Customoer Service?

I just spent the past twenty minutes on the phone with a very friendly but not very useful customer service company in India. The frustration was not their fault and it was not a communication problem. It was simply a case of “you can’t get there from here.”

HE: XYZ Corporation, How can I be of assistance today?
Me: Good morning, I would like to put the widget in the hole.
He: Yes, certainly sir, can I put you on hold to verify your widget?
Me: Yes, that will be fine.

Pause for indiscernible  music.

HE: Yes, sir, thank you for holding. I have found your widget.
ME: Great! I would like to put it in the hole.
HE: I have to check that the security code for the widget is valid. Can I put you on hold one more time?
ME: Okay.

More indiscernible music.

HE: Yes, sir, thank you for holding. May I have your account number please?
ME: The account number is B86reoePqrd89
HE: B86reoePqrd89 ?
ME: That’s correct.
HE: I’ll look that up for you.
ME: Thank You.
HE: I’m sorry, I have no record of that account.
ME: That’s odd. I’m looking at it right here on my screen. It is on your web site.
HE: Can you tell me the number again?
ME: Sure, B86reoePqrd89
HE: B86reoePqrd89 ?
ME: Correct.
HE: Yes, certainly sir, can I put you on hold to verify your account?
ME: Sure (with a sigh).

More indiscernible  music.

HE: Yes, sir, thank you for holding. Can I have the e-mail address you used when you signed up for this service.
ME: I think is was ******@yahoo.com
HE: Okay, Thank for that. Can I put you on hold one more time while I check this out?
ME: GO ahead. (at this point I am trying very hard not to be the ugly American)

This time, along with the indiscernible music, was a recording telling me my representative will be back on the line shortly and the my phone call is important.

HE: Sir, I have found your account. How can I help you today?
ME: I would like you to put the widget in the hole.
HE: Yes sir, we can certainly help with that. Which hole did you select when you signed up for this account?
ME: I don’t remember, can you tell me from the account.
HE: I’m sorry sir, I can’t access that information. Can I connect you with a supervisor?
ME: Yes please.
HE: Please hold while I get a supervisor on for you, all right?
ME: Yes

Here comes the music again.

NEW HE: Good morning my name is Phillip. How can I be of service today?
ME: Good morning Phillip, I would like to put the widget in the hole.
PHILLIP: I Understand, sir. May I have your account number please.
ME: The account number is B86reoePqrd89
PHILLIP: B86reoePqrd89 ?
ME: That’s correct.
PHILLIP: I’ll look that up for you.
ME: Thank You.

More music.

PHILLIP: I have your account on my screen. How can I help you?
ME: I want to put the widget in the hole.
PHILLIP: Yes sir, I can certainly help you with that. Which hole did you purchase with this account?
ME: I’m not sure. Can you tell me from my account which hole I purchased?
PHILLIP: I am looking at your account now and sir and it appears you did not purchase a hole.
ME: Excuse me?
PHILLIP: There is no record of you purchasing a hole, sir.
ME: Why would I buy a widget if I didn’t buy a hole to put it in?
PHILLIP: I’m sorry sir, I do not understand your question.
ME: I bought a widget to put in the hole. I would not buy a widget if I could not use it. Are you telling me that your company sold me a widget without a hole?
PHILLIP: Would you like to purchase a hole today, sir?
ME: I think I already did purchase a hole.
PHILLIP: I have no record of that. I will send you an e-mail with your account information. Is ******@yahoo.com correct?
ME: Yes it is.
PHILLIP: I will send that right away.
ME: Thank you
PHILLIP: Thank you, and thank you for calling XYZ today. If we can be of any further assistance please call again.

click

Published in: on November 8, 2012 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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A simple Question 2.0

About four years, eleven months and two weeks ago I wrote a blog post called “A Simple Test.”  If you don’t remember it (and I’m sure you don’t ) remind yourself of it here:

https://p3bfco.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/a-simple-test/

I will ask you today an go to your sock drawer and get the notes you took back then.  Let’s compare them to what we have today.

Here are some of mine.
On November 7th 2008 I said “My electricity costs me $8.50 per kilowatt hour.  This is about $100 a month in winter.  More in summer with the air conditioner running.  But I’ll use the winter number.”

Today my electricity is $10.50 per kilowatt hour but my monthly connection fee has increased from $13.00 to $55.00. My lowest electric bill now is about $150.00 a month and I’m told it is about to go up again. Seems the current administration is squeezing our coal fired power plants.

Here’s more: “A loaf of bread is about a dollar and a quarter today and a gallon of milk is about $3.50.  Butter is $2.28 lb. Eggs are about $1.20 a dozen.”

Today a loaf of bread I about $2.25. A gallon of milk is $4.27, Butter is $1.88 and Eggs are $1.80. With the exception of butter, all the other things are higher.

