A Love Story Put to Action and Some really good music

17 10 2008

So it’s been a while. And I don’t care. And all of you will forgive me since I’m amazing.

I’ve been working the night shift at my job recently, and when I say night I mean when most of the East Coast is sleeping I’m wide awake.. or at least awake.

On this particular night of nights I’ve been watching Spiderman, the first one I believe. Without a doubt a great movie, but more importantly it captures a man in transition doing exactly what he needs to do. In my opinion it captured exactly what most people want to think of as the perfect man. If you haven’t seen it, well first move to a populated area as chances are you’ve been living by yourself in a wooded area with a coyote for the past few years, but then go do it! You’ll see what I mean.

I pondered that for a little bit and was sufficiently amused with my thought I decided to write this… Then Married with Children came on. Now many of you may not be familiar with this show but it really was great. A brief summary goes something like this:

“Al Bundy is a misanthropic women’s shoe salesman with a miserable life. He hates his job, his wife is lazy, his son is dysfunctional (especially with women), and his daughter is dimwitted and promiscuous.”

from IMDB.com and the link I gave you above.

Why can’t this be the image that everyone thinks of when they think of a man doing exactly what he needs to do. Sure he may not be rich, intelligent, social, successful, sexy, or anything else we like to think of when we think of a good man or perfect man but he is. When push comes to shove, his family is taken care of.

Isn’t that what it should be about?

Obviously the two can’t really be compared, but still I think you get the point. The image needs a reworking and some tweaking.

Dell fails.. again

6 09 2008

Once again I come to you with another rousing story of failure in business. In particular, customer service. It seems many businesses still don’t get they survive off of a customers money and continued business. In this global community word travels fast and one success story can spread exponentially. Conversely, and perhaps most importantly, one failure can ripple through the internet. To a large corporation a single instance of failure is nothing, it’s to be expected. When one instance of failure is combined with many others it provides interesting insight into a company, and for many people, weighs heavily on their decision to either purchase a product or service or go with a competitor.

Buying something is not just a one time thing where the company and customer can meet each other and then forget, it’s much more than that single, meaningless, one night stand. Consumers invest considerable time into their decisions and will ultimately have the choice to keep on coming back for some more great service or look elsewhere. With competition so fierce and prices so close, customer service is often the one thing standing between a sale or a failure.

So today, I bring to you Dells Failure. This particular company has been the subject of intense criticism in the past about their customer service tactics and unfortunately it appears things haven’t changed.For other stories I recommend www.consumeraffairs.com, a great website looking out for consumers and featuring other stories of Dell’s failings and www.theinquirer.com, in particular one persons story and the following comments. There are plenty more out there though, so do a quick google search like I did and take your pick.

Of course Dell would say other companies have the same problem and while this may be true it doesn’t exonerate Dell for their failures. In any case, here’s my latest story of failure.

Dave: “Hi, I’m having a problem with blue tooth on my dell vostro 1500”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Ok, what exactly is the issue with the blue tooth?”

Dave: “Laptop says I don’t have one”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Ok, Based on the information you’ve given me, your system qualifies for a Dell Connect session. During this session, I will be able to troubleshoot your system using special software that will allow me to see what you have on your desktop. At no time will we access any personal information on your system or open folder which will contain that information without your explicit permission. Would you like to do a Dell Connect session?

Dave: “Yes. Before we begin I’d like to tell you that I’ve tried the switch”

Dave: “I’ve already downloaded and installed packs R159805 and R161378 from Dell website.”

Dave: “It still asks me to turn it on when I’ve tried every possible way to do it.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Does the system have xp now?”

Dave: “yes”

Dave: “I saw there was a problem with some XP systems while downgrading but I followed the steps to fix it”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Ok, here is the thing.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “This system was sent with vista, and unfortunately, windows xp was not a downgrade option you purchased.”

