Here are some of my random thoughts on things – some of which may actually translate into investment strategy.

First, gasoline around my house is no longer creeping higher. It has jumped higher with regular pushing 2.70 and premium at 2.97. Yes, three bucks for the picky eaters.

Oil went from an indicator of the health of the economy (weak demand for energy from a weak economy) and now that it is at 66 per barrel (from 35 just 12 or 14 weeks ago) I would say that it is starting to become a drag once again.

One more time = I say “there goes the deflation argument.”

The next musing is about customer service. Have we not learned that the customer is precious at all times and in these times especially? I have no specific beef here so you can channel your own on the customer front. Although, I still wonder how big doctors’ balls really are by the way they create a built in wait time.

Don’t tell me it is because patients don’t show. I know they don’t. But how about a phone call to let us know how late they are running? For g-d’s sake, the airlines do it and they deal with thousands of passengers every hour. Surely the solo doc can have his/her receptionist make the call. They already call they day before the appointment to confirm, don’t they.

Finally, the way employers treat employees still gets me. With so many at risk for losing their jobs, employers might feel that they are in the driver’s seat. Don’t give me lip! Get back to work!

From what I’ve read, the truly enlightened companies are trying to keep their employees so that they will be ready to hit the ground running when the economy turns around. Cut back hours. Cut back hiring. But cutting an entire employee means the need to invest in retraining later.

Yes, I am out of my area on this economic stuff but it just boggles the mind how some employees can piss off their top producers with ancient management methods. This goes right back to the bottom line, doesn’t it, when the top guns peddle their wares elsewhere.

My customers have my cell phone number and can count on personal service for questions and problems – period. I know who’s boss.