The customer is not always right?

Double take. Whiplash. What?

Just wanted to relate something that Robert Ringer wrote about in his book I mentioned in an earlier post, Action. Robert mentions a few situations he encountered in the same week with two different young women both around 18 years old.

His first story relates how he went into a deli that he had frequented on numerous occasions and had friendly conversations with the owner many times. This particular time we went in and was served by a counter person he hadn't seen there before. Robert wanted his order to go and, as I do when in a fast food restaurant asking for something other than they're used to, he made it a point to repeat himself numerous times that he wanted his order to go. When his sandwhiches arrived they were unwrapped on plates. Calmly he says, "I had asked for those to go." Anyone versed in customer service would apologise and proceed to wrap up the sandwiches. This young women looks at him and says, "No you didn't." Double take. Whiplash. What? OK, so Robert asks for it to go, the girl returns, "You didn't ask for it to go before." Back-and-forth... Then the owner appears. Robert mentions the standard customer service motto, "The customer is always right." The owner says quite irritated, "No, the customer is not always right. I can always find a new customer, but it's hard to find a good employee." Double take. Whiplash. What?

Needless to say Robert never returned to that deli, nor did any of his friends who he related that story to.

His next story, he walks into a repair store to pick up his printer he had dropped off earlier. The young woman brings out his printer without a paper tray. Robert mentions that his paper tray is missing. The young woman says that he didn't bring it in with a paper tray as she took it when he dropped it off and remembers no paper tray. Back-and-forth... Then the service technician appears and he and Robert go to the back to look for the paper tray. The young woman follows going on that it didn't come in with a paper tray. They look and see lots of paper trays in other printers, but no other paper trays. The young woman says, See, told you so." Robert insists he brought the printer in with paper tray and is not leaving without one. The technician grabs a paper tray from another printer and Robert leaves doubting himself, "Did I bring in the paper tray? Did I ask for that sandwhich to go?"

Robert arrives home with his printer and searches the house and finds no paper tray. He then calls the service technician the next day and confirms that he didn't have another paper tray at home. The technician says, "We did find your tray up on a shelf after you left, sorry for the trouble."

Roberts actual words are paraphrased here, but you get the jist of it. I can't believe that some people can be so idiotic and so high on themselves. I'd like to chalk it up to youth in Robert's examples, but I know it's not just that. I'm sure everyone has similar stories, and if I had a better memory and could think of one of my own I would put it in. I'll come back and edit this post when I can recall one.

Feel free to add comments to this post and relate your own Double take. Whiplash. What? moments.

And be sure to look for Robert Ringer's book, Action! : Nothing Happens Until Something Moves.


Why do we fight?

I just watched an old episode of NCIS. There was a retired WWII veteran who had received the medal of honor. At the end he toasted with a Japanese man who had fought in the War. It really made me think.

Why is there always fighting in the world? There is talk that the war in the Middle East could become World War III. There has always been fighting in the world. It's hard to imagine if there will ever be a time when there's no fighting on Earth. (I was going to say 'in the world', but I watch a lot of Sci-Fi, and when there's peace on Earth there'll likely be a war in the skies.)

I was in the reserves for two years as a radio operator, so even if I was in a war I wouldn't likely have seen any combat. I did go on an exercise for a weekend in Fort Drum, New York, though and I was with the infantry, so I had a taste of what it might have been like. Even though I never fired my rifle as the 'enemy' never came near my position, I still had to clean it after as I was sitting in a muddy trench (that I dug) the whole time. When we marched in we had to go through a shallow river and it rained the whole weekend, so I never dried out the whole time.

It really did feel like hell and I only did that for the one weekend and it's not something I want to experience too often, if again. Most of the time a radio operator sits in the back of a cosy radio truck. I do think that my training was a good experience though and it is one of the things that I'm proud of in my life.

However, I think about the Canadian and American troops who are overseas now and the fire fights you hear that they've been in and the ones who are killed. I can't imagine what that would be like. I'm sure that really changes someone being around that and seeing friends get shot and I doubt it's a change for the better. I'm not sure it's something I would be able to handle or even want to.

I do think guns are cool, but that's the macho man in me. The C7 rifle (Canadian version of the M16) I used in the reserves was cool. I'm a pretty good shot on the range and even was able to use it on fully automatic once. It goes through a 30 round mag in about 3 seconds. The gun advocates like to use the saying, "guns don't kill people, people kill people." I think it's a true statement, but guns really make it easy and a lot less close and impersonal, so I think a corallary is that "people use guns to kill people." And really is there another purpose for guns other than killing?

Anyway, just my ramblings for today and some things to think about.


Can't we all just get along

I've now spent over five hours working on my grandpa's computer trying to get his e-mail to work.

He uses Sympatico and has Norton Internet Security 2005. Sympatico went to a more secure e-mail using SSL; however, Norton can't scan SSL e-mail and gives an error. So, incoming e-mail works fine, but outgoing e-mail won't send.

I spent an hour on the phone with Sympatico who ends up saying it's a Norton error. I then spend another hour using online help chatting with someone at Symantec who tells me to reinstall Norton. Another two hours uninstalling and reinstalling Norton and the error is still there.

The online help forum for Norton says to uncheck e-mail scanning in Norton Antivirus, but there's an error in NAV that even though you uncheck it, it still scans e-mail.

