From the Desk of Ellen Fisher - October 2009

Empty Nester - not anymore!! Part II

I received so many notes in response to my last column about my dad, that I thought I’d share a bit more with you. Before Dad moved in, I pictured what it would be like in our house. I envisioned nice, late summer evenings where my husband and my dad, both baseball fans (fanatics, really), would bond while watching games together. I saw myself down the hall watching a movie, or in my office catching up on email, able to hear their cheers and guffaws. Indeed, they have both religiously watched baseball as the season has turned to fall, but on two separate televisions. You see, I forgot to factor into my Leave-It-To-Beaver fantasy of blissful familial life, that they both root for different teams. In addition to finding myself in the sandwich between two generations, I am now also trapped in a sandwich between dueling sportscasters.

This is not to say that my dad and husband have not bonded at all. As a matter of fact, on two very distinct fronts, they seem to have colluded beautifully. The first has to do with heat. I like a cool house, partly because I am at the age where I have my own year-round private summers, and partly because I write out the checks and know how expensive utilities are. My dad and husband, both skin and bones, are always cold. After the third night of sleeping under a tower of blankets, my husband asked me to turn on the heat. Within minutes of this request my dad asked me, “When will the landlord be turning on the heat?” His approach was funny enough that I decided to give in and turn it on. What's very bizarre to me is either (or both if they really are in collusion) could have easily turned on the heat; it's not like the thermostat is under lock and key!

The other thing they have in common is that every time a television has to be turned on in the house, neither can master the nuances between the cable box, DVD, Netflix box, HD, and non-HD options. Both are eternal Luddites and major technophobes who rely on me to straighten out the television set-up. Just last night they both called me away from my work to turn on two separate ballgames.

That was when I realized that even though I may be in the minority when it comes to gender in this house, I am the one who clearly holds all the power. I refused to turn on both sets, thus forcing them to watch the game together. Within minutes, I heard the sweet sound of stats and figures flying around the room. It's nice to know that fantasies really can come true.

This scenario translates beautifully to business, too. Although women are considered minorities in the working world, we really wield a lot of power. For example, it's a fact that if you successfully satisfy women with your customer service or product, then chances are you will more than impress men.

Ellen Fisher, Publisher and Remote Controller

Our aim is to increase the visibility, authenticity, influence and status of women’s businesses for the purpose of promoting economic growth and support of women.
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