29 November 2007

BabyLo Update

As we get closer to "the day" it's been tougher to keep up with blogging. I'm sure once he's born, it'll still be as tough, however, I'll have plenty more drivel to write about.

So we're in the 38th week and as of the Doctor's appointment this week, we know that if BabyLo doesn't arrive by Monday, December 3rd, than he's being bounced from the "Womb" night club on December 4th.

We did finally decide on a name this past Saturday. Actually, Mary Kay and I were in a baby-type store and she picked up 5 letters that spelled out his name. These would be those wood letters one would hang on the wall of a child's room. She asked me "How about these"? and I reacted funny because it spelled out the name that I had chosen.

I'm floored really. I'm so excited that I'm ready to burst at the seams. (and big seams they are). I really can't wait until he arrives. My life will be consumed with making sure he has everything he needs and that he has a great life.

13 November 2007

If you hit me over the head, I have a right to fight back

Okay. I work in the "advertising" business, albeit the Market Research part of it, but part of our company's work is pre-testing commercials before they go on air. The primary action points of that process are to give the client feedback on how well the commercial was branded, whether it was even memorable and if the intended main message can cut through the clutter of all the other stuff people watch.

So, I do believe I can speak to this matter effectively.

Dear Citibank,

Since you've decided to run 200,000,000 GRP's worth of your latest campaign and I see it every time I turn on the t.v., I feel it only fair for me to now pick apart the commercial. If a man and his son take a trip to Norway, enjoy the sights, eat funky food, and buy sweaters, how is it that if they go to the "hall of records" they can find out they are actually Swedish? The last time I checked, the "hall of records" should just tell them if they are either Norwegian or not. Is there some funky cool cross-reference library in the Scandinavian world that lets you find out your full heritage from within one specific country?

A Market Researcher.

So what have we learned here? a) Their commercial is sufficiently branded, however, I'm not sure if it truly is, or, if the simple fact of it running 2000 times a day just hits me over the head so much, I can't forget it. b) If you do hit me over the head so much, I reserve my right to pick your :30 apart second by painful second.

I love my job ;-) !!!!!

"Customer Service" sucks in this country

In yet ANOTHER case of where I've experienced poor customer service, we have this:

On November 2nd, I ordered the proper mounting bracket for the new 47" Television that I bought for our new basement. My credit card was charged promptly which included $14.60 shipping (UPS Ground) and $5.00 handling by CENTRAWORLD.com who operates on behalf of Westinghouse Digital.

Recently I've noticed that from MOST vendors now, you usually get a confirmation email that has the shipping tracking number (FedEx/UPS/DHL) so that you can track where your product is. I received the confirmation email but never got the tracking number. On November 9th, I called Westinghouse/CENTRAWORLD and enquired as to the status. I was told by Carlos that my ordered was filled on the day that I placed it, but that there wasn't a tracking number in the system, which he stated was "odd". He promised me that he'd call me back later that day with the tracking number since the shipping manager was out at lunch.

No call arrived. I tried calling on Monday, November 12th, but just missed their normal business hours (darn), so I've called back today. A young gentleman gave me the number and when I went to the UPS website, I found out that my purchase hadn't even been shipped until Friday night, the 9th! (same day I called to enquire). Very intersting.

So I've called back and spoke to Ronae who is the manager. Unfortunately because it's now in transit there's not much she can do and they aren't allowed to refund shipping costs and she didn't know who I could ask about that.

Customer Service is the new "fast food" spot for everyone who dropped out of high school. I actually get better service at "fast food" restaurants now than ever before and definitely better than any place I've ordered things from on the Internet or in person.

No wonder why everyone wants to offshore this stuff to India. We are a lazy f'in country, America! Tough crap to you if you expect anything on time and correct. bleccccchhhhhhh.

04 November 2007

43 and done

When is a tradition, not a tradition? When Charlie Weis and the Notre Dame faithful decide it's not.

Four horsemen, Play like a Champion, Touchdown Jesus, all things that have been around for more than say, 20 years. Notre Dame traditions, right? But now, a 43 year win streak over Navy isn't a tradition, it's not a streak, it's irrelevant to the players and Charlie.

You cannot have it both ways no matter how you spin it. You lost after 43 years of beating Navy and now you're 1-8. You are tired of taking the heat for a crappy season and your one word, Brian Urlacher style answers are truly just disgusting for a man who makes so much money coaching a TRADITION!

Grow up Charlie, I thought you to be a much better man that this. No matter how you try to make this go away, the Notre Dame alumni and wannabes know and will remember forever this horrible season where you lost to Navy!

I wouldn't be surprised if the Athletic Department tries to find a way to drop Navy from the schedule after this. (okay, ND faithful, lighten up and take the joke!)

03 November 2007

Love Devin Hester, good ol' number 23 on the Chicago Football Bears

Words really aren't needed to describe this guy. He IS the Bears offense as of late.

This is Devin filling up this summer at a gas station in the northern suburbs of Chicago. His custom Chevy Caprice with the Louis Vuitton designer leather and skin. Good custom rims as well. A man who runs back the opening kick-off of the Superbowl SHOULD be driving a car like this.

Regaining a little faith in Customer Service

It's been an interesting week where actual service spoke for itself. Before I get into that, however, here's an update on my printer that I ordered from CompuBiz on October 1st, 2007. Our printer finally arrived on Monday the 29th. This time it arrived undamaged and is now up and running. 28 days to get a printer. The only thing that cheeses me off more than the time it took is that "Mike" who was my customer service rep (har har) wouldn't break the rules and make an exception to ship my printer next-day overnight to finalize my happiness. So it, again, was shiped FedEx ground which takes 4 days from California. Thanks for going that extra mile, Mike, to make me happy QUICKER! I'm sure you would have had to do some extra "work" to make that happen.

So on to more fun things. The guys installing my Owens Corning basement "system" have been incredibly accomodating and friendly. In fact, we have a discussion either at the end of each day or the beginning to talk through what's happening next and whether or not we have any questions or requests. I have unfortunately made the electricians move a few things more than once, but it's so damn hard to visualize how a t.v. that you haven't bought yet is going to mount on a wall that isn't there yet.

I will say that I'm very happy with this so far. Although the drawbacks on buying an Owens Corning basement "system" are the high-pressured sales tactics (really unnecessary given the name that backs this) and the fact that they just don't do any plumbing or flooring (try explaining all of this to other sub-contractors), my basement is shaping up to be one nice room addition to our house.

Here's a few shots of the basement at the conclusion of Day 06:

This is a view of the main room from the bottom of the steps.

This is a view towards our bar area from the back of the room.

This is a view of our entertainment wall. This is what I refer to as trying to envision a 47" flat-screen LCD with wires hidden and a place for all of our components.

So, that's it for this post. Boo on CompuBiz still. You sucked through this process and although I finally have my $139 printer, I could have spent that on GAS to get it quicker.