Saturday, November 29, 2008

Not a Ticket to Paradise

Eddie Money and his band played last night. It took some arranging to attend. Looking forward to hearing one favourite from the 70s & 80s, just didn't come together the way it should.

His picture in the newspaper was fabulous. WOW! This guy has really taken great care of himself.

Pulled out the old albums... listened to some really great songs and wondered, was it worth putting up with a smoke filled room to see Eddie?

Perhaps, Siloam Springs Arkansas/Oklahoma at a Casino just isn't the best venue to show his talent. Maybe it was an off night...

The band was excellent, I have to give it to the guys. Even so, they couldn't cover for Eddie loosing the words, continually inviting the audience to sing, having trouble keeping a beat with the tambourine. He didn't look much like the photo in the paper. I was reminded of Elvis in the last few years of his life.

The crowd being overwhelmingly three sheets to the wind enjoyed Two Tickets to Paradise as if Eddie had actually sang the lyrics.

I just felt sad, wished I hadn't come and left before the show was over.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I beg to differ

The caricature of JD Rockefeller likened to Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge sets the example of a hardened heart, a practical misanthrope, a cynic, but a successful one. Turning the gloom of hatred into financial success or is it the misery of success that produces the revulsion of one’s fellows?

The converse finds the ever bright and shining light of Melanie Wilkes, Scarlett O’Hara’s long suffering friend who would not say a bad word about anyone and dutifully, with dying breath, asks Scarlett to care for Ashley. Actual shining lights are hard to find outside religious martyrs. One finds temporary examples in Tammy Faye Baker or Oprah, both during their early years before an inquisitive press revealed the human foibles behind the image.

Oh but to the skeptic goes the prize, sometimes the Nobel Prize. The lineage of great skeptics includes Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Clemens, and Will Rogers, all men who sought the reason behind the action and the truth within the myth.

America’s uniqueness was founded in the skepticism of freethinking individuals who dared to ask questions, think about the answers, and return with even more questions as doubt and concern for the rational, logical, positive progressiveness spurred them on to create the greatest capitalistic country the world has ever seen.

Rising to the occasion of continual skepticism requires increasing vigilance as time creates history from current events. An inherent positivism, in the face of evidence, that allows joys to shine through while endeavoring to search for the radiance humankind has within to propel the species forward toward greater things, makes a reporter get up in the morning, stay late, ask the questions of representatives and the citizenry, get the story, the whole story, because we need a frame from which society can scrutinize itself to change for better.

The good news for the publishing industry is that inquisitive reporting, superior writing and telling people the truth increases readership, promotes an informed citizenry, sets ethical standards and it’s good for business.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Going to the Chapel

The Mildred Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista serves the community as a reminder of the founders of Cooper Communities, as well as, a monument to the work of Fay Jones, University of Arkansas professor of architecture.

Mildred Cooper, wife of John Cooper Sr, founder of Cooper Communities, lived in Bella Vista during the early years of the project. After her death in 1983, her family built the chapel to honor her good works within the community.

Fay Jones, the well known architect was engaged to design the Mildren Cooper Memorial Chapel in 1986-87. The arch and glass design echos his Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs. Jones received the AIA Gold Award in 1990.

The chapel small chapel serves as a public venue for musci recitals, small weddings and peaceful meditations. The chancel features a glass apse showing with views of Lake Norwood. The small nave feels grand and open with views from all sides through the glass walls held by pointed arches. The sanctuary embues tranquility.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Customer Dis-Service Continues

Okay, Okay, it's a pet-peeve, I admit it.

I received my replacement credit card in the mail today.

The plastic card had a sticker on it that read: Please call to activate after 9/22/08 & the 800 number.

When I called the 800 number to activate the card, the recording referred me to another 800 number because the computer had "no record of that number".

Dragon answered the phone.

Somewhere in the Northeast probably New York by the sound of Dragon's accent, there lives a mother who actually named her child, "Dragon".

Dragon had a difficult time understanding my problem, after thre times explaining the situation, he "got it" and put me on hold.

I have to give credit to him, despite apparent lack of training, he came back on the line several times to check to know if I still waited on hold. Finally, the answer came, I just needed to wait until next month to activate the card, the sticker was printed incorrectly.

Not Dragon's fault but I think the corporation could get their act together a bit better in their mailings and train their customer service a bit better and maybe, maybe, even pay a living to excellent customer service people who do their job well... just a thought.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Customer Dis-Service

Ever been disrespected by your credit card company? I hear it happens all the time to folks who, ummm, pay their bills.

Apparently, in some meeting, the smart people at the top decided to treat all their customers the same.

Pay your bill or don’t pay your bill, you will be calling someone in a distant land, who doesn’t quite understand what you say, no matter what you say, or how you say it and they will deny charges and create embarrassing situations, perhaps, even ruin your relationship with stores, business people and even with your employer, and why?

The answer comes in broken English, “You are using your credit card.”

But what are the details you ask? Perhaps, there was something wrong… something happening that was unusual that alerted the security department to suspend credit?

Here are the gory details: low pending balance plus one family birthday (sent flowers to grandma), business expense (charged a gift to a client), cold weather (charged a purchase of kids’ jackets) and craft projects (Christmas is Coming)…

Was the balance approaching the limit? No… not half way.

Was there a late payment? No… everything’s on time.

Were the charges all at once (like a stolen credit card)? No… charges were made over several days.

The account history shows that credit card use goes up this time of year. So, what’s the problem?

Retail Establishments encouraging spending this time of year should note that some credit card companies are working against them. So, if sales don’t go up put the blame where it belongs, on companies that treat their good customers the same as bad customers. Disrespectfully”.

“So why,” the customer asks, “would you not approve the charge?”

Customer Dis-Service: “You used your credit card.”

Customer: “Was there a problem?”

Customer Dis-Service: “No, no problem.The security department denied the charges.”

Customer: “Did they try to call me to find if they were my charges?”

CD-S: “No. The security department only denies charges.”

C: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”

CD-S: “You were using your card.”

C: “Yes, I used my card. But why was the charge denied? Am I close to my credit limit?”

CD-S: “No You have $****.** still available. “

C: “But they denied this $114.00”

CD-S: "Yes"

C: “And didn’t call?”

CD-S: “No, they don’t call”

C: “So they don’t want my business?”

CD-S: “Oh, you are a good customer”

C: “Will they call the company back and amend the situation?”

CD-S: “Amend?”

C: “Yes, will the security department or you, customer service, call the company that you denied the charges and tell them that my account is fine and put the charge through.”

CD-S: "No, you will call them, please."

C: “So won’t correct this situation with the company for me.”

CD-S: "You will call them, and tell them we said your credit is okay.”

C: “But you just told them it was denied.”

CD-S: “Yes, Can I Help You with Something Else?”

C: “Well, you haven’t exactly helped me with this. You do realize that I’ll be using a different company.”

CD-S: “Thank you. Can I Help You with Something Else?”

C: “You’re in India, aren’t you?”

CD-S: “Yes”

C: “Have A Great Day!”

CD-S: “Thank you.”

The security department didn’t pend the charge, they denied it. The guy in India didn’t understand or didn't care that I'll put the charge on a different company's account, didn’t understand or didn't care that it was a problem for me to call them to find out that there was nothing wrong, they just wanted me to call… Isn’t that special?

I’m not sure, but... I think someone doesn’t have a clue