People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

Ouch.  This, from Der Spiegel, has to hurt:
When he entered office, US President Barack Obama promised to inject US foreign policy with a new tone of respect and diplomacy. His recent trip to Asia, however, showed that it's not working. A shift to Bush-style bluntness may be coming.
This comes from an ally who thought - not long ago - that Bush's bluntness was a fault. That the world needed a kinder, gentler leader.

But that was then ...

A Huge Disconnect

60% of the United States Senate supports ObamaCare.

Nearly 60% of America opposes it.

What's wrong with this picture?
Support for Health Care Plan Falls to New Low
Rasmussen Reports

Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% now oppose the plan.

Prior to this, support for the plan had never fallen below 41%. Last week, support for the plan was at 47%. Two weeks ago, the effort was supported by 45% of voters.[link]
Support is falling like a rock as more people learn the particulars of the plan.

Do the Democrats really want to proceed with this circular firing squad?

It Seems So Simple

"We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better."
-- Jeff Bezos

Yeah?  If only.

So I was standing in line at the bank yesterday afternoon.  A line of five people.  A line I wouldn't have been standing in at all had the bank not reduced its staff in the commercial department from two full-time people Monday through Friday to one part-timer.  A line that was moving very slowly because there were, in this particular bank, at that point in time, five teller windows with one teller working.  It should be mentioned, too, that the drive-thru lanes outside, I noticed when I drove in, were backed up as well.

Oh, something else: Yes, I was in a hurry.

And yes, I'm the impatient type.

And yes, the last thing bank people - or any service industry people - need do is give customers the time to contemplate how effectively - or ineffectively - they are dealing with the general public by making them stand in a line that is moving at a glacial pace.  Especially a guy like me who counts the wait in seconds, not minutes.

I noticed, as I was waiting in this line - ten minutes? - 600 seconds? - some fella dressed in a suit at the end of the room, looking.  Watching.  Evaluating.  A district or regional or corporate supervisor, I surmised.  There to see if this particular branch was performing up to company standards.

I noticed too, on the wall above this one and only (harried) teller one of those colorful, impactful signs that are meant to make customers feel as if they are special.  One-of-a-kind.  Precious.  Its slogan had something to do with "customer satisfaction."

I looked at the slogan, and then at the supervisor, and back at the slogan, then at the never-shortening line, then back at the supervisor who made no attempt to speed things up.  No attempt to bring about customer satisfaction. He was there, you see, to make sure that the process, as outlined by corporate directive, was being adhered to.

The whole situation struck me as being off kilter.  This bank - and that supervisor - weren't seeking - or working to achieve - any level of customer satisfaction.  Not really.  They were seeking and were prepared to accept "customer tolerance."  That supervisor was looking to see that those of us in line were tolerating the fact that there was only one teller on duty and that the line, though not satisfactory, was tolerable.

It was that.  I suppose.

All I needed at that moment was for someone to walk up and hand me one of those infernal "customer satisfaction survey" cards.  Another tool used extensively by those who seek to meet Jeff Bezos's exacting standards.

A post card.

It's easier than unfolding one's arms and pitching in to actually help provide that satisfaction.  Right?

A suggestion: Next time you're being serviced by a company that emphasizes "customer service," decide if the management there - through their actions - are actually seeking to provide customer service or rather if they are searching for that point in the provider/customer relationship beyond which the experience becomes intolerable.  A good indicator: How long are they willing to let that line grow - and how long do they expect a customer to wait - before providing that which that customer came in to accomplish.

Until that point is reached - and they'll continue to push the envelope - you can expect that supervisor to stand there with his arms folded, watching to see to it that his customers are being handled in the prescribed manner.

Customer satisfaction.  Too often a mere slogan ...

'Low Ebb,' Gutter, One in the Same

A point to be made about those who hate - or fear - Sarah Palin:
Sarah Palin and the low ebb of the cultural left
By Claude Sandroff, American Thinker

One of the great challenges when writing about Palin is to keep focus on her concrete accomplishments (the energy related legislative agenda she advanced and passed were masterful), while avoiding the traps set by the those intent on reducing her to a mere social firebrand.   It is ever the goal of the "elitist loons", a phrase used by Palin to describe John Kerry, to so stigmatize her.  Whether by printing an overtly sexist image of her on the cover of Newsweek or by David Brooks insisting that she remains a "joke," the overt goal is to ridicule her beyond redemption.

But Sarah Palin's extraordinary career trajectory, the American life that led from holding moose eyeballs for her father after a morning hunt to Vice-Presidential candidate is not so easily dismissed.

The attempt to do so is low ebb of the cultural left, and reveals only that they fear her more than they hate her. And labeling her as fundamentally divisive is downright absurd given many of her resounding political victories: winning 75% of voters in her second mayoral run and earning approval ratings of 88% as governor in a state where 70% of the electorate is registered "independent." 

Unlike many women in the liberal political and media firmament, whose success is based on the pull from powerful fathers or husbands [Hillary!], Palin's success is as self-made as any American in political history. That she could build this career in the harsh, male-dominated frontier culture of Alaska is even more astounding. [link]
She's loved in the heartland.  Despised in elitist circles.  I think she can live with that.


Here's a liberal Washington Post columnist's take on Obama's submissive bow to the emperor of Japan:

"There's been a lot of misguided criticism of President Obama's trip to Asia. You're upset that he bowed to the emperor of Japan? Get over it. Obama was being respectful -- which was in keeping with the tone of his trip."

Really?  It's a matter of respect?

I used the word "submissive" above to describe Obama's action.  A synonym for submissive is "slavish."

Is this how Obama and his sycophants want their guy remembered?

You might want to think that through, mister. This is, after all, the president of the United States we're talking about.

Illustration by Hammat Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Illustrated Edition. Original Designs by Billings; Engraved by Baker and Smith. (Boston: John P. Jewett and Company, 1853).

What's Al Gore Going To Do For a Living Now?

Even his close allies in the struggle to turn us back to the Stone Age are abandoning ship:
Global Warming Promoter 'Dismayed and Deeply Shaken' by ClimateGate
By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters

One of the world's leading promoters of the anthropogenic global warming myth claimed Monday he is convinced the e-mail messages involved in the growing international scandal ClimateGate "are genuine," and he's "dismayed and deeply shaken by them."

So said George Monbiot, a writer and environmental activist many consider to be Great Britain's Al Gore.

Contrary to what newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post are telling their readers, Monbiot accurately said there's "no use pretending that this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging."

"There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.

"Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate skeptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed." [link]
Jones's is only one of many heads that should roll.

At least the left is finally - if still so slowly - coming to the conclusion that rational people came to long ago - anthropogenic global warming is a myth.  And a hoax.

- - -

The Wall Street Journal provides its analysis:
Some of those mentioned in the emails have responded to our requests for comment by saying they must first chat with their lawyers. Others have offered legal threats and personal invective. Still others have said nothing at all. Those who have responded have insisted that the emails reveal nothing more than trivial data discrepancies and procedural debates.

Yet all of these nonresponses manage to underscore what may be the most revealing truth: That these scientists feel the public doesn't have a right to know the basis for their climate-change predictions, even as their governments prepare staggeringly expensive legislation in response to them.
A painful lesson being learned about "scientists" and their causes.

- - -

Andrew Bolt:

"And on these now-admitted uncertainties we must scrap all coal-fired generators, impose massive new taxes, shut entire industries, hand billions to the UN and change the way we live?"

How's That War Planning Coming, Barry?