Dave: “No but I purchased it myself when I saw Vista wouldn’t work for me.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “We are unable to support OS that are not originally sent, unless you purchased the downgrade option with the system”

Dave: “I didn’t buy the system myself. I bought it from someone else.”

Dave: “When I saw all the crap he had on his computer and the fact that Vista wouldn’t work for me I needed to do something”

Dave: “So I installed the best option for myself.”

Dave: “Are you now telling me that Dell is refusing to support their own systems?”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “I am telling you that the system was sent compatible with vista components”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Since it does not have a downgrade option..”

Dave: “Hold on one second.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Sure.”

Dave: “Are you aware that Dell provides XP drivers for this system?”

Dave: “For this model of computer”

Dave: “This means that the system is compatible with XP components also.”

Dave: “Heck, Dell provides a FIX for this problem for people like me who downgraded on their own.”

Dave: “How can you refuse to support that which you provide a fix for?”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Yes, because a downgrade option may be purchased.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “But unfortunately this system was not purchased with that option.”

Dave: “So you’re telling me Dell will not provide support for the systems they sell?”

Dave: “I just want to make sure before I make this public.”

Dave: “This is the 3rd negative experience I’ve had with Dell techs in just a few months.”

Dave: “Are you also aware, sir, that another tech did help me when he knew I had XP on my system?”

Dave: “I’m sure this is not a new policy”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “No it is not a new policy, if you wish to purchase the downgrade option, then you may contact customer care, and they can provide you with options, as well as the warranty coverage agreed to when purchase if you wish.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Their number is 1-800-456-3355.”

Dave: “No”

Dave: “I’m not purchasing anything else from Dell”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Ok, is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Dave: “I require a phone number of a supervisor”

Dave: “Or an email of a supervisor”

Dave: “Or something which will actually get me satisfactory service.”

Dave: “And yes, you can help me still.”

Dave: “Explain why someone else helped me but you are refusing to?”

Dave: “I recommend that before Dell tries to screw customers they get their story straight.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “I am not that someone else so unfortunately I would not be able to speak for them.”

Dave: “Surely then you can provide me with the phone number of someone else who can answer that question then.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “The system may be sent with xp, or vista with downgrade option as I told you before, but this system was not purchased with that option.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Customer care might be able to provide you with options for that.”

Dave: “You are customer care.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “No, I am “hardware” technical support.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Customer Care can be reached at 1-800-456-3355.”

Dave: “Awesome, thanks for being useless.”

Dave: “Have a great day.”

Agent (SMB_Agustin_177838): “Very welcome. We do appreciate your business. Thank you for choosing Dell. Have a great day!”

In the interest of brevity I edited out the beginning of the chat which began like any standard chat with a customer service tech. I also took out parts of the middle where he explained how we would go about setting up a remote connection. Other than that everything is left in there, including the parts where I became angry. Kudos do go to the tech for not responding.

Failure on everything else.

“I hope he rots in jail” – Slash from Guns n Roses

4 09 2008

This is the comment from Slash the former lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses regarding the man who posted nine previously unreleased songs on his blog for just a few hours. Courtesy of some unrelenting lobbyists and an unending cash flow into Capitol Hill courtesy of the RIAA, Kevin Cogill now faces federal charges, 3 years in prison, and up to $250,000. A little overkill for nine songs posted for a few hours only that were put up in a streamable format only.

In this particular case there were 9 songs off an unreleased album that Guns N’ Roses had been working for since the mid nineties. Releasing unreleased songs is a no no in my book, but did this guy get what he deserved? Absolutely not. Federal charges for releasing music? Come on, it’s a joke. I always thought the FBI had better things to do with their time, but I was clearly wrong. Who knows if this album will ever get released? Guns N’ Roses will probably die of natural causes before they get around to finishing it. Take into account the fact that any rips that were possible of that site would have been of such low quality that they would have been essentially useless. Any fan who would have normally bought the album would still go out and buy it. Let’s face it, no true fan wants to listen to the quality of music this rip would have given them. In my opinion, the amount of money Guns N’ Roses lost from this release is negligible compared to the publicity that they received from it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think artists deserve to get paid for their work. Some of them are quite talented, however the business model in use today is clearly outdated. If the recording industry wants to continue to profit they will need to find a way to work with the public, not put them in jail.

