Yesterday I went to the Northwest Airlines website and checked in for my 7:00 p.m. flight back to Minneapolis. I even gave them my credit card info for my checked bag. When I arrived at the airport I went to the Delta kiosk to print out my ticket. Northwest has merged with Delta and even though they still maintain a website everything is converting to Delta.
When I looked at the Delta flight board to see if my flight was leaving on time, there was no "my flight." I suddenly had a very sick feeling that instead of booking at 7:00 p.m. flight I must have inadvertently booked a 7:00 a.m. flight. As I was standing there being very mad at myself for my costly carelessness I overheard some other travelers saying their flight had been canceled.
Turns out they were also headed to Minneapolis and the ticket agent had re-booked them on an American Airlines flight. The ticket agent was able to get me on that flight-delayed 2.5 hours-- as well. That is the happy ending. I got home. But when I asked the ticket agent why the canceled flight was not even listed on the board, he just shrugged and said that's how they do it.
Really? That's a standard business practice. Could someone please explain that rationale because I don't get what the business benefit is of letting tired and stressed travelers think they had made a mistake in booking their flight.
I'm a newbie to Delta and not familiar with their way of doing business so if I might be so bold, I would like to suggest in my most generous spirit that taking canceled flights off the flight board is cruel and unusual punishment. It's bad enough that the flight is canceled but that happens. Having people look at a flight board that is missing their flight causes huge anxiety. I'm sure I wasn't the only person who thought they were either there on the wrong day or wrong time
It did not give me a warm and cozy feeling about Delta. In fact, it may have just made me nostalgic for Northwest.
First it was a client, then it was my brother and sister-in-law, now it's my cousin Paulette. My Blackberry 8830 has this very annoying habit of auto- calling people if I forget to lock the screen before putting it in my briefcase or handbag. In the past month my Blackberry has called my cousin Paulette at least six times. She has a good sense of humor about it. If I catch the blackberry doing it, I can send an email and tell her to ignore. But sometimes the call is made and I have no idea 'til it's all over.
I know I'm not the only one who has this problem because I've been auto-called by several other Blackberry users. Usually they have no idea that their phone has put a live mic on their activities. You can yell into the phone until the cows come home and they will have no idea that someone is on the line, listening to everything they are doing.
While I am normally good about "locking" the screen, I do sometimes forget to do it-evidently six times in the last month-- and when I forget, someone gets an auto-call from the Blackberry.
I have tried deleting everyone from the call log. That doesn't help. Last night my cousin Paulette wasn't even in my call log and the Blackberry still managed to call her.
There's probably a very simple solution. I just don't know what it is. So if you have the answer, send it my way.
Just goes to show that a crowded store does not necessarily translate into huge profit. When Costco reported its 4th quarter earnings recently the news was not good. Earnings had dropped a hefty 6%. But, since Wall Street was expecting an even bigger drop in earnings, the stock price is not reflecting Costco's continued downward sales trends.
A large percentage of Costco's stores also provide fueling stations for its members. When gas prices were skyrocketing, the company saw sales increase with prices. Costco's gas prices are typically a few cents less than prices at other gas stations, so the appeal to consumers was definitely there. Now that gas prices are fairly cheap all over, the company can't use gas sales as a crutch.
The InvestorGuide says there are two other reasons why Costco's sales are declining: less foot traffic and more competition.
Costco's core audience is made up of regular consumers and a lot of small businesses. Both of these groups have been forced to consolidate and conserve funds to cope with rising expenses. This has caused much less foot traffic and less demand for the wide range of products that the store offers.
In addition to discount retailers like Target and Wal-Mart, the east coast discounter, BJ's is evidently taking a bite out of Costco's business.
Looking ahead, The InvestorGuide is predicting some pretty good sales at Costco particularly as we enter the holiday season.
You see them all the time online. An online offer to try a product for free. Right now some of the more popular offers are for teeth whiteners and acai berry drinks. Trouble is many of those free offers have a catch. Somewhere in the small print you are signing up for recurring monthly charges to your credit card. MSNBC.com reports:
Sherry Marshall of Seattle got sucker-punched when she responded to an online ad offering a free trial of an Acai berry weight loss product. Marshall was willing to pay the $4 shipping and handling.
She had no idea the company, FWM Laboratories of Hollywood, Fla., would send her additional bottles of the stuff and bill her $88 for each of them.
Since the shipments came without invoices, she had not idea how to contact the company to stop them. Luckily, she spotted one of the company’s ads that listed a phone number. Marshall says she spent 20 minutes arguing with the customer service operator. Even after threatening legal action, the bottles kept coming.
According to MSNBC.com the Better Business Bureau has received over 5,000 complaints against FWM Labs, which sells both Acai berry and Resveratrol diet products.
Before you give your credit card to any company, be sure to check them out. If you search for FWM Labs and Better Business Bureau you will come to this page
In addition to checking with the Better Business Bureau,simply typing in the name of the company, FWM Labs will take you to several Rip-off Reports.
So before you send in for that free trial offer, check out the company that's making the offer. A couple minutes on a Google search can save hundreds of dollars and hours of aggravation.
Pepsi decided to be very cool and create an APP for the iPhone to promote it's new energy drink Amp. Here is the app for Amp
What is wonderful is the almost unanimous reaction to the unbelievably distasteful messaging of "Before You Score."
