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ChiliDragon Blog

When local franchises need to fail

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My favorite on-the-way-to-work coffee place is under new ownership. There is a big sign by the counter that proudly states the owners are new, but the baristas and the coffee are the same. They lie! I've been stopping there on my way to work 2-3 times a week since we moved here a few years ago, and I don't recognize a single face. For the first time in over a year I have to actually explain how I want my coffee drink, and they don't even offer breakfast sandwiches. Also, the coffee they serve tastes awful. In fact, it's disgusting. Before the switch, when Moxie Java ran the place, it was packed in the mornings. Since they changed to the Local Franchise, it's not. There was one other person there this morning. One! And they are slooooow. I have to be at work by 9:00 AM... before, if I left home by 8:35, i had time to stop for coffee, with time to spare. Now, if I leave by 8:35, I barely make it to work on time. This particular local franchise sucks donkey balls and I hope they go out of business. They ruined my morning coffee place!

Say "thank you" now and then.

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People who chose to make a career out of a Customer Service job did that because of the happy customers who appreciate their efforts. We mock the stupid ones, vent about the painful ones, and we laugh at the condescending ones, but the grateful ones, who actually take the time to compose an email to management about how much they appreciate all we did to help them... those are the ones we come to work for and the ones who keep us going. So please, take a moment to say thank you and pay a compliment. If you work in Customer Service yourself, you know very well how such a simple thing can completely make your day and remind you why you choose this job to begin with. If you don't work in the field, you'll just have to trust me on this. That short and polite question, "is there a manager I can talk to, to register a compliment about you?" is what keeps us going when the really bad customers ambush us. So take a moment to say thank you. Just a short one. It's easy.

At long last....

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I stopped blogging when it became apparent that Gamespot would not show me if anyone commented on my blog. Now that has changed, I will start blogging again. I will pause now for your cheering and applause. :P Okay, pause over. On with the blog. Remember that blog post abut Christmas but better that showed a bunch of unboxed PC parts? This is what they look like after they've been unpackaged and assembled. Admit it, this is sexy. :) IMG_0854.jpg

Like Christmas, but better

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Look what the nice UPS driver delivered to our house today! :D Sexiness Yes, I know there's some important parts missing, but they are either in the tower we're currently using, or still in transit. But this was just too pretty not to be shared with the world. :)

For once, a customer made me laugh

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After spending a few years on the receiving end of hardware support phone calls, I've heard all the bad jokes. I've heard all the abysmal ones.I've even heard all the good ones so often they aren't funny anymore. And then, this happened. Customer calls in for tech support help. Essentially, his order was lost in transit by the stupid courier company that was supposed to deliver them. So the customer calls us back and is confused. Where is the order? The agent that takes the call checks the dollar value of the order, and since it's very low he immediately sends out a replacement, with apologies. The replacement is DOA, Dead On Arrival. At this point, I'm astonished that the customer was still in a good mood when he called in for tech support, to find out why the part didn't work. I did some troubleshooting with him, verified he had a bad module, and tried to put a good spin on it with my "I can fix this"-speech. The customer bought it (thankfully) and was all in favor of a warranty exchange, so I started creating the paperwork and told him I would make sure UPS emailed him a pre-paid label for the return shipping. The customer proceeds to tell me that without working memory his computer is down, so he can't print the label. Oh. Okay, I can work around that. So I nod to myself, and proceed to confidently tell my customer, "That's okay, I can work around that." He's quiet for a moment and then says, "You must be a wife. Wives are the only ones who know how to solve problems." For some bizarre reason that reply made me laugh for over a minute.

We won this round! But it's not over yet... (SOPA/PIPA update)

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Congress has dropped SOPA and the senate has given up on PIPA. Both pieces of legislation are likely to return in the future, with new names and different wording/ideas, bit for now, the most imminent danger is past. We won this round. Bragging rights, internet grassroots. Major bragging rights. :) [Quote="Ars Technica"] "Supporters of the Internet deserve credit for pressing advocates of SOPA and PIPA to back away from an effort to ram through controversial legislation," Issa said in a Friday statement. "Over the last two months, the intense popular effort to stop SOPA and PIPA has defeated an effort that once looked unstoppable." "Postponing the Senate vote on PIPA removes the imminent threat to the Internet, but it's not over yet," Issa continued. "Copyright infringement remains a serious problem and any solution must be targeted, effective, and consistent with how the Internet works."

Full article

SOPA not dead after all. Dammit.

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SOPA will be return to Congress in early February. Wikipedia has the scoop And that link works. Though Wikipedia, along with Craigslist, Google, and other sites, are doing their black-out protest of SOPA and PIPA today, Wikipedia have made sure that their detailed article on why these two are bad, is visible to everyone. Protest, everyone in the US. This is our only chance to tell Congress and the Senate just how stupidly bad this legislation is. The fact that hardly anyone involved in it understands how the internet works is actually not the worst part about this piece of legislation. Protest if you're outside the US as well. If SOPA or PIPA, or both, are passed into law, the US-based websites you visit every day could be lost to you. SOPA gives a game publishing company the power to legally shut down the entire domain Gamespot.com, if they think that posting videos or screenshots from one of their games is a copyright violation severe enough that it needs to be stopped. The company making this request is not required to notify Gamespot, or ask them to remove the content--which is already their right, and if asked, Gamespot is legally required to comply--and Gamespot would remain offline until they can prove they were innocent and didn't know that copyright was violated. SOPA also gives the MPAA and the RIAA the ability to create "black-lists" of site that they want taken down or censored, and the legal right and ability to make that happen. So in theory, if this bill goes through the US Congress, the entire world could lose access to Gamespot, or for that matter, YouTube. WIkipedia has suggestions on how people outside this country can protest by contacting their own governments. Let's get this ball rolling. Protest SOPA and PIPA.

Congress drops SOPA, PIPA still alive

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This is good news! :) From The Mac Observer: [quote="The Mac Observer"] U.S. President Barak Obama publicly condemned the proposed SOPA legislation for the first time over the weekend, and Congress responded by dropping the bill, at least for now. SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, was presented as a tool to help stop online intellectual property theft, although opponents to the bill said it would give the government control over the content Internet users can view. In response to online petitions against the SOPA legislation, the President said even though he sees online piracy from foreign websites as a problem, he won't support any bill that erodes freedom of speech or expression, or that potentially threatens online security. ... While SOPA may be on the back burner for now, a similar bill called the Protect IP Act (PIPA) is still working its way through the Senate. In response to both SOPA and PIPA, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) launched what he's calling the Keep The Web OPEN Project to underscore the importance of a free and open Internet and to offer up alternative legislation for protecting intellectual property while avoiding online censorship.

Link to full article

HOW-TO: Hide Spoilers with the Spoiler Tag

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Posting game-plot spoilers is low and mean and not at all a nice thing to do. Now, in the defense of most Gamespot forum users, we're all gamers here and most of us actually don't want to spoil games for each other. Any forum regular knows that most of the community members around here put a lot of effort, and line-breaks and other creative methods, into warning readers there is a spoiler coming.

There is a tag that hides them. Here is how to do it:

You use BB code to type the opening and closing tag for a spoiler. Then put your spoiler between the tags, and you are set. So you type,

(spoiler) This is where the spoiler would be (/spoiler)

but you use [ instead of ( and ] instead of ), and it becomes a link that only shows the spoiler content if it is clicked on. Like this:

[spoiler] This is where the spoiler would be [/spoiler]

Please, help making the Gamespot forums a better place, and use spoiler tags. :)