• Are you providing great customer disservice? – Part 1

    Are you providing great customer disservice? – Part 1

    I experienced two customer service fails in the same week. Part 1 describes my odyssey with a well-known audio/video conferencing service that sounds like Kleenex. I needed to remove a long-discontinued phone number as the default callback number for this conferencing service. Whenever I joined a meeting, it would prompt to callback my old business number.…

  • Why you can achieve more with only one goal

    Why you can achieve more with only one goal

    Last year, I made a big deal about buying a fancy glass whiteboard to keep all of my 2017 goals directly in front of me in my home office. The picture above shows a nice mind map, some major goals that I circled, and lots of ways to support those goals. I failed miserably. I…

  • The 4 things I learned locking myself out of the house

    The 4 things I learned locking myself out of the house

    Last week, I was preparing to participate in a webinar, one I paid to attend. Five minutes before the webinar, I decided to let my dog out onto the deck. Usually, we go out through the sliding door in the kitchen. That day, I opened the door from my office to the deck. It has…

  • Dog days of winter

    Dog days of winter

    Arctic temperatures and 18″ of snow do not invalidate my dog’s need to go for his walks. Both of us bundle up in coats, I’m wearing thermal underwear and wool sweaters (I know, TMI), I open the door, we look at each other, and Copper trudges out with me in tow. He’s my canine customer. I…

  • Nobody’s perfect, not even a perfect stranger

    Nobody’s perfect, not even a perfect stranger

    “Nobody’s perfect, not even a perfect stranger” My favorite song by The Pretenders played on my music shuffle yesterday during my walk.  “Time the Avenger” has several memorable lines in it, including the opening line noted above.  I’m not sure if it’s irony, humor, a play on words, or how to describe it.  That line…

  • No such thing as best practices

    No such thing as best practices

    I enjoy a nicely grilled steak.  There’s something about a well-seasoned, juicy, char-marked piece of meat that activates all five senses (sorry vegetarians, although I also like grilled veggies). There are some basic rules about grilling meat.  It should be a certain temperature to ensure safety, but after that, it’s personal taste.  I’m good with…

  • Can you see the real me?

    Can you see the real me?

    Teenage wasteland. You might think that is the title of the iconic song by The Who. The real name is “Baba O’Riley”. Pete Townshend combined two names of influential people he followed. The message of “teenage wasteland” possibly refers to the desolation of the teenagers at Woodstock (Wikipedia link). Music is art. I suppose that means…

  • One of our container lids is missing

    One of our container lids is missing

    Lids and socks.  The bane of every household.  Like many families, we have a drawer in the kitchen where we keep the world’s supply of containers and lids. Rubbermaid, Hefty, and Glad figured out the marketing model for lost socks and applied it to their business.  They know that, inevitably, your average person will cry…

  • Writing as natural as breathing

    Writing as natural as breathing

    A friend of mine said he liked my writing.  This is not meant to be self-serving (well, anymore than usual).  I thanked him, and he told me it reminded him of David Brooks of The New York Times.  I don’t read The NY Times, not for any reason other than I live near Boston, I usually…

  • What the hack am I doing?

    What the hack am I doing?

    I need a new whiteboard for my office.  I do have a small one off to my side.  The problem is that it is off to my side. It’s not facing me, where I can see it all of the time.  Yes, there are days that I am too lazy to turn my head 90°…

  • When making things right can make them worse for your customer

    When making things right can make them worse for your customer

    Like many other law-abiding Americans, I’m in the midst of completing my taxes.  In the last week, I received a corrected W-2 from a former employer.  It took me a minute to figure out what changed.  Everything was blank other than one check box for a Retirement plan. Because they were a former employer, I’m thinking “I…

  • Why college radio should inspire you to be innovative

    Why college radio should inspire you to be innovative

    Preoccupied with passionate thoughts (about my business, not THAT), I listened to local Boston-area college radio WERS while driving the famous Automile south of Boston.  “Only You Know And I Know” by Dave Mason came on, and two things struck me.  The first was that I had not heard this song in something like 20…