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Managing a business from within the CHOP

By Wm. May
Published: 06/29/20 Topics: Government Comments: 0

Anarchists in Capitol Hill Occupant Zone CHOP Seattle, WA
Self Appointed Anarchists at CHOP

It has been local, national and even international news. After numerous marches for Black Lives Matter, confrontations with police took place at barricades literally one floor below our offices in Seattle's vibrant Capitol Hill Neighborhood. (You can see our Orange building in the photo.)

The protests and participants have organized themselves first into CHAZ, the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone which morphed into CHOP, the Capital Hill Opposition Protest. Our family lives just 3 blocks away so working and living here has become a nightmare.

Ours is a administration office for a network of vacation rental management companies, inns and resorts located mostly around Washington State and Idaho. Staff do accounting, advertising, reservations and software engineering.

The building is what might be called an "art loft" building built first as an automobile dealership a century ago, with 20 foot ceilings and huge windows overlooking a lovely park. Unlike downtown skyscrapers, the space offers peace and calm for a staff here long hours 7 days a week.

The neighborhood has always been the focus of groups marching for multiple causes. Minorities of all types, those opposed to the military, and those supporting gay rights march outside our door multiple times each year. Twenty years ago during the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Seattle, riots erupted.

Then, we lived about a dozen blocks away but even from that distance each night I was heart broken to see my 8 year old son frightened to hear the screaming, yelling and flash bang devices used to drive away self described anarchists.

My conclusion then was that no one, absolutely no one, has the right to make him feel that way, regardless of their reasons. I did not imagine it would happen here again.

Dr. Martin Luther King and his contemporaries made a point of never chanting when they marched, for fear that adrenalin rushes would cause participants or the police to become violent. Silence is golden, while vicious noise and anger do nothing for the cause.

This time however, in Seattle and elsewhere, with the outrage over the killing of George Floyd and others, the chanting, screaming and profanity outside our windows made it difficult to do our jobs. Most staff members were working from home due to Covid-19.

Vicious riots began in Seattle's downtown, just 2 miles from our location. Citizens were shocked at the destruction, theft and violence. Police responded to the relief of many people but were denounced by individual protestors.

Having been driven out of downtown, the marchers converged on our neighborhood to confront the police who then set up barricades. Seemingly 24 hours a day, for days on end, protestors displaying an unbridled anger and aggressiveness, pushing forward until someone - police or protestors - made the confrontation violent usually at night. In addition to well-meaning protestors surely anarchists and other trouble makers were attracted to the chaos.

Police employed tear gas, flash bang devices and large numbers of officers to cause the crowds to disperse. Eventually, over the objection of the police chief, the Mayor gave orders to abandon the precinct building and have the officers run away.

For we essential workers, being on the second floor gave us some safety, but we felt compelled to sneak into the building each morning and depart each night from the opposite side of the block. At night self-proclaimed armed men challenging workers coming and going. Some demanded money from businesses.

As soon as the police fled. a large group of people block streets, defaced every building the area, and took over the Cal Anderson park that lays directly below my window. People are camping in the park, tearing up lawns to build gardens. Hawkers are out selling or giving away food, T-shirts and who knows what.

In the past few days there have been 7 shootings, 2 people killed and 2 in critical condition. Parents of victims, are pleading with protestors to go home, as is the Mayor, the police chief and a coalition of African American clergy. Unfortunately some city council people are justifying the violence due to "systemic racism".

Before this began I enjoyed strolling through our lovely park on my way to work. Now I avoid the park because it saddens me to see bums building campfires in the emptied kiddie wadding pools.

At night I hear gun shots, fireworks and constant chanting from over 3 blocks away. As loud explosions wake me at 3 or 4am I can only wonder what else is next. Is there no law or order?

I have enjoyed living in this small neighborhood in this big city. I grew up in a small town and now for the first time ever, I am plotting how to get back to places where sensibility abounds.

Today CHOP's territory is slowly decreasing. Some barricades have been removed. The number of participants has eroded. Police hope to reoccupy their precinct but are going slow to not offend anyone.

It makes me wonder, why those who have been victimized feel its their right to victimize others. I want to support the needs of everyone, but by using violence and employing anarchy they are harming their own cause.

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Author: Wm. May
Blog #: 0766 – 06/29/20

Be Nice to People on Your Way Up

By Wm. May
Published: 01/09/20 Topics: Advertising, Business, Communications, Reputation Comments: 0

My father and Maya Angelou didn't know each other but they thought very much alike. It took a very large business client to make me put the dots together and realize a fundamental rule. Read more Leave comments

Wisdom from Catherine the Great

By Wm. May
Published: 01/09/17 Topics: Education, Gratitude, People, Self Improvement Comments: 1

She had an undeniable presence, a commanding personality, an elegance with words. She had worked in difficult situations and been a force for good. Then she schooled me in how to be and how to try. Read more Leave comments

Hating Groups of People Is Ignorant

By Wm. May
Published: 01/09/17 Topics: Comments: 0

Father Bob Camusso came to the priesthood late, focusing on the most fundamental of Christianity. My natural father Richard May lives his life by the fundamentals of Christianity. Here is why I wish they could have met to help solve today's world problems. Read more Leave comments

Server Crash All Night Bash

By William May
Published: 03/25/16 Topics: Self Improvement Comments: 0

At 1am, a warning text message buzzes on my phone. One or more of the computer network servers is down. Not working. Kaput.