Let’s look at some more notes from my sock drawer. “Gasoline in town yesterday was $2.10 gal.
Oil is running at $61.00 a barrel on the market this morning.”

Today gasoline is running about $3.96 and the price of oil is $86.00 a barrel.   Now here’s something curious, the last time gas was around and over four bucks, oil was running in the 140 range. All the liberals were blaming George Bush for cronyism and being in bed with big oil. Where are the finger pointers now? But I digress….

Here’s more from the 2008 post, “Now, on to other things…..
My local stores are well stocked.
I can get a doctor’s appointment on the day I call in.
I have a high quality (in patient) medical facility only a few miles away
The national unemployment rate is around 6%.
Inflation is being reported at about 5%.
Remember the Misery Index?  That is the unemployment rate plus the inflation rate.  Today the Misery Index is at 11%.
The current President has an approval rating under 30% and the current congress is at about 10%.”

Okay, Obamacare hasn’t kicked in yet (it won’t until after this election {wonder of wonders}) so I still can call my doctor and get an appointment for later today.
The stores are still stocked but I am noticing empty shelves more and more often.  Especially in the big box stores like Walmart.
The national Unemployment rate is 7.8% (that is if you forget to count California like they did with this last release {oops})
Inflation for 2012 is being reported as 4.8% (but here’s a new twist, they no longer count gasoline of food {well, who uses those things anyway.})
The misery index today conservatively measured is 12.6% A truer measure of the misery index is taking the percentage number of the unemployed and adding it to the Producer Price Index (a more accurate indication of inflation). Today’s PPI is 10.8%. The true (without government jinking the numbers to make the administration look good) unemployment, according to Gallop, is 9.7%. Today’s un-underemployed index is 17%. So… You can place a real misery index at somewhere between 20.5% and 27.8%.
The current president approval rating is 48% and Congress has gone from 11% to 21%.

Now…. How about you? Got that note from your sock drawer in your hand?
What is your energy costing you today?
What is your medical care costing you today?  AND…  How good is it?
Do you think you are better off than your parents?
Do you think your children will be better off then you?
How do you see the future?  Bright or bleak?

Now ask yourself…
“AM I BETTER OFF THEN I WAS FOUR YEARS AGO?”

I think the answer is obvious.
I’ll close this by saying, “I told you so.”

The Great South Dakota Un-Holiday

There was a time in my life when the third Saturday in October was just another day. Of course that was before I moved here to South Dakota. Now, I realize that there are holidays and there are holidays. Each holds a special meaning and importance. We stop and take a moment each December 25th to remember the reason for the season. We kick off a new year about a week later. Many in our community (myself included) bow our heads and thank the Lord on Easter Sunday. July Forth brings out the flags, the parades and the fireworks. There are others. I won’t list them all.

 

This day – the third Saturday in October is not an official holiday (though some may think otherwise). It is a day that countless people have been planning on and working toward for months. From airport to interstate people arrive to help us celebrate our un-holiday. Some have said that the population of the rural counties actually doubles this day. Many people have friends that they invite in to share our experience. Others arrive strictly drawn to the event. The influx of celebrants is so great that we would be hard pressed to find a vacancy sign today.

 

The opening day of the Pheasant Hunting Season is special to many people but it influences every South Dakota resident in some fashion. For some it is the start of a business cycle that will run through January. For others it is their Black Friday, when the annual business budget actually goes from red to black.

 

In South Dakota the biggest revenue generator is Agri-business, the second is Tourism. To us in the Northeast quarter of the state, tourism means hunting. There are many people in my area that cater to hunters. Whether it be for fun or for profit, they have been getting ready for this day for a while. The tax revenue this event brings in is a significant portion of the South Dakota state budget. From government to business to the family farm that allows hunters to walk in, the vast majority are involved in some way. There is reason that Cabela’s chose Mitchell, South Dakota for an anchor store. It wasn’t our burgeoning population. It was this day and this season.

 

My situation is not unlike many who live outside of town. I have a small hobby farm that is surrounded by three large shelter belts. I always expect a knock at my door on this day. Men and sometimes women dressed in denim and orange looking to walk my property seeking the opportunity to shoot our state bird. This year it was no different. The official opening of the season was high noon and the first knock came eighteen minutes later.

 

I look forward to this time of year. Not because I am a hunter (I’m not), but because of the people I meet. I have made some great friends over the years because of this un-holiday.

 

So let me say what is written in orange and on signs throughout the state…

 

Welcome Hunters!

Published in: on October 21, 2012 at 10:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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South Dakota Gets A Bite at the Presidential Apple.

