Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Modern, Efficient, Automated Approach to Customer Service.

The icemaker has stopped working on our two-year-old refrigerator-freezer. (We had to replace our old fridge because it repeatedly broke down.) From past experience, I can tell you exactly what happens next.   

*  I will call Sears Appliance Repair.

* I will be put on hold and listen to Sears commercials for several minutes.

* A woman will come on the line -- she is in South Carolina -- and will schedule an appointment for a repair man to come to the house. 

* The appointment will be in 10 days.

* The repairman will determine that (a) the icemaker has stopped working on our refrigerator-freezer, and (b) a new part will have to be ordered.

* The new part will arrive in 10 days.

* I will call Sears Repair, speak to another lady in South Carolina, who will schedule another appointment with another repairman.

* The appointment will be in 10 days.

* On the appointed day, the repairman will arrive at 3:40, install the new part, and depart at 3:55.

* The charges will be $250 for the new part and $197 for labor. Plus tax.

* Five weeks later, a puddle will appear on the kitchen floor. The gasket on the freezer door has come off.   Again.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The GOP: Paying the Price for Ignoring the Lessons of History

Back when things were starting to go bad during the Vietnam War, an unfortunate Army officer was being interviewed about the latest operation and uttered the infamous words: "We had to burn the village in order to save it."  An old friend of mine points out -- astutely -- that today's Republican Party has taken on the same strategy. And the GOP, just like that village, is going up in flames.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Walmart Pay Scale: What's Wrong with This Picture?

Walmart’s CEO, Mike Duke, says the company's employees “are a great source of pride and personal inspiration to me.”

According to Ibis World, an international market research firm, the average Walmart employee is paid $8.81 per hour. Evidently, it doesn't take a helluva lot to inspire Mike.

Anyway, assuming they’re working a 40-hour week, that pay rate projects to a bit more than $18, 300 a year. Of course, as we well know, a great many Walmart employees are held to working part time and, as a result, they are ineligible for benefits such as health insurance.

By the way, in 2010, Mike Duke was paid $18.7 million. Now that's what I call inspiring!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Tea Party Contestant in Spelling Bee

I never get enough of these! Fortunately, there is an almost unlimited supply.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012