Friday, August 05, 2005

Whatever happened to customer service?

OK - I just need to vent a little... on Fridays, our office orders take out lunch together. Today, I volunteered to take the orders and do the pick up. We ordered from a fast casual restauarant (who shall remain nameless), and I gotta tell you... it was quite frustrating. Because we order for a group, we usually do a spreadsheet with everyone's name with the items they want. We fax it into the restaurant, call to confirm and get in the car and pick it up... easy... VERY easy. Well... not when the restaurant is uncooperative. Today, I tried to fax the order five times... FIVE! When I kept having trouble, I called and got put on hold... for five minutes... FIVE! I called back and got put on hold again... I called back a third time and got to speak with someone (finally), and they said "oh yeah... fax is out... I can take your order over the phone." I was not a happy camper... "We're ordering for a group," I say. "That's fine... just give me the order." "Can you put everyone's names on the items?" I ask. "Well, we're really busy." (PAUSE) "but I can write the item name on the box if that would help..." he responds. By this time I'm livid! "Fine," I snort and then spend the next ten minutes going through each individual order with the guy...

The order was correct and ready for us to pick up when we got there. The ordering process was just a beating, though. Arg! Don't these people realize that I was trying to save both me and their hourly employee time by trying to fax in an order for a large group? Don't they realize how THEY benefit from being able to know the order is correct? Don't they know that MY time is valuable, and I really don't want to spend it going over in grave detail whether someone wants chicken or tofu on their Lo Mein order???? Come on, people... get with the program. The customer is not just right... the customer is important... especially when that customer is ME!

Notebook prices breaking the $500 barrier

Notebook prices breaking the $500 barrier - Computerworld: "AUGUST 05, 2005 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - Bargain hunters out and about in U.S. retail stores are having no trouble finding inexpensive notebooks, as PC vendors aggressively promote notebooks for under $500, according to research released this week by Current Analysis Inc.
Individual vendors dipped below the $500 mark with low-end notebooks earlier this year, but four major retailers as well as PC market leader Dell Inc. all had sub-$500 notebooks displayed prominently on store shelves and in circulars over the past weekend, said Sam Bhavnani, principal analyst at Current Analysis in San Diego. "

Measuring the Blogosphere - New York Times

Measuring the Blogosphere - New York Times: "Measuring the Blogosphere
Published: August 5, 2005
Earlier this week, Technorati, a Web site that indexes blogs, released its semiannual 'State of the Blogosphere' report. It records a steady, and astonishing, growth. Nearly 80,000 new blogs are created every day, and there are some 14.2 million in existence already, 55 percent of which remain active. Some 900,000 new blog postings are added every day - a steady increase marked by extraordinary spikes in new postings after incidents like the London bombing. The blogosphere - that is, the virtual realm of blogdom as a whole - doubles in size every five and a half months. "

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Texas Rangers... fun for the fam' on a Wednesday night

Even though we didn't get to stay long, it was so kind of Kevin Kirk to have us in his box right behind home plate. Bailey was having a great time watching the balls fly into the foul zone (most of the hits were fouls... fun to hear the crack of the bat... just stinks for the ol' strike count). Anyway, our summer trek out to Ameriquest Field (I HATE having to say that... sellouts!) has happened, and Aubrey got her first taste of the ol' ballpark. settles adware charges settles adware charges - Spam, Scams & Viruses - "WASHINGTON - Inc., a unit of Time Warner Inc.'s America Online, agreed to settle federal charges that the company offered free security software without adequately disclosing that it also came with adware.
Under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, will be required to 'clearly and prominently' disclose that consumers who install the program, SpyBlast, will receive pop-up ads based on their Internet browsing habits.
The settlement also requires "

Shuttle launch brings cheers, tears, memorie

Shuttle launch brings cheers, tears, memories - Return to Flight - "Emotion overcame space workers in Houston, who jumped to their feet and broke into applause and tears as they watched space shuttle Discovery climb into the sky.
"Go! Go! Go!" screamed Gyla Whitlow, one of 700 NASA employees jammed into a Johnson Space Center auditorium Tuesday where the televised liftoff was shown.
"Words can't describe it," said a tearful Kirsten Beyer, who works on projects for the international space station, Discovery's destination on this mission."

Cellphones? Over There, Right Next to the Nachos - New York Times

Cellphones? Over There, Right Next to the Nachos - New York Times: "Jeanne Yanaro long associated 7-Eleven with Big Gulps and last-minute groceries. But late last year she turned to her local convenience store for a more substantial purchase: a cellular phone.

At this 7-Eleven in Dallas, cellphones are displayed near the checkout. The company began offering its own mobile phone service last year.

Matt Richtel on Cellphone Marketing

Forum: Technology and the Internet'It would have been the last place I'd have thought to go for a phone,' said Ms. Yanaro, a marketing manager who lives in Chelmsford, Mass."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Technorati: A New Public Utility

Wired News: "When former Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael K. Powell watched television coverage of the London bombings last week, he noticed that most of the significant pictures didn't originate from professional photographers employed by news agencies. They came from witnesses at the scene using cell phones and digital cameras to document the tragedy.
'Journalists are trained not to be emotional, like a doctor doesn't fall in love with his patients,' Powell said. 'But people experiencing a tragedy can convey what actually happened while at the same time express deep emotion and engage in spirited storytelling. A photo of someone climbing up through train wreckage is extremely powerful. A reporter rolling up to the scene behind a police line can rarely give you that.' "

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hacker forced new planet discovery out of the closet

Hacker forced new planet discovery out of the closet: "BOFFINS WHO discovered that there was a 10th planet in our solar system, had been sitting on the news for years until a hacker turned over their servers."

Watch thy neighbor - Clicked

Watch thy neighbor - Clicked - "A San Francisco photoblogger is accosted on a public sidewalk by a security guard trying to prevent him from photographing a building... thus spawning a contest. New York City photobloggers are also familiar with this kind of treatment. I have been yelled at twice in the course of photoblogging, once by a cop while taking almost this exact photo and another time by a random ferry worker while taking a photo of the city skyline from New Jersey.
I know the terrorists are everywhere and out to get us, but there is definitely such a thing as over-policing. "

Judge bars former Microsoft exec from Google

Judge bars former Microsoft exec from Google - U.S. Business - "SEATTLE - A judge has temporarily barred a former Microsoft executive from performing his job at the Internet search engine company. The judge says Microsoft has a well-grounded fear that leaked trade secrets could hurt its business.
The temporary restraining order prohibits Kai-Fu Lee from performing any duties at Google that are similar to those he performed at the software maker.
Microsoft says it has confidentiality and noncompetition agreements with Lee."