In Brevity: Some Enchanted iTunes Evening
It goes like this: “You give me money and I’ll give you ABC.”
Rarely, however, does ABC live up to the hype. Rarely is it even a dim shadow of what you were led to believe. This is the essence of the art of selling: Always Be Cheating.
Even better is when they say: “Give us money and we’ll give you something we can’t be bothered to define.” That’s when they cackle with glee. You don’t even get the false promises and lies.
Take iTunes for example.
The Business Omen: Bodes of Portends
My organization asked me to select a vendor, conduct negotiations, and secure their services. To that end I put on a suit and tie. I also washed myself. (With soap this time.) This was important.
Naturally I selected a slick company that was “unparalleled” and the “world’s best” at what they did. I was connected with a sales person. We did a little dance.
I filed reports with the CEO about what I learned. He got back to me. He was going with my recommendation.
Oh, shit.Company credit card in hand, I inked the contract. I was then directed to the company’s website to open our shiny new account.
ERROR. (See right.)
Every journey begins with a single step. Each step is an interval where you can be screwed. Enjoy the journey.
“Thanks for choosing ACME Velociraptors Inc. LTD Corp.,” said the salesperson who was now my close personal friend. “I’ll give you a call on Monday to go over implementation.” He even bade me, “Have a nice weekend.”
It’s now Monday. I’m literally stunned that he didn’t call. Am I supposed to wait three days before I call him? I don’t want to look desperate. Oh, forget it. I already emailed him a couple hours ago. He hasn’t called back.
Where did I go wrong? I thought he liked me.
This is one bump in the road too many. Suddenly I don’t feel so good. This is a bad omen, man. This does not portend well. Beware the bodes of business.
Is he born of a jackal or is that me? I’m new to this shit.
There’s a crap for that. Stick a pitchfork me. I’m done. Well done. By Satan himself.
The future’s so blight I gotta dig graves. A pitchfork works well for that, right?
So, technology. Let’s talk about that. It’s here. It has landed on our chests like a motherfucking elephant in a COPD commercial. Let me posit this: How’s that technology working out for you?
In a moment I’m going to share my ideas regarding the three-pronged attack on our very existence by technology. (Get it? Pitchfork?) I used to think there was only one prong but that was before spring break. I’ve since expanded my thinking (as well as something else).
Call it my Grand Unification Theory of Technology (GUTT) if you will. It’s time for a gut check. Spoiler alert: Mine has been spilled open by a pitchfork. Dammit. They let anyone own these things.
It’s time to stick ’em with the prongy end. Make the jump and I’ll get to the point.
Free Markets and Unicorns
Q. What do you call it when you lie about the mileage when selling a car?
A. Fraud. The NHTSA calls this a “serious crime and consumer fraud issue.” Additionally, between 2002 and 2005 the NHTSA Office of Odometer Fraud says there was a “definite escalation in [odometer] fraud.”
Q. What do you call it when a woman falsely claims to have a tubal ligation?
A. Tom B. Taker, Jr. Or, as I like to call it, a 21-year donation to The Human Fund.
Today’s axiom is a simple one.
Tom’s Law #42
There’s no such thing as a free market.
You think I’ve gone too far this time? You say, “Open your eyes, Tom. Look around. You’ll see free markets everywhere you look.”
Bollocks! (If only those had been tied instead.)
Continue reading →
Who Is Hosing Me?
I hope y’all enjoyed the kid-friendly headline. It wasn’t my first choice. -Ed.
I’m looking at one of the 42,000 spinning animations that constitute the soundtrack of my life. In this particular instance it belongs to the Netflix app on my iPad. But really it could be any of them.
One question: Who is responsible for this outage outrage?
Yes, we have the technology to sell technology whether it is ready for prime time or not.
When I was a kid “sit and spin” was consider an insult. Now it’s a phrase that singularly defines an entire generation of tech-hungry consumers.
Who decided this shit was ready? Because I have a serious bone to pick with them.
The technology cycle works like this: Invent. Sell. Count your piles of gold. Then, and only then, stick your head up, look around and see how it works. (Just ask Apple about iOS 8.)
This thing, right here, right now, is not working. Since it takes about 42 pieces of tech just to make this go, how should I proceed? Is there a way for an average schmo like me to logically isolate the culprit? Is there anyone I can call who won’t say, “Nope. It’s not us,” and point the finger at one of the other 41 links in the chain, including me?
I think not.
Is it my ISP? The cable assholes of Satan? Is it the router? The modem? Any points of relay on the internet between me and them? Is it a problem in my iPad? Is it Netflix itself? Is it the Amazon Cloud where Netflix wisely decided to put their egg in a basket? Is it a fucking solar flare?
All I know is that I paid a lot of money for this shit and that money is long gone. And there’s no tech fairy who will make it right.
What a helpless feeling. It’s enough to make my head spin.
This post was written on an iPad using only one finger. Sheer torture.
A Link To Centuries
All I want for Christmas is a “no soliciting” sign. I had one before but a solicitor stole it from my door. I know because I was inside ignoring them when it happened. And, true story, they were selling for the company where I worked. Unbelievable.
In the meantime…
It was a Saturday afternoon. My wife and I were hanging out in the living room with the cats. I wasn’t wearing pants. Suddenly, there came a sound from the door. The cats ran away. The moment was lost.
You know that knock? The one that says, “Hey, it’s me.” It goes like this:
Knock knock knock knock knock knock.
I heard that sound and cocked an ear. “Who the hell can that be?” I gasped.
No worries. It was a just a salesperson.