If you want to read more about the story, head over here.

Sarah Palin in the news.. again

4 09 2008

This past week I’ve been reminded of the saying that any publicity is good publicity and that even when people write negative reviews of a store they’re still helping to promote it. In the case of our VP nominee, Sarah Palin, I can’t help but think this is false. There’s been a lot of talk about her on the news, in the blogosphere, and in general chit chat. Her name is one of the most searched for on the internet and in some reports has even surpassed that of the Presidential nominees Obama and McCain. Is all this publicity really good for her though? A quick look around will tell you much of it isn’t favorable.

In my last post here I presented a post by my2buck$ that interested me (and it should have done the same for you as well) about Ms. Palin and her interesting ways. Today, I stumbled upon another superb post by this same author presenting a letter written by an Alaskan citizen who knows Ms. Palin and family personally.

I encourage every reader to take a look at this letter, read it thoroughly, and then learn more about who you might be voting for. Knowledge is power people, and without it we are as ignorant as the politicians we vote for. Nothing against politicians of course, it’s just the nature of the beast.

We all knew there was something under the bed.. and in the closet

2 09 2008

Well, they’re Sarah Palins secrets. A self professed “mostly Democrat”, the author of My 2 Buck$ wrote a very enlightening post on our Republican VP Candidate. Apparently the state trooper ethics investigation isn’t all she’s known for and not much of it is favorable. Not surprisingly, I think she’s a horrible choice for a running mate and a worse choice for Vice President.Sarah Palin seems to be the exact thing I hate most: She’s wonderful on the outside (if you can get away from her law breaking ways) but has a hidden mess in her closet that no one reveals. Of course, the Republican media touts her as the Washington outsider, but read on. She clearly is not.

While you’re there, read some of the other posts written by this author. Very enlightening, I guess you could say.

Bye, Bye Bernie- Bernie Mac Dies

9 08 2008

Bye, Bye, Bernie. Bernies Mac died today. The actor, comic, and family man past away at age 50 due to complications from pneumonia which, according to CNN , stemmed from his long time battle with sarcoidosis.

On August 1st, Mac was hospitalized for pneumonia and was in critical condition, according to some sources. His publicist reported that he should pull through, unfortunately, this was not to be so. Mac died August 9, 2008. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and a grandchild. However, he also helped to raise his own niece and nephew in real life which inspired his show.

Mac starred in films such as Transformers and Ocean 11, 12, and 13. In addition to these roles he also starred in his own tv show, “The Bernie Mac Show” in which two professionals raise their niece and nephew with comedic results.

*Edit* After conflicting stories from the news and other sources it is worth mentioning that some feel this was not a result of his battle with sarcoidosis. I’m sure more details will come out later.

My Darling, you look wonderful tonight

2 08 2008

As usual I come to you in my time of need. The urge to write, vent, and express myself is overwhelming when there is everything and yet nothing to say.

What do you do when you feel your life is derailed? On hold? Do you just spring into action and change it? Do you brood on it and do nothing? What is there to do when you can’t do either one of those? When brooding is no longer an option but springing into action isn’t the best idea.

I guess you wait. It’s what I’m doing. I’ll wait until I must do something and then I’ll do it whether it’s the best or the worst action. I guess that’s how the best decisions in life are made. On a whim, on the flip of a coin.

There’s gotta be something out there worth doing, worth springing on. Something that’ll jump start monotony! Of course we’re all so used to waiting for things to fall into our laps and scream opportunity many of us never find anything. We become so used to waiting it becomes normal.

Go find your opportunity. I’ve got to be close to mine.

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