Monthly Archives: January 2013

Hello??

Communication in business in general is very important. We’re always looking for people that are articulate when hiring. “Good verbal and written communication”. It’s great when you find new people that are excellent at explaining processes, what they’re doing, what they need done, etc. The problem comes in when the built-in foundations of the company are *not* good communicators.

Assumptions

How about a “for instance”. Sure. I recently was told of a conversation between a couple of managers:

person 1: “So should I tell them about this whole thing?”

person 2: “No, they know about it.”

later in the conversation, about something different….

person 2: “They said they didn’t know anything about x. I mean, how can you not fucking know about that?”

 

These were work-related things being discussed. I see the potential issue here, can you?

Assume

Assuming people know things almost NEVER WORKS OUT. Sometimes I miss getting memos…

 

Email

I know that some people don’t like to deal with email, and would rather speak in-person. However, if you’re working remotely, don’t sign in to the company chat server, etc. you should probably at least reply to emails. A friend recently let me know that at his company, an email to a certain manager is generally accepted to take 3-5 days for a reply, and if one isn’t received in that time, to try again or catch her in the office.

These are often the people, I find, that don’t want their words on record. Having spoken it, you can later say “No, I said that Bill is the lead guy now, not Ted”. If it’s in email, there’s a record that Ted is, in fact, now the lead guy.

 

Clarity

Some people tend towards a bit less clear communication than others. Talking to them is like pulling teeth, or talking to a brick wall, or pulling teeth from a brick wall. One person I know is like this, and it can be a horrible experience talking with him.

Hello_yes_this_is_dog

A simple example conversation with this type of communicator:

person a: “Hey, did you get a chance to install that VM I asked for?”

this is dog: “Yeah…”

person a, pause making them wary: “So, uh, did everything go ok then?”

this is dog: “Oh the OS install went fine…”

person a, again with the pause: “Ok, so what about everything else I asked for?”

this is dog: “Well, the OS install crashed in the middle and I was doing a disk check…”

person a: “But you just said the OS install went fine? Did it go ok or not?”

this is dog: “Uh yeah…. no.”

 

This isn’t far from a real example, sadly…

 

Those Who Refuse To Read

There are many people I encounter that just don’t like to read. You don’t like books, whatever, that’s cool for you. Not for me, but whatever floats your boat.

Cantreadjpg

The ones I have a problem with are those that refuse to read emails, or defect reports, or service requests, or whatever it is they get their assignments from. If I send an email to a small group of people because all aren’t currently available for a meeting and, ya know, I like to get things in writing usually, I expect it to be read. I know this is a lot to ask. Especially if I announce verbally “Hey guys, I’m going to send an email with the instructions for this project”, get visual feedback from everyone that they heard me, and you’re asked much later how you’re doing on said project and you say you *know nothing about it*.

The best part, and bear with me cuz this is truth, is when certain people that do this claim on their performance reviews that they learn better from spoken instructions than written ones (it’s a learning disorder!), and so they don’t read emails. It just so happens that they also don’t listen when given verbal instructions. Perhaps it switches day to day?

And perhaps the ones that don’t answer emails are also those that don’t read them. I do recall several instances with a manager that wouldn’t answer emails, several concerning a huge issue, and then that manager later claimed no knowledge of those huge issues (which were email conversations among several people).

 

IDK, just my two cents. I’m not always the best communicator, but I also don’t expect psychics on my team…

Why I will never use bestbuy.com again

I recently tweeted that my experience with bestbuy.com was the worst e-commerce experience I’ve ever had. Here’s the details, to get this frustration off my chest 😛

For some background, I recently got a Transformer tablet (thanks to several Amazon gift cards!) but was now looking for a keyboard dock. These run $130 generally, so I was excited to find it for $75 on bestbuy.com, especially since I had a $50 gift card I could use.

Here’s a screencap of the first frustration I had:

Createbillingaddress

I’m filling in my address (and damn sure I got it all), and put in my email address twice. Click Continue. I get an error – I apparently missed the Zip. *sigh* fine, maybe I did. So I go to put that back in and see that hey, my email address is missing and is replaced by email@example.com. Retype those and click Continue. Another error – apparently the email addresses don’t match. But they’re back to email@example.com so I’m not sure what I’ve mistyped. I check all of the other fields to be sure they’re not empty now, too, and retype the email addresses AGAIN and click Continue.

Phew, no errors. Next screen, choose a shipping option. No problem – one radio button. Continue.

Here’s the next screen. I’ll refer to specific areas on this one a few times…

Img_20130106_075051

Choose my card type, put in my number, choose the expiration, put in the security code. Click the Redeem Gift Card… header to expand that, and fill in the gift card number and its security code. Click Continue.

First error: not enough numbers entered for my card. Ok, is it the credit card or gift card? Card type and expiration persist, so I fill in the number and security code again, and then expand the Gift Card section and fill in those again. Continue.

Second error: you can’t use that gift card again. Fine. But I have to put the credit card in again? Argh. Fine. Again, type and expiration persist, so put in the number and security code. Do not expand the Gift Card section, and click Continue.

Third error: you need to put in a security code for your gift card. Wait, what? Expand the Gift Card section – it kept the gift card number (that it didn’t like) but wiped out the security code. W. T. F. FINE. Put in the credit card number and security code AGAIN. Like a dumb user, I put the security code in for the stupid gift card. Continue.

Fourth error: you can’t use that gift card again, dumbass. Re-enter the credit card number and security code again. TYPING VERY HARD. Expand Gift Card section and wipe out the number in there. Continue.

Fina-fucking-ly get through the damned process and get my order confirmation via email with a seemingly taunting subject line “We received your order”. No punctuation. Assholes, mocking me.

 

Basically, the good deal of getting a $130 keyboard dock for my tablet for $25 was the only thing keeping me on that site. But never again. Ugh