Why is it that whenever you call your bank or credit card company or utility that they have you confirm your phone number, address, and e-mail? I understand that sometimes these questions are asked for security reasons to make sure that you really are who you claim to be. However, I think most of the time, these questions are asked for no good reason. In their attempt to be sure to have accurate data, companies are annoying the hell out of their customers. This may seem like a minor annoyance but if you ever have to call the same company multiple times, it’s particularly annoying.
It’s surprising that large corporations that spend millions of dollars a year on computer hardware and software apparently don’t have the ability to recognize the fact that you called them 10 minutes earlier and you already verified all of your contact information.
In this world of voice recognition, data mining, iPads, and Google, I expect more.
We’ve been stuck in an economic funk for the past three years now. Call it a downturn, a recession, depression, or what have you. Whatever you call it, there’s no denying that this has been a tough time for a lot of businesses and people.
One rather misleading economic indicator continues to rise: productivity. Business productivity is at an all-time high. Good news? Not really. This just means that employees are doing a whole lot more work. In addition, they’re doing more work for less money. Basically, businesses are just like you and me: doing a lot more work with a lot fewer resources.
Here’s the latest (third quarter 2011) U.S. productivity numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Continue reading
The Quality Curmudgeon has been resurrected. As you may know, I wrote a column in Quality Digest for more than 20 years when I served as editor and later as publisher. When I left the magazine in 2006 to devote myself to my growing family and my own business (Paton Professional), my writing slowly tapered off.
The good folks at Quality Digest have been after me for some time now to resurrect my column in print and as a video commentary for their weekly news show, Quality Digest Live. I hope to begin that in 2012.
As part of bringing the Quality Curmudgeon back to Quality Digest, I have decided to bring back this blog, where I hope share not just my musings about the state of quality today but also helpful tips, techniques, links, resources, and more. Continue reading