”
Tech Support: “Did you buy MS word?”
Customer: “No…”

————————————————–

4).Customer : “Do I need a computer to use your software?”
Tech Support : ?!%#$ (welll pretend to smile)

————————————————–

5). Tech Support : “Ok, in the bottom left hand side of the screen,
can you see the ‘OK’ button displayed?”
Customer : “Wow. How can you see my screen from there?”
Tech support : ##### ***

————————————————–

6) Tech Support : “What type of computer do you have?”
Customer : “A white one.”
Tech support : ******_____####

————————————————–

7). Tech Support : “What operating system are you running?”
Customer : “Pentium.”
Tech support : ////—–+++

————————————————–

8). Customer : “My computer’s telling me I performed an illegal abortion.”
Tech support : ??????

————————————————–

9).Cus tomer : “I have Microsoft Exploder.”
Tech Support : ?!%#$

————————————————–

10). Customer : “How do I print my voicemail?”
Tech support : ??????

————————————————–

11). Customer : “You’ve got to fix my computer. I urgently need to
print document, but the computer won’t boot properly.”
Tech Support : “What does it say?”
Customer : “Something about an error and non-system disk.”
Tech Support : “Look at your machine. Is there a floppy inside?”
Customer : “No, but there’s a sticker saying there’s an Intel inside.”
Tech support : @@@@@

————————————————–

12). Tech Support: “Just call us back if there’s a problem. We’re open
24 hours.”
Customer: “Is that Eastern time?”

————————————————–

13). Tech Support : “What does the screen say now?”
Customer : “It says, ‘Hit ENTER when ready’.”
Tech Support : “Well?”
Customer : “How do I know when it’s ready?”
Tech support : *** —- ++++

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The best of the lot
14). A plain computer illiterate guy rings tech support to report that
his computer is faulty.
Tech: What’s the problem?
User: There is smoke coming out of the power supply.
Tech: (keep quite)
Tech: You’ll need a new power supply.
User: No, I don’t! I just need to change the startup files.
Tech: Sir, the power supply is faulty. You’ll need to replace it.
User: No way! Someone told me that I just needed to change the startup
and it will fix the
problem! All I need is for you to tell me the command.
Tech support::
10 minutes later, the User is still adamant that he is right. The tech
is frustrated and fed up.
Tech support:: (hush hush)
Tech: Sorry, Sir. We don’t normally tell our customers this, but there
is an undocumented DOS
command that will fix the problem.
User: I knew it!
Tech : Just add the line LOAD NOSMOKE.COM at
the end of the CONFIG.SYS. Let me know how it goes.
10 minutes later.
User : It didn’t work. The power supply is still smoking.
Tech : Well, what version of DOS are you using?
User : MS-DOS 6.22 .
Tech : That’s your problem there. That version of DOS didn’t come with
NOSMOKE. Contact Microsoft and ask them for a patch that will give you
the file. Let me know how it goes.
1 hour later.
User : I need a new power supply.
Tech support : How did you come to that conclusion?
Tech support : (hush hush)
User : Well, I rang Microsoft and told him about what you said, and he
started asking questions about the make of power supply.
Tech: Then what did he say?
User: He told me that my power supply isn’t compatible with NOSMOKE.

————————————————-

Hight Of all (Too Good)

15) customer care officer: I need a product identification number
right now and may I help u in
finding it out?
Cust: sure
CCO: could u left click on start and do u find ‘My Computer’?
Cust: I did left click but how the hell do I find your computer?

Just have look at the records held by Sachin Tendulkar. No wonder why British Prime Minister is suggesting him for the honor of Sir………


New Records…………….

