Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Stoopid

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  • linger,

    Nice try, IO... but I think David was asking for a more absurd real-life fear-of-terrorism situation...

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Nice try, Linger ... but your attempts to smear my truth as untruths will not work. I denounce your lies and unmask your true identity: YOU ARE ROBERT MAYO AND YOU WORK FOR THE NZ GOVERNMENT!!!! You are a part of this conspiracy!

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • jb,

    Christ, talk about thread drift.....

    If (IF.....) they were clued up, they'd have taken his phone, toddled down to the nearest Post Office, packed it properly and sent it Priority.

    Which would be on their next-but-one flight.

    And they'd absorb the cost, because if you're a Koru Club member, you're a high value customer.
    (Apart from being a famously stroppy bugger, who can make their lives shit..)
    Be interesting to know if this is how Rob Fyfe (rob.fyfe@airnnz.co,nz) wants to run his airline

    a.small.town.in.germany • Since Jan 2007 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Cracker
    To the best of my knowledge.

    The coffee is Nestles Granulated = Instant Mud

    NPL Koru is a contracted site (outside catering etc) & it's unmanned. Not knowing the hour you left but there may not be anyone else at the Aprt untill the next day now (or someone's kid swiped it) either way its not always that simple.

    http://www.airnz.co.nz/koru_tc.htm#privileges
    4.2 is Air NZs get out of jail free card

    Sure service has been sacrificed for cost & liability/security (= It's your fault = you fix it).

    Ansett & Air NZ competed on service (Ansett broke even only once in its existence) & QF failed primarily because of the Piolts illeagal industrial action of calling in or turning up only to go home *sick*. Now the market competes on price.

    I suspect things could have run a bit more smoothly in another centre and the provincial nature of NPL had a role in observing rules / impracticality of moving a cellphone around for another dozy sod.

    Stupid rules in the States like allowing *Box cutters* in flight led directly to 9/11. It was cell phones & backpacks that sent the trains in spain sky high. A lines has been drawn.
    Now dozy sods pay a courier becuse they left their cellphone in a contracted out airport cafe- so be it.

    I loved the recent terrorism in the UK. Only because it was the most mundane aspects that potentially saved lives. Parking wardens towing a car. That car was full of explosive material. By chance the layaway is below normal traffic level and so acts like a bunker. No new *security measures* have saved lives but the simple stuff has, like parking restrictions and parking wardens.

    Oh I was a past NZ post Xmas postie & they won't sell me a NZ post bike for security reasons. People have their own tanks down here & I can't get a Posties Bike.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Michael:
    What, they want you to deliver the mail using a tank?
    Effective, I grant you.
    "Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night, nor inconvenient fences, nor annoying dogs, shall stay these messengers from their appointed rounds"

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    With regards to the poor quality of refreshments on Air NZ flights (about which I could not agree more) I was astonished to hear an American friend heading for Antarctica wax lyrical about her Auckland-Christchurch flight and how much better the museli bar and coffee she had were than anything she'd had on an American airline. I can only conclude that we really don't know how lucky we are.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Archer,

    Thank heavens for Damien & people like slarty. And all the rest of you too.

    I was thinking today about the All Blacks - sorry, I have been trying to forget last weekend- and it occurred to me that we've become so bound up in process - re-conditioning and careful planning- that we've lost sight of ends and products, of results and customers.

    So it becomes more important to meet some vague US-inspired standard of how airlines should treat their customers than doing the obvious, decent thing (something we Kiwis have been really good at, dammit) and reuniting Damien with his cellphone.

    On the other hand, we're not always good at acknowledging excellent service when we get it. I heard this week about a group of people who were so impressed with someone's performance they went to the board and made it clear they don't want to deal with anyone else. That is so rare, but it shouldnt be.

    I bet there are other people in Air NZ unhappy with the way they have to treat customers, but the price of protest is incredibly high. John Ralston Saul calls it the "tyranny of the employment contract."

