Thursday, November 30, 2006
So here it is! Our very first official rebuttal of a DIFF entry submitted by Brian Doelle on Nov. 15. Brian wrote about his “grating” experience with less-than-mellifluous toilet paper at hotels that marketed themselves as “luxury” or “spas.” He was fed up and it hurt (it really probably did hurt — in a scraping kind of way). And he wondered if anybody EVER uses those silly bathrobes fancy-smancy places provide.
I decided to test his theory. I recently spent five days at the 4-star El Dorado Royale near Cancun, Mexico. This place is luxury, a spa, and provides bathrobes. It was a perfect place to see whether Mr. Doelle was correct in his sweeping generalization that luxury hotels provide toilet paper better fit for a military outhouse……
Continue reading “Official DIFF Rebuttal!” »
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
While enjoying a much-needed cup of coffee one morning, the lights in my apartment began to flicker and suddenly, shut off completely. There was no explanation for it. It neither rained nor snowed. Wondering what was afoot, I pulled out the ol’ Yellow Pages and found the phone number to my electric company.
I dialed. The typical automated message came on to direct me to the relevant area. But instead of a “Press 1 for <fill in the blank>,” the message requested that I say into the phone why I was calling. At the tone, I rather sheepishly said, “My power’s out.” Okay, that wasn’t so bad.
Continue reading “The Irreverent Phone-Bot” »
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
By Matt Cardwell
Good article on Yahoo about how attitude and perception impacts your overall happiness.
Seemed apropos in light of Corey’s entry yesterday on the importance of being recognized for your hard work. One of the most interesting take-aways from the article (and Corey alluded to this as well) is the importance of self-reflection to realizing happiness. When we think about the things that make us happy or unhappy, we often frame them in terms of external events–things that happen to us: marriage, birth of a child, death, illness. Yet some of the happiest, most content people I know have struggled with great personal loss, physical challenge, or ongoing illness. Conversely, some of those whose lives seem to roll along with hardly a bump in the road are some of the most unhappy people I know. So external events aren’t really that critical to happiness, after all, it seems.
What’s going on here?
Continue reading “Happiness is…” »
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Sadly, it’s not very often you get people in the service industry that are really passionate about their job—people who care deeply about the quality of their work and the satisfaction of their customers. So when I find them, I have to show my appreciation in some way. If I have a really exceptional waiter or waitress, I’ll tip well more than my standard 20 percent.
My husband and I recently had problems with the plumbing in our house. It’s a fairly new constructed house, so I’m not terribly confident in the quality of the materials the builders used or the quality of their work. The guy who owns Booth Plumbing and Heating Company in Ann Arbor happens to be a friend of a friend. They did work on our old house and some previous work on our current house (replacing faulty valves installed by the builder who used cheaper products to cut costs, hence my distrust of the builder’s work).
Continue reading “Finally, a Quality Plumbing Company!” »
Monday, November 27, 2006
Have you ever been called out for making a mistake at your
This was my situation before I took a risk and accepted a
job? God knows I have! Most of the companies I’ve been “lucky enough” to work
for only noticed my work when I made a mistake. Does this sound familiar? One
of the worst experiences I’ve had was at the end of a particular company’s
fiscal year. I made a minor data entry mistake and the finance manager ripped
my head off and served it to me for lunch in front of all my co-workers. I was
only four weeks into the job and felt so humiliated. It didn’t matter that I
was new and had busted my butt to get the job finished on time; the focus was on my
one little mistake. The point I’m trying to make is that negativity thrives in
the workplace and hard work usually goes unnoticed all the time and soon
enough, we start dreading the work day to come.
job at Quicken Loans. I left a secure, full-time position at a well established
advertising firm to accept an internship in marketing. I had full benefits,
paid time off and a little over a year invested into the company. I was scared,
nervous and anxious to leave; not sure if I was making the right move. I soon
discovered leaving that position would be the best decision I’d ever make.
Continue reading “Positively Rewarding” »
Friday, November 24, 2006
Yesterday I spent more than a few moments reflecting on all of the things in my life that I am grateful for. My family, my job, my friends, my dogs. You know, the normal stuff. But I also realize so many people out there are less fortunate and truly need a helping hand. That’s why “Rock in the Community,” the community outreach arm of Rock Financial, donates time and money to deserving charitable causes in Southeast Michigan and Northern Ohio.
The motto of Rock in the Community is “the more you give, the more you
get!” Rock in the Community provides funding and support for a wide
variety of services — from housing assistance — to social and
community development — to military and veteran outreach.
Continue reading “Giving Thanks, Giving Back, and Making a Difference” »
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
By Bryan Stapp
One of the things I love about marketing is the ability for marketers and branders to create “shorthand” ways to communicate with consumers. Mostly this is done with icons, packaging, brand names, and mnemonics (like the “Intel Inside” chime sound). These are not easy to create, so once you build one – don’t mess with it. So why did P&G mess with me?
They convinced me (my wife, really) to buy the Downy in the purple bottle. This was quite a feat actually, since Downy usually comes in a blue bottle. But in this case the new vanilla and lavender scent really needed a purple bottle and it works. So now I tuck that piece of shorthand away – the vanilla and lavender scent of Downy comes in a purple bottle. I got it.
Continue reading “Why Does Procter and Gamble Want To Re-Educate Me?” »
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
By Art Steiber
No one has ever told me about a great experience they had with a cable company. And I doubt too many people have ever been impressed by the work the cable service guy did when he came out to fix a problem. In fact, you’re usually ticked off at them because the cable went out in the first place, even though, of course, it’s not the cable guy’s fault it went out.
Well last week when my internet and phone service that we get through the cable company went out I was definitely ticked off. I called the Wide Open West (WOW) Customer Service department (on my cell) to report the problem. I’ve had to call WOW two or three times in the past few years when the cable or internet have gone out and their customer service on the phone has been great. They listen, ask good questions to identify the problem and have been able to do something on their end to fix it. So although I was annoyed that I had to call, I figured they’d get it fixed with a phone call.
Continue reading “What’s the DIFF? Disposable Shoe Covers!” »
Monday, November 20, 2006
By Jarrett Knyal
Recently I received an unexpected “thank you” package from a company called TechSmith. In the package was:
- A nice insulated bag that you can put hot or cold stuff in.
- A cool “sound vase” USB-powered external speaker that lights up.
- A rubbery pad I can put on my dash so my iPod won’t fly out the window during high-speed car chases.
- A nice pen.
- A $50 Amazon gift certificate.
As part of my role at Quicken Loans, I conduct usability studies where I observe people using our Web site. I’ve recently been involved beta testing an application that allows me to do this remotely. The software is created by TechSmith and is called UserVue.
Continue reading “Thank You for the Thank You” »