Archive for July, 2007

Contacting Dell Support

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

You have to see this. You have to. And you’ll believe it.

How May I help You?

2:47:54 p System RTS Ted_162431 has joined this session!

2:47:54 p System Connected with RTS Ted_162431

2:48:04 p RTS Ted_162431 Thank you for patiently waiting. You have reached Dell Hardware Warranty Chat Support. My name is Ty and I will be assisting you today. In order for me to help you, can you provide details about the issue you’re having?

2:48:38 p Debbie Levitt I wanted to find the configuration of a machine based on the service tag. Can you please push me to the web page where I can put in the service tag and know the configuration?

2:49:04 p RTS Ted_162431 Just go to support.dell.com.

2:49:13 p Debbie Levitt I did that! Then what do I click?

2:50:19 p RTS Ted_162431 Click manuals.

2:50:30 p Debbie Levitt hey that is completely not obvious

2:51:03 p Debbie Levitt ok but it is still not telling me what I have

2:51:08 p Debbie Levitt it’s offering me manuals for a zillion things

2:51:08 p RTS Ted_162431 I’ll pull the page for you.

2:51:16 p Debbie Levitt I’m now on http://support.dell.com/support/systemsinfo/documentation.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&~cat=7&~subcat=28

2:51:47 p Debbie Levitt We want to put in a new hard drive. I just want to know what type of hard drive I can put in and what capacity.

2:52:52 p Debbie Levitt the manuals page does NOT give me a list of what’s in this computer

2:52:57 p Debbie Levitt so my original question stands!

2:52:59 p RTS Ted_162431 Or do you want to look at for yourself?

2:53:09 p Debbie Levitt both would be great

2:53:49 p RTS Ted_162431 Ok, for your hard drive it is:20GB,HD,9.5MM,LAT C600/50 .

2:53:58 p Debbie Levitt right. what sort of HD? IDE?

2:54:14 p RTS Ted_162431 IDE.

2:54:31 p Debbie Levitt ok thanks. and I found the page too. Not under manuals.

2:54:39 p Debbie Levitt can i put an EIDE drive in? is that the same?

2:55:54 p RTS Ted_162431 It does not say that they are compatible but you are more than welcome to try.

2:56:04 p Debbie Levitt sounds bad! ok thanks for your help.

2:56:14 p RTS Ted_162431 No problem.

2:56:16 p RTS Ted_162431 Is there anything else I can help you with today?

2:56:39 p Debbie Levitt Nope. You didn’t help me find something I ended up finding, and you just told me to try to put an incompatible device in my laptop. That’ll be plenty!

2:56:59 p RTS Ted_162431 Thank you for using Dell Hardware Warranty Chat Support. Have a great day!

2:56:59 p System RTS Ted_162431 has left this session!

2:57:00 p System The session has ended!


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HDTV News Failing Here

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Recently, our NBC affiliate spent a lot of money converting everything so that they can broadcast their news in HD. They made a huge fuss about it for months. Lots of ads about how it was coming and how great it would be.

And then it came. And a local paper reported that they are still lagging in the ratings. I think there is one thing people forgot to take into consideration. Tucson and "southern Arizona" are a small market. This isn’t Phoenix or Atlanta or NYC. The advertising of many stations is how their newscasters and reporters are Tucson natives or people who went to college here, so we’re all about local.

So to be honest, we don’t have the greatest looking TV personalities. Many of our anchors and reporters are not traditionally good looking, even after it looks like they all had their teeth bleached. :) They seem to have nice personalities, but they are not traditionally attractive people. Put them in HD, and I think that might make them look worse.

And I don’t have an HDTV. I bet they look weirder on an HDTV.

I watch the NBC affiliate for news because I like the personalities of these people that come across. Anybody watching to see a good looking face in HD at 5:30am or around dinner time may be switching channels.


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Product Placement in Pop Music

Friday, July 27th, 2007

http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/fergie%20paid%20to%20sing%20about%20candies_1035856

Yes, it’s Fergie! This blog’s favourite talentless (former) meth addict is now being paid $4M to get songs on her next solo album that include references to Candies clothing.

I am already betting that in at least one song, Fergie will SPELL Candies out. Other than that, maybe I can help her with some suggested rhymes for Candies.

Bees
Fleas
Please (expect that one to be used)
Trees
Sneeze
Disease
Monkeys
Breeze
Knees (expect that one to be used)
Seas
Mammaries (she may have to look that one up)
Squeeze (that one could be used)
Sprees
Fergie’s (accent on the 2nd syllable – expect her to go for that as she can’t resist saying her own name in songs)
Black Eyed Peas (expect that one too)

Maybe she should hire me. I’m so down with the C to the A to the N… aw, you know the rest.

Evidently it’s not enough to pay her to wear the clothing at appearances or in videos. It’s not enough to pay her to do commercials or print ads. We now have product placement in pop songs. That’s some bad and desperate marketing.


