Technological Woes

blog Dec 09, 2010

I love technology. In fact, I could be called a geek. (And I have been quite a number of times!) I got a cell phone in 1997 before most people. In marketing, I would be considered an “early adopter” (look mom and dad that USC degree paid off!). Lately, I have been having some technical difficulties. I’ve noticed that all the new cell phones have either touch screens or tiny little keyboards like the iPhone or the Blackberry. I have a hard time dialing a cell phone with big old numbers as it is. About a month ago, I dropped my cell phone on the floor and when I went to pick it up, I ran over it with my 300 pound chair (not including my weight). I saw that the screen was all funky. (And when I say funky, I mean screwed up!) I put up with my problem for another month when I ran over it again. Now…let me explain. I’ve had a cell phone since ‘97, and never once ran over it. Sure, I dropped it a few times, but never ran over it. On a side note, I have...

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blog Dec 03, 2010

Lately there has been much news about the new TSA measures to make us safer and many people are upset because they say that it violates their rights or they’re embarrassed.  Yes, going through forced security is a hassle, but that’s all it is, a hassle.  Being disabled is a hassle every day...but I get through it.

I travel quite a bit and I'm willing to wager that there's a good chance my travels might be somewhat more involved than yours.  (Notice I said involved not harder.)  I’m telling you this not because I'm trying to elicit sympathy or make you feel bad for me, but because I want you to say to yourself next time you’re in an airport and frustrated about security and delayed flights, at least I don’t have to go through what the guy in the chair goes through. Another thing: remember, I’m Middle Eastern.  Strike two!

After I make my reservation, I have to call the airport and let them know that I have an electric...

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Giving Thanks

blog Nov 23, 2010 Rich and I had a weekly column on the USC football blog in the 2008-2009 season.  Every Thanksgiving, I would make a list of everything I was thankful for; it was a good idea then...and I guess it’s a good idea now.  So, I would like to continue this tradition on both Random Thoughts From the Chair

This year was an amazing year and I have a lot to be thankful for.  So without further ado, here we go:

  • Buying my first house
  • My amazing trips
  • The California Lottery
  • My Mom’s friend and co-worker Thao, who bought the lottery ticket
  • My friendships
  • The Lakers, who won the Championship
  • My new manager Kristi, who puts up with me every day
  • My award from Looking Beyond
  • DVR service “ one of the best inventions ever!
  • All my friends
  • My sister Sanaz, who gets to get spoiled
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blog Nov 18, 2010

If I tell you, describe to me spontaneity, you would probably describe someone who is always ready to do something like drive to Vegas in the middle of the night, which by the way I have done before. (I had a bad day, give me a break.)

I have a unique interpretation of spontaneity. I believe the definition of spontaneity is doing what you want, when you want, and how you want. Often times my disability forces me to plan extensively. My friends can’t just call me up and ask me to meet them here or there. (By the way, why is LA the only metropolitan city without a decent public transportation system?) Also, the idea of being spontaneous for me is just being able to hop in the shower or get a glass of water whenever I feel like. Every night before I go to bed, someone has to put a glass of water next to my bed so if I get thirsty during the night I don't have to wake anybody up. It’s like putting out water for the dog. In my creative work, I can’t always get an idea...

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blog Nov 11, 2010

In the beginning of any professional or personal relationship, expectations are formed. Once those expectations are formed, some of them may become persistent for future behavior. For example, let’s say a man starts dating a woman and for the first couple months often takes her out for one hundred dollar dinners. All of a sudden, one night, they decide to order in. No matter how down to earth the woman is, she will be a little disappointed. Not out of any snobbery, but because she is too used to the precedence of going out to a lavish dinner every week.

In business, it’s the same issue. A manager needs to be a little difficult in the beginning to set the tone of their professional relationships. It’s a lot easier to loosen up after some time, but it’s much more difficult to tighten the reigns once the precedence has been set.

At the beginning of any relationship, we all want to be the nice guy (okay, maybe not everybody). We want to show off how cool we are....

