Hillbilly Mafia Update – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Last night I covered a recent encounter with the hillbilly mafia.

Today I was informed that the management group that I call the hillbilly mafia was relieved of all responsibilities.

What is the definition of karma again?

The sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

Seems fitting.

Just wanted to leave a short note.

Have a great day.

Jay Patterson


Don’t Work For The Hillbilly Mafia – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Have you ever taken a job that just did not feel right but you decided to do it anyhow?

Last year I had the pleasure to do just this and I am not joking when I say it felt like I worked for the hillbilly mafia. The question you may have is why do I say this, well let me begin.

The organization that had been ignored for ten plus years and although there were personnel that tried to move them into the early 21st century, they were not allowed to proceed and these personnel were considered trouble makers. This was not evident on the surface.

Why would an organization be ignored for ten plus years? The organization was part of many small organizations that had been passed from one generation to the next and was not critical in the scheme of things. In fact, the management of most of these organizations was moved to a small management company to many which I have identified as the hillbilly mafia.

Prior to accepting this challenge, I obtained assurances that I would be able to do what I needed to do to move forward and I developed, submitted and covered in detail the steps required to transition into the 21st century. I emphasized that it would take a minimum of twelve months for revenue improvement to occur. So, I moved forward with high hopes that this company could be revitalized within twelve to eighteen months.

Within two weeks of taking this challenge over I ran into my first indications of trouble. These issues worked hand in hand with each other and I should have known immediately the game was up and this was not a good fit but every challenge can be addressed right. What was the challenge?

  • The company sold new and used equipment and primarily sold used because there was no strategy to sell new.
    • The goal was to minimize used sales and scrap much of the used equipment rolling the scrap metal revenue back into revenue. This would happen at the same time as a new equipment sales strategy was developed thus the twelve to eighteen-month revenue turnaround window.
    • In actuality, most of the used equipment was scrapped and the revenue went into the managing companies’ black books accounts.
  • I brought the issue up and was immediately informed that this is how we are going to handle scrap metal and not to bring the issue up again.
  • Based on this turn of events, there would not be a large amount of used equipment to sell and there would be no scrap revenue to replace. Within two weeks of accepting this challenge, the game was up.

This was the tip of the iceberg and end result was that you learn your lesson, move on and make every effort to not repeat the mistake. An opportunity that is right for you will come so it is best to wait.

Remember, if it smells fishy, tastes fishy and feels fishy, it is probably fishy.

Have a great one.

Jay Patterson

My Weekly Reader – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

For most of us in the United States, the first news source we read as a child was “My Weekly Reader”. First established in the 1920s, “My Weekly Reader” was a window into current events that was directed at elementary schools until its demise in 2012. “My Weekly Reader” in its heyday was published seven (7) times a year and had up to 13 million subscribers.

Growing up, we followed the Vietnam War, Nixon, Moon Walks, Disney’s plan to buy land and build a new park in Florida called Disney World, the building of the World Trade Center in New York City, etc. in “My Weekly Reader”. If it was current news, it was probably covered and it is even possible that “My Weekly Reader” taught me how to boil eggs.

“My Weekly Reader” was the first exposure to politics for many of us. During presidential election years, a presidential poll was held sponsored by “My Weekly Reader” and thee accuracy was 100% for very year only two (2) major candidates ran for office. In fact, the only year the poll was incorrect was 1992.

I have no idea how many children decided journalism, photography or other related careers were for them because they read “My Weekly Reader” but I know it made me read World Book Encyclopedias from cover to cover and read the local paper every day.

Today, we are inundated by entertainment journalism 24 hours per day on television and online while printed journalism dies a slow death. If only I could be as excited as I once was as a child when we would be given “My Weekly Reader”.

There were many written publications that I enjoyed in my formative years that were instrumental in my development and fun to read. Some of my magazines of choice included Boys Life, Mad, Cracked, and High Times but none of them impacted the sponginess of my brain like “My Weekly Reader”.

What was your favorite article in “My Weekly Reader”? Mine was the story on the World Trade Center in NYC.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Jay Patterson

How To Lose Weight Part 1 – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I have always said I wish I was 21-year old with the wisdom of a 50-year old but if I had any wish in the world, I would be a 50-year old with the metabolism of a 21-year old.

It was an overnight occurrence, at the age of 40 I went to sleep burning favorite foods without issue and next thing you know, I would smell donuts and gain weight. Of course, weight gain had nothing to do with eating two plus helpings during supper, driving hundreds of miles each day for work, eating fast food for lunch, lack of athletic activity, and/or 3 AM snacks where I would leave one (1) in case somebody wanted it even though I ate nine (9).