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Buy Less Bottled Water

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

There are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of bottled water that you buy. Here are mine.

  1. When I do buy a bottle of water, I refill it for days and days. I have a filtered water system in my fridge, and I can put that in there. The reality is that few of us live in a place where the tap water is dangerous. You could drink tap water, and if you don’t like the taste, put in a few drops of lemon or lime juice. No, it doesn’t cause cancer.
  2. Pour your water into a glass. No reason to use up bottles at home!
  3. I bought a Camelback. You can grab these or ones like them on eBay or at local military surplus or camping stores. Keep refilling these, and take care of them. They’re great at home, in the car, when you’re doing sports, hey even in the mall. I plan to wear one around Disney on my next vacation. Keep your water fresh and handy without using more plastic.

There’s always more we can do. Think about how you can reduce waste and things you buy that are over-packaged. Evidently your empty bottle of water will take 1000 years to break down on a land fill. Let’s plan ahead!


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Happiness

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Stephen Colbert recently interviewed a guy who wrote a book about happiness, and the guy said that people with children tend to report less happiness than people without children.

The Today Show is running a piece about what factors make a marriage happy. Children used to be in the top 5, and are evidently now number 8.

I have lots of friends who are purposefully staying in marriages that are bad marriages or are now loveless, and they stay "because of the children." Children learn by modeling, so if you want your children to go into a marriage like yours, then stay. You are showing your child what a marriage and family are, and this will be their definition… most people never change that definition, which is why patterns and cycles tend to go on rather than tend to spontaneously stop.

When I ask my friends about their parents’ marriage, I tend to hear that it was similar to what they have. Maybe Dad was never around. Maybe there was cheating. Maybe there was fighting and anger. Maybe one parent played favourites with the kids, and the kids knew they weren’t the fave. Maybe the parents divorced early, my friend never really got over it, and now thinks that the WORST thing for a child is divorce. As someone who went into bad relationships and stayed with them because I was (unknowingly at the time) modelling what I saw in my parents’ relationship, I think that teaching me that that’s a marriage is worse than disrupting the home and teaching the children to make the changes that are necessary to have the good life you deserve.

Don’t be afraid to go out there and find your happiness. That’ll be so much better for you, and think about the children. Think about the person they will date and marry and choose when they see Mom and/or Dad with someone they really love… when they see genuine smiles, fun, and care between loving adults. Children aren’t stupid. Especially as they get older, they can tell the difference between what you’re faking and what’s real. Don’t teach them to stay in a marriage and pretend to be happy. Out of all the pretend games children play to model their adult lives, let’s not add "pretend a loveless marriage is happy" to their repertoire.

Find the strength, find the money, find the time, and if your marriage is bad, move on. You deserve happiness, and your children deserve to learn a definition of love that would make you proud. Children need to learn that it’s OK to get out of bad situations. Learning that they should stay in bad situations, and especially learning to hide that bad situation and act like everything’s fine can land children in some REALLY bad and abusive places.


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Where Am I?

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

A friend who lives in San Diego asked me if you’d want to do business with this guy:

John’s Fifth Avenue Luggage
3833 4th Ave, San Diego, CA

Here we see one of the trappings of that full vessel name. Maybe he used to be on 5th Ave but changed his address, but got stuck with his name. Maybe he was always on 4th Ave.

This is not like NY Pizza outside of NY. This just looks kinda dumb.


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Why I Don’t Fly From the Tucson Airport

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Here in Tucson, there is always a big push for locals to fly to and from the Tucson airport. Keep your business in Tucson! Use the airport! They are adding more food things there now, and making it a bit nicer.

But it’s still a one-terminal airport that barely goes anywhere. And when it goes somewhere, it’s more expensive than using the Phoenix airport. Take Salt Lake City. I can fly there from Tucson for around $320 round trip, and I have to change in Phoenix. Or I can just drive the 90 minutes to Phoenix, and take a $240 non-stop to Salt Lake City. Southwest Airlines wanted me to change in Los Angeles to get to Salt Lake City from southern Arizona.

????!!!!

Over and over, this is what I see with Tucson. I can get some good flights on Continental if I don’t mind changing in Houston before I get anywhere else. That’s the only time I’ve seen prices cheaper than Phoenix.

So, Tucson Airport, if you want my business, don’t make me change in Phoenix. Give me a good price to get to major airports around here and around the country. Otherwise, I will drive to Phoenix and fly more cheaply and more conveniently from there. Thanks.


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How To Be a Blog Shill and Pretend You’re Not

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Well, if you didn’t read the ruckus over here, you surely will want to. Do not partake of a beverage during the reading as you may do a spit take when laughing.

So for you amateur blog shills, here’s my new step by step on how to badmouth another company in the style of the company that’s already doing it.

