Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Hope you have a really prosperous new year ahead! It’s going to be quite an exciting year for me, for various reasons, but especially because of the upcoming marriage.

As an aside, I’ve been really sick for the past week or so. I could feel the flu virus laying partially dormant for a few weeks before, but it all erupted last week. Had a terrible sore throat, dry cough, running nose with mucous with a hint of green and yellow (argh!), and a fever that just wouldn’t go away. I’m still not yet fully recovered (still no running for me), but at least the pain’s been reduced quite a bit since. And you know what? This sickness is, I believe, the best weight-loss catalyst one can find: a million and one Chinese New Year goodies were available, and I didn’t even care for them!

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a video of my cat Arsene doing his thing.

Doing great customer service or: Returning stinky poo with sweet smelling roses

Today, I received an angry e-mail from a disgruntled recipient of a reports I’m helping to generate. Turns out the data on the wasn’t all that up-to-date, and she wanted to know why.

The first reaction I had was that of defending myself: you read the report wrong; it’s the system’s fault; (and) you’re an idiot [fullstop]. Then I caught myself.

Maybe influenced by past experiences of great service I’ve experienced, as well as customer-service-oriented shows like “Can You Serve” in which a guy I knew in the army unbelievably won, I admitted my mistake, apologised, and asked how I could do better next time.

After sending that e-mail I felt pretty good about myself. It was so unlike me that for a moment I almost felt like I’d finally matured into an *gasp* adult (in fact, the huge, HUGE PR faux pax by Paul Christoforo is probably closer to what I’m naturally inclined to do; by the way, if you haven’t read about this sad yet hilarious incident, please do – you won’t regret it).

Whether or not yet another nasty e-mail is returned from my e-mail is irrelevant, once you realise the possibilities of returning stinky poo with sweet smelling roses. Even then though, I must admit to feeling a little apprehensive of receiving a nasty one after my being Mr. Nice Guy – I’m so thinned skinned if I stood in front of a light bulb that’d be all you see — a light bulb.

How measurable advertising makes us all the same

Seth Godin has a great post on how newer forms of direct marketing may be leading us toward a type of sameness.

I understand where he’s coming from. With instant feedback possible now with online sales, you can just about immediately see which product’s selling better than others, after which you exert influence on working up the sales of the superior product, while ignoring the inferior ones.

There is a problem though. What if it was just by random chance that the product deemed superior just happend to sell really well for a short time? With instant feedback possible, what happens is that there is no gestation period for other products to catch up — products that don’t perform well initially are dropped, while those that do remain (and pushed to ever greater heights).

Even if you knew that the better product wasn’t selling as well as it should, these days with instant measurements come expectations of instant results, and it’s going to be the products with instant mass appeal that will survive.

Happy 2012 everyone!

It’s the first day of 2012, and what better excuse to set your goals, resolutions, and plans than today?

So what will you be up to this year?

  • Who do you hope to become?
  • What do you hope to achieve?
  • And, how do you expect to become who you want to be, or achieve what you want to do?

Personally, I’m just hoping to become a better person. Better how, and how I hope to do this, however, is still pending deeper thought — silent nights and mornings mulling over what life means. Something I hope to settle within the next week, and which is to be revised throughout the year and beyond.

Happy 2012 to you and your loved ones; may it be the greatest year yet.