Sunday, January 29, 2012

Laugh At The Absurd

Alice in Wonderland leaves her home by following the rabbit down the rabbit hole. She finds herself in Wonderland where all things seem contrary-wise but ultimately there is definition between the wise and the absurd.

Alice finds that her inner self, with kindness and good humor, is able to navigate through the nonsense and find her true self. Much to the chagrin of the anonymous antagonist, she becomes Alice in real life too.

The lesson for Alice remains ‘to thine own self be true.’

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lament of Customer Service

Long before anyone around now the general business practice was full service to the customer. The first self-service grocery store was patented in 1917. It’s been downhill for the customer ever since.

Full service grocery stores gathered the orders from the customer’s list presenting or delivering the order to the customer’s specification.

Plus for business: controlled inventory; Plus for economy: employed people; Plus for customer: product and service.

Self-service grocery stores offer a self-push cart for customers to shop then present the selection to the cashier. Recent developments have store owners eliminating cashiers in promotion of self-check-out machines. Upon leaving the store, the customer loads the vehicle and delivers their order home.

Plus for business: lower payroll

Minus: for business: limited control on inventory, fewer customers and smaller sales; Minus for economy: fewer jobs; Minus for customer: DIY, DIY limits options; DIY=not a valued customer

Phone service in its infancy employed a multitude of operators who provided directory assistance and assistance making calls. Today, automated service directs callers to the internet. The internet provides dubious information in a helter-skelter arrangement which makes finding a local business or the family down the street virtually impossible.

Plus for business: lower payroll

Minus for business: failure to meet primary purpose of service, ‘people connecting with people’, fewer customers for the product; Minus for the economy: fewer jobs, fewer business and social connections; Minus for customer: DIY limits options

When gas stations offered full-service in the better interest of the customer, they employed attendants who pumped the gas, checked the oil, washed the windows and offered suggestions for needed servicing.

Plus: lower payroll

Minus: spillage, equipment damage, smaller sales; Minus for the economy: fewer people able to afford driving, travel, etc.; Minus for the customer: Ruined clothing, lesser maintained cars.

Calculate the pluses & the minuses, businessmen should take note of the balance sheet from the customer's perspective.

Customer surveys indicate a decline of brand-loyalty. The reason most customers give for not offering loyalty to a company or store is they don’t feel valued.


Suppose you are a customer:
Do you feel valued when you have to serve yourself through a gauntlet of phone selection menus?
Do you feel valued if a person answers the phone & connects you to the correct person or department?
Prefer texting? That’s okay: Can a knowledgeable employee respond?

What less customer service says to the customer: We don’t care if you shop with us. We don’t care if you buy our product. So the customer goes elsewhere.

The short sweet answer: Be polite to the customers. Oh, and have someone answer the phone.

My favorite companies answer the phone, respond to emails and provide service and products in a timely fashion with employees who know the product and can offer advice for a better experience. I'm brand loyal to those companies. I wish there were more like them.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Curtain

My gift to youth
Is just the truth

Life is raw
From what we saw

The war for oil
Rips the soul

From the chest
To claim the best

And leave the rest
Gone is the zest

To hunt for love
Pray to above

They sink in muck
Becoming stuck

In the lie
Wishing to die

Because what’s true
The real of you

Is still inside
And not behind

The curtain

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Content Theft

When does research becomes content theft? There is a high threshold to prove that your creative content has been stolen.

True, we are capable of thinking similar thoughts. In fact, people working on the same topic often come up with similar ideas and create similar content. However, there is usually a difference in the story line at some point.

True, using the same source documents or reference material can lead to similar or even the same conclusion.

In the end there are goodies and baddies. The goodies are creative. The baddies are thieves.

How the goodies win. The baddies are exposed and the copied content is taken down. The goodies get credit, money, fame and live happily ever after.

How the baddies win. The goodies are so disappointed that they stop creating.

Stop Content Theft. "Dislike" obviously stolen material. Report the thieves to Google and to You Tube.

Just like in the old westerns, we want the goodies to win.


Creative America - Action Group to stop content theft.

Google Report

You Tube Legal Issues

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Venus: Goddess of Love

Goddess of Love, Pleasure and Procreation, Venus was the most beautiful of the goddesses. She and Aphrodite have intertwined into virtually the same goddess covering love, marriage, love and fertility.

Worshipped for fertility, Venus is married to Hephaestus, the god of skilled artisans. He worked hard and neglected Venus. She found love with Mars.

Sacred signs of Venus include water and roses. These symbols equate the goddess with her origin and her purpose. She was born from the water. Roses are the symbol of love.

Water is a feminine element used to counter the masculine element of fire. The elements seek balance, male/female to fire/water.

In the story of the Trojan War, Paris prefers the gifts of Venus over Juno & Diana. The gift of love was highly valued and the cults created to worship Venus testified to the lengths the ancients would go to honor and receive love.

Typical to Roman mythology, the Roman lineage came directly from the gods. In later myths Venus is noted as the mother to Romulus, the founder of Rome.