Hump Day: Can I afford to sue myself for laundry-related injuries?

Hump Day 2 croppedHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript

Doing the laundry is proving to be a dangerous activity in my house. Years ago, my head collided with a shelf so hard in my basement laundry room that I was seeing stars afterwards. In fact, if memory serves correct, I hit it twice during the same laundry session.

I’m not necessarily on a schedule for laundry, however I tend to do what most typical men do: I do laundry when I run out of socks and underwear. On Sunday, it was time for another workout session with the washer and dryer, so I did the usual sorting and all that stuff. The session was uneventful until I came upstairs with the last load from the dryer.

I was on my way to the bedroom to sort everything and put it away in drawers when I tripped over something in the kitchen. No, I didn’t just stumble and catch myself, going ‘Phew! That could’ve been a bad fall!’ I fell flat on my face. Hard.

I’m a big guy – and if you’ve ever seen me in person, your first thought probably wouldn’t be, ‘You know, that handsome large gentleman looks like he’d rather enjoy jumping off a ladder and landing full-force on the floor right on his kneecaps.’ Well, maybe it would be something you’d think, but you’d be weird for doing so. And if it was indeed something I’d liked, it would be about 85,000th on the list somewhere between having my spleen ripped out through my nose by a goblin, putting my hand through a meat grinder, and being forced to eat liver.

When I felt myself going down, I did what everyone does: I instinctively put my hands out to stop my fall. This is how wrists get shattered. Luckily, that didn’t happen with me. I did land with all my weight on both knees right on the floor. If any of my neighbours’ knick-knacks fell off the shelves because of a tremor, this would explain why.

My laundry flew out of the basket. The basket’s handles flew off in a variety of directions. I ended up on my side like a beached whale, moaning and groaning and completely in shock. I only remember falling hard like that once before in recent memory – about 10 years ago when I was visiting a condo with a relative. At that time, I also tripped on something I didn’t see. Since then, I’d been very careful, because I hated the sensation so much (well, no one loves it, I suppose!) and I did everything possible to prevent it from happening again.

falling 1Well, my once-every-10-years fall did happen again, and it felt every bit as embarrassing and awful as before. It really messes you up. It’s so jarring and leaves you in a state of shock. I hate that feeling.

My son came out from the bathroom immediately to see what happened and asked if I was OK. That was a question I couldn’t answer, because I honestly didn’t know if I was. What I did know was that this was the worst carnival ride ever.‘Step right up to the Brian Fall Down and Go Boom-Boom A-Whirl! Only $2 per person!’

Since I didn’t know whether or not I was hurt, I just started wiggling legs and arms and fingers. Small cut on finger. Sore right thumb. The rest seemed to be OK. Even my knees, which landed terribly hard on the floor, seemed to be uninjured – miraculously! I’ve seen so many people with messed up knees that that’s one path I don’t want to go down.

In the end, I self-diagnosed myself (thanks to my trusty and scary Internet medical websites!) with a sprained thumb. Well, it was either a sprained thumb or I needed a ‍hysterectomy. I think the thumb thing was the more realistic diagnosis. I ain’t no doctor, but…

So, the countdown begins to the next fall, whenever that will be – hopefully not for a long time. I’ll be super paranoid until then, being extra careful to watch where I’m going and ensure that I have a clear path.

Now, though, the blame game starts. Should I sue myself for my injuries? Will I make myself cry on the witness stand when I cross-examine myself? Will I hold what I tripped on up in the air with my sprained thumb and yelp in pain to create extra drama in the courtroom?

If you think the Mike Duffy and O.J. Simpson trials were dramatic, you haven’t seen anything until you see me yelling at myself in a mirror on the witness stand. I hope I can afford the big settlement!

Hump Day: All hands on deck for good ship New Brunswick!

Hump Day 2 croppedHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript

New Brunswick’s ‘brand’ is in bad shape. It pains me to say so, especially for someone who has chosen to live and build my career here. Even when friends and colleagues pulled up stakes and moved away, I was determined – and unashamedly so – to stay.

If you’re a real estate agent, don’t drive over to my house to leave a business card in my mailbox just yet. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not giving up on the province that I truly love. I’m not abandoning my home – literally and figuratively. After I die, I fully expect throngs of distraught readers to line up to sob and throw themselves upon my grave – which naturally will be located somewhere in this fine metro area.

