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  • Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    NASA: The Space Shuttle's Future

    After a few days of bad weather, it was the rockets red glare of the space shuttle Discovery that illuminated the skyline on this 4th of July. The successful launch of the mission dubbed STS-121 is only the second shuttle launch since the space shuttle Columbia disaster several years ago and the first since the shuttles were grounded about a year ago after a piece of foam from the external fuel tank broke off during takeoff. Modifications were ordered and completed as part of the requirements. Yet, despite the changes to ensure safety of the crew, concerns arose late Monday afternoon about a 5 inch crack in the foam on the fuel tank of Discovery....just 24 hours before scheduled liftoff. Crews worked hard through the night and Tuesday afternoon STS-121 got underway with several space walks and much needed supplies being delivered to the International Space Station.

    Yet, today's launch brings up the big question on everyones mind....Is the space shuttle program safe? Should the program be grounded? Are the space shuttles too old to fly?


    link | Jason posted at Tuesday, July 04, 2006 | 0 comments


    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    Outsmart The Automated Phone Systems

    My Mood Today is: Mad
    Hi. Thanks for calling (company name here). Please listen carefully as some of our menu options have changed! - Press 1 if you want....And the message goes on and on and on. It's like you are at a restaurant and looking at a menu of 30 items. From sidedishes to main courses...drinks to dessert which one to choose when several items sound good is becomming harder...at least when it comes to calling businesses on the phone.

    In recent years there has been a major shift in customer service. Companies are looking for ways to save money and that means cutting the number of humans that work for them! Decades ago, the cotton mills use to be run by humans. Slowly, they were replaced by faster and more costly machines. It's a growing problem. Machines are outdoing the humans that make them in the first place. And now customer service has gone out the window...replaced by an automated phone system.

    You generally call a business and have a specific question. But now you have to navaigate through thousands of voice prompts to get to any live person. It's aggravating and time consuming if you don't know how to get around it. Now a days, you can even speak into the phone and the automated system hears you. At least, it tries to understand you.

    Today's phone calls are much different than yester-year. Automation has pushed aside the days of "Good Afternoon, thank you for calling (insert company name here). My name is (insert name). How may I help you?" With a new hipper version. Oh and did I mention it's a computer.

    Reality Check: The automated system of telephones is here to stay. And so we can do a few things to help us along the way. We can remember fondly the ways we use to talk to businesses by calling up a neighbor and hearing a live person, jovial in tone, answering the phone. And for businesses...there is a solution.

    One smart person decided to tackle this problem and make life easier for all of YOU! This person, Paul English, has decided to put together a very comprehensive database of major companies that have automated systems. His database shows you and tells you how to beat the system and get to a live person...EFFORTLESSLY!

    Link to his website: http://paulenglish.com/ivr/

    Interactive: Sound OFF! Does this automated system bother you? Do you believe it's good business practive to employ this type of phone system? What are your thoughts? I'm eager to hear from you! To bypass the main menu ...simply click on Comments below this entry! Or if you want you can just hit "0" and speak to my operator. (That' was a joke!)


    link | Jason posted at Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | 2 comments