Posts Tagged ‘frustration’

Looking Back at Today’s Black Friday

Posted in Life and Philosophy on November 23rd, 2007 by chris – 1 Comment

I’ve ventured out in the past on previous black friday’s fighting the traffic, parking, and crowds and certainly know what it’s like.  Today I didn’t.  Sure I get aggravated from the hassle and waiting in line but I didn’t see anything out there that made me think “wow, thats way too good to pass up”.  From asking people I’ve talked with during the past view days and some input from various websites it doesn’t seem like many people were going out today.  That’s not to say the stores were empty, I’m sure retailers such as BestBuy, CircuitCity, and many others were packed.  I would be willing to guess that the number of people have declined this year.

Some of the retailers limited their deals to “in store only” which isn’t a half bad idea on their part.  The deals themselves seemed a bit average with some short-windowed exceptions. For me it wasn’t enough to venture out. I also heard from someone first hand that needed to work today that a local mall (not a small strip mall but a two floor multi-anchor store type) received about an average weekend kind of traffic.

So what does this boil down to? People shopping more? Less? Getting their shopping done earlier in the year ad planned around the frenzy? Not as many as attractive deals? Increased online shopping?  There could be many things that would influence the answer.  For this blogger it comes down to two things – 1) Deals weren’t there 2) Online shopping is far more up my alley for the type of shopper I am.  Thanks for the various sites that are available I was able to keep close tabs on the various sales without having to venture out.  These are – techbargains, blackfridayhome, and slickdeals.

Something that was brought to my attention last week is a term called ‘Cyber Monday’ for which  online shopping is suppose to be what Black Friday is for local retailers. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this to see what comes of it and more than likely any such deals will be mentioned in one, if not all, of the sites above.

As a parting question to those to visit – if you went shopping (local or online) what would you consider you best ‘Black Friday’ bargain?

Email Branching – It’s time to put an end to the madness

Posted in Computers on October 17th, 2007 by chris – Be the first to comment

One pet peeve of mine that has been increasing over time is when an email is sent with all the various information and someone in the list of people that received it decides to respond to the second or third latest to the chain, thus throwing the flow of the conversation out the window. I’m not sure if this is a common practice in a lot of companies, or maybe only specific types of people, but I would be curious for someone to comment on this and explain what they see. For example and generally what I’ve seen, let’s say an email went out involving four people for either a specification requirement, questions on a project, issue that came up, or anything. I’ll try and break this down so its easier to follow

  1. Initial email sent from chris to adam, stacey, jamal
  2. adam responds to chris, stacey, jamal
  3. chris responsds to adam, stacey, jamal
    1. stacey responds to only chris because she forgets to reply to all
    2. jamal responds to adam’s email from bullet 2, completely ignoring chris’ email from bullet 3
  4. chris responds to stacey’s email reincluding adam, and jamal. chris also answers the question from jamal since adam is a tool and will only forward it on to someone else anyhow
  5. chris finds out more info and responds to his own email still including adam, stacey, jamal — at this point we’re about back on track and the previous email is kept so nothing is missed
  6. jamal, as if he’s living in the past, sends another email replying to bullet 2, not the email he already sent to bullet 2, to adam, chris, stacey and now also includes jessica

More often than not, say 7/10 times, it goes further downhill from there. If an attachment becomes involved then it turns into a disaster, without fail. I can understand that people get a fair amount of email but this is senseless. I sometimes wonder if those people do it deliberately so if something gets screwed up they can blame it on some “miscommunication” in the email to cover their ass.

Much like source control I wish there was an option to require the server to not allow and email to send if there is a more recent version. This would probably be easier to accomplish if this was all on the same domain email server but I’m not here to work out the technical details at the time. If people followed a few basic rules to emailing conversations would take less time and be more meaningful. I think those include:

  1. Always respond to the latest email, even if you sent the previous one. Send a follow up response to that so the entire chain is kept in tact.
  2. Make sure to include everyone that should be on the email. But if you’re going to send a response that should be private then make sure you choose the right button. I’ve seen it happen.
  3. In the case of files, have a share on a type of file server with a version scheme in the name of the document. In this case if it does need to be emailed the version can be referenced instead of something abstract such as “from the email titled ‘newest doc’”. I’ve seen this happen too.

Am I asking too much? Is it out of line? Thought of a way to have people to follow rules? Let me know.