There's a rather lengthy forum ( that goes back to 2004 on this without any real solution other than use a different ISP or don't use Norton. (I spent another hour going through the posts there, so actually I'm up to over 6 hours working on this; counting all the time I spent just trying to figure it out before trying to enlist other help.)

People can't get along in the Middle East, so I guess it's too much to ask to expect Microsoft, Bell and Symantec to play nice together.

It puts it in perspective though when there are people dodging bombs in Lebanon and just trying to survive and my biggest problem is trying to send a secure e-mail. Touching, related post-Moon musings.


If you want a change you have to change

Just wanted to rant a bit about a saying that I like: "If you want something to change, you have to change something."

Basically, this means if you want something to be different in your life, you can't expect it to just happen. You can't expect to achieve different results if you keep doing the same thing you've always done.

Decide what it is that you want to change, and then go about learning about what you need to do to affect that change. And then do it. Knowing what you need to do is a start, but you still won't achieve that change unless you act.

Many people sit around waiting for their ship to come in, and yet they don't take any action. Metaphorically, they don't go to the travel agency to see what their options are, they don't decide on a destination and they don't purchase a boarding pass. They aren't even hanging around at the docks looking for their ship. And they wouldn't even think to swim out to it as they see their ship sail by.

Some people sit around expecting millions to jut fall into their lap. Although a long (long, long) shot, you're never even going to win the lottery unless you take the action of buying a ticket.

Now I'll step off my soap box and just mention a book that I've started reading by Robert Ringer: "Action! Nothing happens until something moves." A good read so far. And, just an interesting tid bit, the quote "nothing happens until something moves" is actually from Einstein.

So, not to be too cheesy, but I'll sign off with "Just Do it!"
Aug. 28 addendum, I've found a historical quote that restates this:

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

However, I'm not sure who to contribute this to. I've found references that Benjamin Franklin said this and I've also found references that Albert Einstein said this.


Mentos and Diet Coke Fountain

101 2-litre bottles of Diet Coke
523 Mentos
One juggler
One lawyer
One cameraman
Cost: $300
Revenue: $15,000 from ad revenue-sharing

Check it out.

I actually saw someone try this. Pretty exciting stuff. Although, I'm sure you have to be a guy to really appreciate it. My wife is a diet-coke-aholic and I'm sure to her this would rank up there with alchohol abuse. I would never think of trying this with beer - what a waste.

How to make a Mentos Coke rocket. This is really cool and won't cost as much time or money as the orchestrated one above.

The chemistry behind it.


Some ideas on transportation

Here's some ideas that I've had recently. I'm always coming up with far fetched ideas that may or may not be feasible.

Both these have to do with cars.

1. Gizmodo posted about this electric car that travels for 250 miles on a single charge. So, I was thinking, if there's an electric motor that controls the rear wheels, the front wheels are just spinning along. Why not hook up a generator powered by the rotation of the front wheels that recharges the batteries. Then, after the initial charge, this thing would go forever. Of course I'm not a mechanic so feel free to poke holes in my theory.

2. This second idea is one I've had for awhile. I think to some extent some luxury cars have installed proximity sensors into cars for parking, but I was thinking why not use electro magnets to create a buffer around cars.

Basically charge all cars so they're all positve (or negative). Like charges repel so there would never be any accidents as cars would have this magnetic field around them. At stop lights only the first car needs to break. Other cars can come up full speed with out breaking and would be stopped by the magnetic field of the car in front. Then when the lead car pulls away the cars behind automatically go ahead.

This would really increase the flow of traffic as you wouldn't need any distance in front of you and would eliminate what I call the domino effect at stop lights, which is the lead car takes a second to realize the lights green and then go, the car behind him takes another second and so on, so it's at least 10 seconds before the 10th car in line even starts to move after a light change (provided everyone's on the ball).

Of course, like I said I'm not a mechanic, so feel free to poke holes in my ideas or tweak them.

Yahoo! Geocities Sucks!

I know the title is rather negative being that this is my first post. I don't intend the whole tone of my blog to be negative, it's just this particular issue has been burning at me for awhile now and I need to vent and get it out there.

Just some background on my issue. I am a Rogers high speed customer and Rogers offers free websites to their accounts. I had an idea for a website to provide the weekly movie times for London Ontario in one central location. Good idea I thought and not a widely offered service.

So, long story short I signed up for numerous e-mails from the theatres, created my website and faithfully updated my site every week with the movies and times from the e-mails. A couple months after being up, Yahoo deletes my site stating it violates their terms of service, specifically they quoted the below term:

Yahoo Geocities Terms of Service
5. You agree to not use the Service to:
(o) use your home page (or directory) as storage for remote loading or as a door or signpost to another home page, whether inside or beyond Yahoo GeoCities;

So, let me understand this, Yahoo will give me free space for a website on the Internet, but I can't point to other pages. Hmmm . . .

Let's step back a moment here. If we look up Internet on wikipedia some key words are network, interconnected, interlinked . . .

So Yahoo Geocities isn't giving me a webpage, there giving me a door that opens up to a brick wall. Yeah, thanks. Thanks for nothing.

Hopefully now that my rant is out there it will get picked up and maybe open up Yahoo's eyes. You'd think that a big Internet player like Yahoo would have a better understanding of the place where they make their money.