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at&t Charges You to Fix Their Problems

Let us imagine the following scenario: You are in an exclusive coffee shop that charges more than any other coffee shop in the neighborhood, but which is well known for the quality of their product as well as their excellent service. You have come in on this day to get your usual order, which is just a cup of coffee. Instead of this, the person at the counter fills your cup with bitter coffee that is room temperature.

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UPS Fails to Deliver

It used to be that if you sent a parcel, you could expect that the parcel would arrive in a timely manner and that the parcel delivery service would be able to give you status updates on the parcel as it made its way along its route. Sure, some packages do get lost but when a company tells you that everything is okay and you can see from the facts in front of you that everything is not okay, it gets extremely aggravating.

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I Do and I am Watching You, Too

In today’s dangerous world, is it enough to just say “I Do” when you take a vow to love and protect your beloved other during a marriage ceremony?  Isn’t it, perhaps, even more romantic to also add under your breath, “…and I’m watching you, too.” at&t thinks so, too, and they now offer a “FamilyMap” service that allows you, for ten dollars a month, to track two phones on your cellular service family plan.  For $15.00USD a month, you can track up to five phones.  Now you can have peace of mind while those around you tremble with paranoia in their new lives under your unblinking Panopticonic gaze — as demonstrated in the image below as I reflectively track myself, creating my own horrifying hallway of mirrors as I wonder if I’m coming or going:

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Adding Fake Sound to Electric Cars

We all know technology can kill us — but we must learn to leave behind our current, menacing, totems if we ever hope to stretch into the future of us to create a cleaner and quieter world. There is an idiotic move afoot to make electric cars as noisy as their prehistoric gas-guzzling ancestors.

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When Caring Betrays Duty

We are trained, in theory, that we have a duty to care about our jobs — but in the practice of the everyday, few people genuinely work to care about the jobs they produce in the workplace.

Why is there a disconnect between caring and duty?

Some feel too much is asked of them when it comes to doing a job.  They are hired to connect "A" to "B" to create "C" and nothing more.  To care about those connections is to drain the emotion necessary to deal with the rest of a rotting world. Or so they say.

When you have a special person that actually cares about the job they are doing and its effectiveness in making the world a brighter place, they are not celebrated by their co-workers or management.  They are mocked and asked to do even more work to cover for those who fail to care.

It is a difficult task to ask the box deliverer to care about the boxes they carry; it is hard to beg a fireman to care about those saved from the flames; it is impossible to urge the surgeon to care about the flesh being cut — but we must begin to demand caring from every niche of the workspace so we will be more than just our jobs — and so together we shall rise above common duty and into the sublime of human morality.

Moving to Mosso from Media Temple

I am currently moving my websites to Mosso from Media Temple so parts of this site — sidebar images and the rotating header — may come and go as the new DNS servers propagate across the world.

My email also will drop in and our over the next couple of days so if you sent me an email yesterday or today and I haven’t answered you yet, it is because your note was lost in the transition. Please resend your message.

As well, yesterday and today most of my comments here on your favorite Urban Semiotic were, and are, getting caught by Akismet as Spam.
That’s a big hassle because every time I comment here I have to enter the Akismet admin interface to clear my own messages.

I changed my email address here to see if that will stop from getting me caught as a Spammer.
If you have a moment during the day to post a comment or two to help me test this Akismet problem while our DNS propagates, that would be a pure delight and I do thank you.

The Enemy Customer and the Sole Proprietorship

I was raised in a time where the philosophy of the sole proprietorship — or any business, really — was “The Customer is Always Right.” My grandfather owned a pharmacy in a small town in Nebraska and when, as a young boy, I would visit him during the summer and “work” for him, I watched as each person walked into his pharmacy for service and grandfather would stop whatever he was doing and give the customer 100% of his time and attention. Sometimes they wouldn’t even ask him a question – they were there just to shoot the breeze. Sometimes he didn’t sell them anything.

Oftentimes he gave them more time than they bought in service. Today I wonder what happened to that Golden Rule of Business where “The Customer is Always Right.”

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