WTF? Seriously, What Is He Saying?

"Given the increasingly important role of the Internet in education and commerce, it differs from other media like TV and cable because parents cannot prevent their children from using the Internet altogether," Sen. Stevens said. "The headlines continue to tell us of children who are victimized online. While the issues are difficult, I believe Congress has an important role to play to ensure that the protections available in other parts of our society find their way to the Internet."
- Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK)

I’m really convinced that this guy not only has never used the Internet, but he also has no idea what it is, and does not know anyone with first hand experience. I’m surprised he didn’t point out that China is successfully monitoring the Internet…

Woodside Bakery in the Merc

I love this place, it might as well be called Our Kitchen considering we are there just about as frequently as the one in our home. I still hit Buck’s occasionally but really prefer the Bakery, although I will say that the staff at Buck’s has been there for years (many) and they remember you so even though it’s a bit over the top, the staff more than makes up for that.

It’s funny how as you get older you tend to become more repetitious in the places you go… I could do the Bakery for breakfast and lunch and Village Pub for dinner every night of the week and be a very happy man.

If you are in from out of town do yourself a favor and have lunch at the Woodside Bakery,

 

Corporate Doublespeak

I always felt out of my element in a large company environment, my visit back to SAP this week reinforced that view. I was listening to the various speakers at the social media summit talk and it had me thinking about language.

It occured to me that maybe people, consumers to employees alike, would have greater belief in corporate institutions if companies talked like people:

Total Customer Experience = we want our customers to like us in addition to our products/services.

Strategic = it’s important.

Synergistic = by doing something extra we’ll get more out of all the parts.

Sales Cycle = what it’s going to take for us to sell something.

Brand = what people think about us.

Demographics = who buys our products and/or services.

Cross-functional = lot’s of people will do/use it.

Lifecycle = how long until we can’t make money with it anymore or are just tired of it.

Obviously I’m not the first person to make this observation, I do like Anil’s suggestion. Don’t get me started on acronyms.

Yet Another Post on Airline Customer Sat (YAPACS)

JetBlue is a terrific airline to fly on but their JFK operation sucks.

Long Lines:

The lines for skycap and bag check were huge this morning. The car dropped me off and I was immediately in a long line at the curb. When I asked a maintenance worker having a smoke what the line I was in was for he said curb check-in, and as I was not checking bags I breezed on by. Several people hollered out that I was cutting in line ahead of them, only to develop a rather pissed off and stupid look on their faces when I told them they were in the skycap line… it’s really amazing to me how people can step into a line for something and not at least ask what it is for.

Personnel:

JetBlue employees are, I have found, helpful and good tempered across the board and JFK was no exception. However, finding an employee was the challenge and it reflects a significant understaffing condition in that hub. Clearly there have been challenges at JetBlue as they struggle with the growth that they have experienced, nowhere is it more clear than at JFK.

Terminal:

Okay, JFK is undergoing a big renovation and it’s just not easy to get around there at the moment, however that doesn’t excuse JetBlue for not putting signs and lane markers to help guide customers to the right point of contact from the minute they hit the curb.

Kiosks:

The self-service kiosks are abundant but offer spotty performance. I was unable to check in on the first kiosk I went to, getting instead a "oops we couldn’t do it, you need to see customer service" card, however I made a second attempt on another kiosk and checked in fine. System problems are not uncommon but in this case it could have resulted in one more person in an already long line if I had not tried again.

Perhaps my experience this morning reflects on the growth that JetBlue has experienced and their struggles to stay up with it, however it doesn’t excuse it. There one saving grace is that the employees seem to care and that appeals to customer’s more generous side in willing to put up quite a lot but that doesn’t make it right.

Contrast that to United, which I’m just avoiding flying on whenever possible, and not only are there delays and hassles but the employees generally don’t seem to like dealing with customers, everyone from surly flight attendants to over worked customer service agents dealing with hundreds of passenger connection problems and lost bags. Of course there are always exceptions on a daily basis but I’m not alone in observing that United’s employees are awfully pissed off about what’s happened to that airline, their pensions, and the stock price over the years.

Ironically, the best part of my JFK experience this morning was the TSA security checkpoint, which was well organized, fast, and efficient in spite of a busy terminal. It’s quite a statement when one can say this about TSA.

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