Thursday, June 21, 2012

Can you hear me now?

Rapidly ascending my list of screw-up companies while simultaneously dropping from  the top of  my corresponding  "Can't miss" list, the good folks at Verizon Wireless are about to momentarily step into  the blinding glare of the FTI Hall of  Shame spotlight. Like the long running advertising campaign using the clever slogan that title's today's post, I would like to ask their upper management this same question.

I went in to one of the Verizon Wireless stores the other day to get a new car charger for my cell phone.  No big deal.  The old one has lost it's tight connection with the phone such that I don't get a good connection to consistently receive a charge.  As a result, sometimes when I think my phone should be charged, I am at the same place I started 2 hours earlier: a near dead battery powered phone in my hand.  Anyways, normally you are met at the door by a Verizon greeter who, it turns out, is supposed to get your name and put you on a list to be helped by the next available salesperson.  Somehow, I  apparently accidentally engaged my personal cloaking device (I didn't even know I had that ability, but, I must have) and made it over to the charger rack undetected by any of the  employees.  I found the charger I wanted, but, was somewhat stymied as there was a locking device on the rack.  Further investigating, I found a lone wolf charger off of it's wire hanger of the rack and claimed it as the one I wished to purchase.  I  stepped up to the counter to make my purchase, eager to trade my hard earned wampum for the shiny gadget, and be on my merry way.  No such luck.   2 of the tie wearing, bearded, computer monitor staring drones, promptly ignored me for the first 30 seconds  as I stood at the counter.  No acknowledgement, no eye contact, nothing.  They then  both stroll away from the counter leaving me by myself with no "I will be right back", or "we'll ring that up in a minute", or anything else.  As I was pressed for time on that day, I thought to hell with it, left the charger on the counter, and walked out.  Yesterday, I go to a different location thinking I will swoop in and chalk up my previous experience  to bad luck.   This time, however, I obviously have all of my identifying features  as a "customer" working as I am pleasantly greeted by a smiling young woman who addresses me and asks me how they can help.  I tell her I just need a car charger for my phone.  She asks me for my name so that the next available salesperson can help me.  I reply I just need a charger; do I need  a salesperson to help me for that?  "Yes, and the next one available will be glad to help you with that."  So, I give her my name, and wait.  And wait.  There are 3 guys with  customers at the counter and 2 out on the sales floor with shoppers.  2 people are ahead of me  waiting in line and I just want a damn phone charger and get the hell out of there.  After 10 minutes of weight shifting standing from leg to leg making me to appear as if I am imitating a 5 year old who can no longer "hold it",  I decide the wait is not worth it  and vamooose out of the store.  Screw it.  

I am certain that neither of our 2 faithful readers here are connected to Verizon wireless.  As a result, today's whining effort is nothing more than a written catharsis for me in dealing with this issue.  I understand the idea of customer service, and prompt personal interaction with the customer.  Sometimes, though, the customer does not ask for that.  I am ok with self service when I know what I want, can go get it myself, pay for it in a reasonable amount of time, and be on my way.  To inconvenience me so they might be able to sell me something I hadn't originally intended to buy by interacting with me doesn't seem to be a good way to operate.  It leaves me thinking that perhaps the coverage is a bit spotty.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What junk science?

Having been accused of being nothing more than a division of the assortment of do-nothings, stooges, and useless idiots on a regular basis, our FTI scientific division has always labored under a cloud of suspicion.   Their past work has been regularly questioned, vilified, and yes, outwardly mocked by the rest of the scientific community.  The research they conduct  bears the mantle of  being "not quite as good" as some of that conducted by their brethren with better reputations within the scientific community.   That might change now. A game changer has been found.  

While studying the global warming issue and trying to discover ways that our small population here at FTI can help the world community at large cope with the phenomena, our crack team of researchers and scientists decided to look at the issue from all angles.  One of the methods of study and query was to examine the habits and lifestyle of wildlife to determine if a clue existed among them.  A startling new revelation might actually have been uncovered.

Our team started out with the premise of  why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica.  Where do they go?

It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintain a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life.

If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into, and buried.

The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing:

"Freeze a jolly good fellow."
"Freeze a jolly good fellow."

Then, they kick him in the ice hole.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Don't bug me

Having recently been vindicated of all charges of dereliction of duty at a secret FTI tribunal conducted by the nitwit/misfit population I oversee, I am fully back and ready to take on all challenges moving forward.  This kangaroo court literally had  one of the marsupials in attendance as the Misfits thought this would add an air of authenticity to the proceedings.  Regardless, I am back and you had better lookout.

I had an experience yesterday that still leaves me a bit confused.  The details are too numerous and,  are actually, meaningless.     More importantly, it's the circumstances that I find interesting.  I contacted a colleague on the other side of the country about an issue which we share a common interest.  I do not personally know this person, but rather have had email contact with him on a couple of occasions.  He has always been a bit "prickly" (to that I mean "crusty" or "grumpy"  as opposed to the term with which I refer to one D., the Peap) most of the time, so, I basically handle with him with kid gloves.  I know it is nothing about me, rather, how overworked and under great pressure that causes this reaction.  Anyways, in the course of our exchange,  he cops an attitude via his written word that truly is uncalled for.  Now me, with my magnetic and engaging personality, never wanting to back down from a good insult-fest, immediately prepared to move into retaliation mode.  On reflection, however, I realized that  such a move was probably not in my best long term interests.  I need this guy a lot more than he needs me.  No use stirring up the pond for the rest of the time I have to work with him.  (I could have devastated him, though.)

I don't understand why some people arrive at work and immediately proclaim, "I am in a bad mood today".  Apparently that gives them the right to abandon all sense of cooperation and have an excuse for their surly and don't-give-a-shit-attitude for the day.   It's too bad your attitude is grumpy today, but you had better check it at the door because now you are at work.  And you aren't paid to be a loner.  You are expected to cooperate with all to get your job done.

There.   I feel better already.