What's The Diff?

The things Quicken Loans team members care about and want to share with the world

Doing It Wrong

Animal Band Epiphany

While sitting outside at a family party this weekend, I noticed my 8-year-old niece’s wrists were covered with little neon bracelets. So, I asked her what the significance of them was. She gave me the most shocking look and couldn’t believe that I had never seen these stretchy, new accessories. It took me the longest time, before I noticed that when the bracelet is removed, it takes the shape of an animal or another fun figure. Such a simple idea and now they’ve turned into a bigger fad than the power bead bracelets of 2000. If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve seen or heard of these bracelets before me. Apparently, I’m out of the loop with the latest “tween” fashion crazes, because they’ve been around for a little while now. They were born in Birmingham, Alabama in 2008 and continued to spread to cities everywhere. With that, these unique wristbands have been banned from some high schools because students use them like rubber bands, reaping havoc for teachers. (At least this is what my niece informed me of!)

By the end of my weekend, I was excited to learn that I wasn’t the only one who just discovered these popular bands. The day after my niece introduced me to them, I met a 26-year-old guy who was sporting one around his wrist. I couldn’t help but ask him “Which animal is that one?!” He got a kick out of it because he just found out about them as well. To top it off, when I got to work Monday morning, I talked to yet another person who came into contact with these little animal bracelets, because of his sister. So now, if you see someone wearing one of these, you'll know what they are and want in on the craze too!


Credit for above image: http://kxua.uark.edu/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/animal_bands.jpg


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Woot’s Crappy Customer Service

For those of you who have never heard of Woot.com, there's an entire culture you have been missing.  Woot is notorious for selling random electronics, household items, and well… junk.  They only sell one item per day, and about every month or so they have a Wootoff where items are continually sold until sold out for a period of 24-72 hours.

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UFL has a silly email policyHere's a story I find interesting.

To make a long story short, the other day one of the team leaders from one of the Quicken Loans family of companies sent an email to the UFL and this is what happened.

The UFL, for those not in the know, is the latest attempt to compete with the almighty NFL to supply the American public's never-ending thirst for good pro football.

I don't want to mention the obvious, but lots of others have tried and failed (remember the USFL, the XFL, the World Football League, even Arena Football????), and that's what makes the email reply that the team leader got back from them all the more ridiculous.

Anyway, so here's what happened. Our guy wanted to send their guys a suggestion about their uniforms. Nothing big. Just a friendly suggestion. So he went to the contact page (http://www.ufl-football.com/contact) on their site and found this:


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Okay, I'll stop. But….seriously?

An article from one of my faves, The Next Web, proves the insanity to be true:

Vicki Walker, an Auckland (New Zealand) accountant, was sacked for sending supposedly confrontational emails with words in red, in bold and in CAPITAL LETTERS.

The Employment Relations Authority in New Zealand ruled that Walker was not fairly terminated from her position after sending the emails to co-workers. Her previous employers, ProCare, have now been ordered to pay New Zealand dollars $17,000 (US $11,500/€8000)  for unfair dismissal.

Fired in December 2007, after two years with the company, ProCare claim Walker had “caused disharmony in the workplace by using block capitals, bold typeface and red text in her emails.”

Walker claims that the one email used in evidence was in regard to how her team should fill claim forms, and specifies a time and date highlighted in bold red, and a sentence written in capitals and highlighted in bold blue. It reads: “To ensure your staff claim is processed and paid, please do follow the below checklist.”

Walker plans to seek further compensation.


I know I'm accustomed to an award-winning workplace here at Quicken Loans, but I'd like to think there's better ways to deal with someone's occasional overuse of caps lock or (gasp!) color. Don't we have bigger fish to fry? Like emoticons? :-)


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Voter apathy in Detroit is disgraceful

Detroit is at a crossroads.  A fork in the road. We have to pick one direction or the other tomorrow.

It's a crossroads thrust on us by the unfortunate events which led to the ouster of Kwame Kilpatrick and the very costly and very questionable special elections – the first held a few months back and the second tomorrow.

For the first time in Detroit's history, we are having an emergency election to pick a mayor to finish out this year and (hopefully) begin the painful process of getting the city back on its feet.

The problem is that hardly any Detroiters care. That is, if you believe the polls.

