LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
you go through customs and they ask if you have any illegal substances, and before you think, you utter, "What do you need?"
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
Corporate Scum Bags
Take A Letter
Simon Pismo writes...
Glad you asked. I'm very entertained by it. SCO has continued the long standing Sillycon Valley tradition of sueing that crap out of people when you are unable to sell your own products.
I've read a lot of interviews on the subject. Most legal analysts say SCO hasn't got a prayer. The Open Source Community is wondering if SCO itself has violated the legal requirements to distribute Linux. Meanwhile, the CEO of SCO sees his company completely owning the UNIX market when this is over.
This is high quality drama. Let's just hope some judge doesn't stick his nose in too soon and declare it over before the real fun begins.
If you're like me (scary thought, ain't it?) you know that Star Wars Episode III is currently shooting in Australia. This would be the perfect time to fire up the old web browser and check out www.starwars.com. Well, it ain't. The LucasFilm Marketing pukes have decided that if you want to read their movie's promotional material, you should have to pay them.
This is like paying to watch the commercials on TV, or paying to receive calls from telemarketers. Here Lucas is going to roll the bones one more time to see if this old horse can make it around the track again, and his Marketing Idiots want me to hand over my credit card number, and not even for the film?
Then it got weird, WTHAIS finally bought me a new Winders machine to work on. This one can keep up with my typing speed, and it has a DVD-ROM. This means I can finally look at the last of the bonus material I paid for when I bought Episodes I and II. I then found that some of the material which you must view through the DVD-ROM application, and that you had to have paid for, now requires you to pay a second time to have access to the web site.
I think the Wookie is rogering the audience.
Have you noticed the new self service check out going up everywhere? I first saw them at Home Depot, a store notorious for never having enough humans working. Then Best Buy, and now Snob Hill wants me to scan my own Diet Coke. These stores are now hoping we will run our own purchases through their scanners ourselves. Then we have to either pay with a debit card, or hope that their machine will accept our raggedy old dollars.
This has been coming on for a long time. My first job was being a Gas Jockey at a 76 station back in the 70's. (You know, when Star Wars was new.) One island was full service, that's where I pumped the gas and got under your hood so I could sell you oil. (There was more profit in a quart of oil than in an entire tank of gas.) The other island was self service, where you supposedly did this for yourself. Now we almost always pump our own gas, whether or not we even know how to check the oil. (Except the folks in Oregon, where the Gas Jockey still thrives.)
I also do self service at the movie theaters because, well... let's just say I enjoy talking with their machines more than their people. But now regular retail wants me to do even more of their work. You see I already must do the selling. This entails doing all of the research on the product, being able to discuss each competing brand's features, understanding the pricing structure, warranties, etc. Then I have to make the pitch to the customer (me) myself. I have to make sure I, the customer, knows why I should buy 2.5 inch nails to put down a sub-floor as opposed to 1.5 inch nails.
And after all this, Home Depot wants me to run the cash register and bag the products. You see, I'm really working at Home Depot when you get down to it, I'm just not receiving the paycheck and orange apron.
Why this strikes me as strange is that everyone will tell you that we have moved from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. But no one is providing full service, or even core competence in their products. (Remember when you could go to the hardware store and there would be experts who knew everything about escutcheons?) It strikes me we are not at all in a service economy, but a commodity economy. The public has decided that it values price above all else, and is willing to pump their own gas, research their own chocolate sauce, and operate the cash register.
Damn, if I'm going to do all this, I want to unionize the customers!
Mrs. Fek'Lar has a CitiBank Card... at least until today. One of the "privileges" of having a CitiBank Card is the endless telemarketing you get every couple of days. They really do spend a lot of time, trying to sell you stuff you continuously say you don't want.
Corporate Telemarketer Lacky: Hello, may I speak with Mrs. Fek'Lar?
Me: Who is calling?
Corporate Telemarketer Lacky: This is Corporate Telemarketer Lacky calling on behalf of CitiBank.
Me: You know, she has asked you to stop calling. STOP CALLING!
Corporate Telemarketer Lacky: Yes, sir, I will put her name in the 'Do Not Call List'. Now it may take 6 to 8 weeks for this to go through.
This gets down to an idea I've had for a long time. Corporations have more rights that than people. If I were to call the CEO of CitiBank every time I received a call from CitiBank's Corporate Telemarketer Lackies, he'd be able to get me locked up for harassment. But because CitiBank is a corporation, I get to pound sand.
Which gets me to that credit card. Mrs. Fek'Lar canceled it today. As a class of people we need to beat on these corporate Bozos. If they harass us, we need to punish them with no business. We also need to ask Corporate Telemarketer Lackies to "hold on" when they call, then just put the phone down and see what's on TV.
But just in case you wanted to keep that credit card, here's a word of advice. Threaten to close it once a month. The card companies are desperate to keep customers. When you call to cancel they spend a lot of time with you trying to learn why you don't want their card. They then start offering you incentives to keep it.
Record Sales Are Down!
Time To Start Hiring People Who Can Sing!
Let's play, "Who said this?"
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"My computer is confused. I need to restart."
"Don't you wish you could do that with people?"
"What? Give them a three finger salute rather than a one finger?"
"What's wrong with your nose?"
"It's a zit gone bad. It's really painful. And I think it's talking to people."
"I like Marketing People. Especially smothered in honey, sitting on top of an ant hill."
"I bought one of those cell phones with a built in camera. I keep taking pictures of my eardrum."
"I came to you for nasty food. If I wanted fine cuisine, I would have gone somewhere else."
Price Check On One!
(The Last Honest Geek)
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