Monday, June 21, 2010

The Red, White and Blue

Starting with Memorial Day and going on to July 4, Old Glory gets some much deserved attention this time of year. June 14 is Flag Day and is a day to honor the symbol of our country. It really irks me how irreverant many people have become about this flag, which proudly waved over our country for over 200 years. From the original 13 stars and stripes - to now 50 stars and the original 13 stripes (representing the original 13 states) - our flag has been at the head of victories and defeats and all over the world it shows who we are.

Of course, the DAR is an organization who focuses on promoting patriotism and a love of country. It was a special occasion earlier this month when my chapter - the Capt. Peter Ankeny Chapter joined with the Tulsa Chapter DAR, the Tulsa Chapter of the SAR, the local CAR and Boy and Girl Scouts to conduct a proper Flag Retirement Ceremony.

I remember learning in school that our flag should be burned if it becomes old and worn. I never actually participated in that event. It was very moving. I had the honor of cutting out the stripe for the Commonwealth of Virginia and placing that stripe in the fire.

The "field of stars" are cut out and burned last.

Over 100 people attended the event, and many people brought flags to be ceremonially retired. This is one of my favorite moments. Isn't this a beautiful symbol of what is great about this country??

I was a participant in the proper folding of the flag ceremony - I spent a while with the Boy Scouts practicing the folding. They were such nice young men.

We invited our local Civil Air Patrol post to demonstrate the "POW/MIA Remembrance" ceremony they did for us earlier in the year. It is a lovely depiction of the love and sacrifice made not only by members of the armed forces, but also their families. Each statement is ended with -- REMEMBER!! We must never forget.

When I think about how much I love the Florida Gators and how proudly I fly a Gator Flag and have a sticker on my car, etc. it makes me think - what if everyone were that big a fan of our Country. No -- I'm not saying let's be a fan of what goes on in Washington - but let's be proud to be Americans - let's remember the sacrifice and loss that happened so that we have the opportunity to be who we are and where we are. As bad as things are - oil spills by greedy corporations, corrupt politicians, unknown health care in our future - this is still MY COUNTRY. And, I love Her. God BLESS AMERICA!! Fly your flags for all to see.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dell Tech Support 2010

Oh Lordy - here comes a rant. First, let me explain. I used to work for Dell as a phone technical support person. Therefore, I believe I am entitled to have a wee bit of an opinion about what decent support looks and feels like. You won't find it these days, I am afraid. As with most other hardware/software/banks, etc. - it's all outsourced. I truly believe the people taking our calls on the other side of the world have all great intentions of doing a good job. But, somewhere along the line, it falls short. Here's my example.

My laptop was overheating - it was just getting so hot when I was using it I couldn't even hold it ON MY LAP. I called tech support. Caveat - I SHOULD HAVE LOOKED AT THE FAN MYSELF.

Three calls later I was promised on-site service (which I have already paid for up front for 3 years) with a new mother board, power adapter and fan. Service man shows up with 2 out of 3. Puts the new fan on - same thing - spins up and shuts down. He calls Dell. They want me to send my laptop to the "depot" to be repaired.

Hand me the phone, I request in my sweetest voice (you can read between the lines here). Look, I tell the nice man on the other end. First of all - you were supposed to be sending a new mother board per the last call I had. Second, I have paid for on-site service. I am NOT sending my laptop in - you are sending a mother board out. He agrees. (Why do we have to get testy sometimes for people to do what they are supposed to do???)

When I worked on the phones at Dell, I averaged between 45-72 calls per day (eight hour shift). My success rate in troubleshooting and sending correct parts was almost 100%. I have spent over 2 hours on the phone so far for a very simple hardware issue. So, while they may be spending less per hour per support technician, it doesn't take a math genius to conclude they are probably spending as much - or more - overall for technical support due to the low volume of calls these people are capable of handling.

Oh, if I ruled the world...... Hey, Michael Dell - remember me - I had lunch with you one time back in 1995 (LOL). I have a few suggestions....