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Worth It Memories of Summertime Freedom and Work
I’ve been working for MicroTech since I was just 12 years old, but not in the way one would expect the owner’s son to have worked. During my junior high school years, I was tasked with spending endless hours cleaning and scrubbing the typewriters at the various schools around Boise. To this day, I’m grateful I had the very modern, very hip Walkman to keep me company during an otherwise boring and tedious job. It was the only thing that made those days bearable. At least when I was 14 years old and had my driver’s license, I was able to branch out and drive to different businesses to clean their typewriters. Somehow this was just a little better than being jammed into a stuffy, quiet classroom for hours. These days were a far cry from the summer days I had prior to junior high school. Back then, both of my parents would head off to work, and I would be left to do pretty much whatever I wanted. When I was little, we had a babysitter, but as I grew older, my parents only had neighbors check in on me when they could. Regardless of who I spent it with or what I did, summer was all about freedom. I feel lucky enough to have been born during a time when cellphones weren’t even invented yet and video games weren’t that readily available. This meant my summers were spent doing nothing in particular but doing it all outside. We would ride our bikes around the neighborhood or go fishing with friends, and I will always remember cruising around with kids I lived by, relishing the three months of freedom we had.
After my brief — albeit boring — tenure with MicroTech, I went to work for my uncle during my high school summers. My uncle owned a floor covering store, so I would spend summers tearing up the carpet and tile, shuttling those items to the dump, and cleaning the floors. Experts would later come in and lay new flooring, but I was in charge of all the nitty-gritty, gross tear-up. I remember endless blisters and knee- breaking work all day long. Between typewriter cleaning and the physical labor of tearing up carpet, I pretty much knew I wanted to go to college and land a job that didn’t involve this level of tedious work. Those jobs were important and still are, but they were not meant for me. I guess I have my uncle and father to thank for that lesson. Today we go on one summer family vacation, my wife and I try to get a trip in together, and we have our traditional paddle down the waterways with the whole family. However, now that our children are growing up, I joke that Keri and I are preparing for our empty-nester life. Our eldest daughter is home from college this summer, but between her job schedule and our middle daughter’s work schedule, we can’t just get up and go camping quite as easily as we used to. It’s been a weird transition, and I’m sure my kids miss their summers of total freedom, too. But if my summers of sweating over old tile and carpets or cleaning sticky typewriter keys taught me anything, it’s that a little back-breaking work is worth the pain.
But as I got older, summer became more about responsibility.
COMMON BRANDING MISTAKES That Can Torpedo Your Company’s Image
Bland Branding “Branding is deliberate differentiation,” says author and consultant Debbie Millman. In other words, don’t create your brand by copying somebody else’s. The best brands stand out. Think about the iconic Nike swoosh, one of the greatest logos in business history. There was nothing like it at the time, and there’s little like it today. Sloppy Copy Branding is far more than just a cool logo and a flashy website. The words you use to convey your values — and the value you offer customers — are crucial. Bad grammar, weird word choice, and other linguistic faux pas can make you look silly. Make sure you have professional editors look over your copy to ensure it relays the message you want it to. Platform Inconsistency Have you ever logged onto a mobile version of a website and wondered if you were in the wrong place? When that happens, it’s because a company hasn’t made the effort to mirror their branding across all platforms. It’s one thing to have an irreverent online presence — look to MoonPie’s Twitter feed for an example — it’s another to have such disparate branding that you leave customers confused. A great brand synergizes all aspects to create one indelible image for consumers. Share your values, convey clear messages, and provide a professional image. Once you’ve done that, you’re on the road to building a brand that people want to support.
The value of a strong brand cannot be overstated when it comes to growing your business. We call adhesive bandages Band-Aids and cotton swabs Q-Tips because those companies excel at creating memorable, trusted brands that consumers can rely on. There’s no recipe for creating a brand so strong that the name of your product becomes common vernacular, but developing a strong, consistent brand is within the reach of every business owner. This is why it’s frustrating to see companies hurt their branding through easily avoidable mistakes. Business owners often deprioritize branding in the early stages of their company, but that’s a dangerous mistake. If a potential customer interacts with your brand and it doesn’t resonate with them, it’s going to be hard to win them back. By avoiding these common errors, you can create a brand that people will support and interact with.
