Take the hint

I recieved a phone call the other day, one that I was too busy to deal with at the time. One that I thought I had dealt with before. I think I’ve dealt with it now.

You see, apparently when you give any kind of personal information at an auto dealership you are doomed to hear from them over and over again no matter how many times you tell them that you are not interested. About 2 years ago, in a fit of frustration over the car I owned then, I stopped in to look at a new Dodge crossover. I took a test drive, looked into financing and even had my trade-in appraised to see if the deal would work out. Sadly, it wouldn’t, I just couldn’t afford the car at time and told the salesperson that it would take a while before I could buy another car.

Six months or so later I got a call from the salesperson, asking if I’d like to come in and check out the new deals that they had, new incentives and such. I told her that I had decided to keep the car I had and wasn’t interested at all in any new car.

Another six months passed, another phone call, from the same salesperson, I told her this time that I had moved, which was true and would not likely be purchasing a car from that dealership at any time. i thanked her for her diligence and asked that she remove me from any lists she might have and not to contact me any more.

Then this week came, a phone call came while I was extremely busy at work. I was in the middle of something very important but took the call anyway. I was instantly infuriated when I heard who was on the other end. The dealership. A new person though, informing me that the salesperson from before was gone and that they had new offers for me. I explained that I wasn’t interested but this new person persisted, I explained again that I was no longer living near them and did nnot want to hear any more and hung up. After the work incident was taken care of I left for lunch and decided to make a phone call.

I called the dealership back, asked for the  business manager. I was placed on hold for somewhere near 5 minutes, told that the only “manager” there was the Finance Manager. At this point I was entirely infuriated, I asked for “the highest person on the totem pole who could resolve the harassing phone calls I was receiving.” The receptionist obliged that she had been the one to make the calls. I explained exactly that i did not want to receive any more calls from them and asked to be removed from their lists and hung up.

The moral of this story, when customer, especially potential ones ask you to leave them alone, do it. In this time when every sale is critical to your business and its survival, make sure the customers you have are satisfied, both by given them enough attention and enough space when they need it. The ones who will want to do business with you will come back time and time again, some just need time and space to put themselves in place to do so. The other moral: Don’t give out your real phone number to people whom you never intent to interact with again.

Beautiful Silence…The Network is Down!

The phones have been down here at work for the last 2 days. They  went out around 10am yesterday and didn’t come up until after 11am today. The new highway work they are doing led to a “network issue” wherein they cut the main phone line for our business park rendering approximately 20 businesses entirely impotent. We rely on email, fax, and phone calls to do everything in our business, without it, we’re dead in the water.

How can you plan for this? We were using iPhones to check some critcal email accounts. But faxing? How can you back this up without email? How can you provide alternatives to email when most of the organization is not on smart phones or laptops? We used our cells to communicate with key customers about the issue, but still I’m sure something got dropped along the way. I’d really be interested in any thoughts you might have out there…

I enjoyed the peace of no phones ringing though, unfortunately ringing phones provide money for us and in turn a job for me.

Thoughts while at work today…

So I sit here all day at work, hearing all kinds of things. I’m on the phone, I’m hearing others on the phone. I thought today I’d get with it and write some of this stuff down. Here are some quotes from the day:

“Her name was Peach. Wow, that’s a name you don’t hear everyday.”

“You still have a rural route address. Is this 1974?”

Thing 1. “I’ll try to get that for you.”
Thing 2. “I need that to even call your customer, without it the job won’t move forward.”
Thing 1. “Oh, well I guess I’ll work on that then, they are expecting this to go quickly.”
Thing 2. “Only as quick as you get me the info.”

“We’ll be there tomorrow around noon. OK. Great, thanks, bye.” – This one is here only because it’s the best conversation I had all day, short and to the point. No BS to deal with.

So then I got totally distracted at work, what with the driving all over creation and dealing with over dramatic events. One was even called a travesty. Drama doesn’t go away when you leave high school folks, it just gets more personal and less important to getting anything done.

Looking back

I was reading this the other day. As I read here, many people are taking a look back and reevaluating. I guess it’s just that time of year or time in our lives anyways.
I no longer obsess about pens, I just like to have one in my pocket most of the time. I do however always carry my Moleskine in my back pocket, in case the mood strikes me to write something down, hence the pen in the pocket. I just don’t care so much about which pen now anymore.
Shoes are just driving me nuts lately, I don’t care, I wear one pair of boots to work, another pair of tenny’s to everything else. Comfort is key and I can’t find anything more comfortable than what I have. Perhaps I’ve reached shoe nirvana at such a young age that I can escape the Rockport phase of my later years.
Socks? Are you kidding, I still want to change them all the time.
Traditions are always changing, yet somehow they remain traditions. I can’t get past some things that I’ve always done, sir, ma’am, t-shirts, meals, all the same basically. I’ve added rituals like cleaning, meeting for coffee and other things but all in all I still feel a little more traditional than some others around me.
The phone thing has changed a bit, my rule: If you call and don’t leave a voice mail, it wasn’t important enough to at least say “Call me back,” I’m not calling you back and I’ll assume you just misdialed. Assume the same for me, no message, no callback.
I’m early for everything most of the time, I think.
Organization has changed a bit since I moved out on my own. I have things where I want them, I just don’t think I have enough room for everything now. Time to get rid of stuff soon I think.
I’m still a geek. iPhone, 2 laptops, a desktop, 3 iPods, a GPS in my car, I’m a gadget freak and I’m ok with that.
All in all I look back and where I’ve been and where I’m going and I have to say that I feel pretty optimistic about things. Sure I’ve missed a few opportunities, I’ve missed chances to do wonderful and great things. But in the end, I like where I am, where I’ve been and what the future ahead looks like.
New habits that I’ve noticed are:
Coffee pot must be set before bed.
Clothes must be laid out in bathroom before bed.
Two different pillows on my bed, one hard, one soft. Most nights I sleep on the soft one, I use the hard one for support and for hot nights when I want to be on top of the pillow not thoroughly wrapped in it.
I’m sure there are tons more and I’m going to try to post more of them as they come along. I’ve posted too much this time as it is.
Are you looking back and reminiscing or just blasting forward without regard for what you’ve done before? I urge you to take a look back now and then. Adjust your course from time to time. But in the end, be happy where you are going.

