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1:47 p.m. - 2002-01-03

I WISH EVERYONE WAS AS SMART AS ME

Two things really irritate me about my job.

I interview people. More specifically, I interview top dogs in major corporations.

This morning I interviewed a big wheel with a hotel chain.

I asked him a question that I ask in EVERY SINGLE INTERVIEW that I conduct. And EVERY SINGLE INTERVIEW I conduct, I get the SAME EXACT ANSWER to the question.

I would drop the question from my repertoire, but now the question has taken on a life of its own. I only ask it to see how many people will give me the same answer as the person before them.

The question?

"What distinguishes your business from your competitors?"

The pat answer?

"Service".

Every single damned person that I ask that question always says that their service is better than their competitors.

Today, the hotel guy didn't even hesitate.

"The service," he answered. "While other hotels may give you a place to stay but not really care about you as a person, we do."

Uh-huh.

I call "bullshit" on that one.

I can guaranfuckintee you that if I were to go stay at their hotel and offer the guy at the front desk a crisp $100 bill the following morning if he could tell me my name by memory, that front desk guy would be kicking himself in the ass for not committing my name to memory.

And just HOW GOOD of service do you have to provide to be considered damned good servers?

How nicely can you fold a bath towel? Is there some sort of secret corner fold thing that I'm not aware of? Do they spray the towels with perfume?

No.

Yet every single hotel person I speak to says their service is better than their competitors.

Whoa! This just in...you're a HOTEL, pal. As long as there aren't any fresh sex stains on the sheets, you've pretty much fulfilled our immediate wishes as one of your visitors.

Anyway, today, as I asked the question and waited for the guy to say "service", I figured it was time to press my luck with the guy.

"What do you mean by 'service'?" I asked. "Is there any sort of service that you provide that your competitors don't?"

The guy was stumped.

"Do you make the beds more efficiently?" I offered.

Silence.

"Do you provide one more bath towel than the average hotel?"

Silence.

"When you place a 6 a.m. wake-up call, does your front desk clerk use a soft tone of voice to say 'Good morning Mr. Hotel Visitor. It's now 6 a.m. Rise and shine, my good friend?"

Silence. Then finally "It's just...better service."

Ah. So there is no clear cut answer. You just immediately puke out the word "Service" and expect me to swallow it like Christy Canyon in the underground film classic "I Like My Men Hard".

I'm tellin' ya ... it's really starting to get on my nerves.


The OTHER thing that's starting to get on my nerves about my job is when I call these people and start asking questions about their business.

And they say "Well, we've prepared a press kit for you with that information."

Hey. Great. Wonderful. You thought of me. How sweet. I didn't get you anything.

So then, I ask another question and they say "It's in the press kit."

And this goes on. And on. And on.

Every question I ask...it's in the press kit.

Well then lemme run this by you, Einstein. The next time somebody calls you to set up an interview, a wise move might be to casually mention to the interviewer that you're going to be preparing a press kit that includes every single morsel of pertinent information that they will ever f'n need to know about your business. And then you should actually (hold onto your hat on this one...it's a doozy!) SEND the press kit to the interviewer BEFORE the interview, so that the interviewer will then have the majority of his questions already answered and nobody's time will be wasted by sitting on the phone for 20 minutes going "It's in the press kit." "Okay". "It's in the press kit." "Okay." That way, the interviewer can read the information and come up with a whole slew of questions that weren't answered by the almighty press kit. Then you won't have to sound so freakin' agitated and the interviewer won't come off sounding like a complete rube after every single question that he asks.

Gawd.

I finally just gave up on the guy. I gave him my address, told him to send his precious little press kit, lemme take a look at it and then we'll go from there.

He snottily agreed that might be a good thing to do.

Twenty minutes after hanging up from the guy, he called me back to tell me that his company donated a million dollars to the September 11th fund.

Just out of the freakin' blue. I hadn't even asked him about the charities that his company supports. After having my first twenty questions answered by "It's in the press kit", I just told him to send me this mysterious press kit.

I didn't know if he was wanting me to cheer for his company or not.

Was I supposed to say "Wow!"?

Was I supposed to say "You go girl"?

I didn't know what to say. Granted, the company is a huge organization with name recognition throughout America. The million dollar donation was a drop in the bucket to them.

So what was the purpose of him calling to tell me this?

Whatever it was, I finally spoke up to acknowledge that I was still breathing.

"Can you put that in the press kit?" I asked him.

He seemed taken aback.

"Uhhhhh...yeah ... sure," he said.

"Great!" I chirped cheerfully. "That way I can read it with everything else you're sending me."

...butthole.


I made the mistake of believing the hype.

Every respectable music critic worth his salt is praising the band the Strokes and saying they've recorded the best album of the year 2001.

So I downloaded the disc.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but this has to be the worst batch of crap that I've ever had the misfortune of having to listen to. I feel ripped off that I even wasted the time and effort to download this aardvark shit for free. It makes me want to call my mother up and cuss her out for allowing me to be so g-damned gullible.

In a simple mathmatic equation...The Strokes=Leper Diarrhea.


I got to work this morning as an intense snow shower was taking place.

Now I look outside my window and there's not a single remnant of snow left on the ground.

Except for one large snowball about 20 yards outside my window.

I stared at that snowball all day as it never melted with the rest of the snow.

I began to admire that snowball for its dilligent effort to remain a snowball and not just peter away like the rest of the snow.

Just now, upon closer look, I noticed that it wasn't a snowball. It was a styrofoam coffee cup.

To think that I've wasted a large portion of my day staring at a dirty styrofoam cup pretty much sums up my feelings for being back at work.

350 days until vacation.

I can't wait.

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