Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Charities Soliciting Donations Via the Phone

People must respond positively to charities that call and solicit donations over the phone or else they wouldn't do it, right? I received a call this morning at my business phone number from a charity looking for a donation from my company. The caller spoke clearly and did a nice job reading from her script; however, she wouldn't let me get a word in until she was completely done with her spiel :-)

Once she (finally) finished, I told her I didn't respond to phone solicitations but was happy to receive information about the charity via e-mail. No, she couldn't send me information via e-mail (!), but she could give me the web site address of the charity.

The charity seems aboveboard and was certified by the Independent Charities of America as being one of the "best". I understand that in these difficult economic times, charities need help more than ever. I'm a sucker for kids selling door-to-door or those that approach me at my local grocery store. However, I do have an issue with charities (or any for-profit or not-for-profit organization for that matter) who solicit people directly via the phone. Is it just me?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

But they keep YOUR hands clean...

Earlier this week, I dropped off my car for servicing at my local Honda dealer. This dealership went through a big renovation a few years ago, and one of the things they added was a small deli in the waiting area. The deli offers the usual assortment of soda, chips, cookies, crackers and even fresh fruit. In addition, the deli has a grill and is able to offer breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers and other hot food while you wait for your car to be serviced. I was feeling a bit hungry (and bored), so I decided to order a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on wheat toast. The woman working at the deli was in the middle of moving drinks from one refrigerator to another, asked me if I was waiting for my car (which I was) and offered to bring the sandwich out to me once she finished moving the drinks. OK, I thought, I can wait.

When I came back a few minutes later, I noticed that my sandwich was on the grill and the woman was making change for another customer with her disposable gloves on. After making change, she reached over to my sandwich, cut it in half and plated it. Ewww... I really, really wanted to ask her why she was wearing the gloves in the first place, if she had no intention of taking them off while handling money, but I decided to best thing to do was to pay for my sandwich, eat it and hope that I wasn't going to get deathly ill afterwards (which I didn't).

So, how dirty is money? According to this article, the long-held belief that you can catch disease from handling money may be exaggerated.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

10 Days to Process my Request?

Someone please tell me why it should take any web site more than 10 minutes to process my unsubscribe request? This morning, I unsubscribed from several lists at PGATour.com. To their credit, the unsubscribe process was simple. Once I was done, here was the "thank-you" screen.

It takes up to 10 days to process my unsubscribe? What's going on during those 10 days? Are you using a hammer and chisel, a la the Flintstones, to maintain your list of e-mail subscribers?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Stop your engine when pumping gas... Please!

We live in a litigious society. Instead of supporting the use common sense or taking responsibility for people's own actions, our society condones, and maybe even subtly encourages, suing people. So, it doesn't surprise me that companies will put up signs that seem like they should be common sense, but are there to protect the companies from lawsuits. We've all seen the warning labels on Styrofoam cups of coffee that you get at McDonald's that say, "Warning: Contents are hot." Well, duh... it's coffee. It's supposed to be hot. You're supposed to be careful when drinking hot coffee.

This morning, while I was at my local gas station pumping gas, a guy pulled up behind me, got out of his car and started to pump gas while his engine was running. Now, 99.9999% of the time, nothing happens. My issue is this: Is it such a big deal to turn off your engine while you're pumping gas? Is it a question of fuel economy? Is it laziness? Is it ignorance? Is it his way of rebelling against the establishment? Maybe he should visit the ESD Journal web site and read the various stories about static electricity causing fires at gas stations. If static electricity can cause a fire, what do you think an idling engine can do? Maybe he was waiting to be nominated for a Darwin Award instead.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why Target is better than Wal-Mart

In Burke, VA, a Northern Virginia suburb, there's a Wal-Mart within 1/4 mile of Target. I dread going to Wal-Mart. While Wal-Mart's prices are slightly better than Target's, there are so many reasons NOT to go to Wal-Mart. In no particular order, here are a few:

  • Wal-Mart NEVER opens enough checkout lanes.
  • Wal-Mart ALWAYS looks as if a hurricane has blown through its aisles.
  • When was the last time Wal-Mart waxed its floors?
  • Can you ever find anything that you need at Wal-Mart quickly and easily?
  • Can you ever find a Wal-Mart employee when you need one?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why does it take 10 days to UNSUBSCRIBE?

After I unsubscribed to the Entertainment.com web site, here's what the web site returned:

Your e-mail preferences for "blahblahblah@blahblahblah.com" have been successfully submitted. Please note, it will take up to 10 (emphasis is mine) days for your request to become active.

Now, don't get me started on how I wound up on their mailing list to being with -- perhaps it was all the online sweepstakes/contents that I entered :-) -- but can someone please tell me why it takes up to 10 days to unsubscribe to an e-mail list? We can put a man on the moon, but you can't take me off your unsubscribe list for 10 days?

BTW, isn't the phrase "We can put a man on the moon, but we can't ..." a little outdated? What else would you use in place of that?

Friday, February 23, 2007

I Was Here First!

How many times have you gone to a restaurant or retail establishment, waited in the correct line, gotten to the front of the line, only to hear the phone ring and see the employee rush to pick up the phone? What's the deal with that? Is this some kind of ingrained, Pavlovian response that's embedded within our DNA? At the very minimum, they could acknowledge my place in line and excuse themselves to go answer the phone. But, no... as soon as the phone rings, they're off to pick it up. Wait a sec... is that my cell phone ringing? See you later...