Twitter Updates for 2008-03-31

  • Up. 7 1/2 hours of sleep, but don’t feel totally rested. Damn cold is just pounding away at me. #
  • @truckertom: Darn! Wrong direction from me – I’m about 15 miles north of where you are now. #
  • Perking up a bit even with the nasty cold. Music is helping. All should check out Men Without Pants- fun stuff: http://tinyurl.com/2snheb #
  • @banannie: Shine is just another lame attempt to capture less web savvy women. In actuality – you’re NOT in their demographic. #
  • Lunch done, not feeling up to full, but better than the past few days have been. #
  • @wankergirl: "I am but a pustule. Squeeze! Squeeze! Feel my mighty power!" #
  • @wankergirl: Haha! #
  • Cough returning a bit. Not a happy camper. #
  • Still suffering. This is one nasty cold virus. Tired of being sick. #

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Twitter Updates for 2008-03-29

  • Well,being sick caught me up on 3 episodes of Reaper, the Justice League movie and one episode of Spectacular Spider Man.Has its advantages! #
  • Up and still feeling like crap. Definitely a sinus issue as well now. Anyone have good sinus remedies? #
  • Took 12 hour sudafed. Took forever at CVS to get. Stupid laws keeping Sudafed behind counter, and cashier clueless on process to give it. #

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In Which I Bitch About Clueless CVS Employees

So I have this nasty cold right now.  I’m in kind of a grumpy mood, I’ll give you that.

But this morning I went out to our local CVS to simply get some Sudafed 12 hour.  If you live in the US you probably know that there is some law now that if you buy anything with pseudoephedrine in it – there is now a complicated process for getting it.  Apparently it can be made in a lab into methamphetamine and thus if someone were to buy it in large quantities they could be suspected of running one of these labs.

Which makes it difficult for the rest of us to get it.  I mean look – I’m ok with a little inconvenience.  But what should have taken me two extra minutes at the CVS today took an extra 10 painful minutes.  It was more to blame on the idiot cashier, then the actual process itself, although the process definitely threw a wrench in the works of this cashier’s brain.

Maybe I’m just too curmudgeonly, getting old or whatever, but I cannot fathom how this simple process so stymied this guy.  I walked up to the counter and handed him the little cardfor my medication, and my other items.  He scanned he card, then looks down at it, scanned it again, and looked down at it, and then said “I think I need your driver’s license.”

I knew this and already had it out, and handed it to him. I don’t know if he was unfamiliar with this procedure – maybe he was new.  He attempted to punch in my data four times.  FOUR TIMES.  All of those times he received some kind of a beep indicating an issue.  He gets on the intercom and announces he needs assistance.  I am still standing there.  He didn’t say to me “I’m sorry sir, I need help ith this.”  He just stood there.  After 5 minutes someone finally came to help.  She punched the info in – I signed the transaction pad, and swiped my card.  Then I said “the medicine?”  Oh right…the medicine is kept behind the counter…that’s why I had to BRING THIS CARD UP TO YOU and SIGN for it.  He turns around, starts to look for it.  Spends about 2 minutes, and by this time I’m becoming impatient. I feel like crap, I want my medicine and to get out of there.  I can see it plain as day and I say “Bottom shelf, third from left.”  He picks it out and goes to finish the transcation.

So I punch in my card # for debit – I realize I need cash and I punch in for $20.  The transaction finishes he hands me my receipt, closes the cash drawer.  I say “Where’s my $20”?

“Oh you got cash back….didn’t see that….hold on…”  He opens his cash drawer – no paper money.  NONE.

And again – without so much as a word to me – he gets on the intercom to call for help.  Hangs it up.  And we’re standing there.  Finally I say – “Did you need to get help?”  He says “Oh yeah a minute.”

At this point – I’m steaming – and it’s not about the process of getting the medication – but about this guy’s total and complete lack of customer service skills.  Look, I know that it doesn’t take a LOT to be a cashier at CVS.  But now I feel it’s my responsibility to teach him a little.  I go off.

“Alright – look – a little communication with your customer is all this takes. ‘I’m sorry sir, I didn’t have the cash, I needed to call the manager.’ or  ‘I’m sorry it’s taking so long sir, I’m new.’ Even ‘Sorry for the wait’ would have sufficed.  It’s just some basic pleasant customer service – and it helps a LOT.”

Finally a manager arrives at the counter, and he stands there while she helps someone at the photo counter.  He doesn’t flag her down and say “hey I need you for a sec.” He just stands there.

I say “Uh – can I get my $20.”

The manager then looks at him, and looks at me and the growing line behind me, shakes her head and says “he didn’t get his cash yet?”  She opens another drawer and hands me my $20.

She says “Sorry sir – have a good day”.  At least someone gets it.

I said “Thanks – a little customer service is all it takes – this boy needs some training in it” and I walked out.

Now – I’ll grant you – I’m cranky, I feel like crap – but every step of the way here I just don’t get how someone even at such a low level can be so clueless.  I mean – these people so exist…and maybe the guy was just a high school kid.  That’s not an excuse.

But it speaks to a bigger problem in retail these days – a lack of committment, and a lack of training.   The days of mom and pops are long gone, but our committment to being nice and communicative to our customers- in even a CVS or a supermarkets – shouldn’t go with them.