And before the opposition parties frantically tear this column out of the newspaper and post it to their office bulletin board thinking that it’s some anti-government diatribe, I can assure them that nothing could be further from the truth. Our branding problem happened a long time before the current government took office.

New Brunswick is in desperate need of a branding campaign to get us out of our doldrums. Everything will be fine if we intend it to be so. Getting everyone in the province to buy into that is another story — and pushing the naysayers aside will be essential.

What I mean by branding in this sense is not some cutesy logo, but the feeling we get when we think about our province. For years, it’s been negative economic news day in and day out. I can’t think of anything more depressing than listening to one more news story about how we’re all pretty much just five minutes away from packing up shop and sailing on a rickety old boat to Bangladesh to work in a sweatshop clothing factory to pay off our debtors. Now, I’m not saying there isn’t some truth to our economic woes. And I’m not saying that we don’t have to tear off a very big bandage all at once no matter how much it hurts. I assume this week’s provincial budget will be about as bad as it gets for a long time. Let’s hope that this is the beginning of steadying New Brunswick’s economy.

Now that the powers that be have successfully created a public demand for an increased HST and the imposition of tolls on our highways, it’s time to take those measures and others and start to rebuild our finances. You know things are bad when people are practically begging for a higher sales tax and new road tolls.

But now, we must change the channel and start to reinvigorate our province’s shattered confidence. I say that because I’ve never in my life heard so much pessimism from the business world. Unfortunately, when it comes to negativity in the corporate milieu, it’s often a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even people who are doing well start hoarding and holding back investments, removing even more money from the economy and making things exponentially worse than they were before.

New Brunswick needs to restore the confidence, vim and vigour in its step. I don’t mean by just paying lip service to it. I mean by actually believing it – by restoring true, heartfelt, generally accepted hope in our future. Hope is a powerful tool. It gets governments elected. It breeds investment. It causes great things to happen. I’m supremely distressed that many New Brunswickers are losing hope.

We need to stop catering to the lowest common denominator leaving asinine, hateful, intolerant and anonymous comments online. We need to put politics aside and bring together government, opposition, the private sector and industry associations in a campaign to restore our hope. We need young people to stop automatically assuming that they need to leave New Brunswick to earn a living and raise a family.

In 1984, the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce ran a very successful feel-good campaign with the catchy slogan,“Greater Moncton, We’re OK!” This was in the dark days following the closing of the CN Shops when a shadow was cast over this city. It may surprise the younger crowd today, but the campaign was sorely needed at the time. Thankfully, it worked brilliantly!

As simplistic as it sounds, something similar is required in New Brunswick immediately. We need a bi-partisan partnership between the private sector and government to help spread the word inside this province that we’re not down and out. We’re just beginning. There is hope for the future. It will get better.

In fact, we need to set our mindset to the fact that it is our expressed intention that things will get better. This isn’t just crossing our fingers and tossing a coin. An expressed intention is much more than that – and it will require all hands on deck. And if you aren’t ready to be part of the solution, then stand aside and let those who are ready get to work.

MASITEK Instruments Inc. welcomes tech leader Pablo Asiron as EVP of Global Business Development

Pablo Asiron new Executive Vice-President of Global Business Development of Moncton-based MASITEK Instruments Inc. and Tracy Clinch, President and CEO. MASITEK is the #1 global leader in virtual remote sensing technology.)
Pablo Asiron new Executive Vice-President of Global Business Development of Moncton-based MASITEK Instruments Inc. and Tracy Clinch, President and CEO. MASITEK is the #1 global leader in virtual remote sensing technology. Click on the photo for a larger version.)

NEWS RELEASE

February 4, 2016
For immediate release

MASITEK Instruments Inc. welcomes tech leader Pablo Asiron as EVP of Global Business Development

MONCTOMMAAZZ logoN, NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA – Tracy Clinch, President and CEO of MASITEK Instruments Inc., the global leader in virtual remote sensing technology, announced today that renowned technology sales and corporate development professional Pablo Asiron has joined the company as its Executive Vice-President of Global Business Development.

