Monthly Archives: September 2012

Is Rihanna a ‘Diamond’ in the rough?

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I was making breakfast for the kiddies this morning, when I heard Kay Foxx of Hot 97 say she ran into Jay Z who was gassed about a new Rihanna song.

Jay Z gassed?

Over a Rihanna song?

Maybe she meant to say ‘Beyonce’.

Yeah, that’s it.

Wait, she said it again.

Rihanna’s got this new song that Jay Z is excited about.

Hmmm….

I’m no fan of Rihanna.

She’s made a bunch of commercially successful songs, but her singing can best be described as…

…cats clawing a blackboard.

Her songs are cute, but her voice is so…annoying

Needless to say, I was intrigued to hear the song that Jay Z was gassed about.

The song is called Diamonds, and they played it right after Kay Foxx’s intro.

In a word, I was…underwhelmed.

There wasn’t anything particularly moving about the song.

There was no ‘umbrella – ella – ella – ay – ay – ay’ flair.

Or any flair, for that matter.

But maybe I’m just an old head, disconnected from that which moves the masses.

Perhaps Jay Z is a super A&R with a golden ear, who just hears hits.

Doubtful, but that’s besides the point.

Lest I concede that I’m an old fart, let me put this to a vote.

Is Rihanna’s song Diamonds a hit or not?

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Filed under music, opinion, social media

Always have a Plan B. For the not-so-happy path.

There’s a boy scout motto, that I’m sure you’re all familiar with.

“Be prepared.”

It’s simple, yet profound.

Regardless of what life throws at you, never allow yourself to be caught unaware.

I attended this PMI session Wednesday, and came away with a slightly derivative, but equally poignant motto for project management.

“Always have a ‘Plan B'”.

I’ll explain.

In web, mobile, and app development, we frequently talk about the ‘happy path’.

Its the principle that If the user does everything right and navigates through your product correctly, they’ll arrive at the right place, with the right feedback every time and your product will perform as expected.

But the ‘happy path’ is an illusion.

The series of improper clicks, unintended selections, erroneous keystrokes which can render even the most well-thought out user experience meaningless.

No one does everything right, so you’ve got to develop and test according to the ‘not-happy-path’.

In project management, the ‘happy path’ is Plan A.

It’s the plan that we all agree upon as the way to proceed.

Sponsors, beneficiaries, stakeholders, everyone signs off on Plan A, and we’re off to the races.

But what happens?

Inevitably, somewhere along the line, a milestone is missed, deliverables are delayed, unforeseen circumstances arise, and the project is in jeopardy.

You’ve got a drop date that can’t be missed.

So what do you do?

Well that’s where Plan B comes in.

Good project managers always assume that things will (not might) go wrong.

To err is human, and since we are all humanoids, erring must be factored into all (good) planning.

A Plan B is a critical component of effective project management because it acknowledges the need to have contingencies in place, in the event that your ‘happy path’ gets jacked.

The example the presenter gave at the PMI session was really good.

I can’t recall the exact details, but I’ll paraphrase.

Team A was working on a project which had a hard deadline. At some point during the project, it was decided that Team B would take over from Team A to complete the project. Needless to say, no one from Team A was happy about the decision.

During the meeting, when the change was announced, the Team B lead assured the client that everything would be done on time, “no problem.” The project manager for Team A asked if Team B needed any assistance in the transition, to which Team B demurred.

He then asked Team B’s lead if he knew (1) where Team A was on the project (he didn’t), (2) the current tools they were using to manage the project (he didn’t) and (3) whether he had a transition plan in place (he didn’t).

Sensing that Team B didn’t have a complete grasp of the magnitude of the project, Team A’s project manager proposed that the sponsor/client put certain milestones in place for Team B to meet, over the course of the upcoming week. If Team B failed to meet those milestones, the following week, Team A would reassume lead on the project, with Team B shadowing Team A on site.