1.
Highest Run scorer in the Test Cricket
2.
First Cricketer to pass 12000 run in the Test Cricket

Records Held by Sachin Tendulkar
1.
Highest Run scorer in the ODI
2.
Most number of hundreds in the ODI 41
3.
Most number of nineties in the ODI
4.
Most number of man of the matches(56) in the ODI’s
5.
Most number of man of the series(14) in ODI’s
6.
Best average for man of the matches in ODI’s
7.
First Cricketer to pass 10000 run in the ODI
8.
First Cricketer to pass 15000 run in the ODI
9.
He is the highest run scorer in the world cup (1,796 at an average of 59.87 as on 20 March 2007)
10.
Most number of the man of the matches in the world cup
11.
Most number of runs 1996 world cup 523 runs in the 1996 Cricket World Cup at an average of 87.16
12.
Most number of runs in the 2003 world cup 673 runs in 2003 Cricket World Cup, highest by any player in a single Cricket World Cup
13.
He was Player of the World Cup Tournament in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
14.
Most number of Fifties in ODI’s 87
15.
Appeared in Most Number of ODI’s 407
16.
He is the only player to be in top 10 ICC ranking for 10 years.
17.
Most number of 100’s in test’s 38
18.
He is one of the three batsmen to surpass 11,000 runs in Test cricket, and the first Indian to do so
19.
He is thus far the only cricketer to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India ‘s highest sporting honor
20.
In 2003, Wisden rated  Tendulkar as d No. 1 and Richards at No. 2 in all time Greatest ODI player
21.
In 2002, Wisden rated him as the second greatest Test batsman after Sir Donald Bradman.
22.
he was involved in unbroken 664-run partnership in a Harris Shield game in 1988 with friend and team mate Vinod Kambli,
23.
Tendulkar is the only player to score a century in all three of his Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy and Irani Trophy debuts
24.
In 1992, at the age of 19, Tendulkar became the first overseas born player to represent Yorkshire
25.
Tendulkar has been granted the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and Padma Shri by Indian government. He is the only Indian cricketer to get all of them.
26.
Tendulkar has scored over 1000 runs in a calendar year in ODI’s 7 times
27.
Tendulkar has scored 1894 runs in calendar year in ODI’s most by any batsman
28.
He is the highest earning cricketer in the world
29.
He has the least percentage of the man of the matches awards won when team looses a match.. Out of his 56 man of the match awards only 5 times India has

lost.
30.
Tendulkar most number man of match awards(10) against Australia
31.
In August of 2003, Sachin Tendulkar was voted as the “Greatest Sportsman” of the country in the sport personalities category in the Best of India poll

conducted byZee News.
32.
In November 2006, Time magazine named Tendulkar as one of the Asian Heroes.
33.
In December 2006, he was named “Sports person of the Year
34.
The current India Poised campaign run by The Times of India has nominated him as the Face of New India next to the likes of Amartya Sen and Mahatma

Gandhiamong others.
35.
Tendulkar was the first batsman in history to score over 50 centuries in international cricket.
36.
Tendulkar was the first batsman in history to score over 75 centuries in international cricket:79 centuries
37.
Has the most overall runs in cricket, (ODIs+Tests+Twenty20s), as of 30 June 2007 he had accumulated almost 26,000 runs overall.
38.
Is second on the most number of runs in test cricket just after Brian Lara
39.
Sachin Tendulkar with Sourav Ganguly hold the world record for the maximum number of runs scored by the opening partnership. They have put together 6,271

Runsin 128 matches.
40.
The 20 century partnerships for opening pair with Sourav Ganguly is a world record

41.
Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid hold the world record for the highest partnership in ODI matches when they scored 331 runs against New Zealand in 1999
42.
Sachin Tendulkar has been involved in six 200 run partnerships in ODI matches – a record that he shares with Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid
43.
Most Centuries in a calendar year: 9 ODI centuries in 1998
44.
Only player to have over 100 innings of 50+ runs (41 Centuries and 87 Fifties)(as of 18th Nov, 2007)
45.
the only player ever to cross the 13,000-14,000 and 15,000 run marks IN ODI.
46.
Highest individual score among Indian batsmen (186* against New Zealand at Hyderabad in 1999).
47.
The score of 186* is listed the fifth highest score recorded in ODI matches
48.
Tendulkar has scored over 1000 ODI runs against all major Cricketing nations.
49.
Sachin was the fastest to reach 10,000 runs taking 259 innings and has the highest batting average among batsmen with over 10,000 ODI runs
50.
Most number of Stadium Appearances: 90 different Grounds
51.
Consecutive ODI Appearances: 185
52.
On his debut, Sachin Tendulkar was the second youngest debutant in the world
53.
When Tendulkar scored his maiden century in 1990, he was the second youngest to score a century
54.
Tendulkar’s record of five test centuries before he turned 20 is a current world record
55.
Tendulkar holds the current record (217 against NZ in 1999/00 Season) for the highest score in Test cricket by an Indian when captaining the side
56.
Tendulkar has scored centuries against all test playing nations.[7] He was the third batman to achieve the distinction after Steve Waugh and Gary Kirsten
57.
Tendulkar has 4 seasons in test cricket with 1000 or more runs – 2002 (1392 runs), 1999 (1088 runs), 2001 (1003 runs) and 1997 (1000 runs).[6] Gavaskar is