    I remember I used to feel really proud of Air NZ. No more.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2007 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    On the other hand, we're not always good at acknowledging excellent service when we get it. I heard this week about a group of people who were so impressed with someone's performance they went to the board and made it clear they don't want to deal with anyone else.

    Case in point - you didn't tell us who!

    To walk the walk - two weeks ago I went to the refuse transfer station in Sunshine Ave here in Hamtown. Their facilities are ok, not as snaz as the council one in Lincoln Rd, but their service is excellent. The chap at the register has discretion to charge whatever he thinks is appropriate for your load - we had a half-full trailer, he only charged us for a car load. The friend of ours we borrowed the trailer off recommended them as he's had nothing but good service from them also. If you are in Hamilton and you have rubbish, take it to Sunshine Ave. Forget the council one. And I used to work for the council, administering the refuse transfer station (10 years ago).

    Anyone else have any word of mouth to spread? I'm always on the lookout for a good recommendation, and I trust you guys.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    OK. One business in Auckland I really miss is Icoco coffee in Royal Oak.

    1. They remembered my name and said hi every time. OK, keeping loyalty cards in a box at the counter so you learn customers' names is a bit of a trick, but it's a nice trick.
    2. Good for the occasional free coffee if you are a regular.
    3. Counter staff keen to yak and talk shit if the place isn't too busy, unlike many places where they are too cool for you, just cos you're wearing tracksuit pants, jeez.
    4. Playpen with toys to contain the sprogs
    5. Really, really good coffee beans. I would buy no other in Auckland.
    6. Jose knows everyone. Not often there, but remembers details from conversations you had two months ago. He is fabulous, and he is an accomplished master in the art of cheesecake.

    In the event that Icoco open in Wellington, and can keep their fine qualities, I will be first in line with my nose against the door.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Christchurches Vesuvios was an oasis that has turned into a mirage of my memory.
    Teppan Yaki down the back (& wheelchair toilets above the step hmm), live jazz in the cnr, Kandansky prints on the walls, grovellingly hospitable service, drinking Courtneys (jazz singer) free red wine. Good times.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    On the issue of service...

    I needed to contact slingshot a couple of months ago and so emailed them because I couldn't be bothered waiting an eternity on the phone. Anyway, I email them, and get a reply saying they will respond within one working day and one week and three emails later I still haven't had a reply. So I call them, get it solved over the phone and get an apology for their email service being unacceptable.

    Then last week I had a query regarding a bill and so emailed again (I really should have learnt). Again I get the automated reply saying that they will respond within one working day. A week later and another follow up email and I still haven't received a reply.

    So I call up and get it sorted again over the phone before bitching about the non existent email service. I get told that they are really busy on the phones and those same people 'man' the email service and so they don't get replied to when they are busy.

    I politely replied that if you can't repond to peoples emails then either a) tell them "you may receive a reply to this email, or we may not get round to answering it", or b) "thankyou for your email. We will not reply so you had better just call us".

    I'm afraid slingshot may well go the way of telecom in this household if they let me down ONE GODDAM MORE TIME!!!!

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I bet there are other people in Air NZ unhappy with the way they have to treat customers, but the price of protest is incredibly high. John Ralston Saul calls it the "tyranny of the employment contract."

    I was thinking "the tyranny of accountability", but yup. Welcome aboard, Susan: that's a hell of a debut post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Yes good point Susan. I am thinking of whom to give props to.
    I will be back.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    "John Ralston Saul"

    JRS would probably also point out that the ascendancy of the professional managerial class, who in most cases no longer have any first-hand knowledge of the activities they "manage", has something to do with this, and illustrate this with a dense, periodic exposition of the decline of American industrial prowess as an inverse function of the rise of the managerial priesthood, only he would work Voltaire into it, and would do it in a sentence even longer, and more tortured, than this one.

    "the price of protest is incredibly high."

    I noticed the Herald's Sideswipe paid tribute to an Auckland rail announcer here and here. As soon as I read those kind reports from readers I thought "that poor bastard's going to get the sack if they don't shut up."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Forget the council one. And I used to work for the council, administering the refuse transfer station (10 years ago).