For the past ten plus (10+) years, my weight increased 40 percent compared to when I retired from the Navy pushing 165 pounds soaking wet and running five (5) to ten (10) miles per day in hot, humid coastal Georgia. Even during the holiday season, my weight stayed constant and I enjoyed eating all the good foods. Foods that were good to me anyhow.

I initially increased in weight from 165 pounds to 200 pounds and attributed the weight gain to getting older. I would go on a fad diet to drop 15 to 20 pounds and return to my old habits and weight gain until I was around 200 pounds. My ego prevented me from purchasing new pants and shirts as long as I would yo-yo in this range. The plan was rock solid and good to go.

Unluckily, the fad diets did not work anymore and 200 pounds turned into 210 pounds and I was not losing weight. I purchased new pants and shirts and summed the weight gain up as a side effect of getting older. To make things worse, my knees bothered me with the extra weight but once again of course they did since I was getting older.

Well, the wheels started to wobble as I was pushing 230 pounds plus and experiencing issues with my cholesterol and triglycerides. I went up another size in pants and shirts and my doctor put me on medication, diet and exercise regiment.

Finally, the wheels pretty started falling off when I was informed that my liver was failing, my weight was not dropping and if I did not make life altering decisions. Wow, history was repeating itself since my grandfather died at the age of 55 due to heart disease caused by cholesterol and triglycerides.

Needless to say, this was my “Suck It Up Buttercup Moment” and I started searching for a way to lose weight and keep it off, restore liver functions, reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, and purchase smaller shirts and pants. None of these goals were a small task considering my track record in the last ten plus (10+) years but each had to be tackled.

The most pressing issue was my liver so after researching my cholesterol and triglyceride medication, one of the side effects included liver issues so I talked my doctor into changing my medication and I stopped drinking all alcohol. Guess what, after six (6) months, my liver functions returned to normal.

In tandem with resolving my liver issue, I tried numerous methods and diets to regulate my weight since I was certain if I reduce my weight I would also resolve my cholesterol and triglyceride issues. I had limited success dropping weight but was keeping constant at around 230 pounds.

I continued to research methods to reduce weight, keep the weight off and restore my body chemistry. In July 2016, after much research I made a decision on the best course of action and decided to change my eating habits from a see food or fad food strategy to a Paleo strategy setting a start date on my 53rd birthday.

It has been over a year since I made the change and I have maintained my weight at 200 pounds even through the holiday season. It has been over six (6) months since I was removed off my cholesterol and triglyceride medications. My knees are doing much better and I have purchased smaller size clothing. Overall a big win for Paleo and myself.

What is Paleo and where does it fit in “How To Lose Weight“?

Stay tuned for future articles and I will shed further light on what Paleo is and how I used it to get to a comfortable weight of 200 pounds.

Have a safe weekend and thanks for reading,

Jay Patterson






A Paperless World – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Wishing safety and health for those in Hurricane Irma’s path. We have been lucky for many years in the US but 2017 appears to be a heavy blow year,

Who remembers when we were told that PCs would make the world paperless? Well I remember and this is my story.

In the 1980s I purchased my first computer which was a Tandy 1000EX where you had to boot off a large floppy and soon after I joined one of the first online access companies “Prodigy” which utilized a dial-up connection. I was in the Navy at the time working as a Technical Instructor and Curriculum Developer at the submarine base in New London Connecticut and we have frame systems. I like many reading this were clueless where technology was going to take us.

In 1990, I was transferred to Kings Bay Georgia to work on older Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines on the USS Canopus and was assigned to a hotel load division responsible for repair planning and estimating.

  • A hotel load division is a work center that is manned by personnel reassigned from primary duties to do a job outside of specialty.
  • Planning and estimating researched and developed all repair procedures and processes for system on submarines that were critical for maintaining life and safety.

In planning and estimating, I was exposed to PCs and a software package called Word Perfect where you did not need to use specific key strokes to indent, bold, etc. like on the mainframe systems I had worked on in the past.

Word Perfect was the most incredible tool in the world that allowed you to not only build repair packages but you could also share the work packages, review and make corrections without printing paper.

Across the kingdom was cheer and joy because life was going to be much easier since you did not need to type, review, red line, white-out and correct. It could all be done on a CRT screen and we were told the Navy would be paperless within five (5) years.

During my time in planning and estimating we made numerous attempts to move to paperless activities and we even had new fangled laptops to take to repair sites but for some reason they were float tested by the repair technicians so we could not move away from paper repair packages, Do you think they were resisting technology?

