Archive for April, 2006

Surfing on the bus

Cincinnati is trying something new to entice people to ride the bus to work. They are equipping 2 buses with wireless Internet capability, allowing business commuters to work, write blog posts, read the news, or check e-mail on the way to work. I am very interested in this idea, as it would add a lot of productive time to the day. My typical commute is about 30 minutes each way. Thus, I could add an hour a day of productive time back to my life. Over the course of a month, that would yield almost an entire week worth of time that could be spent getting things accomplished. These things might be work related, personal, or educational, but would be accomplished on time that was previously spent trapped behind the wheel. This new reason for riding the bus would all be on top of the regular benefits of public transit- clean air, less traffic, save on gas. Those factors are nice, but none of them are sufficient enough to make me change from driving. Productive time is the most valuable commodity in my life.  Wireless Internet on a bus would provide me with much more of that commodity, and just might be the thing that could change how I commute to work. Hopefully Cincinnati will be successful with this endeavor, and Dayton will then copy the idea. Time will tell. I applaud the city of Cincinnati for taking such a fresh approach to public transit. Voice your opinion of wireless Internet and public transit by leaving a message below.

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Step away from the chimi!!!

For those of you who, like me, love delicious frozen food with little or Cruncherosno redeeming nutritional value, you have got to try the Cruncheros Beef and Cheese Chimichangas and Taquitos.  Pop a tray of these bad boys in the oven at 450 for 15 minutes, remove, top with some taco sauce and Marzetti's Baja Ranch…wow.  This has been my food of choice while having been at home the last few weeks, and unfortunately it is starting to show.  These things are awesome.  I am sure that I have taken several years off of my life by devouring box after box of this frozen mexican cuisine, but they are so delicious that it is totally worth it.  I am definately going to need to begin working out again to counteract the effects of the frozen chimichanga, because I have no plans to stop eating these things.  Thanks to the good people at El Monterey for making these tasty treasures.  Give them a try, and voice your opinion about them or other great frozen delights by leaving a comment below.   

Mexican food & recipes from El Monterey – America's Favorite

Google Calendar

Finally, after months of speculation, Google has launched Google Calendar. I am very excited to now be able to use Google to replace my Outlook. Google calendar is portable which makes it perfect for people who use multiple computers. It will also notify you of upcoming events in a variety of ways. I am just begining to check it out, but I like what I see so far.

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You Are Hired!!!

I am going back to work! I am so happy to inform everyone that all the hard work has paid off, as I have accepted a sales position with Reynolds and Reynolds. I have been interested in working at Reynolds and Reynolds for some time now, and I am extremely excited about this opportunity. From the bottom of my heart I send out sincere thanks to everyone who has offered me help and support over the last few months. Though it has been a difficult time, it has really reinforced my belief that I have some of the best friends and family members in the world. I was even fortunate enough to make some new friends as a result of my search. Trying to find a job is quite challenging, and often times very frustrating. Through it all I have managed to maintain a sense of humor and hold on to the limited amount of sanity that I began with. I have learned a lot about myself through this whole ordeal, and I am more energized about my career than ever before. A special thanks to Jason Vollmer, who helped me to get a foot in the door. I could not have done it without you my friend, and I am deeply grateful for your trust in me. I can’t wait to get started. Thanks again to everyone who has helped me along the way. WOO HOO!!! I’ve got a job!!!

The Reynolds and Reynolds Company

When you’re hot, you’re hot! IBW Win #4

HypomaniacFor the second time in a week I am a winner on the best site on the Internet, Inbubblewrap.com. That makes me a four time winner just for answering a few questions every day. Here is how it worked. I got an email yesterday from IBW- which I get every day at 10:00. I clicked on the link provided in the message, logged into inbubblewrap.com, answered 2 funny questions, and then got a follow up e-mail today telling me I won. It took me all of 30 seconds to enter, and now I am getting a free copy of the book The Hypomaniac Edge: The link between a little craziness and a lot of success in America, by John D. Gartner. This book sounds perfect for me, as I have been accused more than once of being a little on the crazy side. Perhaps I can now learn to refine my insanity into unimaginable success. Thanks to 800CEOREAD.com and the IBW crew for hooking me up with another great book. If you have not been to Inbubblewrap.com check it out today. You could be reading Your free book tomorrow.

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SBC Yahoo: A Missed Marketing Opportunity

sbcy.gifI have been a satisfied customer of SBC (now at&t) Yahoo DSL service for over a year now. I would not say that I have loved the service, but I am content. It does the job, and that is enough. I realize that there are better providers in terms of speed, but I like the convenience of having my phone and Internet on one bill. Beyond that, with no cable television – or satellite, it is the best price for what I need. I would have no reason to switch away from SBC assuming all things remained consistent. It would not take much effort for SBC to obtain this information about me and keep me happy. Therefore I SBC YAHOO.jpgwas very frustrated last week when this letter SBC YAHOO.pdf from SBC Yahoo showed up in my mailbox. The letter stated that my introductory period was ending, and now to celebrate my anniversary the price would be going up by about 50%. Hooray for me! Now, as introductory offers go, I understand. I signed up for a year of service, and had negotiated a rate for that period. This would be changing to a month to month option, thus they could theoretically justify the higher charge. Here is the problem with the letter, I am willing to sign up for another year. I am happy with what I have. Nowhere in the letter does it reference the ability to continue my current agreement. In fact, there is no phone number listed in the letter, no e-mail address, no web url, no nothing except for the name and signature of someone in the marketing department. In other words, this was an invitation for me to shop around. What was worse is that they now offer better service for a lower price, but nowhere was this mentioned in the letter. Why would you send this letter to your existing customers? This was the perfect opportunity to use a relevant piece of communication to generate more revenue for SBC. I managed to get on the web and with much effort, found a contact number for SBC Yahoo. I went through a list of options until I was connected with a great customer service representative. She was very nice and very helpful. The kind of customer service representative that could be empowered to generate revenue. She informed me that my contract would expire in May, but that I could go to the web on my own and renew my service. She even informed me that I could save $2.00 per month, and get a better connection package. I asked her, "Is that something you can handle right now?" Her reply was a frustrated "No, I am sorry." "They don't let us do that for you." It was obvious she wanted to help, but was not empowered to do it. Again an invitation to shop. I did appreciate her suggestion, and I will likely renew my service with the better SBC package. I would speculate that many in my situation might opt to go elsewhere. Especially with the deluge of competitive offers available. While I am probably not switching, it does not change the fact that this was a blown opportunity for SBC. How great would it have been to open a letter that said something like:

Mr. Bowman, we would like to thank you for your business by lowering your bill and improving your Internet package if you renew your contract with SBC Yahoo DSL. Additionally, if you would like to choose a more flexible option for your service, we also offer monthly service rates. Here is a web link you can visit for more details and to sign up (www.—–), and here is my phone number (555) 555-1212. Call me directly if you have any questions. We value your business, and want to make it easy for you to remain a satisfied customer of SBC Yahoo. Also, if you refer a family or friend to SBC Yahoo DSL, we will offer you an additional month of service absolutely free! Thank you again for your business.

Sincerely,

Marketing Manager

I would have been so excited to receive such news that I would have put the letter on my blog talking about how wonderful it was. I would have done my best to tell others about this great experience. I could have been an evangelist for SBC, instead I am just staying with them out of convenience. They could have generated huge word of mouth, instead they got a luke-warm customer who is staying just because it is cheaper than the cable company. SBC Yahoo, If you are looking for some help with your marketing materials, I am looking for a job. Contact me. Consider this a freebie.