According to the experts, only 15% of registered voters will bother to show up tomorrow to pick between current interim mayor Ken Cockrel or businessman and former sports star Dave Bing.

Only 15%?


Do the other 85% have something better to do with their time than bother to pick the person who will lead their city?

I hope the experts are wrong.

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TripAdvisor’s 10 Dirtiest Hotels in the United States

Trip Advisor Dirty Hotels on the Quicken Loans blogEwwwwwww. 

Bed bugs bites all over their bodies.

Cockroaches in the bathroom and in the bed.

Dirty sheets and smelly rooms.

Like I said, eeeewwwwwwwwwww.

These are the reviews of the hotels TripAdvisor has named the 10 Dirtiest in the U.S. And based on the reviews I read, these places are NASTY!! DANG!! Roaches all up in the towels and stuff. 

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Pizza Hut viral video – a sloppy mess that leaves a bad taste in your mouth

Wow. Talk about "what were they thinking?"

I like to mention great examples of creative social media and word of mouth marketing here (Häagen-Dazs Honey Bees for example), so I guess it’s only fair I point out a terrible example that makes me say "huh?"

Pizza Hut recently created the below video and evidently actually thought it was a good idea. They sent out two guys with video cameras to bother small mom and pop pizza shops. Umm, yeah, nice way to make your brand look good guys.

About 99% of the comments I’ve seen on this are negative and it appears that Pizza Hut spent several grand to make themselves look like sophomoric bullies. I don’t get it.

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Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit changes hopeful outlook

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit  For more, visit Quicken Loans DIFF blog, www.WhatsTheDIFF.com

I am not a native Detroiter, but I find myself downtown quite a bit. I only live about 20 minutes from the city, a straight shot down I-94. In the past, one of the bright spots in my frequent visits was driving by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

During the day, it looks like another aging building in Detroit. There is top-to-bottom graffiti, a drab gray sidewalk and no obvious indicator of what the building might be. It sits amidst a variety of other random buildings; some brand new apartments for the University, some decrepit liquor stores and run-down shops. But at night, neon writing is visible and bright enough that any passerby would gravitate to it.

It used to gleam proudly, pronouncing "EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT." It made me feel good, I even stopped to take a picture of it one night. I went out of my way to show it to people who hadn’t seen it. My best friend moved into the apartments across the street and whenever someone asked where she lived, I always told them about the building, encouraging them to check it out. I thought it was such an awesome thing to put on a building, especially in a city where you might not expect the most positive outlook, let alone public displays of promise.

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Most delayed airlines and airports, from CNN Money

Quicken Loans reports most delayed airlines and airports from CNN Money by whatsthediffblog, on Flickr

Compliments of CNN Money comes this handy little post, ranking the most delayed airlines and airports. Sometimes you can’t avoid visiting a certain airport, but you can certainly have choices when it comes to airlines.

Oddly, it found that our local airport, the lovely Detroit Metro, is ranked the 2nd most on time airport. I’m sure some local Quicken Loans team members would beg to differ…

Without further adieu:

"A study from research group FlightStats found that JetBlue Airways was one of the most-delayed airlines in August, while Northwest Airlines had one of the best track records for being on time.

JetBlue (JBLU) flights arrived on-time 64.7% of the time in August, FlightStats said on Wednesday. This was the worst percentage among the leading airlines.

Only one carrier had a worse record: Freedom Airlines, a subsidiary of Mesa Air Group (MESA), with an on-time arrival rate of 58.1%

Northwest Airlines (NWA, Fortune 500) was the top-performer among the leading carriers, with an on-time arrival record of 85.3% in August, FlightStats said. Four regional carriers had a better rate, with Hawaiian Airlines taking the lead with an on-time arrival record of 91%.

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Tripp Isenhour – pro golfer or pro scumbag?

I vote for pro scumbag.

I came across this yesterday on golf.com and it’s so ridiculous. In case you haven’t heard, pro golfer Tripp Isenhour got a little angry at a red-shouldered hawk that was making noise while he filmed an instructional video. Isenhour decided he’d had enough of the rude interruption and shot golf balls at it until he killed it.

He killed a protected species of bird because it had the nerve to sing and make noise while Isenhour was filming a video that nobody except him probably really cares about.

What an arse.

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Sunday, February 25, 2018