Don’t make empty promises

I’ve recently had an experience with Cycle Lab in Bryanston.


End of last year I noticed that my rear wheel (Rolf Elan) was moving laterally on the hub. Suspecting the bearings, I took it in to Cycle Lab for them to fix it. The mechanic took it apart immediately and noticed that it was just a missing spacer, which they didn’t have in stock. So I left the wheel for them to order the part and get back to me.

My Problem

2 months later, having heard nothing, I went in to enquire, and they knew nothing of my job card, luckily I kept my copy, and luckily I could point out my wheel in the pile of wheels lying in the workshop.

Nothing had been done, so they redid the documentation with more promises to phone me once done.

Fast forward to September. Because I have another set of wheels I haven’t really followed up on this, but at some point I would like my racing wheel back, they’re half the weight of my training set. So I walk in and start asking questions, and eventually have to go point out my wheel in the pile in the workshop again. After a heated discussion between a few people in the workshop the lady comes out and says their supplier have lost the complete insides of the wheel’s hub, and they’ll be happy to replace the wheel for me with a new bontrager one (emphasis hers).  I’m happy with that, and even enquire to the price of the front wheel so that I can buy that to complete the set.

As promised she phones me the Tuesday after, saying she’s still waiting for stock, but will let me know as soon as it arrives.  And then…NOTHING!

So, 2 weeks later I walk in to enquire about the wheel, and now the story has changed…She promptly tells me that she’s still waiting for another customer to return the promised wheel, which he’s borrowing. WTF?

I didn’t lose the insides of that wheel, and it was part of a set.  So what would make me happy is for them to replace it with an equivalent set, I’ll happily hand you the front-wheel I have to go into your collection of loaners.

Another 2 weeks go by with no news, so I walk in again yesterday, and this time I can actually see the loathing on the woman’s face.  So she tells me she’s going to fetch the wheel for me.  And re-appears about 20 minutes with a bottom of the range Shimano wheel, weighing about double what my set of training wheel weigh.  I took the wheel, and walked out, but will never support this shop again, ever.  I vote with my wallet, and tell the world about my experience.

Lesson from this

If you really want to make you customers happy, take notes when you make a promise, and deliver on that, or even over-deliver.  This will ensure that they tell the world about their experience, and that they come back for more.  But never make an empty promise and then deliver half-assed when the customer calls you on it.

Take responsibility for what you do with your tools

While reading Scott Berkun’s defence of PowerPoint, a phrase came to mind “A bad workman will always blame his tools”.

I’ve sat through so many bad presentations where the first thing the speaker does is to apologise for the “Death By PowerPoint”, and the converse, which doesn’t happen that often, is a good presentation where the speaker uses the tool as an aid to draw your attention, like it was designed to do.

I agree with Scott, YOU need to take responsibility for the work you deliver, you should never blame a tool for your shortcomings.

Use a bit of common sense in traffic

One of the things that annoy me the most is someone that does not use his/her nut while driving in traffic.

You are not special, and you don’t have special privileges based on the price of your car, the size of your car or the colour of your skin (this is not a racist statement, just an observation).

If everyone used a little bit of common sense, we would actually get out of the traffic a lot sooner.

If you think you’re special and you race down the wrong lane to try and push into a line at the front, you’re holding up everyone that actually had the patience and common sense to be in the correct lane for where they want to go early enough. Continue reading Use a bit of common sense in traffic

What have we learnt in 2 millenia?

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”
— Cicero, 55 BC

Evidently, nothing….

Is it worth it trying to maintain multiple blogs?

Over the last few weeks I’ve written a few articles on MyDigitalLife, where, should you be deemed a good enough writer, you start getting paid per hit.  While checking on my hit count etc, I’ve fallen into the bad habit of reading the latest blog posts every time I visit.  I have to honestly say that I’m a worse person for reading some of the mind numbing posts out there.

There are a FEW of the bloggers there that write quality stuff, but mostly…Well let’s not comment any further, go have a look at this beauty.  And there are a few more of these.

I strive for constant improvement in my life, in everything I attempt, whether it be writing – in comprehensible language – or watching the grass grow – trying to see more detail every time :-).  And in this constant quest for improvement, I do not want to be associated with the likes of snake.

I have also been neglecting this blog because of my writing on that side, and I do not want to neglect my primary site, so I’ve decided to commit site suicide (removing my profile, not killing myself), but I have to say it seems that it may be more difficult than trying to commit FaceBook suicide, which can be nearly impossible, according to the few who’ve tried.

So, I’ll now move my articles from that side to this one, and see if the kick me off for breaking one of the rules of the site – linking back to your own blog.

So, back to my question, is it worth maintaining multiple blogs?  Only if you want to hide your political/personal views…

The few who spoil it for the rest of us

Let me start with some background…

Last night at about half past 10 my doorbell rang.  When I answered the
intercom, there was a guy outside asking me to come outside as he'd
just had an accident at the end of the cul-de-sac where I stay.  He had
just come from the local pub, and did not have a clue where he was…

Now, normally I would jump to the opportunity to help a fellow human
being, but unfortunately in our country you never know when it is a
scam to get you outside as an easy target for more sinister things.

In my view I made the right decision to deny the request, giving the
person my phone number to pass on to his relatives for directions to
the location, in case the story was true.

This morning when leaving for work I drive down to the end of the
street to check out the story, and lo-and-behold, he was telling the
truth, the fence posts of the compex there were bent, and you could
clearly see where he went off the road.

Firstly, whoever you are, I have to apologise for not coming out to
help, but I think if the roles were reversed you would probably make
the same decision that I did.

Secondly, whoever you are, you should not be driving at high speed in
the rain and dark on roads you don't know, even when you're sober, but
especially not after you've visited the local pub, that is just
irresponsible, and you would not have been in the position you were in
if there was a inkling of responsiblity in you.

Back to the heading of this post. 

Why is our country in this position, where people have to think twice
before answering a call for help.  Where criminals have sunk so low as
to target people's natural will to help fellow human beings, to turn
them in to easy targets.  It's despicable behaviour, and our government
is still doing very little to curb crime…

Food for Thought

A boat docked in a tinyMexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on thequality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.   'Notvery long,' answered the Mexican.

'But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?' asked the American.

The Mexican explained thathis small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of hisfamily.

The American asked, 'But what do you do with the rest of your time?'

'I sleep late, fish a little, playwith my children, and take a siesta   with my wife. In the evenings,I go into the village to see my
friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs…I have a full life.'

The American interrupted, 'I have an MBA from Harvard, and I can help you!

You should start by fishinglonger every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extrarevenue, you can buy a bigger boat.'

'And after that?' asked the Mexican.

'With the extra money the larger boatwill bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you havean entire fleet of trawlers.   Instead of selling your fish to amiddle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants andmaybe even open your own plant.   You can then leave this littlevillage and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even NewYork City! From there you can direct yourhuge new enterprise.'

'How long would that take?' asked the Mexican.

'Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,' replied the American.

'And after that?'

'Afterwards? Well my Friend, That's when it gets really interesting,' answered the American, laughing. 'When your business gets really big, you can startselling stocks and make millions!'

'Millions? Really? And after that?' said the Mexican.

'After that you'llbe able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play withyour children, catch a few fish, take a
siesta with your wife and spend your evenings doing what you like and enjoyingyour friends.'