the onlyother Indian with four seasons of 1000+ runs
58.
He is second most number of seasons with over 1000 runs in world.
59.
On 3 January 2007 Sachin Tendulkar (5751) edged past Brian Lara’s (5736) world record of runs scored in Tests away from home
60.
Tendulkar and Brian Lara are the fastest to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket history. Both of them achieved this in 195 innings
61.
Second Indian after Sunil Gavaskar to make over 10,000 runs in Test matches
62.
Became the first Indian to surpass the 11,000 Test run mark and the third International player behind Allan Border and Brian Lara.
63.
Tendulkar is fourth on the list of players with most Test caps. Steve Waugh (168 Tests), Allan Border (158 Tests), Shane Warne (145 Tests) have appeared in

Moregames than Tendulkar.
64.
Tendulkar has played the most number of Test Matches (144) for India (Kapil Dev is second with 131 Test appearances).
65.
First to 25,000 international runs
66.
Tendulkar’s 25,016 runs in international cricket include 14,537 runs in ODI’s, 10,469 Tests runs and 10 runs in the lone Twenty20 that India has played.
67.
On December 10, 2005, Tendulkar made his 35th century in Tests at Delhi against Sri Lanka . He surpassed Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 34 centuries to become

theman with the most number of hundreds in Test cricket.
68.
Tendulkar is the only player who has 150 wkts and more than 15000 runs in  ODI
69.
Tendulkar is the only player who has 40 wkts and more than 11000 runs in  Tests
70.
Only batsman to have 100 hundreds in the first class cricket

So Share this with all your friends who are indians and take pride to be an indian !!!!!

narayana-murthys-ad

narayana-murthys-ad

Banta walks into a restaurant with an ostrich behind him, and as he sits, the waitress comes over and asks for their order.
Banta says, “I`ll have a burger, fries and a coke,” and turns to the ostrich.
“What`s yours?”
“I`ll have the same” says the ostrich.
A short time later, the waitress returns with the order.
“That will be Rs 146.50 please,”
Banta reaches into his pocket and pulls out exact change for payment.
The next day, Banta and his ostrich come again, and Banta says, “I`ll have a burger, fries and a coke,” and the ostrich says, “I`ll have the same.”
Once again Banta reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change. This becomes a routine, until late one evening, the two enter again.
“The usual?” asks the waitress.
“No, this is sunday night, so I will have a chicken burger, baked potato and salad,” says Banta.
“Same for me,” says the ostrich.
A short time later the waitress comes with the order and says, “That will be Rs 362.75.”
Once again Banta pulls exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table. The waitress can`t hold back her curiosity any longer.
“Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change out of your pocket every time?”
“Well,” says Banta, “several years ago, I was cleaning the attic and I found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just have to put my hand in my pocket, and the right amount of money would always he there.”
“That`s brilliant!” says the waitress. “Most people would wish for a million dollars or something, but you`ll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!”
“That`s right! Whether it`s a coke or a BMW, the exact money is always there,” says Banta.
The waitress asks, “One other thing, sir, what`s with the ostrich?”
Banta replies with a slight frown, “My second wish was for a chick with long legs.”