Since we could not implement a paperless society on our primary job we attempted to implement a paperless society for general administration, performance reviews, etc. Again, we were met with resistance since the approving officers were not PC proficient and wanted to review on paper. Go figure!!

It has been nearly thirty years since my initial dreams of a paperless world were dashed and although I have seen improvements in time we are still not there. Maybe the next generation will get us there?

How is your paperless world going? Wishing you the best, Jay Patterson

What Happened to My Sports Heroes – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Can you believe the 2017 National Football League (NFL) season starts tomorrow!!

2017 continues to buzz by and I have conflicting thoughts about the upcoming season and even if I want to play fantasy football this year.

What are my conflicts?

Sports have normally been a haven from politics where you could kick back, watch the game and only get miffed if a referee made a bad call or if your team just did not show up. There were blips of politics here and there but politics were normally checked at the door.

In recent years, we have experienced a significant increase in individuals wanting to make a statement at the expense of the team, fans and sport and I have an issue with that. I have become much grayer and less black and white as I have aged but I resist the motivation of bringing politics, religion, etc. to work and/or sports.

In 1994 Major Leage Baseball went on strike over unfair pay practices and other concerns and I thought it quite ironic that an MLB player was going on strike and impacting the concession employees, etc. because the millions in direct earnings and product endorsements were not enough for the professional player.

Well, I went from 1994 until this year without attending a baseball game in person and I would be shocked if I have watched 10 games in 23 years on TV. I doubt I made any impact at my level but there were more people like me out there.

So, the NFL season starts in one day, my fantasy football team is drafted, and I am uncertain if I can support an organization that allows its employees to blatantly exhibit beliefs that I may or may not agree with. Last year, I compromised with my beliefs and did not watch regular season games but played fantasy football.


When I was growing up, we had a number of students that did not stand for the Pledge Of Allegiance or the National Anthem for religious reasons so is this any different? I believe there is a difference between religious and political reasons but I must also admit that much blood spilled and lives lost to allow people the right to do as they please even if I do not agree with it,

With that said, the 1994 baseball strike is different from the politics of present day sports because greed caused the strike and conceptions and/or misconceptions are driving the current environment. I do not believe sports figures are the hero figures I had as a child but I believe they are role models that should be an example to our young in what is acceptable behavior.

In the end though, it is not the sports figures job to raise our children but ours.

You can agree or disagree with politics and religion in sports and you must decide how to deal with it fairly. I have chosen a gray line to deal with it because very little is black and white.

Have a great day,

Jay Patterson

Customer Service – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

For forty years, I have been involved in Customer Service delivery whether I knew it at the time or not. Although we have made significant strides in technology, customer service is not what it once was and I wish you luck trying to call a real person to assist you on the phone.

Prior to joining the military as a teenager I was issued my initial customer service toolkit from an 80-year-old chef at Wagonmaster’s Steakhouse, from my 25 year old small business idol who owned a Mobil service station in Jamestown North Dakota, and lastly from my mother who was my life coach until early this year.

When I talk about my initial customer service toolkit, I am talking about customer service to not only customers you directly served but customer service to people that hired and/or managed you.

I joined the military at the age of seventeen having limited options in North Dakota and no college fund to attend auto body and/or auto mechanics advanced education.

Once I was in the Navy, I did not live by the old saying of “Never Again Volunteer Yourself – Navy” and volunteers for submarine duty because I wanted the challenge and was afraid of heights so did not want to be stationed on an aircraft carrier.

I cannot give major specifics about parts of my naval career but during my career, I volunteered for must fill critical positions on or at:

  • Fast attack submarines.
  • Submarine industrial repair facilities
  • Technical education centers.
  • Squadron operations.
  • Local recruiter duty.

My goal was always to provide customer service for those I worked for, my peers, my subordinates, and end customers. Yes, there are customers in the military.
Unluckily or luckily, I retired from the Navy in 1996 due to military downsizing of the submarine force and even though I tried to go to mine sweeps, I was considered untrainable due to my career in submarines so I punched my time card and moved to civilian life.

Twenty years have passed since I retired from the Navy and during this time I have done everything from:

  • Remote field technician.
  • Trainer for field technicians.
  • Regional service manager.
  • SVP of Service, Logistics and Operations.
  • Consultant for service delivery companies.

In each of these positions, the goal was customer service for my owners/managers, peers, subordinates and end customers in the financial equipment industry.

Now we come full circle back to my point regarding customer service.

I recently visited a Waffle House restaurant and although some may think it is ironic that I am discussing customer service and Waffle House in the same sentence, they are tied together.