Team B’s lead agreed, and then proceeded to miss the two milestones established for week 1. On Monday, of week two, Team B’s project lead contacted the client to update them on the status of the missed milestone, only to be reminded that they were due on-site to shadow Team A.

Plan B had kicked in.

Plan A – hand the project over to Team B – was the ‘happy path’. Team B was going to swoop in, pick up where Team A had left off, and deliver on time, “no problem”.

Plan B – revert to Team A – was the ‘not-so-happy-path’. In the event Team B failed, Team A would resume development and train Team B, for future projects.

Great. Now I’ve confused myself.

The moral of the story is that the project manager for Team A, had put in place a Plan B, in the event that Plan A failed, and Team B failed to deliver.

This is not to say that all plans fail.

But as Winston Churchill famously stated, “he who fails to plan, plans to fail.”

So always have a Plan B.

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Filed under digital advocacy, opinion

Six day review. The iPhone 5 is really just okay.

I wanted this post to be an effusive endorsement of the latest iteration of the iPhone.

I would love to be able to deflate Samsung Galaxy SIII users with a glowing review of my most recent gadget acquisition.

To prattle on about this amazing feature or that.

But six days into stepping up to the iPhone 5, my opinion of it is decidedly….nyah.

“Nyah” is the sound you make when asked about something that is neither good, nor bad.

It is typically accompanied by a non-committal shrugging of the shoulders, and perhaps a slight cocking of the head.

It is by no means an endorsement.

But let’s examine the five reasons the iPhone 5 gets a ‘nyah’ from me to date.

1. Maps to nowhere.

There was much ado over the replacement of Google Maps (good) with Apple’s map offering (bad).

In the days immediately after the iOS 6 and iPhone 5 releases, the blog and Twittersphere were ablaze with sharp criticism of the map, which many complained led you effing nowhere.

Not one to take criticism at face value, without testing myself, I didn’t jump into the fray. I hadn’t upgraded nor did I have the 5.

But yesterday, using Apple’s native map to find a Radio Shack on a major roadway, was an absolute fail. Even though the pin drop showed the proper address, where the pin was located AND the directions to the location it subsequently provided, Apple’s map still had me literally driving in circles like an a**hole.

2. That damn microphone button!

I text a lot.  In the past five years since the iPhone’s debut, I’ve used the keyboard thousands of times. I’m familiar with the layout and have long since compensated for the fact that I suffer from ‘fat finger syndrome’.

Imagine my dismay, if you will, the first time I tried to get to the number keys and saw a purple voice recording screen pop up where my keyboard has once been.

Flummoxed, I quickly hit “Done” and watched as three purple dots appeared next to the text I had been typing.

WTF?!

Who designed that? Helen Keller?

I’m not really happy that I’ll need more fat finger typing classes to acclimate myself to the new layout.

3. Longer battery my behind.

I hate longer battery life claims because they’re just not true.

They never are.

Sure, in the lab, with a bunch of geeks staring endlessly at a pristine phone, untouched and unused, you can eke out 250 hours stand-by.

Perhaps, with a passive user making few a calls, sending a few texts and checking emails sporadically, you might get 80 hours talk time.

But in the real world, that’s baloney.

If you’re a power smart phone user, than that 250 hours of stand-by is meaningless because you never put your phone down.

I go hard and when you smoke test the iPhone 5 in real world conditions, that 80 hours of talk time is pure fantasy.

I can’t even make it through the morning without having to re-up and charge this bad boy.

I dare say that I’m recharging the 5 three times more frequently than I did the 4.

You see, boys and girls, significantly reduced battery life is the price we pay for our shiny new phone and all these wonderful features.

4. It’s buggy when charging.

If you’re like me, sometimes you can’t wait for your phone to recharge to use it.

So you work tethered to an outlet.

You just do you thing, while your phone sucks in precious watts with no problems.

Right?

WRONG!!

With the iPhone 5, I’ve experienced dropped calls, inoperable functions, frozen screens, ghost button presses.