Santa happened to participate in a competition, which was about writing the shortest story.
The organizers had put a condition that a story must have four ingredients viz. religion, sex, suspense and mystery.
When Santa’s turn came after many attempts by others. Santa’s story was of just one sentence which read “Oh god, my wife is going to deliver a child”.
Ostensibly amused, the organizers asked the american whether it contained all the four ingredients! American replied affirmatively and gave his explanation as below:
Oh god: religion.
My wife: sex.
Going to deliver a child: suspense (whether a girl or a boy)
“Okay…. but where is the mystery?” asked one of the organizers.
Santa replied: who is the father? He was the winner for writing the shortest story!

Santa was shifting his residence. He was packing his belongings. By midnight he was too tired and dozed off with the house door open.
A sound woke him up. A thief was packing valuables. Santa found it very amusing; the thief was doing the job for him! “When this smart guy finishes packing, I will catch him”.
Santa was a hefty guy; so when the burglar finished packing, Santa Singh jumped on him and tied him up. Then he went to the police station and reported the matter.
“What did you do to the thief”?
“I tied his hands; you come and collect him”.
“I hope you tied his legs too”.
Santa felt a cold feeling in his spine; he had forgotten about the legs. He sat down for a while. Then he cheered up and said, “Inspector Sab, the thief, he will still be there”.
“How do you know”?
“Well, that fellow is a Sardarji

4 men – a Marathi, Bengali, Gujrati and our Santa were being interviewed for a top job. With nothing to choose between them, the President told them over dinner that the decisive test would be carried out the following morning, with each candidate being asked the same question and the best answer would get them the job.

The next morning, first up was the Marathi. “Here`s your question,” said the President, “What`s the fastest thing in the world?”
Without hesitation, he replied “A thought, because it takes no time at all.”
“Very good answer,” said the President.

Next up was the Gujrati, “What`s the fastest thing in the world?” asked the president.
“A blink,” replied the Texan almost instantaneously, “cos you don`t think about a blink. It`s a reflex.”
“Good answer,” replied the president.

Next was the Bengali, “What`s the fastest thing in the world?” asked the president.
The Bengali thought for a moment, “Electricity, because you can flip a switch and 20 miles away a light will go on immediately.”
“That`s a great answer,” replied the president.

Finally, it was our Santa`s turn. “What`s the fastest thing in the world?” asked the president.
Scratching his head Santa replied: “Diarrhoea, because last night after dinner I was lying on my bed when I got these awful stomach pains and before I could think, blink or turn on the light…..”

Banta and and son went fishing one day. Sitting in the boat for a couple of hours gave them not much to do, so the son started thinking about the world around him. He began to get curious so he asked his father some questions.
“How does this boat float?”
Banta thought for a moment, then replied, “Don`t rightly know, son.”
The boy returned to his contemplation, but soon came up with another one, “How do fish breath underwater?”
Once again Banta replied, “Don`t rightly know, son.”
A little later the boy asked Banta, “Why is the sky blue?”
Again, Banta replied, “Don`t rightly know, son.”
Worried he was going to annoy his father, he said, “Dad, do you mind my asking you all of these questions?”
Banta immediately assured him, “Of course not, son. If you don`t ask questions, you`ll never learn anything!”

Jeeto came running up to Santa jumping for joy.
Not knowing how to react, Santa started jumping up and down along with her. “Why are we so happy?” Santa asked.
Jeeto, “Honey, I have some really great news for you!”
“Great” he said, “tell me what you`re so happy about.”
Jeeto stopped breathless from all the jumping up and down. “I`m pregnant!” she gasped.
Santa was ecstatic as they had been trying for a while. Santa grabbed her, kissed her, and started telling her how wonderful it was, and that he couldn`t be happier.
Then Jeeto said “Oh, honey there`s more.”
“What do you mean more?”, he asked.
“Well we are not having just one baby, we are going to have TWINS!”
Amazed at how she could know so soon after getting pregnant, he asked her how she knew.
“It was easy” she said, “I went to the pharmacy and bought the 2 pack home pregnancy test kit and both tests came out positive!”