–*Rob

Twitter Updates for 2008-03-28

  • Cold blossomed. Headache, fever, stuffy nose. Feel like utter crap, bu tmust go to work for half day. So much for D&D tonight. #
  • At work, feeling like crap. Building is too hot and with this fever I’m not a happy camper. #
  • 10:45 can’t come soon enough, this cold is kicking my butt. Need to go home and veg. #
  • @lblanken: maybe it’s not just young men, but loud people in general? #
  • Home. Relaxing in recliner, trying to recuperate. I hate colds that take you down just enough to make you useless. #
  • Sitting on couch, coughing up a lung. #

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Twitter Updates for 2008-03-27

  • Morning. Have to find a lawn mower place to prep mower for spring. #
  • Educating another artist on podcasting and podsafe music. #
  • Asked an artist if their music was podsafe and they said "oh yes, go ahead and put your MP3 on your iPod. It is virus free. #
  • @banannie: Can’t use at work, and too much else going on at home to bother to mess around with them. #
  • Home a feeling a cold coming on and not liking it. Going to chill tonight and hope it doesn’t blossom. #

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Twitter Updates for 2008-03-26

  • At work, listening to DSC738, and feeling a blog post about last night’s American Idol coming on… #
  • @chrisbrogan: MY daughter will, as I still have a record player and all my records. But she also knows how to use the iPod. At age 4. #
  • @chrisbrogan: By the way – records are a great science lesson for kids in sound. Unlike a CD, you see how sound is made with needle. #

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American Idol Gimmicks and Tricks

So, you probably know, I watch American Idol. You can tell me I suck, it’s OK. I’ve made my peace with it and it IS something I enjoy.

But – I’m getting tired of all the tricks the Idol contestants are playing this season.

The theme of last night’s show was “songs of your birth year.”

There were some good performances. Brooke White did a very nice “Every Breath You Take” with her own arangement and even Chikezie was decent on Luther Vandross’ “If Only For One Night.”

But three performers used tricks to stand out.

First – Kristy Lee Cook performed Lee Greenwood’s “Proud To Be An American.” Oh Kristy, you are a sly one. Everyone likes a pretty girl singing a patriotic song. You have that all-American girl look and now you’ve got everyone voting for their patriotism. The truth is – it’s a pretty cheesey song, and not that hard to sing well. It has its own emotional swell, and you didn’t have to stretch very much to make it sound good.

Second – was Archu-D2 – David Archuleta. He sang “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham. You’re probably saying to yourself “what did he sing? By who?” Backstory on this song:

Winter of 1986 I went to Australia to visit family friends and discovered John Farnham’s Whipsering Jack album – which is a really great album by him. “You’re The Voice” was a hit in Australia in 1986, and in many other countries in 1987, but it never did anything in the US. So the song by 1990 was already a re-release. David did not do the song justice. The song – if you listen to the original – it was just too big for him. But it fits with his whole “the world sucks let’s make it better” vibe with his song choices. Its re-release in 1990 was I believe
because a Little River Band greatest hits package came out and they wanted something current to push it with (Farnham was in the LRB for a time). The song peaked at #82 on the US pop singles chart, and Farnham never had another hit in the United states…. And that’s
your AT40 extra….now…on with the countdown….

But seriously – he picked a song no one in America knew – which was actually really good – because no one had ANY pre-conception of what the song was supposed to be (except me and a few other music geeks). Moreover – I bet he had never heard the song before – and I doubt he could have picked it himself.

Third is David Cook. He sung Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” I wrote about him earlier in the month. David Cook needs to stop singing “other people’s versions of big artists’ songs.” For those who do not know the Chris Cornell version of that song – it probably sounded amazing. Chris Cornell (from Soundgarden and Audioslave) does it 100 times
better, because his voice has more power and more depth. Once again – a good trick from David, but for those of us in the know, he’s not fooling us. I’d like to see him take risks with his OWN arrangements of songs. I for one, think it sucks that he keeps getting lauded, when all he’s doing is finding alternate arrangements of songs. That’s a trick that was used sparingly by Idol contestants in the past, but he’s doing it every single week.

Overall – the artists I like on Idol this season are the ones NOT using tricks. Brooke White, Syesha Mercado and even Chikezie. They try to make songs their own, and try new things. It’s been an interesting competition so far. Time will tell if it keeps it up.

–*Rob

Twitter Updates for 2008-03-25

  • At work and listening to latest Bitterest Pill premium. #
  • Lunch an hour away. What to have…what to have…. #
  • @yasko: Sorry to hear that. I’d be stressed too, if I had to go to that Eastern dental office. #
  • Eating keebler double fudge sandwich cookies. Yum. #
  • @Jacobshm:Not only that-they plant professional "laughers" in studio audiences at live tapings. Listen to WNYC Radio Lab’s show on laughter. #

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Twitter Updates for 2008-03-24

  • At work, chilling with Maxi-Priest "Close To You" up on iPod. This song takes me back to my days on the radio… #
  • User: I’m getting Error 680 – No dial tone. Me: Did you check your telephone line? User: Well I was talking on it at the time…er…yeah.. #
  • @bpende: I don’t know how you can listen to podcasts and concetrate on work at the same time. I can’t do it. #
  • @bpende: Then again I’m on the phone about 50% of my time here at work. #
  • Lunch – Teriyaki Boy Monday. #

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