We all agree that many inequities exist in our society. They appear in wealth distribution, human rights, health, physical appearance, and countless other areas. With all the imbalances of today's world, it is often pretty tough to discern what is "sane" and "normal."

I'm currently enthralled by the research of the University of Maryland's Dr. John P. Robinson, who has recently announced the results of his "The Americans' Use of Time" project. This all-encompassing study indicated how 2,500 adults felt about 200 everyday activities, ranking them from "likes" to "dislikes." At the top of the list for favorite activities are sex and sports. At the bottom of the list, for the perennial least favorite, are "going to the dentist" and "waiting for the car to be repaired." (They need a study to come up with this info?)

It reminds me of the Sid Gillman story in the '70s when he was the Houston Oiler coach, watching game films with his then-assistant, Bum Phillips.

Gillman, well-known for his passion and devotion to football, remarked, "This is better than making love."

Phillips then quipped, "Either I don't know how to watch film, or you don't know how to make love."

Perspective is what we all need.

The fleet manager's responsibilities may not reach the excitement level, of sex and sports, but no one ever promised they would. What our new comprehensive compensation study indicates is that inequities do exist in our field. The raw figures as well as the respondents' comments are quite revealing. Many voiced the feeling that they are underpaid, and I. for one, heartily agree. When a fleet manager can ferret out one single item of cost savings that will match his or her annual compensation, the recognition and the upgrade in pay should be there. Salespeople are compensated with commissions for making the big sale. Fleet managers should get some similar compensation for making the big save.

The study also revealed some "good news" and some "bad news." It is great to learn that almost 43 percent of full-time commercial fleet managers and about 37 percent of the part-timers are women. The alarming news is that women are being compensated about $10,000 a year less for doing the same job as a man. That's intolerable, inequitable, and we should mount a crusade to fix it. Additionally, there are virtually no women fleet managers in the utility and government sectors. Another sad commentary!

What can be done about it? Without oversimplifying a solution, I'd suggest that you heed national meeting circuit speaker, Doc Blakely, who leads a three-hour seminar on "How to Keep Yourself Indispensable." Then, I'd practice my "PHIFET" team plan that leads you to communicate and excel in purchasing, human resources, insurance, finance, and executive management and training. That combination, well executed, will rank right up there with the current favorites of sex and sports. And it'll eliminate some of the inequities eventually.

Like Nike says, just do it!

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