Archive for October, 2006

The Disabled and Elderly Can Wait On Line

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

In mid-August, the US Post Office decided to stop using it’s take-a-number system like you might remember from stores back in the old days. They now wanted people to wait on lines.

Tucson is a place that attracts a lot of retirees and snowbirds. These are not the healthiest people I’ve ever met, and now instead of taking a number and sitting comfortably, they have to stand on long lines.

The PO put up a note saying that by taking away the take-a-number system, people will get served more quickly. I think this will be because people won’t wait on line. Fewer people agreeing to wait means that the people who agree to wait will wait less.

What’s more is that in my local PO, they are trying to get people to use the "automated" machine. That’s an ATM-like computer system that will dispense postage and even print specific stamps for letters and packages. I’ve found that generally, the elderly don’t know how to use it. What should be a 2-minute process has them there for 10 minutes. The screens aren’t logical, and many have "exit" buttons. So when the user thinks she doesn’t need to answer that question or her answer is no, she presses exit, and the entire process has to start again.

I’ve been on line for the automated machine when a woman who had no idea how to use it came up with 10 packets to mail. She botched every one multiple times. Evidently, using it correctly didn’t help her learn what to do the next time the exact same choices came on the screen.

Most interestingly, the sign in the PO about this change said that the disabled and elderly can talk to the post office manager. That was all it said. So the elderly and disabled can complain to the manager, who will tell them this is the policy, and then they can wait in lines.

I guess the relationship really doesn’t matter over at the post office.


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Stinking Lie, Part 2

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

A few months back, we looked at some of the wackiness of the Secret commercials.

Evidently, the idea that people pay other people to date people they know is a recurring theme! Another secret commercial shows a Mom and teen girl. The Mom’s secret is that she paid some guy $200 to take her daughter to the prom. The daughter’s secret is that she ditched that date and chose another.

The interesting thing is that these are all actors. These aren’t real people with real secrets. But evidently, all they can come up with is women paying men to date their friends and loved ones, first kisses, and other really girly things.

And what does this have to do with anti-perspirant?


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Burning Bridges

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

I know someone who has burned bridges at his last three jobs. That means that when he goes out and looks for work, he has to show a resume where the potential employer really shouldn’t call the places he worked from around 1994-2005.

What must he say to potential employers? What true or false stories does he tell to let them know they can’t call those as references? And do employers get the message that someone who has no references during 12 years of work, no matter what stories he tells about that, could be a problem employee?

I’d say that’s bad marketing, but if you’re burning bridges at your jobs, how you’re marketing is probably a low concept on your priority list.


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Our Services Cost Money

Monday, October 9th, 2006

We get a lot of people emailing us from our website. Usually, they have already seen our pricing page, which explains our most popular services, and they have some specific questions to see if we’re the right company.

A few weeks ago, I got an inquiry from our contact form. Someone wanted help with his eBay business. When I asked if he had seen our pricing page and which of our services interested him, he wrote back:

i do not want to sign up for anything that is going to cost money

Well! Good luck getting a consultant, software, or advice from someone who is going to do right by you AND not charge! So I just wrote back that our services cost money.

Our services cost money. You may not want to contact us if you are looking for free help. We tend to only give free help to existing clients so that we can effect the most change in their businesses. :)


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Frames Sale Lamps

Friday, October 6th, 2006

This was a sign in Pier 1’s window over the summer. No, there was not another sign next to it that helped this make more sense.

Frames sale lamps. Yes they do.


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Fishing For Compliments

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

I tend to study random people who are so obvious but don’t seem to notice what they’re doing. Yesterday’s woman complaining about people in French Canada speaking French is the same woman I’ll be discussing today.

Part of her endless yapping to the waitress included some funny fishing for compliments. She was going on and on about her upcoming retirement from teaching, and said, "I’m 68 now. I’ll be 69 in November."

Pause. Long pause.

I could feel her waiting for the waitress to say how young she looked or she wouldn’t have guessed that as her age. The waitress said NOTHING. Time just got really slow. The woman eventually had to continue her story since she didn’t get the input she wanted.

I bet she has no idea that she does that. And by the way, you do look 68. When I entered the restaurant and saw you eating, I assumed you were retired.


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Yes They Speak French There

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

Overheard in a restaurant, a woman talking the head off the waitress about all kinds of random things. She ended up on her daughter’s work, and how she has to talk to people in Quebec all the time. The point of the woman’s story was that the people in Quebec know that an American is calling them from America, yet they still refuse to speak English to her.

While that was her point, I thought the most interesting part was when she told the waitress that the people in Quebec generally don’t learn or know English.

Well, OK then, smarty. If they generally don’t know or learn English, have you considered that them insisting on speaking French to your daughter may just be a necessity and not some sort of bad attitude, as you are portratying it? If someone called me speaking a language I don’t speak, I too would be insisting on English because that’s what I know. Does that mean I have a bad attitude?


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Subjects and Verbs Doesn’t Agree

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

I think that in at least one news broadcast almost daily, I will hear subjects and verbs that don’t agree. The most recent one I noted was:

Getting it fast and getting it right is our goal.

I’m glad that getting is right is one of your goals. Maybe someone should have worked harder on that sentence since you didn’t get it right. "Getting it fast and getting it right" are two things, which means that you need "are our goals" in your predicate.

Good luck on that getting it right thing.


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Sending Flowers For Yom Kippur?

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

It’s Yom Kippur. In case you don’t know, that’s one of the most serious Jewish holidays where you are supposed to atone for all of your sins and wrongdoings of the past year. You’re supposed to fast for the whole day because you are that sorry. I’d imagine it to be a deeply personal day when people who practice it are being retrospective and looking inwards at their own behaviour and choices.

So why do major floral websites have Yom Kippur as a holiday for which you can send flowers? Does their research show that people thinking Yom Kippur are also thinking The Flowers-N-Frills Bouquet in a lovely country basket or The Autumn Beauty Bouquet? What does someone sending that mean? "Please enjoy these pink and white flowers as you consider the sins you’ve committed in the past year"?

Hallmark’s website has one e-card for Yom Kippur. It starts with "wishing you the wisdom that comes from reflecting on your past" with the words "prayer," "repentance," and "forgiveness" in the background. This doesn’t SOUND like an occasion for flowers, but then again, I didn’t think this was an occasion for a card either.


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I’m on Vacation

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

For the first time in around 100 years, I’m on vacation this week. Yes, a real vacation. Not just one day somewhere. Not a long weekend. A real week. Sure, I’ll check email daily and answer my mobile phone if it rings (and I’m in a service area). I want to make sure any clients with urgent issues are taken care of.

New/current clients: projects are being worked on by other As Was staff. We didn’t forget you. :)

Have a great week. :)


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