With luck it is just a glitch, that a simple setting or a simple reboot will solve. It happens, so I'm out the door, in the car and down to our data center.

But this time, the server will not re-start, the indictor lights look suspicious. You try again and finally realize this puppy is toast. As in maybe ready for the scrape heap.

Websites are down, business is being missed and all is at risk. Contingencies have been made against the loss of data but not all backups are perfect. You never know if they work until you need to restore them.

And you hope to never have to test the restoring.

Luckily you have a spare server but swapping all the data is a problem, and a re-install of the operating system is also in order. Tricky stuff maybe, but tricky enough to bring in an expert.

By now its 2AM and time to call the System Administrator, get him out of bed, into his car and down to the office.

When he arrives at 3AM his first words are, "Why are you here?"

And I reply, "My Dad said to."

"What are you talking about?, he says and walks off toward the server room.

He doesn't know my Dad owned a truck repair shop and he doesn't know that my Dad often got calls from truck drivers frantic for a repair in the wee hours of the morning. He doesn't know my Dad always helped even when there was little or no money in it.

As a young child I did not understand, why my Dad would always go to the shop if he had to call a mechanic to go to the shop. As a child, I didn't keep track of time but I knew they often stayed there late into the night.

As an adult, now I understand. I know my Dad was not a mechanic. I know he probably wasn't much help to the mechanics.

Or was he?

All work goes easier with help. Helping hands make light work. All work goes faster when you know others appreciate your work. All work becomes a joy if you decided to make it so.

So as I watched the server's being swapped last night. I saw the Administrator go through a myriad of complicated operating system settings, then test and retest the system. I had little to offer.

But as the system administrator left the office some hours later having put everything right, he stopped to say, "I appreciate that you stayed."

"No problem", I said, "My Dad said to."

My dad always said "No problem" to just about everything and then he always smiled.

The military says leaders lead from the front. Honor says to never asked others to do what you would not be willing to do. Fair play demands helping when not asked.



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Author: William May, MayPartners
Blog #: 0499 – 03/25/16

Assumptions Make Everyone Equally Unhappy

By William May
Published: 02/27/16 Topics: Self Improvement Comments: 0

This age old cliché succinctly explains the problem with assuming things without stopping to check the facts and why it makes others so unhappy. Read more Leave comments

The Genius Truck Mechanic

By William May
Published: 11/11/15 Topics: Boats, Self Improvement Comments: 0

Wisdom can come from a professor, a teacher a mentor and sometimes from a truck mechanic. Learn how to focus and concentrate. And maybe how not to collaborate. Read more Leave comments

Christmas Trees Endanger the World

By William May
Published: 01/17/15 Topics: Government Comments: 0

This is not a story about prohibiting Christmas trees from governmental property due to freedom of religion restrictions. Instead, it’s a new taking of your ability to put a Christmas Tree in the lobby of privately owned condo buildings, restaurants and more. Geeeesh. Is nothing sacred? Read more Leave comments

Crowing about VRA Mobile Websites

By William May
Published: 11/01/14 Topics: Comments: 0

It may not sound earth shaking but Redstone Systems, creator of the HelpBook.me software has just added their evolutionary new mobile websites to their system and has donated the capability to the VRA.org website and those that use VRMLS.org. Check it on your mobile phone now. Read more Leave comments

Outdoors-For-All, the Heroes Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: 0

Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more Leave comments

Crowing About Our New Mobile Website

By William May
Published: 05/01/14 Topics: Comments: 0

It may not sound earth-shaking but Redstone Systems, creator of the HelpBook.me software has just added their evolutionary new mobile websites to our system. Check it on your mobile phone now. Read more Leave comments

Netiquette - How to Write an Email

By William May
Published: 07/18/12 Topics: Comments: 0

RSVP: Not everyone remembers what this means, but if you need a response include it and/or remind the user to respond such as "Please let me know your thoughts one way or the other." Read more Leave comments

Oh No, Mount Rainier Has Disappeared

By William May
Published: 04/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0

Mount Rainier disappeared today. Poof. Gone. I looked up and it was missing from the horizon. Reminded me of the day, 20 years ago, when Mount Saint Helens disappeared. Read more Leave comments

Twas the Night before Vacation Rental Christmas

By Jan Covey
Published: 12/31/11 Topics: Comments: 0

The Christmas and New Years Holidays are a big season in almost every vacation rental market. Read how one plucky manager gets through the hub bub. Read more Leave comments

Remembering the "Thank You" Game

By William May
Published: 09/01/09 Topics: Comments: 0

Surprises are great. And thank you's are best. In an industry like property management that requires attention to detail, constant supervision and reconciliation of occasionally conflicting goals between guests and owners it is too easy to forget the little personal things that make life worth liv Read more Leave comments

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