You name it, I’ve experienced it.

It’s virtually impossible to use your iPhone 5 while charging at the same time.

It probably has something to do with the new-tangled 8 pin connector.

But whatever the cause, it sucks that I’m losing productivity while (repeatedly) charging my phone.

Massive boo considering how much more often I find myself having to charge the damn thing.

5. Passbook fail.

I think that apps should be purely intuitive.

I think every user application should be – but I digress.

You shouldn’t need to watch a tutorial or ‘read this first’ to use a thing.

It should be designed thoroughly ‘plug n play’.

Apple has always been the embodiment of this principle for me.

So it’s with great chagrin that I talk about Passbook, which is really a huge disappointment.

Intended as a one-stop-shop for one’s loyalty accounts, all Passbook did for me was add a buttload of new apps to my iPhone.

It didn’t consolidate them in one place…in say…oh, maybe the PASSBOOK APP?!

No, it scattered them about.

I was so shook by the sudden appearance of loyalty account apps on my phone after using Passbook, that I Googled “how does Passbook work” to figure out what, if anything, I was doing wrong.

Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one who was bewildered by Passbook’s supposed utility.

It should be called FAILbook.

Summing it all up.

I know I’ve only criticized the 5, but I do expect more from the brand leader in the smart phone space.

Sure, there are some good things about it:

  • It looks beautiful.
  • It’s faster.
  • It’s lighter.
  • Larger screen.

But the rest of the things Apple touted about it: better camera, improved Siri, more microphones, etc, don’t really add value to the average user at the end of the day.

In conclusion children, the iPhone 5 is a bigger, but not necessarily better phone.

If you must have one (Angelou) then buy it because you want it.

Don’t buy it with the expectation that it will change your world, because it won’t.

At the end of the day, it’s just a phone.

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Filed under iPhone, mobile, opinion, technology

The Facebook privacy issue…that wasn’t.

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It seems like we barely go a week without hearing about some hack, security breach or online dissemination of private information.

And despite the PR and social media maelstrom that inevitably follows each of these breaches of public trust, the offending corporations never seem to get the message.

It’s even worse with repeat offenders.

Case in point: today TechCrunch reported that Facebook had allegedly released the private messages of certain users, and published that information on users’ timelines.

The released messages apparently spanned the years 2006 through 2009.

Some surmise that what most likely happened is that Facebook (once again) changed their privacy policies, and as a result, those who had not opted out of some draconian setting, found their (once thought private) messages very publicly displayed in their timelines.

Facebook immediately denied that any user’s private conversation had been compromised.

They explained that today was the global rollout of Timeline, and that with the various iterations of Facebook’s UI, conversations that used to occur on folks’ walls (when Facebook was a tighter more closed universe), were now appearing in users’ Timelines.

Despite the fears that were first raised by Facebook users in France, Facebook confirmed that they had never, in fact, released the private conversations of any of it’s users.

I, for one, remain skeptical.

If users’ messages, wall posts, or what have you were always ‘public’ why weren’t they on their respective Timelines before?

And if they were there before, why the brouhaha over them now?

Clearly folks are feeling away about the sudden appearance of content in their accounts that weren’t there before.

They were tucked away in some other non-public, less visible place, making their sudden reappearance unnerving to many.

Facebook needs to stop changing shit on folks so much.

Their constantly changing interface and privacy policies makes it difficult for the average user to keep up with.

Who knows if we’ve seen the end of this issue.

But I know that folks are going to be a lot more careful of what they say (and send) via Facebook from now on!

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Arbitrage. Avarice, greed and death. Go see this movie.

Friday night was date night with wifey.

She said something about dinner and a movie in Montcleezy, and I was like ‘cool’.

So she picked me up from the Bay Street station and we headed over to Clairidge Cinemas for the 7:20 pm showing of Arbitrage.

I had never heard of the movie, but it had Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and some Victoria Secrets model (Laetitia Casta).

