The Soapbox Archives:
I've been thinking lately that a lot of people aren't interested in doing a "good job" in their day-to-day activities; they figure that they can get away with a "good-enough job" to get along in life. Case in point: after a snow storm, I could do a "good enough" job by clearing an opening at the top of the driveway so a car could get through...barely. That is clearly lazy. However, since I have a two-car-wide shared driveway, I clear out the entire width of my driveway so the other five cars can easily get in and out (my car has its own driveway and you can be sure I cleared it out more than "good enough".) And I cleared out openings in the snow so my trash containers won't be *in* the street nor behind the snowbank.
when I went online to pay my cellphone bill on Saturday, I noticed that my phone bill went up by about $150. It was quite the change-your-underwear experience. While my wife says I didn't show it, I was quite livid. When I got to the store, I found out that someone had gone to upgrade their phone plan and the customer representative had upgraded mine by mistake. Those things happen; they called the phone company's hotline and switched me back.
However, the next morning I wasn't getting text messages properly. I depend on those messages for work because I do tech support 24/7. When I got back to the store that afternoon, I found out that the voice and data plans were two seprate items on the account. When they switched me back to my original plan, they didn't (bother to) activate the data side of the plans. THe guy who was helping me on Sunday told me that I needed to log into the account at home and activate the data plan on all the phones (I have 8 phones on my plan).
Note that the guy who helped me on Sunday was also standing next to the person who had helped me on Saturday. He could have easily told me that the data plans needed to be activated on the accounts. And he could have easily logged into my account from the store and did it right there while I was waiting. But he didn't.
The people at the phone store could have done a "good" job by doing all of that at the store on Saturday while I was there and I wouldn't have had to come back the next day. They could have done a good enough job by telling me about the data plan while I was there at the store on Saturday. what they did was fix part of my plan on Saturday, made me come back on Sunday to find out what they left out, and then made me go home and fix it myself.
There's a mug at my desk that says: "Rule #1: If we don't take care of the customer...somebody else will.". And that is so true.
I had been with my previous cellphone carrier for about 19 years and I had always been disatisfied with their customer service. I had always planned to switch to a different carrier but never got around to it. I wonder if that's what they count on. Ironically, their team colors are yellow; my last name in Chinese means "yellow". It wasn't until I needed to switch to a smart phone for work that I got the incentive to go elsewhere. The guys in pink had been putting on a rash of commercials around that time so they were the first ones I thought of. Businesses that count on customer satisfaction need to make sure they have employees who are proactive, not reactive. Customer support doesn't necessarily need to make the customer happier; they just need to make sure the customer doesn't get an opportunity to be *less* happy.
Sometimes I wonder if some people should be required to take a test to be parent. I was walking around Hollywood Studios and some woman passed me on the left and then decided to make a sharp right turn as soon as she passed me. Unfortunately, she was dragging a small child in her right hand so she managed to shove the kid in front of me and I promtly stepped on the kid. (I was looking ahead instead of looking down at the ground; I was at Disney's Hollywood Studios, after all). While I apologized, I realized that it wasn't my fault. Imagine someone passing you on the highway and then cutting you off because they realized their exit was right there. Intelligent people would slow down and switch lanes after you had passed.
The best place for fireworks at Disney World is at Hollywood Studios. Last year they sync'd their fireworks with the music from Star Wars. This year they projected a Star Wars video against some buildings while shooting up fireworks. Since the fireworks were an accent, they ended up using fewer fireworks but the results were just as spectacular. At least the crowds thought so.
The best time for Toy Story Mania is at night, just before closing, at least it was for Sunday. Last year there was an hour wait and we didn't get to do it. This year we went around 8:00 pm and managed to do the ride three times. And we were around for the Star Wars Spectacular at 9:00 pm. This (Toy Story) was definitely my favorite attraction at Hollywood Studios. The trip to Animal Kingdom was worth it just to see the Festival of the Lion King. Don't forget to use your FastPasses to reserve your time slots.
If you get to France in Epcot during the day, definitely try the "slushies" at one of the kiosks. If you take the boat across the pond at Epcot to France, the ride back is definitely more fun after you have a slushie. :-)
My two recommended restaurants are the Paradiso 37 at Disney Springs (formerly known as "Downtown Disney") and the restaurant in China at Epcot. For breakfast, I also liked the Kona Cafe at the Polynesian, though it wasn't convenient from where I was staying; I wasn't impressed with the breakfast at the Rainforest Cafe. Ohana is a zoo unless you want one of the charaacter breakfasts with Lilo and [the blue character]. I wouldn't go back to Splitsville in Disney Springs, even if they also offer bowling; they messed up an order with an allergy. I wasn't as impressed with the House of Blues as I was last year.
I had just upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S7. I was very disappoint that I could not find Disney cases for the S7; everything was for the iPhone 6 or 7. While the iPhone is more popular in the US, Samsung has the lead in the world and Disney has a lot of international visitors.
People who work there are trained to be *nice*, way above and beyond the call of duty. It's their national pasttime. When they greet you, they always say "Welcome home!". When you go off on your way, they'll say "Have a magical day". All your stress just melts away.
At the end of the trip, however, it can be a somber shock once you get back to the real world. At Disney, if a Disney employee sees you and you have a "lost" look on your face, they'll stop whatever they're doing and ask if they can help you, whether they're a manager, a reservation agent, a bell hop, a waiter or a janitor. One guy drove us to Disney Springs from Saratoga Springs in a golf cart at 10:00 pm; saved us a LONG walk or a long bus ride. When we got to the airport. We saw that gates 101 through 111 was to the left; 112 to whatever was to the right. We turned left and walked to the end but didn't see gate 110. We stood around for a while trying to find gate 110. Finally we went up to one gate agent who turned around and closed the door to the jetway while going down to the plane; never even looked up at us (what if it had been *our* flight?). The closest gate agent kept her head down and looked busy but finally had to acknowledge us because we were standing right in front of her. That's when we were told that we had to walk all the way back to where we came from; gate 110 was in the area behind the McDonald's/eateries.
Toto, we're not in Disney anymore.
Oh, one last thing happened on this trip. We had a flight attendant who kept us awake and listening during the pre-flight instructions by inject humor into her speech. You might be able to guess which airline. Anyway, when we landed, she did the usual thank you for flying with them. She added, "And if you didn't like the flight, thank you for flying with United Airlines".
When I got home from this recent trip, I noticed that the lock was gone. I figured the TSA must have cut the lock open. Inside, I noticed that they had opened up my toiletry bag; nothing else was disturbed. Eventually, I found the lock. It was inside the compartment where the retractable suitcase handle went into the suitcase.
Clearly the TSA goes through luggage and I'm glad they do that for our safety. However, it was disappointing that they opened up the lock and didn't put it back. I'm guessing they were sloppy and couldn't find the lock but didn't feel responsible for correcting their mistake by letting me know. I think they should put a note anyway to tell us they went through the luggage and that they lost the lock so we'd know.
On the other hand, I should just be happy my flight wasn't overbooked.