bunsen_h: (Popperi)
A couple of months ago, Steven McNulty from Edward Jones financial advisors stopped by our house.  [livejournal.com profile] mentisiterinvit gave him our phone number.  (I don't know why, but that's up to her.)  Since then he has been calling every few weeks.  This afternoon he called again, while I was busy and unable to pick up the phone, and left no message.  I called him back.

"You've been calling us, well, semi-regularly, and I'd like you to stop, please."

"But you gave me your number."

"My girlfriend did.  At any rate, we'd like you to stop calling."

"Then why did she give my your number?  That's pretty immature."

"She was interested.  She isn't any more.  Please stop calling."

"Fine.  I wouldn't want to deal with you anyways."

I called him a twit and hung up.

So.  If you're looking for a financial advisor who isn't, well, an ass, I'd suggest looking elsewhere.

I was very careful with my tone of voice to not be rude, condescending, or otherwise offensive, right up until the final word "twit".  He was given our number; he had the legal right to call us -- until I asked him to stop, with my first sentence.

I cannot fathom why he, and other salescritters, try to argue with such requests to stop calling.  It's not like they're going to change my mind.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
When you want to go with your gut feeling instead of with the evidence, try to remember that your guts are usually full of sh*t.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
A corollary to the usual definition of insanity...  Failing to change behaviour that has previously led to a disastrous outcome, because you don't/won't believe that it can happen again.

I think that everyone suffers from that one, at least a bit.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Recent events hereabouts have reminded me of an old comedy sketch by Ronnie Barker, of the Two Ronnies:

The Two Ronnies
was not exactly known for highbrow humour — they leaned more towards vaudevillian, variety-show stuff with a certain amount of satire.  But there's a line there: "Diagnosis is very like diarrhoea only you get it in your gnosis instead of in your rhoea."  And the pronunciation is precise; there's no question that he's saying "gnosis".

And too often, lately, we've been finding that a diagnosis does indeed involve "knowledge" coming out as an uncontrolled spew of feculent sludge.
bunsen_h: (Default)
ACME Special

Got a few extra body parts?

ACME Special

They seemed to be doing moderately good business earlier in the day.
bunsen_h: (Default)
"You have to give an editor something to change, or he gets frustrated.  After he pees in it, he likes the flavor better, so he buys it." — Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
This principle, applied to a project where everyone and anyone can be an editor, explains a lot about Wikipeedya.
bunsen_h: (Beaker)
  1. A member of a couple of social groups sends out a message to all the other members, inviting them to a social gathering. [Hmm, I'll have to see if I can get to that.]

  2. One of the other members sends a curmudgeonly reply to all, warning that "crowding several people in a small area is unhealthy.  Regulations are in place limiting the number of people to a given area.  Unless there is very good ventilation, you are breathing a 'primordial soup' of viruses and bacteria that other people carry."  [Sheesh.  It's what we Earth-people call a "party".]

  3. Another of the members sends a reply to all: "The man has definitely lost all his marbles.  Where does he get the idea that he is entitled to dictate the conditions under which a personal party is held?  He is definitely older but in no way is he wiser.  The man deserves to have no friends at all and he still doesn't understand why?  Absolutely impossible."  [Harridan, that's thee.]
Other groups don't seem to have quite such an incidence of pots calling kettles black and other socially-dysfunctional people.  The sad thing is that I was able to guess the general tenor of the two replies just from the identities of the senders.
bunsen_h: (Default)
Anita Vandenbeld, the Liberal candidate in my riding, robocalled me yesterday at dinner time.  A recorded message "invited" me to join a teleconference / information "meeting" this evening; I just had to pick up the phone when they called me.

At that point, I hung up, and called her constituency office.  I told the volunteer that I detested that kind of phone spamming, and that though I'd intended to vote for her, if they called me for that "meeting", I'd vote for someone else.

He asked for my phone number.  I wasn't inclined to give it to him, on the principle that any kind of telephone solicitation should be opt-in, but in the interest of expediency I gave it to him.  Then he asked if he could have my name, and I told him "No." and hung up.

I'm on the do-not-call registry.  I know that political candidates don't have to pay attention to it, legally, but... this is a list of people who've made their preferences clear: they don't want to be called.  Pretty stupid to ignore that.