Without a definitive leader in the Republican Presidential race this year, the South Dakota Republican Caucus will actually have an influence on the choice of nominee for President.  In years past by the time the South Dakota caucuses met, the nominee had already been established.

Not this year.  The South Dakota Republican Party actually has an opportunity to help choose their Republican Presidential candidate.

On March 1st at 8 PM we South Dakota Republicans will caucus in support of our individual choices.  We will be able to stand up and be counted in favor of the person we want as President of our United States.

Those chosen by vote will be eligible to vie for a seat on the floor of the National Convention in Tampa, Florida next August.

What’s so exciting about that?  There is a growing chance that this will be a brokered convention.

A Brokered Convention?

There is a real possibility this year that there will be no candidate with the required 1144 votes to capture the nomination in the first vote.  If there is no front runner with a the required (50% +1) votes on the first vote, the choice is put in the hands of the delegates on the floor.  This could very well be one of those special events in your life you replay for your grandchildren.

South Dakota Republicans, the trail to Tampa starts in your County Seat March 1st.  To be nominated as a delegate to the Republican National Convention plan to be at your county caucus.  With very few exceptions, this is where the journey starts.

This is an exciting time for South Dakota. We finally get a turn at bat. We get a choice, rather than having our choice made for us. If you want to be at what could be a history making Republican National Convention and if you want a voice as to who should be your next President, see you at the caucus.

Snow on Basketball weekend? If the folklore is right….

Since I moved here I have heard bits and pieces of folklore.  Folklore comes from experience and the wisdom of the ages, with a little whimsy thrown in to keep things interesting.

Two tidbits come to mind this morning.

1.  There is always a blizzard around or on the weekend of the Boys High School Basketball Playoffs.

and

2.  You can expect snow about 60 days after a fog.

Here’s the deal… The Boys Playoffs start on March 15 in Aberdeen (fifty plus days)

and…

We have had two mornings of heavy fog.

Hmmmm. This could get exciting.

South Dakota Legislative Leaders Try To Sneak Around The State’s Constitution

I saw a story on KELO last night that truly concerns me.  Before I talk about it, I want to remind my friends (and less than friends) that we live in the lowest tax and one of the freest states in the Union.  There is a reason for that.  It is called limited government.

Now, there are some in Pierre who think limited government is just too, well… limiting.  They want a year round legislature.  You know, like California, New York and New Jersey (we can all see how good they’re doing).

Certain legislators are trying to circumvent the South Dakota Constitution and establish a year round legislative body.  It can’t be called a legislature, of course, so they want to call it a “Committee”.  Lets have no doubt here, this “Committee” would become a fulltime legislative body with all the fraud, corruption and perks that go with it.

What we have in this state and what has worked very well for over one hundred years is a part time legislature with citizen representatives who sit in Pierre for 35 or 40 days making decisions then going home and having to justify those decisions for the other 340 or 335.  This is good.  They watch what they do because, in the back of their minds they know they might get stopped in the grocery store by a concerned citizen asking, “What the hell were you thinking?”  It keeps our representatives (spelled representatives) honest for the most part.

I see nothing but danger here with this “committee’ concept.  This is nothing more than a power grab.  It establishes an “ad hoc” legislature to rule for 340 days.  It will write the bills, it will tell the real legislature how to vote when the real session commences.  It also lets out legislators off the hook. “Look, that’s what the Committee said to do… I had no choice.”

Here’s another question:    Just who is this “Committee” accountable to?  Are they appointed?  By whom?  Can they be fired or recalled?  By whom?  Since they are not elected, the people will have no standing with them. The people will have no say in what this “Committee” does.

To see that the Democrats like this does not surprise me but to see that our Republican leadership is behind it is greatly alarming and appalling to me.

The scary part?  There is bipartisan support for this usurpation of the very Constitution these people have sworn to uphold and defend.  

I urge you to contact your representaves and tell them you will not tolerate this.  If they want a full time legislature let them put the change on the ballot and modify the Constitution. 

No sneaky end arounds here. Not while we can vote.

 

Here’s the link to the original story:

http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm?Id=126273

It’s over…. Go home.

Ok… So the (liberal) news media is all excited about Romney winning New Hampshire. It’s over everyone else go home. The liberals know their man can beat liberal light, just like he did in 2008.

That’s why they want this RINO from the second most liberal state in the union to be “our” choice..

To hear them – it’s over. Every other candidate should just pack up their signs and go home.

Here’s what they don’t tell you.

1. Romney was governor right next door and New Hampshire has a symbiotic (almost incestial) relationship with Massachusetts.

2. Romney owns property in New Hampshire and is a de-facto resident.

3. The primary voting block in New Hampshire (and South Carolina) is center left – not center right. Why? They are “open” primaries. In other words anybody can vote on the Republican ballot. Even Democrats (and Democrats do – to skew our nomination process).

