Archive for June, 2008

I had some family in town for the weekend. On Sunday, we decided to visit a neat little gift shop that sells design and architecture-related products. Once we picked out the items to buy, we went to the checkout area. The cashier started to ring up our purchase, but quickly discovered the cash register was […]



I cancelled a flight with Northwest Airlines earlier this week. Here’s the actual text that appeared at the top of their confirmation email: “Something (or nothing) can go here” Obviously, somebody put in this lame placeholder text and forgot to fix it before the template went live. In most cases, I’d say it’s better to […]

Before I went off to college (which seems like eons ago), the school asked everyone to fill out a personality profile to better match up roommates. The questions were pretty standard: do you listen to loud music, are you a morning person, do you smoke, etc. I can’t speak for how effective this actually is, […]

Wireless networks, or WiFi, seem to be popping up everywhere these days. Even the smallest mom-and-pop cafes have been putting in wireless routers so their customers can get online. As the logic goes, people who are surfing the web will stay longer and buy more food and beverages. This makes me wonder: why don’t doctor’s […]

Yesterday, I purchased a subscription to a web-based service. When the transaction was confirmed, I expected to start using the paid features right away. However, the site informed me that I would have to wait up to a full day before my membership was activated. This was a little disappointing, but since they notified me […]

While looking at the website for a new pizza place, I was impressed by the variety of information they provided. The site contained a full menu with prices, their wine list, and even recipes inspired by their food selection. But one obvious thing was missing: pictures of the restaurant itself. Maybe I’m strange, but I […]

I’ve often heard the idea that state and federal governments can’t go out of business, since they can always raise taxes until ends meet. If people don’t like it, too bad — they’re stuck with the situation until the next election. However, the same strategy doesn’t work for private businesses. The airlines are a great […]

The place I go for a haircut always has a line outside the door on Sunday mornings. The line begins to form about 30 minutes before they open. This may seem like a waste of time, but regular customers know that lining up early helps you avoid the hour-plus waits that are typical later in […]

When I called to make a doctor’s appointment the other day, I was greeted with a long pre-recorded message that contained the office hours and other info that people probably ask them a lot. I can certainly understand the logic in this approach. By answering common questions up front with a recorded message, fewer calls […]

Every retailer seems to have a different idea of what “shipped” means. When they say they’ve shipped an order, the real status might be: – The box has been packed, but there’s no tracking number and it hasn’t left the warehouse. – The box has been packed and it has a tracking number, but it […]