Career advice from Ray & Carol

October 30, 2010

Dear Carol and Ray,

People are spreading rumours that I am an untrustworthy, obsessed and unbalanced person.

Should I write a book or continue to be black-balled?



(false) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

September 16, 2010

Is preying on a military  family’s post-service vulnerability the sign of insincerity per se?

From a New York Times classified ad:

Come join a network that has pioneered and led the industry for 30 years. The UPS Store is the #1 Business and Postal Services Franchise for the 20th consecutive year (2010 Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 500 Franchise List). The UPS Store is the #1 most popular franchise with veterans in the IFA’s Vet-Fran Program (2008 International Franchise Association). With over 4300 The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations nationwide, our network continues to lead the market.

Baiting the Fish: Note how Cialdini’s “Weapons of Influence” are used to lure pensions and life savings capital:

  1. New York Times (authority of a traditional media outlet),
  2. Entrepreneur magazines’ Top 500 franchises (McMedia: authority for the unskilled and unaware),
  3. 30 years… (franchisor success means individual franchisees will succeed, see Dunning-Kruger above),
  4. Vet-Fran program (liking: acceptance, a member of the fraternity, endorsed/vetted by the “government”),
  5. International Franchise Association (expertise/authority, funded 100% by franchisors and their friends), and are especially
  6. vulnerable to the authority siren song from 2 directions: vivid, personal success born from supporting a strict command-control structure  while lacking the airy-fairy concept of discerning legitimate from illegitimate sources of authority.

Vets believe very strongly that people get what they deserve in this life (Just World fallacy) and would, therefore, strongly but heavily discount any non-authority based advice on a pre-sale basis. Going on “civvy street” is one of  life’s major transitions involving new/strange: work, employer, location, one/two incomes, schools, income levels, physical/mental challenges, diminished family/friend support.

Setting the Hook: The next marketing stage is an “exclusive” invitation to a very sophisticated, one-day seminar at head office (a “discovery day”). Just like in a gambling casino, these environments are very, very well thought-out, for one side’s benefit only. A real investigative journalist (John Lorinc) published an excellent description of this circus in a real media outlet (The Globe and Mail) in 2000. The Sure Thing describes the extremely effective individual and social psychology that allows predatory franchising to flourish in plain sight.

I’m glad to know great spirits like Peter Thomas or Carol Cross who, by making wise choices for their future, help me make mine.

Samuel Johnson 1709 – 1784

Nazis burned books 70 years ago. Fishy blocks writers/viewers today?

November 16, 2009

DeadFishAustraliadead fish’s reputation washed up on the shores of Australia last week.

Carol Cross is a friend of mine.

She drives me crazy at times with her repetition. But, then again, I irritate people too. 🙂

I allow anyone to post on FranchiseFool. Carol tells me she is still banned from contributing at the

This is unacceptable to me.

Carol cannot even see The Fish on her computer: that’s right, she’s that blocked. This is wrong on so many levels.

It’s not wrong because she’s my friend: It’s evil because she is  a person. Plus a citizen of the greatest democracy on earth. A veteran’s wife. A former franchisee invest0r.

This is  offensive to anyone that ever believed in the right of free speech, natural justice, military honour, the rule of law, democracy…

If you feel you “have to” block, censor, gag or burn books, you better take another look at your business model.

And, I suggest, the “friends” you have as advisors.

Any industry that can be shown to be fascists by an  little old lady isn’t deserving of any investment, let alone respect.

PS: I was stopped for a day (Nov 12, 2009) as a registered contributor to The Fish last week. I’ve put up with 1,001 cheap shot comments for a full 3 years (459 points) now. I have no fishy, behind-the-scenes telephone calls: I never explain or complain or apologize. I had to post as a Guest and was reinstated for a day.

