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Showing posts from April, 2011

Some of it serious, some not

Another varied post coming up, folks.  Stay with me, and I'll try to justify your patience.

Just returned from another whirlwind business trip of two days.  I like the 'quick trip' a lot of the time, but it seems you just arrive in a location and all of a sudden you're packing to leave.  Which is the whole point, I suppose, but it's a little hard on the nerves sometimes.  This week's destination was Richmond, Virginia, where I interviewed a candidate for an expansion sales position on Tuesday and then met with our incumbent rep in that market yesterday morning.  I arrived at the Courtyard Marriott near the Richmond airport (since I was only having meetings that location made sense) and upon arrival was told by one of the front desk agents that I had been upgraded.  Now, I travel enough to know intuitively what that means regarding flights (moving from coach to first class, or baggage to coach) but I'm less experienced with upgrades within the hotel environm…

The big easy

Just got back from a quick trip to New Orleans, Louisiana last night.  I was there for exactly 24 hours, and had the opportunity to visit and stay in the French Quarter for the first time in about fifteen years.  Obviously, a lot has happened since then, namely Hurricane Katrina and the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

When I arrived Tuesday evening the airport was busy.  By the way, how cool is it that the airport in New Orleans is officially named "Louis Armstrong Airport?"  Shuttles to the business district and the Quarter were nearly full, but I scored the last seat on one and off I went.

My last visit to the area was about three years ago, and I stayed in the suburbs to visit a client on the north short of Lake Ponchartrain, so I hadn't ventured into the heart of N'awlins recently.  Was immediately struck by how bumpy and uneven the roads seemed.  Could this have been an aftereffect of all of the hurricanes and bad weather that struck the area since …

Home work

Have I mentioned in this space that I work from a home-based office?

I do so now because I happened upon a discussion board online yesterday debating the pros and cons of doing so, and since I've been doing this for nearly eight years, I'll provide my own mini pro-and-con treatise on this subject.

First, and foremost, when I joined my current company, I was told that this was the way things were done unless one lived relatively close to a company office.  So, for me, there was really no choice.  I would be supplied with a cellphone, a computer and a fax machine/printer combination, as well as Internet connectivity (first from a dial-up connection and later from a cable Internet account).  I was lucky in that I had spent the prior three and a half months doing some consulting work from a home-based office as well, so I was already used to the whole scenario.

My first day on the job was probably the most awkward, as I started on a Monday in mid-October 2003.  I arose, took a sho…

Survey says.........

Have you noticed how frequently we as consumers are now being asked to complete surveys of various types to gauge our satisfaction with a product, service or process?

I don't know about you, but I feel that I'm being inundated by them lately.  For example, I went to Walt Disney World for a work function a couple of weeks ago, and received a total of three surveys relative to that excursion--two from Delta Airlines (one for my outbound flight and the other for the return trip) and one from Disney regarding my stay on their property.  And I often appreciate the chance to complete these forms, as I know from my own experience in working with customers that it's sometimes the best way to get someone's attention if there's been a problem or issue.

But one wonders where all of this data that's being collected is going, and what's being done with it?  After all, if you continually ask your customers what they'd like to see improved about your service, and noth…

There and back again

Just returned late Friday night from a company event at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida (and, no, I didn't see Mickey or his pals at all, except on television screens), and now I'm getting set to head out to Hot Springs, Arkansas for an industry conference.  Sort of made me think about travel, one of my favorite love-to-hate subjects, and some recent observations.

ORLANDO'S AIRPORT IS A LOT LIKE THE ONE IN LAS VEGAS.  No, it's not laid out the same (it's actually very similar to the major airport in Tampa, Florida, which makes me wonder if they weren't designed by the same architect), but it's the spectrum of humanity you see in a major tourist destination.  When I was going through security on Friday for my flight home, I noticed a great many passports out for the TSA agents to review, which quite often implies folks from other countries.  And that's a great boon to the economy of central Florida, no doubt.  But it does present some challenges, n…