Archive for June, 2008

Most restaurants don’t put much thought into how the check is presented. Sometimes they’ll include a survey or a coupon for a future visit, but just as frequently, this opportunity to convey valuable messages is squandered. So, I was pretty surprised to see a very clever ad included along with my check at a local […]

Here’s a few phrases to avoid when talking to customers on the phone: – “The system won’t allow it” (repeated emphatically using the exact same inflection each time) – “You only have one more chance” (implying that something terrible is going to happen afterwards) – “My name is John” (when it’s obviously more like Sidhur […]

sheets


I visited a building yesterday that used a pretty stupid sign-in process. The security person in the front insisted that I write my name and where I was going on their sign-in sheet, although he didn’t ask for any identification to verify my identity. Meanwhile, other people just walked by without even being asked to […]

When I decide to purchase a product from my grocery store’s weekly flyer, I naturally look for something that matches the picture they used in the ad. Usually, this works out well, but sometimes they use an old or mismatched photo that actually throws me off course. In other words, I end up looking for […]

Service windows


It’s a fairly common practice for companies to provide a window of time when a service will be performed. This practice can be applied to a diverse set of tasks, whether it’s repairing an air conditioner or performing scheduled maintenance on a website. In each case, the goal is to tell customers how long the […]

There and back


While traveling on Chicago’s Metra train system this past weekend, I was rather baffled by the signage at several stations. I expected to see a simple sign on each side of the tracks that said “Wait here for trains to Chicago” (or whatever the destination was). Instead, the signs were either missing entirely or identified […]

It’s nice that Google tries to show you the train lines that provide service to each station on the map. But I noticed a problem with their approach. Apparently, they pull the name of each train line from the organization’s website. These names can be rather long, e.g. “Metra Union Pacific Northwest Line”, so they […]

Free lunch


Ever see a fish bowl in a restaurant encouraging you to drop in your business card for the chance to “win” a free lunch? I attended one of those events once, and it was basically a sales pitch for investment services. Since it’s really a sales presentation, I wonder what would happen if someone just […]

As far as I know, it’s impossible to remove the default bookmarks that come with the BlackBerry web browser. There they are, taking up valuable screen real estate whenever you open the bookmarks screen — even if you have absolutely no interest in them. Maybe this is a carrier-specific decision and not the fault of […]

Old habits


I’ve been trying to bring a reusable bag with me when buying groceries or running other errands. Once I got into the habit of doing this, I ran into a secondary challenge: convincing cashiers to put my purchases in the reusable bag. It’s almost like you have to force the bag in front of them […]