Miscellaneous thoughts from on the road...
- Walked into a bank for the first time in years. I needed to get tip change for some of the money I pulled out of ATM outside (I have been a Wells Fargo customer since 1996 but everything is on-line now).
How far the banks have fallen: bored 20+ kid in $100 faded bluejeans, with a clipboard, asks if he can help me. I say "All I need is change for this $20. bill." He doesn't speak another word, just points at the teller line. 5-6 people in line; 2 windows manned by two more very young 20+ tellers; at least 6 more employees wandering around bullpen in back chatting and semi-working.
Time goes by; one teller involved in complicated business deposit; other teller arguing with (being argued at) a tattooed girl who wants to cash a check.
Time goes by; argument escalates and "supervisor" (does anyone over 20 work in this place?) intervenes while boyfriend standing by gets involved; business transaction continues; everyone else continues chatting or semi-working; guy at front door is very bored and doesn't hide it.
Time goes by; argument resolved but girl at window announces she has two more transactions and needs to check something; business transaction continues with no end in sight; everyone else continues chatting or semi-working; guy at front door is very bored and doesn't hide it. At lease two employees in back look at growing teller line and resume chatting.
Time goes by; nothing changes. I run out of time and leave, telling the bored guy at the door that I have to catch a flight and cannot wait any longer. He gives a 20+ something shrug of indifference.
Hey, Wells Fargo and other banks: wonder why you are in financial trouble and the Occupy movement says stop using you? THIS IS A BIG PART OF THE REASON!! It is called customer service, remember?
- Hilton: How come when I stay for several days I get a plain jane ordinary room... BUT I check in at 8pm for one night, checking out the next morning, and you upgrade me to a huge multi-room suite that I get to enjoy for all of maybe 10 hours, 1/2 of which I am asleep for and another couple of hours I am out of the suite finding something to eat. I didn't hardly get to sit in all the rooms!
(It was a very nice suite... thanx, guys)
- Southwest- My favorite airline, but come on flight attendants, must we hear "Southwest wants to be the first to welcome you to...." Big deal, we are still taxiing down the runway. Let's just leave it at "Welcome to..."
- More Southwest: "We no longer accept expired coupons." You used to accept expired coupons?
- More Southwest: How come the guys who announce "We're goin' to fly it like we stole it" no longer wear the brown leather bomber jackets and now wear the blue suit jackets with the epaulets? Going conservative in your old age?
- Final Southwest: I try to avoid holiday flying but am doing it... a lot... this year. The Get Yourself Photographed With Santa thing at Gate 40 in HOU is cute... for about 2 minutes when you are on an hour wait at the next gate. The kids love it and I'm sure you are a big hit with lots of folks, but I can only stand so much Ho-Ho-Ho- ing and cute Christmas Carols and flash attachments going off. Sigh... I guess I'm an old Bah-humbug (I did move to another adjacent gate where it was quiet, so everyone was happy).
- Hotels in general: why is the coffee in the rooms universally the worst coffee in the world? Thank God for Starbucks Via!!
- Hotels in general: An Open Apology to all Perky Front Desk Folks: when I slump in late at night and almost fall asleep on your counter or stumble by at 5 in the morning desperately seeking coffee (see reference above), PLEASE don't take it personally when I do not respond with equal perkiness.
(Aside: I once actually had to get someone to show me how to start a car; then there was the late night when the fob- thingee wasn't in the car and vehicle died just past the check-out station... neither of which were very manly- type incidents)
Umm, fellows, you are about a year or so late with the big announcement on how to start a keyless car.
It was one of those perfect mornings: everything was quiet and peaceful, almost as if the world took a deep breath and stopped to enjoy the morning...