February 12, 2023 · 8:22 am
One of the greatest ironies about getting older is that despite the whispers of life experience and wisdom through which we can better take life’s drama with a grain of salt, and to view it with the perspective and acceptance that prevent our heads from exploding on a daily basis, there is one troubling reality: new situations to replace them… which still hold the power to make our heads explode.
To me, a recent bugaboo has been company name changes.
A few weeks ago, my partner and I received an email from a company we deal with, announcing their name change. Frankly, it wasn’t a big change. They just dropped a few letters from the end of their name.
I felt empathy for the poor employees having to drop everything to update all of their forms, templates and signature blocks, at a time when their plates were probably already full. It brought back memories of a position I have been in more times than I wanted to recall.
I sometimes wonder if it’s just me who thinks that company names seem to be changing at a faster pace than before.
But the evidence speaks for itself when watching a vintage episode of “The Price is Right” on YouTube and noticing that many company names that were household names in the 1970s have completely disappeared.
I have to admit that remembering names is not my strongest attribute. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, pop culture, stories
Tagged as aging, brand, branding, business, change, changing, client, company, consumer, corporate, customer, goods, history, memory, name, names, recall, reputation, service, services
January 22, 2023 · 7:56 am
While I consider myself an optimist who likes to think the best in people, I thank my Mom for raising me with a healthy degree of skepticism to keep things in balance.
If she didn’t, I think it would be safe to say that the Pollyanna in me might have fallen off the turnip truck, not seen the forest for the trees and may have gotten into financial hot water.
One life lesson that has proven invaluable has been the idea of getting a second opinion (…and sometimes a third.)
I don’t think a second opinion is needed when making small, routine purchases. Let’s face it, despite being starved for conversation after the pandemic lockdowns, we probably won’t make friends while canvassing for second opinions about long-lasting breath mints at the express check-out counter.
But to me, there are times when a second opinion makes sense to validate the necessity of an expensive transaction and that the associated costs are justified. Also, having a few moments to just take a deep breath and to absorb what we are being told without freaking out is an added bonus. Continue reading →
January 26, 2020 · 8:48 am
There seems to be two kinds of people in the world: tag savers and tag rippers. I have rarely met anyone who was somewhere in the middle.
When I refer to tags, I mean those things we find inside of clothes that offer all kinds of useful information like the brand name, what the product is made of, the size and the care instructions.
These same tags can be found on pretty much any textile product including mattresses, comforters, table cloths and pillows.
I confess, I am an unapologetic tag saver. Why wouldn’t I be?
As an impressionable (and sometimes anxious) little kid raised in the era of “Do not remove by penalty of law” tags, there was no way I could have slept at night if I ever ripped off a tag, even by accident.
And throughout the years, I always saw good value in them and learned to live with them.
When I found a piece of clothing that I really enjoyed (or one that possibly drew compliments), if I wanted to go back to the store and get another one in a different colour, the tag would make that task easier by telling me everything that I needed to know. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, home, Humour
Tagged as anxiety, clothes, clothing, consumer, cushions, fabric, mattresses, pillows, removing, retail, ripping, tags, textiles
July 1, 2019 · 8:24 am
We’ve known for years that the plastics we discard now can potentially remain on this planet for generations to come. With that knowledge, I have been trying to do my part to reduce my plastic footprint by switching to fabric shopping bags (and remembering to bring them), by using reusable containers for my work lunches, and by finding substitutes (or additional uses) for single-use plastic bags.
And then, despite my best intentions and efforts, I have weeks where I feel defeated when unpacking my shopping and seeing so many products entombed in plastic bubbles, with no offer of alternatives.
Just looking at recent weeks’ shopping, I have seen item after item that probably could have been served up in a bin like at a bulk food store.
I understand that these sturdy packages prevent breakage or leakage in shipping, and at the retail level they help in reducing shoplifting. Also, for some personal products, plastic is considered necessary to keep products clean and sanitary. But in doing a 360 degree turn in many stores, all I see is plastic, plastic and more plastic. It’s discouraging.