OneWebDay 2007

Today is OneWebDay a celebration of the community that exists on the web. It’s a day to celebrate this great huge thing that exists all around the world. In my opinion it’s the one thing that we can all share in. There are no borders, no real class systems that block people from coming on board, there is just this space that we can all share, create and explore together. This isn’t something that can be necessarily controlled, what is taboo in one place may be perfectly fine in another. A space exists for all, whether it be large corporate sites that are entirely commercial to user generated content sites that make money for the creators as well as the owners of the site to totally informational sites about every subject under the sun and beyond and even blogs and other personal sites that are merely there as an outlet to express themselves to others around the world.

I’m proud to be a part of that community, I not only contribute here with my personal thoughts, links and stories but I have also built several websites of varying success for commercial enterprises. The tools that we use to build this community are not just tools; they are works of art. We can use simple tools like notepad and other text editors, complex HTML and WYSIWYG tools and even drag and drop tools that don’t require any knowledge of design or code. Anyone can create a page or site in just a few minutes.

Of course the real gift to community is not the design, layout, and technology of the web, but the content that can be delivered on it. Sites like Wikipedia are not particularly well designed, simple text, images and links are all it takes to get the correct information to you. Other sites like sports sites, news sites, and most social networking sites are enormous arrays of code, images, text, video and community modules that function as a huge organism in and of itself. The content makes the site however. How do you want your information? Do you want simply information in its simplest form, which in my opinion is simple hyperlinked text or do you want to watch a sports event clear across the world with live video? You can have both or something entirely different, look around, if you want it, you can find it and if not, build it, someone else might be looking for it too!

We all contribute here on basically level ground. A large corporation and purveyor of information like CNN must compete with a simple young blogger for readers. Perhaps CNN offers the most complete analysis of the particular story of interest but if the blogger is eyewitness to the event they may have insight that CNN could never hope to have. We are a community and as such must interact with all around us, big, little, corporate and personal.

The community on the web has changed for me in the last year greatly. I’ve changed the way I work on the web and on a computer in general. With my recent acquisition of a Mac I have been thinking of getting a Windows virtual machine software solution to install my software on. I realized quickly though that there is really nothing that I need Windows software for. I use the web for nearly everything I do, I use Quicken, iTunes, and MS Office all of which can be used on the Mac and everything else can be found on the web. We don’t need smart computers anymore, we need a smart network that we can always be connected to.

Since the last OneWebDay I have changed my social networking approach. I’m on Facebook but greatly reduced my friends after a long hiatus from the site altogether. I didn’t want to be involved in the community in the aspect that it was being used. I like using sites like Facebook to stay in touch with friends, but pushing all of their information to me all the time got annoying. I don’t need to know every little thing that people do. I see social networks as a solution to email, a simple way to keep in touch with select people about select things without the need to remember everyone in particular all the time. Sites like Twitter make it possible to send out quick updates on your stream of consciousness quickly but low adoption by the masses have hurt them into being a true way of communication. In the future I think that these sites will catch on with the generation yet to come but being connected in general will continue to grow in ways that we can’t even begin to think of yet.

Tools like the iPhone, Blackberries and smaller and smaller laptops have made keeping up on the happenings of your friends, business contacts, and even news stories all over the world nearly entirely ubiquitous. This is the future, always connected to each other. The way that it’s implemented will be crucial to the future though. There has to be a happy medium between pull and push information. I want to know what my friends are up to, but I don’t need to know exactly what they are doing all the time. I want to know about important news topics during the day, but I don’t need it right now all the time. I want to be able to contact anyone I need at the drop of a hat though in various ways including SMS, email, and voice. Connecting the infrastructure of the old media, phone, television and radio with the infrastructure of the new media like SMS, podcasting, and the web in general will be the next step. How can I get one device to connect me to the world anytime all the time without being cumbersome or bothersome?

I encourage you to participate in this community, in whatever way you can, a blog, a photosite, a podcast, reporting news important to you (firsthand or not), even just adding comments to forums, blogs, and other chances at be social in this space is important. We have built this community and must continue to help it grow.

OneWebDay

Always when I’m busy…

I’m sitting at work, I’m listening to my iPod, working on some drawings, but wait… what could it be, it’s the phone ringing. It seems that lately whenever I start something and get involved with something, just as I’m getting in the groove, the phone rings… It’s never anything important, it’s just annoying. I can go all day without my phone ringing if nothing is going on, but as soon as I start something that I actually need to pay some attention to, it rings…
Isn’t stress wonderful?

I just got back from emmy’s… a pretty good evening I must say. First we went to CC so she could spend her gift cards on a new phone and VCR had to believe that people still use those things but I still have a few tapes that I like to watch now and then I guess too. Then we went to Ribfest downtown… A bust to say the least… Just food and a ton of people… Yea… We went to Girton’s well did a drive by actually… No one was there hardly so we just stayed clear of it and went to her house to play Life… I like it , but I like the old version better… It was harder and stuff I think. Then we just chilled and watched TV… I did get a new golf club and i’m so excited to try ti it out… I really just like it in general…. Oh well time for bed.. See you all later