  1. Disregard the fact that you’ve never worked with us, never spoken to us, and I have NO clients who have ever said they are comparing us to you. Create in your head that we are major competitors, and you need to randomly attack us!
  2. Miss the memo that our companies are evidently friends. Your Chairman tried to get me to join his LinkedIn network, saying our companies were Business Partners.
  3. Post to a business blog you write about how terrible we are. You disagree with everything we stand for. I’m awful! Insult us, but definitely don’t bring up anything about the great success we have with our clients.
  4. Write our company name in your post so that your blog will show up in search results for our company name.
  5. Turn off comments so that all of the people who think you’re out of your mind can’t respond.
  6. Read my blog post about what I thought of your blog post. :)
  7. Respond to my blog, saying that that’s your personal blog and has nothing to do with your employer. Your blog is about eBay business and you being some sort of consultant, and that’s your personal blog? Where’s the post about your kitty cat?
  8. Revise your blog post to correct some of the things I pointed out in my post that reacted to your badmouthing post, and to further insult me personally as well as my entire company.
  9. Act surprised that I am, as you call it, "retaliating," which would imply that yours was the first attack. Otherwise, you’d be saying, "Why are you writing things in response to us doing nothing?" which I guess is what I’m doing. I’m wondering why you are writing things and being aggressive when we don’t compete and we haven’t said or done anything against you. We hadn’t heard of you 5 weeks ago!
  10. Watch your co-worker out you in the comments of my blog post. You see, I didn’t know you worked for the company trying to make themselves look better by badmouthing us. I really thought you were some sort of online amateur blogging as a shill for this other company. But thanks to another comment in my other blog post, we now know that you work for the company on this anti-As Was mission. So we were right.
  11. Watch me continue exposing you. The more you fire shots at me and my company to get attention for yours, the more I’m going to give you that attention is ways you may not have considered. :)
  12. Have NO fear of libel or business interference. I don’t suggest this step, but this is what I’m watching so far from these other guys.

So what’s next, ladies? More blog posts from you about what a meany I am? Do you really have such little work to do that you have all this time during normal business hours to do all of this blogging and commenting? I’m sorry you are not very busy right after the biggest annual convention for your business. Why do I have time for this? I’m the CEO, and I make time to deal with issues like this. :)

Let me give you some free marketing advice. Find what is better about your company than ours, and focus on marketing those aspects of your business. That would be if you decide that we compete. I am still trying to tell you that we don’t compete. People who want what you do will NOT hire us. People who want what we do will NOT hire you. When I feel like drinking a root beer, I will not choose to drink dijon mustard. Our companies don’t compete. I appreciate the free publicity, but I think you should turn your efforts to your own company.

Cheers!


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How To Get Me To Accidentally Insult You

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Well, this has happened twice now, so I wanted to mention it in case I can head this off at the pass in the future!

Time 1: A guy comes up to me at eBay Live, and tells me the eBay seller that he says he works for. He tells me he’s responsible for their design, and he wants to get freelance work for me. I tell him I’m familiar with that seller, and I’ll get in touch with him later. I scan his badge.

After the show, I email him that we’re probably not a good match since I didn’t really like the design work for that seller, and we take another approach. He wrote me back basically saying that he was one of the principals of the company, and look at how much success they’ve achieved. WHOA. You asked me for a JOB. You wanted to design for me, and you showed me ONE thing that I happened to not like. I wrote back that I do respect and admire his business, but as he was asking me to hire him as a designer, I happened to not like the work he showed me.

Time 2: A guy emails me from the contact form on his website. He didn’t write anything in the comments box, but he did check off that he was interested in our eBay Consulting. He included his eBay ID, so I went and looked at his listings.

I didn’t like his listings at all, so I wrote him back that we can certainly do a new template for him, but that we would go in a very different direction than the template he has now. I really wouldn’t keep much of what he has in his template now because we find that some of what he has in there now could be working against his sales.

He wrote back that his template was award-winning and great, and he didn’t want us to change it. He was really writing to me to see if I would hire him to design templates. I wrote back that we don’t design in the style he showed me, so I don’t think we’d be a match.

Side note: I have often found that award-winning and insanely-money-making-that-can-be-directly-attributed-to-the-template-design are often two different things. With the stats we have on how our clients’ businesses grow, and seeing what type of work wins awards, if they’re mutually exclusive, I’ll be OK not winning awards right now. :)

In closing, if you are thinking of having us hire you, you may want to make that clear up front. If you are a talented designer who can design in many different styles (like our artists), please send me work that reflects that! If you want to be judged on one thing, send me one thing, and I’ll happily judge you on that. :) Otherwise, if you really are looking for freelance work, you’d need to show me how broadly your creativity goes. I don’t mean to insult anybody, but it looks like I accidentally did with both of these people. Apologies to them.


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Crime Doesn’t Pay

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,21884697-15306,00.html

Crime doesn’t pay. Sure, he can now try to travel around and say he’s an important eBay speaker who’ll teach you how to sell. But you’d never buy that from that sort of seller, right?

:)


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