We need to rethink retail. Maybe we need things behind counters and hire actual humans to sell them to us rather than putting things in big blobs of indestructible plastic. For taking products home, are there other more eco-friendly materials than plastic bags?
Also, when it comes to clothing or fabric products, could everyone in the manufacturing, shipping, storage and retail chain get by with one tag and a more mindful use of plastic fasteners? I recently bought a throw for the sofa, to protect it from Ivy the Wonder Cat’s claws, and spent 10 minutes removing a multitude of tags and a ridiculous number of tiny plastic fasteners. Continue reading →
Filed under Misc blogs
Tagged as alternatives, bags, concern, consumer, eco-friendly, fabric, footprint, grocery, mesh, packaging, planet, plastic, plastics, retail, shopping, stores
March 4, 2018 · 8:32 am
On March 1st, a province-wide ban went into effect in Ontario, effectively putting a stop to high pressure sales of heating, air conditioning and water services at our front doors. What a relief!
While I feel bad for the folks who were trying to make an honest living in the business of door-to-door sales, the sad reality is that in recent years, a few rotten apples spoiled it for everyone. Some sales people were becoming pushy, confrontational and some were downright creepy.
I remember one young lady who looked like Jan Brady from the Brady Bunch, who was selling a locked-in price plan for natural gas. After I politely declined the offer and started gently shutting the door, she wrapped up the conversation saying “you’ll beeee soooorryyyyy” with the same tone and inflection as a dire warning from a horror movie. That was a little creepy!
I also remember an argumentative type that got my blood boiling when I innocently thought this might be a good time to ask questions and to get more information. As I started asking very genuine questions about the service he was offering, he kept asking me why I needed to know that, as his tone got increasingly defensive with every passing question. When he started raising his voice and I started feeling rattled, I decided it was time to end the conversation. He kept talking after I closed the door.
It was the pushy people who wanted to get into the house and check out my water heater that pushed me over the edge, when challenging my own authority to say “no, thank you”. Holy invasion of privacy, Batman! Continue reading →
Filed under Health and Wellness, Humour, mental health, Misc blogs
Tagged as ad mail, advertising, aggressive, air conditioning, air duct, air duct cleaners, ban, blood pressure, confrontation, confrontational, consumer, dinnertime, door-to-door, doorbell, health, heating, intimidating, intimidation, junk mail, negative, offensive, ontario, phone solicitors, reputable, sales, salespeople, scam, signage, vulnerable
April 3, 2016 · 10:54 am
Do you remember the episode of the TV sitcom “Seinfeld” when George Costanza’s wallet explodes from the multitude of items he had filed away in it? Some days, I feel that could be me just from the quantity of reward and loyalty cards I have accumulated over the years.
Just this past week, I was in a rush to leave the house to go see a movie and found myself deep diving through the kitchen counter pile of flyers, lists, receipts and other miscellaneous orphaned items, to look for my movie loyalty card. Fortunately I found it in time, despite the needle in the haystack factor.
I have loyalty cards for airlines, hotels, department stores, grocery stores and pharmacies. I have cards to earn me free coffee, free pet food and free dry cleaning, to name a few.
As you can see by the stack of cards in the picture, I am a member of a multitude of loyalty programs, but frankly I am not as loyal to them as they may think. I confess, I have been seeing other stores behind their back.
Out of all of those cards, only two of them are always in my wallet. Maybe five get rotated in and out of the wallet regularly (…when I remember to). The rest, I try to keep as organized as possible by placing them all in a business card keeper (…when I remember to).
Talk about a house of cards, Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, stories
Tagged as bonus, cards, comedy, companies, consumer, episode, funny, George Costanza, humor, humour, loyalty, marketing, observational, offers, points, promotion, retail, rewards, sale, Seinfeld, shopping, stores, technology, wallet