I had three friends. Eric, Cathlyn, Carol.
Eric was chased by all the girls in our high school.
Cathlyn was one of those popular girls.
Cheerleader, sexy, and stylish.
Carol was just one of those plain and average girls .
Cathlyn and Carol were both totally crazy and wacko over Eric.
Cathlyn didn’t have to do anything to attract Eric.
For she was already attractive enough.
Carol on the other hand, showered Eric which love and care.
Carol wasn’t ugly at all.
In fact, she looked sweet and pleasant.
But she wasn’t a cheerleader, she didn’t were spaghetti-straps or tubes.
So like everyone expected, Eric chose Cathlyn.
For Carol was just one ordinary and plain girl.
While Cathlyn was labele d as the cool and attractive type.
Eric always insulted Carol.
Telling her what a ‘Plain Jane’ she was.
And how dumb she looked.
Which obviously made Carol feel so hurt and useless.
That’s life. Carol never gave up though.
She wanted to prove something to Eric.
She wanted to prove that looks aren’t everything.
She studied hard, really hard.
She became the top girl, and all the guys who once ignored her, chased her.
But she never forgot Eric.
Everyday, she put a red rose in Eric’s locker.
Always with the same words.
‘I care for you, and I always will’
Because she knew that Eric was facing a hard time.
Eric began to realise.
How dumb he had been.
His beloved girlfriend, Cathlyn.
Was flirting with other guys.
He regretted for choosing the wrong girl.
Cathlyn broke up with Eric later.
For she had found a wealthier guy.
Eric felt so cheated, stupid and dumb.
He went to look for Carol.
He knelt on his knees, and said.
“Carol, please forgive me. Do you want to be my girlfriend?”
Carol rejected him, much to everyone’s surprise.
She only uttered these words.
“You’ve suffered a great loss, so I don’t want you to face
another one”
Eric felt disappointed.
He didn’t understand a word that she said to him.
But they became good friends.
Did everything together.
Eric began to change into someone better.
Because Carol showered him with the love he never experienced before.
His ex-girlfriends had never treated him that way.
They just accepted him for his looks.
But Carol accepted him for himself .
She changed him.
Carol continued putting a red rose into his locker everyday.
With the same words. She never forgot.
One day, Carol didn’t turn up in school.
She didn’t come for a week.
At first, Eric thought that she was on a vacation with her family.
Because she told him that she would be going Hawaii with them.
But one day. He received a call from the General Hospital.
Saying that Carol was about to die.
She had been suffering from cancer.
But Carol forbade them from telling him.
Because she didn’t want Eric to worry about her.
But now that she was about to die.
She wanted to see Eric for the last time.
Eric rushed to the hospital.
When he saw how weak Carol was.
Tears began rushing down his cheeks.
He whispered.
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Why did you hide this from me?”
She looked at him . And smiled weakly at him.
“When I said that I didn’t want you to suffer from facing another loss, I meant this. I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want you to worry. I wanted to spend my last days with you cheerfully.” Eric looked at her.
“You can’t leave me!” he said.
“What will I be without you?”
“You’ll be who you are now. I will always be there by your side. Never forget that. Cherish those times. Live life happily. And one more thing.”
“Yes?” “I love you” And she died. Eric screamed.
He still couldn’t accept Carol’s death.
He had only spent a month with Carol.
A month. But Carol changed his life in a way.
A way that no one could ever explain. He regretted.
But he knew that Carol would always be keeping an eye on him from Heaven.

Sometimes We just don’t appreciate those people who really care for us.
Until they leave us. Until we lose them. Then we regret.
Outer beauty doesn’t matter; it’s the inner one that counts.
It’s better to tell someone how much you love them.
Rather than to not tell them and lose them without telling them.
You’ll regret Love is. When we fight till the very last minute.
Just to show and tell someone how much we love them.


There are several mistakes people can make that will hinder their chances of being promoted or earning the support of their superiors and colleagues.

Here are the seven faux pas

#1. Not dressing, speaking or acting the part

When it comes to being promoted, looks do matter. If you don’t look the part, it will be much more difficult for decision-makers to envision you in it. Instead of dressing sloppily or inappropriately, strive to dress in a manner similar to people two levels above you.

