My first byline in Counselor magazine was March 1994. The early prose was breathtaking in its simplicity, but I did just notice a typo in one graph: ("rccipient"). Nothing like waiting two decades to ferret out that one.
The cover story, though, was an in-depth look at business ethics as they pertained to the industry. And while no one in 1994 was objecting to the neon colors that were permeating everything, there was a laundry list of industry taboos: selling/buying outside the industry, supplier boycotts, price cutting, bid rigging, refusing orders, idea protection, knock-offs, stealing ideas, soliciting salespeople/employees, salespeople starting businesses, minority prejudice, sexual harassment.
Surely some items on this list will always be considered industry ethical problems. Selling direct? You can dig through Counselor magazines from the'50s and read about that no-no. And some of the other issues, well there are federal laws that protect employees from some of this stuff.
However, 21 years since its publication, there are a few things on this list that aren't as stinging as they once were. Hiring away reps from other companies can hardly be considered the pariah that it once was. The only place you can find reps with industry experience is within the industry, right? I also find it interesting that reps who started their own business were considered an ethical dilemma.
So as challenges come and go, let's take a look at what else was in the March 1994 Counselor. Oh, and those neon colors, yeah, they're making a comeback.
If you were around in 1994, then you know that the Thumbs Up award was all the rage. Seriously, it was so popular that the creator actually trademarked and licensed the product. The Fonz would approve.
The Mouse Hut – an ingenious contraption in which one parks his computer mouse. Can you imagine going in and out of that thing all day? No thanks, I'll just let it sit on my mouse pad instead.
I actually used the Blast-Off Golf Tee after this photo was shot. And while it guaranteed to increase the distance of my drive – tested and proved by the physics department at NYU – it in fact did not live up to its claim.
The caption played it off as just another sports safe with all the sport safe features, but this one, wait for it, also attaches to a belt. NO! And I'm sure no one looked too dorky wearing it.
This caption is nonsensical. Because of the use of numerals, it actually reads "A picture is worth a one thousand words." Should have spelled it out, guys.