Archive for December, 2011

Why do we tolerate this?

December 21, 2011

Companies these days will do a lot of things to make a sales. Some of them are actually fairly honest, like cutting their profit margin in order to bring more customers in and get them to buy. Others, however, have nothing to do with honesty. Take the piece of advertising I got in the mail today……

Picture a fairly plain manila envelope, adorned with a printed legend stating that it was notification of a state program, and featuring an outline of the state. Nowhere on the front does it say anything about this being a sales advertisement. No, instead, it makes every effort to appear to be an official document mailed by the state I reside in. It’s only when you flip it over that you see the logo for the company printed quite small, that you begin to wonder “WTF???”.

Things do not get better when you open the envelope. The first things you see is a “voucher” for a “credit” to take part in the “program”. Most of the rest of the envelope’s contents are of a similar nature, and only the flier actually advertising the item being sold clues you in to the fact that this is, in fact, an effort to sell you something.

One of the documents in the envelope had an 800 number on it, and I decided to call to complain about the way this sales advertisement was formatted and worded. After a very short wait, I was put through to a real human, who tried quickly to sell me on the product. When I told him what I was really calling about, that this advertisement was very close to false advertisement, he quickly went over to the defensive, stating that it “clearly” was an advertisement.

Where I come from, we have a word for that:




The salesman is correct, his company does not cross the line into outright lying. The problem is, they avoid it not by miles, but by millimeters, and not too many of them either. I don’t doubt they’ll make some sales, nor do I doubt that the salesman I spoke to will make his sales quota for the day. What I DO wonder about is a system that allows such behavior. How far does someone go to ‘make the sale’? What does constitute ‘crossing the line’? How willing are companies to put profit ahead of all else? More important, what does it say about us, as a people, that we’re willing to tolerate this sort of thing?

Maybe it’s time we Americans did something about it. Maybe we should make a point of not doing business, at all, with companies that engage in these sorts of despicable practices. Could we, the consumers, cause companies to take notice of our concerns? The cynic in me says no, that this sort of behavior is part of human nature. The part of me that’s fuming right now says yes, we can, and even if we can’t, it’s better to try to change than to set on our asses and bitch about it.

Anyone with me?


Finals is finished! (for now…….)

December 16, 2011

So yesterday saw the last finals for this semester. One hands-on went well, one…..not quite so good. One test went well, the other…..I’m still waiting to find out. Hopefully I didn’t make a total mess of it all. So, for the next few weeks, all there is to occupy me is my part-time job. A very large part of me wants to “veg” and do as little as possible, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. What does happen, well, I guess I’ll find out. For now, though, no more cramming, no more studying to late nigh……YAHOO!!!


December 14, 2011

Well, it’s finals week, and I’m none too sure how well things are going to go. There are four finals to take for two classes: one “hands-on” and one actual test. One of the hands-on is done….mostly. The other hands-on will be done tomorrow morning, shortly before I take the written test in the same class. I have that mostly done, though there were some ‘hiccups’ when I tried some of the stuff out. Hopefully I can get in early enough to get the problems fixed and everything squared away. The other test will be tomorrow night, and while I’m not happy with how the practice versions have graded out, at least I didn’t fail utterly. Guess it’s going to be a case of “We’ll see.”, won’t it?