My offense?  I wrote and posted a very valid post (I think) about economic fascism (Arguments in the Service of Power (subjective truth)) that was clearly addressed to Ray Borradale in Australia. I intentionally hid the Hitler, Goebbels and Mussolini quotes. I wonder when the post will be deleted? Good thing I captured it beforehand.

If anyone else alive or brain-dead took offence to having their behaviour compared to fascists…well..if the show fits…

Then the fish goes ahead and wears it.

That post and and 16 McLuhan quotes were thrown into the fish’s text ghetto: Ranter’s Soapbox, Way Off Topic Posts.  This is where all politically honest objective truth posts are put.

I was reinstated and my posts exist (for now). Some old lady named Carol is still is banned from the fish. I tested the waters, intentionally, one day after Canada’s Remembrance Day. My parents both fought and my Uncle Neil died resisting historical Nazis in WWII. I was not going to be bullied by a Guest troll.

You decide if totalitarianism is alive or dead in franchising today. Who is crooked, misleading and/or tyrants?

Either way, your comments are welcomed.

Little Caesars: Ist U.S. discount program Imported for Canadian military veterans

January 9, 2009


Canada has always been the first country that U.S. franchise systems export their concepts.

Congratulations to for catching the product of two press releases this week:

  1. U.S. franchises may lose 10,000 locations and
  2. Little Caesars Pizza Announces Industry-Leading Franchise Program for Canadian Veterans.

1. The International Franchise Association, IFA which bills itself as “ the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising” is quoted as saying:

The national group estimates the number of franchise establishments will decline by 1.2 percent this year, or an estimated 10,000 locations…Franchise closings will cost 207,000 jobs this year, the group says.

This report is interesting to those 1st time business investors risking their life savings as a civilian because the IFA both:

  1. funded this 2009 economic forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers and
  2. is the industry association which is controlled by the sellers of franchises (eg. franchisors).

The IFA promotes a veterans program called VetFran in America which I wrote  about in July. Carol Cross and I share both a similar military/franchising background and a little bit more than ambivalent view of this marketing program.

Little Ceasars while participating in the IFA/VetFran program in the United States, offers a discount from $10,000 to $68,000 for a business that has a startup cost of $50,000 to $150,000 and a total investment of $185,050 to $519,000. Source

2. To the best of my knowledge, Little Caesars is the 1st franchisor to offer a program (with a difference) to Canadian retiring military personnel. Their press release states:

The Little Caesars Veterans Program was launched by Little Caesars in the U.S. in 2006 and is making a difference for veterans,” said Richard Greville, general manager and vice president, Little Caesars of Canada, “Little Caesars wants to provide a similar opportunity to Canadian veterans…

The Same with a little Difference:  Little Caesars will give a bigger discount if the veteran is “medically released“. Actually, if you qualify, you can get up to a $35,000  discount rather than the $10,000 for able-bodied Canadian soldiers.

  • That is a 250% bump in discount franchise sales qualifies under the joint Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada, Transition Assistance Program, TAP.

The press release states:

Little Caesars has developed relationships with the Transition Assistance Program (T.A.P. part of the Department of National Defense [sic] – Veterans Affairs Canada Centre for the support of injured veterans and their families), Veterans Affairs Canada and Right Management (a job placement partnership contracted by Veterans Canada to help honorably released veterans transitioning to work in civilian life).

Please note the difference in range of discounts (U.S v. CDN) while being silent on both the CDN startup costs and total investments. Little Caesars Canada appears not to be a member of the Canadian Franchise Association, CFA and therefore chooses not to, necessarily,…

“…abide by this Code of Ethics and to further the Associations goals in encouraging and promoting ethical franchising in Canada” [Quote].

Followup: When I called Veterans Affairs Canada at 866-522-2122, they knew nothing of this program but were very helpful. A call to the TAP (800-883-6094) has not been returned just yet.

  • The Honourable Peter MacKay is the current Minister of National Defence.

I will be following this discounting to Canadian military veterans very, very closely.

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