"hmmm...searching for "business
process" jobs on indeed.com yields 99% SAP-related stuff - don't they
know not every process is automateable?" - Frank Patrick
Amen to that.
Frank's a sharp guy; been watching him on and off from across the continent for a few years now (has it really been that long?). He's also looking for work (that engages his skills, and pays him money...). Maybe give him a look if you're in the market for such things and based out of New Jersey.
Mitch Kapor nails it on the "presumptive close." Few things annoy me more, or distance me from the seller faster, than this technique. It's puts my "no" into high gear faster than just about anything else...
I have a few items to return right now which have nothing to do with Christmas. A few of them are technical/electronics products, which for me always brings a bit o' dread, because "restocking fees" and RMA hassles are usually somewhat punitive and/or arduous enough to make dealing with the return more costly than it's worth.
Yesterday, I went ahead and moved forward on dealing with one of them, e-mailing the eBay seller in Hong Kong from whom I'd purchased two sets of front and back bicycle lights (for riding at night). One of the rear lights turned out to be defective. The seller is one of those sellers with massive feedback points (i.e., in the thousands), so I half-expected a minor barrage of return-policy hoop-jumping, or at the very least the need to pack up and mail back the defective unit....
....but instead, I got this:
thank you for your email , we feel so sorry for it , we consider for you ,we will reship a red one to you as soon as possibile , i hope you will receive it soon ,. if you still have any problem ,please email us ,we will try our best to deal with it for you . we feel so sorry if we bring any inconvenience to you , thank you . best regards!
That's just the best. Absolutely delightful. Still makes me smile when I read it...
Boy.... the dollar is just getting hammered out there. Hopefully our big-brother government won't prohibit owning gold altogether anytime soon. (Which isn't as outlandish as you might think, if you're young and don't know history. See here, here, and here for a random sample of articles / posts on the subject (I haven't read those all in full, btw; just pointing you in the direction of more information if you're interested)).
I keep getting these little greeting-card-like mailers from Dell, offering me some special deal on a PC or whatever. If you've bought from Dell, you probably get them too.
What I've noticed, though, is that I don't trust them. I don't trust the little card to be the best deal I can get, and I don't trust Dell to be upfront w/me if that is or is not the case. It's kind of like having a sale in a store, but you only get the sale price if you saw the ad in the paper... and there are different ads in different papers that list the exact same item for different prices.... and there's no indication inside the store that there's even a sale going on at all. That's kind of what it's like dealing w/Dell.
Dell's PC prices also vary on its own Web site. "Recommended
configurations" by Dell can often cost less than similar configurations
put together by consumers navigating the site on their own. Prices on
the site for the same PC model can vary depending on whether consumers
are shopping in the small business, consumer or large-business
subsections of the Dell site.
So... you end up with this whole little ecosystem where deal-finders start scouring sites like this, to see if they can get a better price than they get by navigating Dell's web site directly, or (in this case) responding to the little mailer ad.
There are many compelling reason to have variable pricing. Among them are maximizing short-term profit, and compensating for the support cost variances between different markets (enterprise vs. Grandpa Joe, for instance).
BUT, one of the casualites of variable pricing is relational trust. If my provider is giving a better deal to the guy down the street, and isn't transparent with me about that, and about why.....well, let's just say that I'm not inherently thinking of that provider as one who will reliably be looking out for my best interest.
...and that's not to say Dell is, or is not, in the relationship business (I think I would argue they are, or at least should be); but I'd sure pay a lot more attention to their mailers if I thought they were sincere.