# 2. Being unprepared with talking points about the value you’d bring to the position

Just because the decision-maker in the promotion process is already familiar with you doesn’t mean you’re done proving yourself to him or her. Highlight your skills, knowledge and strengths to reinforce your return on investment.

#3. Being deceitful or underhanded
If you’re acting friendly and respectful to superiors one moment and undermining them behind their backs the next, you risk developing a reputation for being two-faced and untrustworthy.

#4. Being clueless about the big picture
Decision-makers want to know that promoting you will impact the company’s bottom line. If you can’t convince them that your new ideas and extra effort will achieve the company’s goals, you probably won’t gain their buy-in for a promotion.

#5. Pouting or grousing
It’s important for leaders to exude a positive attitude at all times — both good and bad. Decision-makers will never be able to support you as a leader, worthy of promotion, if you’re being bitter, negative or dismissive of others because you don’t get your way at work.

#6. Expecting a promotion without going above and beyond in your current position

Some people mistakenly believe that because they do their job well and do what’s asked of them, they’re entitled to a promotion. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Employers want to advance employees who exceed their expectations and are willing to take on more than what their job description entails.

7. Overusing the terms “my career” or “promotion” in discussions with your managerIn most situations, your employer’s needs come before your own. Therefore, expressing that you’d like to take your career to the next level won’t get you nearly as far as something such as, “I’m committed to doing everything I can to help this company grow and succeed.”

“Remember, getting promoted is not for the faint of heart,”To climb the ladder, you’ll need a proactive plan, proof of performance, the right perception of you, perseverance and a positive attitude.”

9 lessons in Balance, Love, and Leadership

from a guy who’s even busier than you are..

Name: Barack Obama

Occupation: Next president of the United States

The
President-Elect reveals what he belives, where he comes from and what
he can teach us. Use his advice to advance ur career, health &
fitness no matter who u vited for…

Lesson 1: Learn from your father, even if he wasn’t a good one

Barack Obama’s life story, starting with his father’s departure when he
was 2 years old, is the equivalent of a doctoral program in
abandonment, dislocation, and healing. And the last of these can come
about only when you truly come to terms with the first two. As Obama’s
memoir, Dreams from My Father, makes abundantly clear, he was one
twentysomething who took the time to understand exactly what it meant
that his father left the family.

“I would like to think that most of the issues related to my
father have been resolved,” he says, pointedly. “That’s part of what
writing Dreams from My Father was about:
understanding him, his own personal tragedy. He wasn’t a presence in my
life, he was an idea that I had to wrestle with for a long time.

Somebody once said that every man is either trying to live up to his dad’s expectations or make up for his dad’s mistakes.
And I’m sure I was doing a little bit of both. But I feel that
somewhere in my late 20s or early 30s I sort of figured out what his
absence had meant. It is part of what I think has made me a pretty good
dad. I don’t think it would have too much of an impact on my
decision-making as president. There’s no doubt that it has contributed
to my drive. I might not be here had it not been for that absent father
prodding me early in life.”

Lesson 2: Be there for your family, even if you’re not around

We wondered if his wife, Michelle, and their two children, Malia and
Sasha, might join him on the day’s trip, to participate in the
blow-out-the-candles moment. But Obama had boarded the plane with
Secret Service and campaign staffers, not family members. So he himself
is something of an absentee father on his big day.

“Yesterday was the birthday celebration,” he tells. “We get everything
in, just not always on schedule when it’s supposed to happen. Yesterday
I sat on a lounge chair in a friend’s backyard, watching my girls and
Michelle dance. It was as nice a moment as I’ve had in a long time.

I don’t miss the important things. I haven’t missed a dance
recital. I haven’t missed a parent-teacher conference. But there are
some things I do miss, and those are some of the tradeoffs you make
.

“But, look, there’s no question there are sacrifices involved here. I’d like to say that quality time replaces quantity, but sometimes it doesn’t.
You know, a lot of the best moments of family life happen
spontaneously. If you have less time to devote to them, there are fewer
of those moments. What I’ve been able to do is create a zone of
normalcy for my kids. Michelle’s been wonderful about that. I have been
able to transmit to them my absolute interest in them and my absolute
love for them.”

