Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Wedding

Those of you who follow this blog will have already taken note of my rambling rant about the horrendous problems we had with American Airlines in the final couple of days before the wedding. However, I'm in a much better mood now - not that AA has resolved ANYTHING, but simply because the wedding went off without a major problems, everybody seemed to have a good time, and the bride and groom had a great honeymoon.
Now that all of that is behind us, you'll get the chance to read the thoughts of a father who managed to tap-dance around some of the emotions involved with his only daughter's wedding and the resulting move to a new home in another state. For those of you facing that in the years ahead, let's just say that it's enough to put a catch in the throat and a tear in the eye of the toughest of men. Read on and feel free to pass it along to others who might benefit.
It's Time
It's time. Time to let the youngest fly off to a new home and career, with a new husband, to start a new life. The wedding has been in the works for nearly two years, but it always seemed to be something distant, something "way down the road". The location was secured, but had to be changed when the original choice was sold to be used for another purpose. The scramble for [...]

Technorati Tags: , ,

Monday, October 19, 2009

The American Airlines Rant Continues

For those of you who have not been following my frustrations with American Airlines on Twitter, allow me to briefly bring you up to date.  Our daughter's wedding was this weekend. Her fiance' flew in from their new home in North Carolina, arriving Thursday morning - without his luggage. This was a one-stop flight and the bag contained not only his wedding clothes, but clothes for their honeymoon, too. He immediately filed a claim with American Airlines and was soon told that his bag had been located and was on another flight to Little Rock, scheduled to arrive later on Thursday. "We'll bring it to your location", he was told. Hours later? No bag; no contact from American Airlines.  Another call got much the same response - "your bag is on the way and we'll deliver it, no later than late  Friday morning. You're getting the picture now, right? Friday morning came - no luggage.  Now, American Airlines "customer service" people are saying that the bag somehow ended up in Atlanta (strange, considering the lone stop on the flight was in Dallas) and would be coming to Little Rock on a Delta flight. Hours later, with no sign of the luggage, more phone calls were made. This time American Airlines said they had no way to track the bag, since it was on Delta, but they promised to call Delta and get an update. Of course, that attempt ran into the same problems we encountered: no one staffs the baggage areas except for brief moments around a flight's arrival. So, American could not get in touch with Delta, or so they claimed. By now, it was obviously that the first responses that the luggage was on a flight to Little Rock were nothing more than blatant lies, designed to keep us off the phone. The next move was to try to get some type of compensation from  American, so the groom could replace at least some of his clothing. After being told to buy new clothing and bring the receipts to the local American Airlines desk, the local agent said he could authorize payment for only $200 of the $350 that was spent to replace the minimal clothing for the wedding and honeymoon.  He was told he could appeal to the company, but not to expect much in the way of a positive response.
If there has been one bright spot, it's that a local American Airlines employee happened to be searching through the US Airways baggage area and noticed a bag with a name he recognized from earlier communications - it was the groom's bag! When did US Airways get involved?  Nobody can answer that.  When was the bag found? AFTER the Saturday wedding. In time for the honeymoon, but still extremely frustrating.
Even more frustrating to me was a story that just happened to appear in our local newspaper this (Monday) morning; a story about how the low-cost airlines are doing a much better job of using Twitter and social networking sites to communicate with frustrated passengers than the major carriers. Particularly telling was this reference to American Airlines' philosophy: "American thinks that social media shouldn't be a replacement for existing customer service in which representatives respond to calls and e-mails from consumers".
Yessir - they respond.  With lies and bad information.  That's just a great way to run an airline. And, yes, I've tried giving them a chance to respond, directing Twitter posts to the lone account that seems moderately active.  However, most posts are promoting fares and activities in destination cities. Obviously, nobody who cares about customer service or who has any power to respond and make things right is reading.
Most of this post is personal, since our daughter's wedding and honeymoon were made more stressful by the horrid performance of American Airlines.  Some is professional. Our business, Station X, grew out of the realization that many businesses need help in managing customer service via social media. American Airlines, we need to talk. You have a problem and it's not going to get any better until you look around you and realize that you need to change.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Food for the future

I'm seriously thinking that moving as much as possible toward being a locavore is where we're headed in this household. What's a "locavore?" Basically, it's somebody who buys as much food, as possible, from local sources. We've long been fans of the Little Rock and North Little Rock Farmers' Markets, but we're now seeing the emergence of sources that will offer products throughout the year, not just during the growing months.