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THE VASSEGHI FAMILY STORY Love, Luck & a 175 Million-to-1 Jackpot

blog Nov 04, 2010

This week I’m going to do something a little bit different on my blog. My good friend and collaborator Jay Lavender wrote an amazing piece about my family.

Jay and I met through Dean Ellis at USC, who was a professor of marketing when I went there. I expressed to Dean Ellis that I wanted to write a book and ten years ago next month he introduced me to Jay. Jay is an accomplished screenwriter who wrote the 2006 movie The Break-up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn.

So what happened to my family this summer? My mom actually won the California Lottery. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for the last few months. My friend Jay wanted to launch a company called ""> to tell stories through different media. When I told him about my Mom, he called his friend and said, I guess it’s time to launch the website. Last week he did it with an amazing story of perseverance about my family for...

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blog Oct 28, 2010

I love ribs but to be honest they’re hard to eat for anybody, nevertheless someone like me who needs assistance eating. Whenever I feel like ribs, I ask the waiter or the waitress if they could take the ribs straight off the bone. Most reply that they can’t do it. There is only one restaurant nearby that will accommodate my quirky need--that is Woodranch Grill. (If I’m going to talk about a good experience, I might as well give them a shout out!) Once in Vegas, I went to the Excalibur Steak House and to my surprise, they cut the rib right off the bone. The next day, I won quite a bit of money and went there again, taking three other people. In subsequent trips to Vegas, I went there again and again. One time I went there and to my disappointment, they changed their menu and they no longer had ribs, but I didn’t care. I was bummed...but it was okay.

In 2007, I took a trip to Vegas with 15 guys. And where, do you...

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blog Oct 21, 2010

If you asked me a year ago what I thought of patience I would have responded that patience was overrated. I would then say that patient people are not in a hurry to live their lives, but in the last couple months I have reconsidered my answer. Patience is not standing around forever waiting for the perfect situation to present itself. Patience is about weighing all your options and sleeping on it for a couple days. In the past, I used to be a shoot-from-the-hip kind of guy. I used to choose emotion over logic to guide my decisions. I believe that one needs both, working together, in order to make the right decisions. When I used to get drafts of marketing materials back from my designer, I would immediately look it over for five minutes then call him back to make changes. Now, I look at it once, give myself two or three days, and then call him with my comments. One day I had a conversation with a consultant who I was thinking of hiring. She got me excited about working with her,...

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blog Oct 14, 2010

For some reason or another people don’t say please, thank you, or I’m sorry. These words are very powerful and can make a relationship stronger and can actually make anyone more successful in the long run. A couple years ago, Citibank had a campaign where random people would say thank you for mundane acts of kindness. Recipients of the simple thank you were shocked. People just don’t say thank you enough in this day and age. As a disabled person, I need a lot of help. I see getting help as a gift, not a right. In college, I had many assistants and often times I would just say, you know, your help means a lot to me, even though it was their job to help me out. That extra act of gratitude made much difference. I did not say thank you just to score points, I meant it, because without those people I could not get anything done. The same thing applies to the word please because the word please implies a sense of appreciation in advance. Even if you are the boss, it...

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blog Oct 08, 2010

After I speak or after someone reads my book, one of the most frequent comments that I get is that they are embarrassed of complaining. Now, do I believe them? Of course not. Complaining is a part of life. If you are growing as a person, or as a professional, there will be problems and issues that are going to tick you off. If you don’t find a way to deal with your feelings you will blow up.

For the sake of this article, there are three kinds of complaining and guess what? Two of them are actually healthy. (Imagine that! A motivational speaker that says complaining is OK.) Let’s start first off with the bad kind. This sucks and no matter what I do, this is not going to get any better. In this scenario, you are playing the victim. You’re not taking any responsibility for anything. You’re basically throwing in the towel and accepting defeat.

The second type is this sucks but here’s what I’m going to do to rectify it. One time, I got an email from a...

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