Lesson 3: Make the future your focus

Another loss in the Obama family: the way a child’s life changes in the
glare of campaign lights. The senator notes that his daughters were
young — 5 and 8 — when he had to explain the upheaval that was about
to shake their family. He may as well have been talking about his plans
to file income taxes. The kids cut to the really important stuff:
“Their main concern was, ‘When are we going to get a dog?’ They did ask
about what they called ‘secret people,’ which were the Secret Service
folks. ‘Are we going to have to have these people with sunglasses and
earpieces following us around all the time?’ And I told them, well, not
right away. They’ve adjusted wonderfully. And I’ve tried to make sure
that they haven’t had to participate too much in the political process.

“The pledge is” — he can’t help making campaign promises, even to his kids — “they’ll get their dog, win or lose.”

Lesson 4: Turn early lessons into big successes

Sarah Palin might not be too impressed with Obama’s days as a
community organizer, but he built that modest beginning — putting
together coalitions of voters across Chicago — into the current
grass-roots organization that’s unlike anything our electoral process
has ever seen
. It’s a classic example of applying a lesson learned on a small scale to the biggest challenge of a lifetime.

Clearly, he knows how to manage groups. By the time your outfit has its own plane, it’d better have a solid pilot.

“I’m part of an organization,” he says, “and one of the things I really
try to push in the organization is to make sure that everybody is
focused on the two or three things that are really going to be game
changers. I ask them to design my schedule in a way that focuses not
just on what’s coming at us, but on being active instead of reactive. I
think we’ve been pretty successful. I don’t spend a lot of time
returning phone calls or e-mails. If somebody needs something, most of
the time there’s somebody else who can handle it. Eliminating TV has
been helpful.” Wait, a confession: “I’m still a ****er for
SportsCenter,” he notes.

The goal of his organization, he says, is to clear time for job number
1: “The most difficult thing is to carve out time to think, which is
probably the most important time for somebody who’s trying to shift an
organization, or in this case, the country, as opposed to doing the
same things that have been done before. And I find that time slips
away.”

Lesson 5: The government isn’t your nursemaid

The organization theme comes up again when I raise a pet peeve of this
magazine: That the U.S. government maintains at least seven offices
devoted to women’s health, but no office of men’s health. This despite
the fact that men die earlier than women do of heart disease, stroke,
and cancer. I’m hoping to enlist him in the battle.

Nothing doing.

“I’m not sure we need an office,” he says. “We need to have an
awareness built in throughout various agencies charged with improving
health. I’ll give you a specific example. My grandfather died of
prostate cancer. As
men age, regular checkups are critical. But it’s hard to get them to go
in for that mildly unpleasant checkup. Increasing awareness of the
difference it could make shouldn’t just be the activity of the
Department of Health and Human Services.”

And then he launches into a story involving a friend of his. It’s a
theme he returns to again and again as we talk: a world peopled with
friends who taught him lessons, reminded him of what was important,
reproached him in a useful way.

“A good friend of mine who was the head of the Illinois department of
public health designed this wonderful program targeting black men,
where health information was provided through barbershops. The idea was
that a lot of black men underutilize doctors and don’t talk about
health much. But they go to the barbershop, and that’s where they kind
of let loose. The department designed programs where clinics at
different barbershops would provide various health screenings, talk
about prevention. Those kinds of strategies have to be developed and
targeted, perhaps, because a
lot of the time we’re more resistant to going to doctors. That kind of
thinking should be embedded in a lot of the work we’re doing.”

Lesson 6: Quit smoking (as often as you need to)

For all of Obama’s physical credentials, he’s carried around the
ultimate health taboo — smoking — for most of his adult life. And he
inhaled, all right. Then word came that he’d quit smoking.