Our server at Waffle House was in training and the person training her was a seasoned server who was determined to provide customer service training. She was so intent on providing customer service training that I grabbed a napkin and made bullet points on what she trained her on. Specific topic training topics included:

  • Making certain that eating utensils were clean prior to placing on table.
  • Making certain the table, seats, salt and pepper shakers, etc. were wiped off.
  • Making certain that water was offered along with other drinks.
  • making sure cups were full.
  • Making certain that the order was repeated to make certain it was accurate.
  • Making certain that quality of meal and additional needs was verified after food was delivered.
  • Making certain that change was counted back making each dollar whole.

I was impressed that the time was being taken to ensure that customer service was job one at Waffle House. I will always compare all future servers to this visit when tipping and I am happy to report that customer service may not be dead.

Have a great night,

Jay Patterson

Publishers Clearing House – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

The beginning of a week of four (4) Mondays after a holiday started today and with it I will apply my thoughts on Publishers Clearing House the great American sweepstakes.

We all remember the possibility of Ed McMahon coming to our door and awarding us a million dollar prize but to this day I do not actually know anyone that has ever won the prize. I am sure it is not an urban myth but I don’t know anyone who has won.

Yesterday was the four (4) month anniversary of my mothers death and she would always fill out the paperwork for a chance to win the Publishers Clearing House million dollars from the time I was a young child until her stroke in early 2015. I always joked with her that there was no way we would win the Publishers Clearing House million but she told me if we did she would split it with everyone in the family.

After my mothers stroke in 2015, I took over the family responsibility of filling out the paperwork for Publishers Clearing House thinking perhaps her dream of winning a million dollars could be achieved if I continued the tradition. Initially, I filled out the paperwork that was mailed but wham…. there was an e-mail option that would send the info and link you to the prize submission websites.

Since early 2015, I have been submitting online sweepstakes, lottos, kenos, searches, etc., in an attempt to win the million dollar prize which has actually grown. I believe I have become addicted to these e-mails and although I have not won I will continue to keep my mothers dream alive and if I win, I will split it with the family and friends.

I find it somewhat humorous that I have selected this method to keep my mothers hopes and dreams alive but she understood the importance of financial security in helping you live a happy life.

Have a great, quintastic day and I miss you mom.


Is There A Gray Ceiling? Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I have always believed that with age you gain wisdom, respect and the ability to take advantage of these skills when making a career change. Perhaps I am old-fashioned or naive but there appears to be a slight Gray Ceiling that we bump into and it has only occurred to me in the last couple years.

Some Gray Ceiling Indications are subtle and some are not so subtle. These include:

  • Over qualified.
  • Low compensation offered when qualified for position.
  • Not trainable.
  • Bored doing this job.
  • Technology challenges,

I have never been one to sit back and accept artificial limitations and I have always been a cup half full person so this was basically a call to throw down the gloves and do everything in my power to re-package myself.

There are numerous articles, blogs, books regarding how to re-invent/re-package yourself and I chose to do the following:

  1. Update your Linked In profile if you have one, build a Linked In account if you don’t have one.
    1. My Linked In profile was not complete even though I have been a member for years.
  2. Revise your resume and if needed build different versions of your resume.
    1. I have multiple resumes based on the opportunity I am looking at and I have a watered down resume that is less than two (2) pages for generic submissions.
  3. Obtain quick reference letters or statements and add to your resume package, profiles, etc. Make them a mixture of people you have worked for, worked with and worked for you.
    1. I have references spanning 20 plus years for trending.
  4. Brush up on current technology and software packages.
    1. Being able to talk the talk that is half the battle.
  5. Feel good about yourself and get over your hang ups.
    1. Eat better, sleep better, participate in fun activities, volunteer, contact people you have not spoken to for extended periods, start a journal, work out, etc…
  6. Bring your “A Game” to online applications, phone interviews, and in person interviews.
    1. With technology, the job hunt has become very impersonal so you need to shine whenever possible.
  7. Most importantly, the world has changed so you need to Network, Network, Network and if that is not enough, network some more.
    1. I have contacted numerous old contacts and have added many new contacts during this endeavor.

I am not saying there is age discrimination but I am saying it is more difficult to find a position when you are Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen so pull out the stops and put your best foot forward.

It is not my goal to work for someone else my entire career but until I am able to devote 100% of my time, debt free to an independent career I will do what it takes to make it a little closer to that goal including re-inventing/re-packaging myself.

I am not a professional writer and I am not a guru but I like many of you have years of experience blowing into my sails and believe there is a place for us in our current work environment.

Wishing everyone the best… Jay

Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen – 50 Plus Going On 15