Learning From My Own Conversations

I spoke with a friend from the past couple of weeks ago.  Won and I go back some 15 years but he’s not your typical sociable person or does he keep in touch even though we are great friends.  In our conversation, we spoke about some deep stuff.  You see, if you know Won, you know that he doesn’t like to deali-dally in the conversations.  He likes to get down to the important stuff.

In our conversation, he complained about how he felt so fake at a church’s small group asking about what he does for a living and what school he graduated from, only to have them change from “oh” to “oooh” after learning his school credentials (you see, my friend graduated from Harvard MBA program).  As proud as I am of him for being so smart, it does irritate me when he complained that it’s hard to “go beyond the surface”.  He wants to be able to develop relationships on a deper level beyond the tip of the iceberg.

I think we all want that.  However, as I had told my friend, unless you have the teleporting capability, we all have to go through the tip of the iceberg or the surface (the 10% of the iceberg) if we are to see the iceberg in its entirety.  Quanity must come if we are to seek quality.  As dull and annoying as it is, we all must go through the “10% of the iceberg” (aka. the tip), if we are to establish anything signficant in terms of relationships.

Of course, he was annoyed because he knew that I was right.  After this conversation, I realized how important that point is, and how I must keep at it, even if it means asking the dreadful questions like “how is your week?” or “anything new?”

Taking that one step even further, if we are to develop meaningful relationship with God, we must spend much time with Him in the Bible reading and praying, even if it seems repetitious and boring a lot of times.  While qaulity is superior to quantity, you cannot obtain quality without quantity.

Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen: Is Toyota the new GM/Ford from the ’60s/’70s?!

If you haven’t been watching news lately, Toyota has announced the biggest, if not one of the biggest, recalls on vehicles… EVER!  Evidently it’s a pedal that seems to get stuck.  It has already claimed lives… and its luxury sibling, Lexus isn’t immune to this defect either.

Picture courtesy of NY Times

According to the NY Times article, four people died in a tragic accident that shouldn’t have happened in last August in a Lexus ES 350!  How the hell does this kind of stuff happen?!  Well, from my sociology class from yonder years in college at WPI, I am reminded of the ethics falling behind the curtains of schedules and costs.  Ford & GM had similar safety issues but with gas fuel tanks in the ’60s and the ’70s.

Back then, I thought Ford and GM had made one of the worst choices by choosing not to recall the cars and leave it to statistics and chance and paying out lawsuits rather than spending millions in repairing the dangerous defects.  I still hesitate because such an inherently terrible oversight makes a consumer think twice and buying such product.  Only recently (since 2005) have I actually thought that Ford has come a long way and made the cars actually decent and safe.  So in essence, it has taken about 30 to 40 years to erase the reputation damage that were burned into the minds of the consumers.

So I was rather shocked and disappointed to find out that Toyota has been so slow in doing something about this recall and dealing with its defects!  It applies to millions of cars including the best-selling Camry!  When you choose money over people, you are telling the consumers that you don’t care about us and only care about money.  Well, that will always be true to certain degree because of the nature of for-profit companies.  However, if you look at things in long-term perspective, you think Toyota would have learned from the lessons of Ford and GM.  Come on!  Toyota is repeating history!

Today’s headline in Business Weekly shows that their decision to recall and repair was too slow.  Trying to hide it or ignore it (or whatever they call it) is definitely the worst business AND ethical decision they have made EVER!!!

I will say this… Toyota, welcome to my black list.  I will buy your cars in maybe 30 years or so… when that terrible stigma of poor decision making process wears off from me, your typical consumer.  Sheesh…  Just the picture of this Pinto makes me shriek and reminds me of some of the terrible decisions made from the past…

Courtesy of Motherjones.com

UPDATE: Now, though fixed somewhat more or less, 2010 Prius have had some brake issues as Toyota admits its problems.  Like I said in the last comment, Toyota is at best becoming like Sony, just big in its head and riding on its popularity.

UPDATE 2: This lady was driving a ’07 Tundra pickup….