See What Our Customers Are Saying
“We always experience great customer service and very quick responses to our calls! All the employees are extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgable.” -Karli Sprague
At MicroTech Systems, our mission to provide five-star IT service wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated employees. Whether they have been with us for decades or weeks, we appreciate their commitment. We want to thank the following employees for their service as we celebrate their work anniversaries. Stuart: 14 years We look forward to more years to come!
Are You Settling?
THREE SIGNS THAT POINT TO MEDIOCRE IT SERVICE
There’s Zero Communication One of the biggest indicators of the value of an IT company can be found in how they communicate with you. Your system should be consistently monitored by an IT company, and they need to be the ones to alert you to any problems. The person you work with should respond swiftly and be familiar to you. After all, they are monitoring a system that houses some of your most vital personal or professional information! If you struggle to get answers, only get reactions from your service provider when you alert them, or don’t even know who to contact within the company, then you are paying for poor-quality IT. Their Customer Service Slouches Seeking IT service can be daunting, especially when you know next to nothing about technology. Despite their vast knowledge, your IT professionals should not be condescending or rude to you when you seek help. You should not feel like a bother when you request service, and your conversations should be helpful, not short. Don’t be swindled by poor customer service of mediocre IT. To learn more about how MicroTech Systems’ five-star IT service can provide you with the service you deserve, visit MicroTechBoise.com or call (208) 345-0054.
When you pay for IT service, you expect your devices and vital information to remain secure. No one pays for a service with the intention of the job not getting done, but when you’re not an expert, it can be difficult to realize when you are being short-changed by your mediocre IT service. Below are three common characteristics of lazy IT service providers to help you avoid a costly pitfall. It’s Not What You Anticipated Hiring a third-party IT company allows your technological services to be met without having to beg for service. But if you’re taking more initiative than your IT service provider, you’re wasting your money. Signs of this include finding yourself more involved in your IT services than you wanted or expected to be or not having confidence in your provider’s services. Additionally, if you manage your IT issues on your own because it’s easier than contacting your provider, you deserve to find a better service.
Have a Laugh!
Austrian Potato Salad
Whether or not your friends are vegan, we’re willing to bet they’ll enjoy this mayo-free version of potato salad much more than the standard variety.
• • • •
2 lbs. small potatoes 1 medium white onion 1/2 cup pickled gherkins 3 tsp whole grain mustard
• • •
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp garlic powder Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Bring a medium stockpot of salted water to a boil. 2. Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 20–30 minutes. 3. In the meantime, finely chop onion and gherkins. 4. When potatoes are done cooking, strain and place in large salad bowl with onion and gherkins.
5. For dressing, whisk together
mustard, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. It’s best to add oil gradually at the end.
6. Dress salad and let sit for 15 minutes to absorb flavor before serving.
Inspired by FoodNetwork.com
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12592 W. Explorer Dr. #100 Boise, ID 83713
Summers in Boise
Are You Ruining Your Brand?
The Signs of a Mediocre IT
Austrian Potato Salad
Make Yourself Heard With ‘Fierce Conversations’
‘Fierce Conversations’ Learn How to Get Your Message Across
So often, we talk to our friends, coworkers, and loved ones without actually saying anything. We’ll beat around the bush on important subjects or hesitate to bring up sensitive matters. Global business coach and best-selling author Susan Scott has set out to change that. In her book “Fierce Conversations,” Scott argues that the key to get more out of our personal and professional relationships is to learn to lower our barriers and convey our message honestly. “Fierce Conversations” is one of those works born out of a simple idea with big implications. As the author explains it, “While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation can.” By having the communication skills necessary to create lasting bonds, handle strong emotions, and overcome barriers, you’ll be prepared when crucial conversations present themselves. Those who tend to judge a book by its cover may make the mistake of associating the word “fierce” with “aggressive.” However, as a master of meaningful communication, Scott has found that it’s important not to force emotions one way or the other. As she observes, “If
your behavior contradicts your values, your body knows.” Instead of relying on fake bravado or false modesty, the author argues it’s better that the bravery be genuine. Breaking down those social barriers to be authentic in our conversations takes true ferocity.
Scott does more than simply explain why frank and honest
communication is important; she gives readers the tools to get there. Having spent years as a business coach, and now as the head of a firm that trains CEOs around the globe, Scott is well-versed in the art of teaching exercises. “Fierce Conversations” is brimming with action items, tactics, and tailor-made examples of how to communicate in every situation, from board meetings to parenting. If you’re someone who likes concrete guides over vague concepts, this book will pleasantly surprise you.
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