4. New Hampshire only sends 12 delegates to the National Convention.
Now you’ve see the floor on convention night. Think you could pick out the 12 from New Hampshire?

So, when the newsies tell you it’s over. Pay no attention. Let’s push hard to nominate a REAL Republican this time. Someone who represents Republican values of small government and limited spending. Not Democrat Lite.

New York Post… Look to your own house before throwing stones at us.

Concerning the NY post article:

The Great Wide Open – How rural America has become a vanishing way of life.
Read it here:  http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/great_wide_open_WqL54fjvoNYjfFI74GlmmL?fb_ref=m_site&fb_source=home_oneline

Hey New York, clean up your own cesspool before you look at our Prairie!  Last time I looked you have more murders in a week than we do out here in year, and out here carrying a gun is legal.

As to the population loss, I truly believe you have seen the last of it in Rural America.  The 2010 census shows the change in population over ten years.  In 2000 we didn’t have high speed internet, a cell phone in every pocket and I-pads.

The census looks at a population shift but not the dynamic.  The true paradigm shift has been outbound from the troubled, crime ridden, overtaxed and under serviced cities to smaller cities like Sioux Falls, Fargo or Cedar Rapids.  Now the shift is happening again.  From those towns to even smaller towns.  

People not from here are starting to find out that they can send their kids to public school with class sizes of about twelve.  They are finding out, through the new media, that South Dakota has no income tax.  In fact, per capita, the taxes here in South Dakota are lower than any other state in the nation.  

Businesses owners in tune with the information age find that they can conduct business in this state which encourages entrepreneurship rather than the one they are in which is trying to tax and regulate them into oblivion.

The next census will tell a different tale.  It will be a tale of two cities (or rather one city crumbling under the weight of it’s own bureaucracy and a small town with few government constraints).  Those cities could be New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Huston or even Los Angeles.  The other Doland, Eureka, Harried, in South Dakota or perhaps Brandon, Iowa or Bloomfield Nebraska.  One shrinking and one growing.

People who work from home are starting to realize that “home” can be anywhere.  They are choosing to leave the high cost and congested areas and moving where the kids can go out and play without the fear of being molested.

Watch the 2020 census…. South Dakota may just have TWO Congressmen.

By the way New York, just how many congressional seats did you loose this year?

Oh…. and one more thing…..  It’s pronounced “Harry-id”, not “Harried”.

Rick Skorupski

A proud transplant in South Dakota.

So… You want to live in South Dakota?

What I want to share are some photos and a story.

Here are three pictures taken yesterday afternoon.  For those of you who do not know, we live in a rural part of South Dakota.  Sometimes the winters can be a challenge, sometimes a blessing. 

Our house is about 3/4 miles from our mailbox.  The road to the mail box is completely clear which is great.  We can get to the mailbox.  Too bad our mailman can’t.

 The first is from the corner where our mailbox is looking west toward the main highway. 

 The second is the same spot looking east toward our nearest neighbor.

The third is me standing on a wind packed snow drift that is less than 24 hours old.  I am pointing DOWN to our mailbox.

Now the story.  No way in or out to the north.  The road to the south had a 4′ high X 300′ drift across it about half a mile to the south of our house so no way out that way either.   We were completely snowbound.

Last night around 7 we get a knock on the door.  It was our neighbor to the south, Waldo!  He had been out since 3 clearing snow.  He asked the man who rents the working part of his farm to take his tractor mounted snow blower and cut a path through the long drift between us.  Now we can get out to the south.  Why did he do that?  So we could get in and cut firewood from his shelter belt.  The one he had just spent three hours clearing. 

 The rest of the story?   Waldo is 86 years old.

I want to live in South Dakota?

You bet!

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Just a thought on Christmas Day.

You know there are times of the year for different things.  For me Christmas is a time to set some time to remember the “reason for the season”.  Now, I now this is the wrong time if year, I am fully aware that the child of the most high God was born in the fall.  I also know the date was shifted to bring it in harmony with the winter solstice and the non Christian rituals that were celebrated this time of year.  I know too that there was no snow around the manger and also that the “manger” was not some outdoor shed.  None the less it is the time of year we celebrate the birth of the savior.  We take a bit of time to remember, to be kind to a stranger, to put a buck or two in a red bucket and to perhaps perform a rendom act of kindness.  To be thankful for the One who came to save us from our own self destruction.  I am glad that (contrary to what our current President says) I live in a Christian nation.  I am thankful this year (as in years past) that we can openly celebrate the birth of the Son of God.  I am grateful to that God that He has allowed me to live in the greatest nation on the face of the Earth. 

Merry Christmas

Published in: on December 25, 2010 at 7:58 am  Comments (3)  
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