“There wasn’t some dramatic moment,” he says. “Michelle had been
putting pressure on me for a while. I was never really a heavy smoker.
Probably at my peak I was smoking seven or eight a day. More typical
was three. So it wasn’t a huge challenge with huge withdrawal symptoms.
There have been a couple of times during the campaign when I fell off
the wagon and bummed one, and I had to kick it again. But I figure,
seeing as I’m running for president, I need to cut myself a little
slack.”

He does have advice for people, like him, who are wrestling with the dependency. “Eliminate
certain key connections — that first cigarette in the morning, or
after a meal, or with a drink. If you can eliminate those triggers,
that should help.”

Lesson 7: Show others the way to common ground

When you’re a Kenya-Kansas hybrid, you either drive yourself nuts
trying to sort out your identity or you find common ground among
opposites. By all accounts, that nose for synthesis is why Obama’s
classmates selected him to be president of the Harvard Law Review.
Neither the liberals nor the conservatives had the votes to elect their
chosen candidate. But in Obama, both groups saw a guy who would give
their side a fair shake. And he did.

Years later, Robert Putnam, a social scientist and political theorist,
hosted seminars at Harvard’s Kennedy School on how to rebuild the
country’s broken sense of community. He recruited an obscure Illinois
state senator named Barack Obama to participate, along with bank
presidents, entrepreneurs, and such better-known figures as
religious-right strategist Ralph Reed and former Clintonista George
Stephanopoulos.

“Barack Obama was one of the youngest in the group,” Putnam told me. “At
the beginning of our sessions, he stood back a little bit, listening to
the others. But often around noon, you’d hear him say, ‘Well I hear
Jane saying this, and Joe saying that, but both Jane and Joe would
probably agree on this more fundamental point.’ Now, these were big-ego
people he was dealing with, but he made his mark. It’s a skill the
country needs now: An emphasis on synthesis, not divisiveness.”

Lesson 8: If you want to avoid disappointing others, don’t disappoint yourself

No surprise here. It’s something he’s thought about a lot: “I always try to make sure that my expectations are higher than those of the people around me,”
he says. “A lot of people have a lot at stake in this election. The
American people are having a tough time. And I never want people to
feel as if I’ve overpromised to them. I try to explain in a real honest
way how difficult some of the changes I’m talking about will be. But I
never want the effect to be that I’m not working as hard as I can on
their behalf . . . that I’m not continually trying to improve. I’m
actually glad for the high expectations. One of the interesting things
about a campaign like this is that it really does push you to the limit
and then some. And it turns out that you have more in your reservoir
than you expected.”

And at the beginning of August, he has plenty more testing to go through.

“I do,” he replies. “I’ve got 3 more months, and then it gets harder.”

Lesson 9: Don’t let ’em see you sweat

One of the sillier controversies in the campaign broke in the middle of a heat wave last summer: Did Barack Obama sweat? Ever?

An AP wire story went out, accompanied by head scratching from members
of the press, about people being unable to recall a single instance of
campaign-trail perspiration. One
day, his dry demeanor was even cited as evidence that he was using the
cover of a workout to interview veep candidates in a Chicago gym.
Nobody seemed to consider that he sweats less because he’s in such good
shape. It’s obvious he’s an athlete from his physical grace alone.

The way a guy carries himself can tell you a lot about him. For
instance, Ronald Reagan brought about morning in America by having a
demeanor sunny enough to dispel the early-’80s gloom all by himself. As
for Obama, he does move like a silky small forward, which is part of
his appeal. I witnessed a showcase of his physical skills upon our
arrival in Lansing, as he executed the perfect plane dismount while
waving at the Secret Service guys.

Robert Putnam wrote a book called Bowling Alone in which he built a
case that Americans have become isolated and American society
fractured. For me, the book title conjures an image of the weird,
haunted, solitary Richard Nixon repairing to the White House bowling
alley at midnight to chase his demons and roll a few lonely frames. But
bowling, alone or otherwise, isn’t Obama’s game.

When I first met the candidate, I observed to him that the White House
grounds are equipped for basketball, but it’s only a half-court setup,
too cramped for the full-court game he possesses, and in any case,
unavailable in rough weather.


For a Better Life

1. Don’t talk when u r angry
2. Don’t take words seriously from the one who is angry

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