Headquartered in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, MASITEK offers state-of-the-art, real-time wireless detection and reporting technologies designed to immediately identify and quantify damage to fragile goods in production, packaging and distribution systems for handlers and manufacturers around the world in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. MASITEK’s innovative sensor technology helps reduce downtime, enhance product integrity and increase global scalability, productivity and profits.

With an increasing cost of goods and universal pressure to improve profitability, driving efficiencies in manufacturing facilities is a high growth market poised to explode. Large multinational organizations will invest millions of dollars to ensure they are maximizing efficiencies while reducing waste and damage to containers and fragile goods.

“Our global customer base has increased tremendously over the last several months,” says MASITEK President and CEO Tracy Clinch. “We have been very fortunate to partner with category leaders – such as Nestlé, Carlsberg, AB Inbev, Unilever and Diageo – providing the tools and support necessary to achieve their production and project objectives. MASITEK will continue to invest in new technology and key personnel to strengthen our position as the global leader in virtual remote sensing technology.”

“Due to our rapid expansion, we are very excited to have Pablo Asiron join our team as Executive Vice-President of Global Business Development to further drive our growth strategy,” she says. “His deep understanding of technology, customer-facing business approach and proven track record in development and leadership will be tremendous assets to MASITEK and our customers. Additionally, Pablo’s strategic vision aligns with our overall goal of continued growth through innovation, partnership and vertical expansion.”

Mr. Asiron joins MASITEK after a very successful term with RtTech Software, where he was responsible for more than 90 per cent of all company sales and helped the company earn a number of awards, including a BDC Innovation Award, regional and national Startup Canada Awards for Innovation, and Greater Moncton Excellence Awards in the Emerging Business and Technology categories, as well as earning the company a place on Deloitte’s prestigious Fast 50 Companies to Watch list.

“I have known of MASITEK for a few years now,” Mr. Asiron says. “After a discussion with President and CEO Tracy Clinch in August 2015, I was very impressed with how far the technology and the company had gone. So when I started looking for a new challenge, she was one of the first people I contacted. Right away, I fell in love with their patented technology and the challenge she offered me. It is a dream for a sales executive when you have a great and proven product already installed in many Fortune 500 companies, and a great leadership and technical team. As well, it is a big boost to be backed by a venture group such as Technology Venture Corporation who understands what it takes to grow a company with world-class clients from an Atlantic Canadian base. I look forward to being a part of MASITEK’s growing global reach and helping the company to scale new heights.”

Mr. Asiron has 20 years of experience in the areas of executive management, consulting, process control, information systems, business development and sales. To his new position, he brings experience in multiple industries such as mineral processing, pulp and paper, power generation, food processing and discrete manufacturing. In 2015, he was a finalist for the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Atlantic Canada for emerging business. He has an extensive positive record of attracting capital and increasing sales.

Technology Venture Corporation, based in Moncton, is one of MASITEK’s primary investors. “We are always on the lookout for exceptional, high-quality talent,” says Susan Hicks, President and CEO of Technology Venture Corporation. “We search locally and across the world for just the right people for leadership positions in our Atlantic Canada-based companies. I’m delighted that one of our high-growth companies, MASITEK Instruments Inc., has attracted Pablo Asiron to fill a critical executive position within their organization. Mr. Asiron’s impressive track record in building and expanding companies, his relationship-building skills and his history of successful business development are a tremendous addition to the MASITEK executive team.”

About MASITEK Instruments Inc.

Founded five years ago and headquartered in new facilities in downtown Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, MASITEK Instruments Inc. (www.masitek.com) has grown to become the global leader in virtual remote sensing technology. Its advanced quality control sensing for industrial packaging, bottling and agricultural applications – sold under its MMAAZZ and aaggrrii brands – is now installed with major companies around the world. The company is one of a number of leading tech startups in which Technology Venture Corporation of Moncton has invested.

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Media contacts:

Tracy Clinch
President and CEO
MASITEK Instruments Inc.
North America: 1-800-971-7085 ext. 501
International: 1-905-233-2117 ext. 501
tracy@masitek.com

Pablo Asiron
Executive Vice-President of Global Sales MASITEK Instruments Inc.
North America: 1-800-971-7085 ext. 511
International: 1-905-233-2117 ext. 511
pablo@masitek.com