Archive for November, 2008

In any business, some customers will be overly demanding, have a bad attitude, or exhibit other behaviors that make them unprofitable. Most business strategy folks would advise “firing” these unsavory customers once you identify them. But there’s another aspect to these misbehaving customers that is often overlooked. Specifically, their actions can worsen the experience for […]

When dining out, it’s very common to receive a portion that is far too large to finish in one sitting. For restaurants that have a large percentage of customers who are on vacation or tend to visit before a movie or other event, this means a lot of food is left behind. While some restaurants […]

While traveling last weekend, I went to a great sushi place. They had one really strange practice, though. Apparently, regular customers can reserve not just a certain dining time, but also the exact table they want. This sounds fine, except that nearly half of the tables were marked “Reserved” when I arrived. And those same […]

Adjoining rooms


Last weekend, I had a really great hotel experience, and a really bad one too. The odd thing is, I was in the same room the whole time. So what changed from one night to the next? Simple: a bunch of really loud and obnoxious people stayed in the room next door during that second […]

I don’t have a Starbucks loyalty card, but I noticed an interesting sign directed towards Starbucks cardholders. The sign was located in one of Starbucks’ airport locations, and basically said that they couldn’t accept the Starbucks card or provide any related benefits at that particular store. I’m pretty sure that all the Starbucks in airports […]

This month has been colder than usual, so virtually everyone has started breaking out their winter coats. As these people go into restaurants, stores, and other venues, they naturally need a place to put their bulky pieces of clothing. While getting a haircut the other day, I noticed that the coat rack filled up very […]

I got a flu shot this year, like I typically do. Back in college, the flu shot saved me from a nasty flu-like illness that put dozens of students in the hospital, so it’s been an easy sell since then. But it always amazes me to see how stubborn some people are about getting the […]

Guess the copay


Whenever I go to the doctor, there is a fair amount of confusion about the copay due for the services. Often, they’ll just ask me how much it should be, leading me to memorize the more common ones. But memory is an imperfect thing, so sometimes they end up sending me a bill or a […]

That’s not me


A few weeks ago, I started getting junk mail for someone who has a last name that sounds a little bit like mine. However, their first name doesn’t match anybody in my family. I’ve been returning this mail to the sender, since there’s no way it’s for me or anyone I know. Yet they keep […]

While at the doctor’s office on Friday, I noticed a small but simple innovation in how they file their patient records. When you pay with a credit card, a standard-looking receipt comes out of the credit card terminal. One copy is for the patient and the other is for the office. Absent any other instructions, […]