    Heh heh. Any chance that's why you get bad service at the council tip, Jeremy? Maybe they hated their old boss and now they're taking their revenge?
    :-)

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Archer,

    Russell, thank you for the welcome; and Jeremy, you're right, I was talking not walking. Serves me right for using an example from someone else's professional life without feeling comfortable about sharing the details.

    I'll try to make up for it with my own lament for a great cafe. Stephen's post is spot on about what makes a cafe somewhere you want to keep visiting. My local fave was Sierra in Remuera, when it was owned and operated by Jan Walsh. She was incredibly welcoming, knew everyone's names & coffee preferences, and sustained a continuous conversation with all her customers, that made us feel special, and kept us coming back, day after day. The coffee, food and staff were all great, but it was Jan's spirit and skills that made the place hum.

    When she sold the business last year, the real estate agents next door hosted a farewell party for her and it was packed out with customers - friends - all realising how much we'd miss her, after nine years. We also realised how hard Jan had worked: it demands huge energy to maintain excellent service, care and courtesy, almost every day for nine years.

    Jan now works for the real estate agency next door (!), so we still see her regularly, and the cafe is still good, but... it's not "Jan's place" anymore.

    And yes, JRS can be very convoluted but he's dead right about what happens to dissenters within businesses and organisations, and how the people who know most about "what's really going on" are silenced and marginalised. That's why I tip my hat to slarty & Damien.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2007 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Oh I have a story now, but for all the reasons stated above I am going to have to leave out identifying details.
    I was waiting for the bus, lets say this morning (may not have been this morning) time is ticking and I am in a strange part of town. Finally a bus comes around the corner but unfortunately it has the dreaded "sorry" emblazoned on the front. I look hopefully (like you do) at the bus driver hoping that it is a mistake when he stops hurrah! He lets me on and asks where I am going and just drives me there. Without charging me. How fabulous! Go un-named bus company!

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    See that's exactly the kind of service that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about a company. Which is why is a crying shame that Kowhai (correctly IMO) doesn't feel comfortable naming the company, cause they'd likely fire the driver involved.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    What, they want you to deliver the mail using a tank?

    That would be the bomb. They wouldn't need to go to letterboxes, just drive up the middle of the street and fire postal shells at people's front door.

    You'd know your mail had arrived when your front door caved in.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    This is the Tank thing
    http://www.tanksforeverything.co.nz/

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    On the other hand, we're not always good at acknowledging excellent service when we get it.

    You're quite right, and I should mention the lovely lady at the Koru Lounge in Wellington who is always great to deal with, and tried her best when I fronted with my problem.

    One thing I always try and adhere to in these situations, and that's not shooting the messenger. I try and remain unfailingly polite to the people giving me the bad news - unless they're the ones directly responsible for it. I try to be as nice as possible when I'm on the phone with the IRD, Baycorp (with whom I fortunately haven't had to deal for some time) and the like. It might sound obvious, but I'm sure the people working at these places must just get call after aggressive call.

    Likewise, media - if you're listening to a radio show or watching something on the telly you really like, why not ring and say so. I can't tell you how nice it is to receive a phone call when I'm doing a radio show simply saying "nice show, really enjoying your tunes" or what have you.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I try to be as nice as possible when I'm on the phone with the IRD, Baycorp (with whom I fortunately haven't had to deal for some time) and the like. It might sound obvious, but I'm sure the people working at these places must just get call after aggressive call.

    Quite right. It's one thing to let your tone betray a certain urgency or frustration, but even when it's getting bad I still like to drop in a "look, I know this isn't your fault and you're just taking the call, but ..."

    Likewise, media - if you're listening to a radio show or watching something on the telly you really like, why not ring and say so. I can't tell you how nice it is to receive a phone call when I'm doing a radio show simply saying "nice show, really enjoying your tunes" or what have you.