At any rate, they called me again this evening.  Left another automated message on my machine.

So: I was intending to vote for her, because I thought she had the best chance of defeating scummy John Baird.  But I can't vote for someone who is — or who's set up a system — so stupid, so unethical, and so disregardful of my wishes. Never mind that the system should be opt-in by default; they can't even respect an explicit opt-out.  And how stupid do you have to be to call someone who's told you that he plans to vote for you unless you call him?

I just called her campaign office again and told the volunteer that she'd just lost my vote, and why.  Maybe it'll make a difference in future.

I'll probably be voting Green.


Feb. 25th, 2011 03:50 pm
bunsen_h: (Default)
Not all handicaps are physical.


Parked partly on a handicapped space, partly on a not-a-parking space.  Well done, that driver.
bunsen_h: (Default)

It's not the first time the phelpsies have nicked a plot point from the wacky contingent of the Islamic extremists.

bunsen_h: (Default)
When I receive E-mail flagged as "Important", it almost always means that the sender has poor time management skills and an inflated sense of self-importance.  The higher the supposed "importance" rating, the poorer the time management and the more inflated the self-importance.  (Does anyone ever mark a message as "moderately important", in between "normal" and "very important"?  Does anyone ever mark a message's importance as below "normal"?)  Only rarely is the message really more important than the rest of the real (non-spam) messages I receive.

bunsen_h: (Default)
Earlier this afternoon, I was heading westwards along my street (Norice), and was slowing to a stop behind the student driver waiting at the red light to make a left turn onto Woodroffe.  The SUV well behind me honked.  I glanced backward, then returned my attention to the important matter of signaling my turn and coming to a safe stop, centred behind the student driver.

The SUV pulled up close behind me.  Then edged fowards, partly in my lane and just to my right, so the woman could open her window and tell me that I wasn't supposed to ride across the road.  "You're supposed to walk your bike across."

I gave her a "what planet are you from" look.  "I'm a vehicle, and I have as much right to be on the road as you do."

She became more insistent.  "But you aren't supposed to ride across the road.  I'm sure of it.  I don't want you to get in trouble."

A "what colours are the moons around your planet?" look.  "Read your Driver's Handbook.  I'm a vehicle, and I have as much right to be on the road as you or any other vehicle."

"But I don't think..."

Then the light changed, the car ahead went through, and I followed it.  Carefully switched into the bike lane on Woodroffe when I was through the intersection.  I was worried that the idiot was going to pass me on my right and then cut me off, but she stayed behind me through the intersection and stayed in the regular lane.

Good grief -- if she's expecting that cyclists won't ever try to bike across roads, she's going to hit somebody.  Of the two of us, I know which one shouldn't be on the road.  How can people be so ignorant?


Jul. 6th, 2008 09:11 pm
bunsen_h: (Default)
Over the years, I've tended to categorize salesbeings into three categories. As the man says, “Just a useful distinction, to clarify thought.” The categories aren’t hard and fast; poor business ethics, for example, tend to make me downgrade a salesbeing to a lower category.

Salespeople understand what their organization can produce, and what prospective customers need. They help to put the two together. Everybody wins. Sales people can be extremely important for a commercial organization.

Salescritters don’t understand what their organization can produce, or what prospective customers need. Or they just don’t care very much. The important thing is to make a sale and get a commission, or at least to remain employed and collect a salary. They may commit their organization to something that it simply doesn’t have the resources to do in the available time (or at all), or the customer to purchasing something they don’t need and can ill afford. They may claim that a product has features that the customer is specifically looking for, when it really doesn't.  They can cause trouble for an organization.

Salesthings don’t understand what is physically possible, and may attempt to sell something that not only has nothing to do with their organization’s business, and doesn’t exist, but violates the laws of physics. For example, a salesthing for a software company who tries to sell a mining-exploration company on a potential new product that they can just pour on the rock to make the rock go away, on the principle that “one of our guys is a chemist, I’m sure he can figure out how to do it.” They tend to cause a different kind of trouble than the salescritters, primarily by being so obviously incompetent and insane that they scare away clients who might actually be interested in what the organization can do.

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