Archive for August, 2008

Yesterday, I needed to make a purchase from a site that I’ve been doing business with for years. I added the products to my cart, proceeded through checkout, and submitted the order. Then things went south. The site generated a cryptic error code, and asked me to call customer service for help. I dutifully followed […]

Even when my company isn’t advertising any open positions, we get a steady flow of unsolicited resumes. One type of resume is particularly strange, though. The subject line reads “Resume of John Smith is attached”, with “John Smith” being replaced by the applicant’s name. The message doesn’t mention any specific position, and the resume itself […]

Sooner or later


I’m not very well-versed in the area of webinars and online meetings, although it seems like a lot of people are doing them lately. The increasing cost and hassle of air travel is probably the main reason for this trend. But since these virtual meetings don’t require any travel, do potential attendees really need much […]

Each time I go to Target to stock up on things, it seems like I get less and less value from the experience. In particular, the money I save compared to buying the same things at the closest grocery store or online seems less important. It’s not that I value the money any differently now […]

After visiting several stores and restaurants this past weekend, I was reminded of the differences between staff who are genuinely nice, and those who are just pretending to be nice. The first group actually cares about your experience at their restaurant, store, or other venue. But the second group is only reading the script and […]

Like many modern highrises, the building where I live has digital signage displays in the elevators. And it’s not even the fancy kind that folks like Captivate and OMN provide. Nope, ours are the low-tech variety, with just a series of slides about building info and events. I really didn’t pay any special attention to […]

It’s bad enough that online stores automatically send you a catalog after the first order, without asking your permission. It’s even worse that they rarely honor your list removal requests, or they just subscribe you again next time. But another recent trend really pisses me off: printing your name in places besides the address label. […]

Do you remember those tests in elementary school that were supposed to help you learn about following directions? Typically, the test would ask dozens of long questions only to have the last question say “Skip all the other questions and write ‘Done’ on the page”. The idea, of course, was to teach the importance of […]

A lot of people get carried away with the CC feature when sending emails, seemingly including everyone from their boss to their coworkers to last year’s summer interns. Usually, the idea is to prevent anyone from saying they weren’t kept in the loop. But the result is that you end up generating a ton of […]

It’s amazing how much the weather forecast for the same future period can change from one day to the next. For instance, they originally expected this past weekend in Chicago to be in the mid-90s, but they revised the forecast a few days later to the mid-80s. And when the weekend actually came around, it […]