    On the money again -- always nice. On the b, I liked people praising my tunes even more than I liked them praising my interviews.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I have always been very impressed by the standard of service at Fuel. When I was employed, my local Fuel staff used to know my name, and what coffee I drank. When I walked through the door, even if they were busy serving 10 other people, they would always catch my eye, raise their eyebrows to confirm that I wanted the usual, give me a quick nod, and get on with it.

    And they did this for EVERYONE. That is, as soon as someone approached the counter, they would catch their eye and nod, to make sure the customer knew that they had been seen, and their needs would be attended to. And they even manage to do this at the airport Fuel, where virtually everyone passing by must be a stranger. Fantastic.

    But my real favourites are the chaps at the St Paul's cafe, behind the State Services Commission and the Freyberg building. Again, friendly people who knew my standard order, and who always greeted each customer. But best of all, I took my eldest daughter in their one day. She was ill, so we took her out of school for the day. She spent the morning with me in my office, and the afternoon in her daddy's office. Mid-morning, I took her across to St Paul's for a hot chocolate. They asked her name, chatted to her, and when the hot chocolate came, they had written her name across the top, in chocolate sauce. I was so impressed that they took the time to make a young girl smile.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I did time on the call centre of an ISP who would regularly stuff up little things with invoicing, etc. Every month it was something new. So we'd get all these people calling about the problems.

    If someone was nice and polite on the phone, it was a pleasure to deal with them and I would be much more sympathetic and more responsive.

    I hated getting the angry callers who seemed to hold me personally responsible, as if I had a vendetta against them and had deliberately locked their account so they missed their netsex session with their Canadian fiance, uh, I mean "important online business meeting". Some of those cockers still haunt me to this day.

    It might feel good to yell at the call centre person, but while it will upset them, that's where it stops. The call centre person doesn't in turn go and abuse her manager, who then abuses the CEO.

    Politeness and good manners is like oil in a car. It makes things run much smoother and quicker.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Archer,

    Lively, civilised discourse - aah, why did I wait so long to dive in here??!

    Politeness and good manners is like oil in a car. It makes things run much smoother and quicker.

    Robyn, you've summed it up. For instance, I've always had amazing service from the xtra helpline - possibly because my default response when faced with internet meltdown has been disgusting, ingratiating politeness.

    However, I confess, I wrote two very rude, angry emails to xtra/Telecom/hubble/bubble/whateverit'scalled after that unbelievably cack-handed attempt to do whatever-it-is-they-were-trying-to-do-with-my-email-acess-after-ten-years-unbroken-service.
    Seemed to work too!

    And I did lose my temper once with a politician (okay, I'll name him: it was Damien O'Connor - so perhaps I can be forgiven? My only regret is I didn't get angrier), and I once did a fairly testy interview with the PM (her media minder tried to stop it halfway through - I thought he was trying to tell me there was a fire...). I'm also guilty of mocking the chairman of an industry board - what a waste of time, should have just asked him to resign...

    But these are people who get so much undeserved politeness, that the odd bit of discourtesy - or honest response - is a kind of national service. And I am really grateful I haven't been hauled out of my bed in the middle of the night and shot - so that part of our democracy is still functioning okay. For now.

    But back to the people who deserve some acknowledgement and decency.

    Likewise, media - if you're listening to a radio show or watching something on the telly you really like, why not ring and say so.

    Christ, Damien, you better be careful. You sound like a real person, not some sort of plastic blow-up media doll, rolled out to deliver the latest bit of celebrity scandal, rugby score or car crash statistic.

    You're also right and I have lately begun to email, at least, when I've enjoyed or appreciated something. But not often enough. I resolve to do better.

    And Deborah - your story about how the St Paul's cafe staff paid attention to your daughter encapsulates what makes good service great: connecting with people as individuals. Maybe they did that for everyone under 20 who walked in the door - doesn't matter. They made the effort and made her feel special. My worry is that prevailing business models don't fully value that kind of service, and don't grasp how important it is in bringing people back.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2007 • 9 posts Report Reply

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