Swing dance at our Reception

Swing dance at our Reception
Dancing to Come on Come on: by Mary-Chapin Carpenter:

Sunday, November 06, 2005

An Example of Great Customer Service!

In these days of poor to lousy customer service, I need to share this example that was beyond my expectations. Since I intend to link this site in an email to AppleCare I will be recording some details so that they might locate the great tech specialists that helped me.

On Thursday, November 11th, at around 1:30PM, here in Pittsburgh, Pa (EST), I called AppleCare for help with my home wireless network. The call was answered by an automated system that was extremely useful. After specifying the kind of call I was making and the product involved, the voice reminded me that having the serial number would be necessary. Sure nice to know that up front. Then I was told that the wait would be 2 minutes, which was accurate. Pat answered, introduced herself, and began troubleshooting. Each time that Pat had to go for help, she told me that she would be gone about 4 minutes. I don't know whether she was back on time, but it seemed about right. Certainly, it didn't seem excessive since I was warned.

The third time that she had to go for help, Pat told me that when she came back, again in about 4 minutes, she would continue to work with me, or transfer me to a Product Specialist, a higher level of technical expertise. While I was waiting this time, the phone connection was interrupted. Since it was now about 2:05PM and I had to get ready for work, I decided not to make a follow up call. Guess what? The phone rang and caller ID showed a number from Texas so I answered. It was Pat calling me back. She ask if I hung up or got disconnected, gave me a Case #54795216 so I could call back and get that tech specialist.
I told Pat that I would have to call back and she ask whether the call met my expectations. I told her that when she called back, she exceeded my expectations. I did get my problem fixed on Sunday after a 1 hour call with Carey. He carried on the excellent experience. I told them both that they were the reason that I will be staying a MacAddict. Apple says that It's support is award winning. I don't know what award, but it sure gets mine.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A new favorite James Hillman quote

I only subscribe to two magazines right now. One is The Sun and it's November issued arrived yesterday. There is a Sunbeams quotation page at the end of each issue to which I turn immediately. This month it contains a James Hillman quotation. I usually find any I find to be insightful.

"For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stop imagining." James Hillman

The Sun Magazine Link

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Clowning Aspect of Soul Life

Friday night, was the Halloween Dance at the Country Dance Hall, my wife and I visit. We dressed up as Gentleman and Floozy. Of course I was the Floozy. I'll see if I can learn to place a photo here, but until then let me tell you, I was beautiful!

Donna and I threw our outfits together in a couple hours. Doesn't that mean that we have to much stuff that we should throw out? When my wife gave me a choice of two purses to carry, she got concerned. I had a strong preference for one of them. The pink one with the gold-like clasp. Although we lost to the couple that went as doctor and patient. (the wife had a fleshy looking butt sticking out of the back of her hospital duds), we were not known for quite a while. Good disguises.

Last night we visited the new dance hall, Saddle Ridge, at Station Square here in Pittsburgh. For real country dancers (line dancers, swing, and 2-step), we discovered that the best time to dance is between 7-9 PM. Although the $8 parking rate seems ridiculous, getting there before 9 gets you in without the $5 cover charge. The spacious dance floor had only a few "real" dancers and no non-dancers that will come out after 9:30 or so. During this early time, dancers are left to themselves to remember a line dance that will go with the music. Periodically a song is played that doesn't sound county, more like hard rock, just a foretaste of the music saved for the college age drinkers, standing all around the dance floor.

It was great to have a bouncer and the DJ enforce dance floor etiquette, preventing drinks from being taken on the dance floor and even herding the "non-dancers" from running into the real dancers. A couple minutes before 10, the Saddle Ridge dancers got on the bar, dancing to one of those Rock songs and boy were their costumes provocative. With the playing of the Harder Rock, non country songs, it seemed like an invitation for the college drinkers to access the dance floor. Time for us to go.

On the way out, my wife Donna, a friend who came with us, and I stopped to watch the girls riding the mechanical bull. The operator allowed the girls to ride, Debra Winger style (from the Urban Cowboy movie). Then a couple quick, jerky moves would knock them off into the rubber air inflated floor and railing. All in all, a great couple nights for the clowning soul.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Asking Opah for Help!

As you can see, I've experienced some blocks trying to write this blog. I will return to talk about those, but for now I want to tell you about an interview I heard on NPR, National Public Radio. There is a great interview show, Fresh Air by Terry Gross that I try to hear as often as I can because of the relevance to our culture. On Oct. 27, she was interviewing Cam Simson, a Chicago Tribune journalist who had been reporting how Halliburton sub-contractors have been luring Nepalese workers to Iraq through contacts in Nepal. When the workers get to Iraq, after their families have gone into debt to send them for the high paying jobs, they find they have been deceived.

With their families in debt for the jobs, they can't return and find benefits and protections promised to those workers by US law are not enforced. I was so incensed by the story and felt so powerless that i decided to write the only person that I know who might publish this story to a larger audience. I emailed Oprah.

On Oprah's website, there is a great contact page. One of the ways to contact Oprah's producers with potential show stories. I know it isn't much, but it's someting!

Link to these for reference:
Terry Gross's Interview
Cam Simpson's Articles
Oprah's Ideas Submission

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Search for Soul in Modern Life

I'd like to use this forum to explore some ideas about Soul. For me, it is an attempt to find meaning in the hectic, complex and often chaotic aspects of modern life. I've attached the metaphors of "dancing" and "clowing" to the idea of soul just to remind me not to take myself too seriously.

Two authors whose writings inform my ideas about soul are Thomas Moore (author of "Care of the Soul") and his mentor James Hillman (author of "The Soul's Code"). I find explanations and ideas from a number of authors that seem to square with my experience so you will be seeing a lot of references to a variety of books.

I hope that you will want to share your experiences and will post a comment to provoke deeper thought than we are able to see in most media outlets.