Reason to become a locavore
Here's the scenario: with a coupon for $1.00 off a bag of Dole lettuce, I ran into my friendly, neighborhood, Kroger store on the way home one night this week. With the produce area directly ahead, I started scanning the horizon for the section of the department that usually held the Dole products. Whoa! What's that? I'm staring at [...]
Technorati Tags: , ,

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The End of the Moon?

Thanks to @amybhole on Twitter for making me nervous about this whole "smash a rock into the moon" thing. Guess I might as well watch. In case...

Watch NASA Bomb The Moon Online
Like something out of a ’50s sci-fi movie (with a little Kubrick thrown in), tomorrow NASA is going to BOMB THE MOON. Nothing more awesome will happen this year, and you can watch the whole thing online. After slingshotting around the Earth, [...]

Technorati Tags: ,

Big news and big numbers for President Clinton Avenue

I'm trying to get back into the routine of writing about Little Rock for the fine folks at The Examiner. They continue to grow and the number of people coming to the site for information is increasing exponentially. So, as part of the process of looking for interesting stories for our own The Rock in Review, I'm keeping my eyes open and fingers ready to type.  At Station X, we're working hard on pulling together the pieces to make The Rock in Review one of the best hyper-local news sites anywhere. And we'll be asking for your help.  In the meantime, know that I'm looking for those great stories that just miss the headlines.  Case in point? Some great news for Little Rock's Rivermarket district!

Big news and big numbers for President Clinton Avenue
$1.5 billion dollars. A top ten designation. Those are impressive numbers by any account. But, just in case that first number didn't sink in, let me spell it out: One point five billion dollars. That's how much economic [...]

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Taking On Old TV Kids' Shows

This is actually quite creative! Some of you may be aware of it already, but it's kind of a Mystery Science Theater for the old television kids' shows.  Now, if they'd just put a microphone on the guy, instead just using the camera mic....

If you’re like most people, the films and TV shows of your generation defined large chunks of your childhood, but when watched through the prism of, well, being a kid, they seemed much better than they actually were. Enter Nostalgia Critic, which picks out a classic series or movie you might remember fondly…and makes [...]

Technorati Tags: , ,

Today's Faceoff

I love it when television provides a true window into the emotions of the major issues of the day. No matter which side you're on, I'm betting you can find something to cheer about in this debate.  Me? I think Moore held his own. Watch the videos and jump into the comments.

Michael Moore did a lengthy interview with Sean Hannity last night (10/6/09). If you ask me, Moore repeatedly got the upper hand of the debate. What I particularly liked is that Moore did not allow Hannity to control the interview but repeatedly reframed the issues. Favorite line: "Only a wuss would be [...]

Technorati Tags: ,

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Quite The Little Debate

Actually, it was quite the BIG debate! I'm outta here for the night. Y'all enjoy Dylan Ratigan vs Betsy McCaughey!

Don't forget to check out my Arkansas posts at The Examiner
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, October 05, 2009

Your Monday Beck-ness

I know several of you are going to jump me for posting about Glenn Beck - again. But, this debate is just too much fun. Yes, it's all translating into huge numbers for Beck, but it's also translating into a continued bleeding of advertisers.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Sen. John McCain’s, has blasted Glenn Beck. First, on Fox: And then on CNN, former Dick Cheney advisor Mary Matalin responds (claiming Beck is actually nonpartisan) to Graham’s comments — as does her husband, Democratic strategist warhorse James Carville (who does not mince words): Beck is now one of the [...]

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Grayson's Glory

Today's volley. This time on CNN. The topic, of course, health care.

Just for reference, here's yesterday's bit on The Ed Show on MSNBC:

Don't forget to check out my Arkansas posts at The Examiner
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Up To No Good?

Things that make you go "Hmmmm"--

Mysterious Private Security Firm Gets Control Of Empty Jail In Small Montana Town
A shadowy private security company that has no known clients but claims to have helped foreign governments combat terrorism and will protect anything from cruise ships to Pakistani convoys has taken over a jail in a small Montana town, with plans to build a law enforcement training facility on the property.  The state legislature is looking into [...]

Technorati Tags: , ,