Pepsi has already issued an apology but as other company's have learned when twitterdom is offended, a mere apology doesn't score points.
Here is Pepsi's apology on Twitter as reported by Marissa Taylor at the WSJ Blog
Amp tweeted, “Our app tried 2 show the humorous lengths guys go 2 pick up women. We apologize if it’s in bad taste & appreciate your feedback,” and even included a self-deprecating “pepsifail” hashtag.
You can follow the conversation on Twitter. Just type in #pepsifail in the search box.
The Associated Press is reporting that "women in uniform are more likely to be discharged from the armed services under "don't
ask, don't tell." The AP also reports that the pentagon won't "speculate" as to reasons behind the numbers.
The numbers tell the story.
Government statistics show that more than 619 men and women were
discharged last year because of their sexual orientation. Of those,
one-third were women — even though they account for 15 percent of all
active-duty and reserve members. [...]
In the Army, women accounted for 14 percent of personnel and 36
percent of the "don't ask, don't tell" discharges in 2008; in the Navy,
it was 14 percent of the personnel and 23 percent of the discharges,
and in the Marines, 6 percent and 18 percent.
The disparity was
particularly striking in the Air Force, where women represented 20
percent of all personnel but 61 percent of those expelled. That is a
significant jump from the previous year and marks the first time women
in any branch of the military constituted a majority of those dismissed
under "don't ask, don't tell," researchers said.
In 2007, 49 percent of Air Force personnel discharged for being gay were women.
According to the AP, a pentagon spokesperson said they would not be investigating the issue because even inquiring about it could violate the 1993 don't ask, don't tell policy.
As bloggers and their readers weighed in on the David Letterman sex scandal, quite a few people described his behavior as either (a) sexual harassment or (b) creating a hostile work environment for all those women who were not engaged in sexual relations with him.
What comes as a surprise to many is that Letterman's behavior probably is neither sexual harassment or the makings of a hostile work environment. What also probably will surprise many is that its not sexual harassment for a boss to bed his/her employee. In order for that relationship to be categorized as sexual harassment, the relationship has be "unwelcomed." Whether or not the relationship was welcomed or unwelcomed is the determining factor in sexual harassment claims.
It is also surprising to many that it does not not create a hostile work environment for everyone else who has to witness the inevitable "paramour preference" that often takes place when there is a boss-employee love affair. Here is the legal rationale for why these relationships do not create a hostile work environment.
Because preferring a paramour discriminates against all non-paramours
of both sexes (it is discrimination because of an existing romantic
relationship, not discrimination because of the sex of the paramour or
even the sex of the complaining employee), such romances are not
covered by Title VII.
The Letterman case made me review a post I wrote about in 2006 about office romances called Smooching On The Clock. One of the more interesting things I learned doing the research for that post is corporations only became concerned about sexual harassment in the late 90's.
Lou dates Mary” was episode 167-- the next-to-last episode of the long-running Mary Tyler Moore program ( 1970-1977). In the episode, Mary has yet another disastrous date, and shares with her friend Georgette that she wonders if she’ll ever find Mr. Right. Georgette then points out that Mary has known Mr. Right all along. With some encouragement Mary asks Mr. Grant (her boss) for a date.
The year was 1977, and while Mary and Lou didn’t get beyond a very innocent kiss before realizing that dating each other was not such a good idea, the writers of the show didn’t have to deal with the potential ramifications that could arise when employees begin a romance because it was the pre- sexual harassment era.
In 1977, when that episode first aired, it would still be another nine years before the U.S. Supreme Court actually recognized the concept of sexual harassment. And, it wouldn’t be until 1998 ─ nearly twenty years after Mary and Lou exchanged that awkward kiss ─ that the Supreme Court ruled businesses could be held liable if sexual harassment occurred in their workplace.
With that ruling, businesses may have become more concerned about the potential risk of office romances, but the ruling has neither created a flurry of new policies about office romances and it certainly hasn’t discouraged them. In fact, the opposite is true—office romances are on the rise, and corporations are dragging their feet when it comes to dictating policy and procedure on dating.
Corporations are really between a rock and a hard spot on this issue. What makes them at risk is that even if a relationship between boss and employee started out as "welcomed," if the relationship ends, the employee could conveniently think that the relationship was actually "unwelcomed" from the git-go. Since about 50% of these relationships do end that is pretty good odds that corporate legal departments are going to have to deal with a jilted lover and his/her sexual harassment claims.
That's where it gets very sticky for businesses. Most corporations do not want to dictate the love lives of employees. Yet, if it means losing a ton of money in lawsuits, they need to be thinking about the issue.
The back story is that Penelope, who has two children and is divorced, had planned to get an abortion. But, she had to wait three weeks because instead of being able to get the abortion in her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, she had to schedule the procedure in Chicago.
So when she tweeted about the miscarriage, she shared she was relieved. Oh, and she announced that she was having the miscarriage while she was having a meeting with her board of directors. The tweet got the media's attention.
Trunk's point is that 75% of women have miscarriages and many have them at work. She shares it's a perfectly normal thing to tweet about. Of course, that's not why people were upset with her. They were upset because she was so matter of fact about the point if the miscarriage had not occurred, she would have had an abortion.