That was enough for me, and I had high hopes for this movie I had never heard of before.

I was not disappointed.

Arbitrage is a thriller that focuses on one man’s greed and attempts to avoid the dire consequences of his actions.

The film is remarkably well done, as I was literally on the edge of my seat agonizing over the fate of Richard Gere.

Although his character is totally crummy, you can’t help but sympathize for him.

I was secretly rooting for him, throughout the movie, even though I thought he was despicable.

Whether it was his daughter, wife, mistress, business partners or friends, Gere’s character puts himself above them all.

This was originally going to be a post with a ‘spoiler alert’ but I didn’t want to ruin it for anyone who might be interested in seeing it.

So I’ll leave you with this trailer instead.

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It’s official. I. Love. Apple. Ode to the iPhone 5.

I’ve been fronting for days now.

“iOS 6 ain’t all that.” I barked.

“iPhone 5 sucks.” I spewed.

I’ve been disparaging Apple because I was on the outside looking in.

Looking over shoulders as folks updated their iPhones to the latest iOS.

Silently coveting the first arrivals of iPhones in the office.

Oh yeah, as throngs waited outside Apple stores across the united states, several shiny new iPhone 6s were delivered to select big dogs at my office.

It was all I could do not to knock a sucka down and run screaming out of the office with someone’s new phone.

If you haven’t actually seen a iPhone 5 in the wild, let me be the first to tell you…

It’s beautiful.

Sure, I disparaged it when I was just looking at pictures.

Yeah, I had nothing but jokes as I reviewed the ‘new’ features (that many have rightly noted exist in other devices well before Apple decided to incorporate them into the iPhone).

But when I first held it in my hands…

I was truly something to behold.

I was lighter, without being insubstantial.

Unlike the Samsung SIII, which feels like a toy, the iPhone 5 feels like a quality piece of hardware.

It’s still the same width as it’s predecessors, so you can still rock off with one hand.

But it’s thinner, which means it slides into and out of your pockets with ease.

I spent only a few minutes with it yesterday, but I knew I had to have it.

So I talked to IT, who told me to cop the iTunes Store app, confirm I was eligible for an upgrade, and place my order.

I was eligible for the upgrade.

I placed my order.

3-4 weeks is what the Apple app spit back.

3 to 4 weeks!

I consoled myself with the knowledge that stores were probably going to be sold out for weeks on end, and 3 or 4 weeks wasn’t really a long wait.

But it was a lie.

It was a lie I told myself over and over as I rocked myself to sleep, weeping with longing.

And then I went to visit my mom and dad in Ewing, where I happened upon my younger brother, Celestine, sporting a shiny new iPhone 6!

I suppressed my initial desire to bonk him on the head, caveman style, and run out of the house, screaming like a mad man with his iPhone clutched in my sweaty palms – confusion (and a dazed younger brother) in my wake.

“Where’d you get that?”

“I know people.

WTF! You know people?

Muthaf…I oughta…

“No seriously…”

“Come on. Let’s go for a ride.”

One hour later, I was holding my own shiny new iPhone 5.

It’s white.

It’s a piece of art.

And I’ve lovingly encased it in a rugged Otter.

I’ve only had my phone for a few hours, and its surreal.

I never knew you could love an inanimate object.

But I do.

Call me a fanboy if you will.

But call me a fanboy with an iPhone 5.

Note: I was a little ahead of myself and previously referred to the iPhone 6.

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Filed under iPhone, technology, Uncategorized

Well eff you then! iOS 6 ain’t all that anyway! A review, of sorts

After a much awaited…uh…wait, yesterday, iOS 6 finally arrived.

Everyone in the office with an iPhone broke out their joints and copped the update.

Everyone except your boy, that is.

You see, long ago, I became a Jailbreak disciple.

And the first rule of Jailbreaking is that you never automatically update your OS.

Updating a jail broken phone without first acquiring the secret sauce to preserve your jailbreak, renders it obsolete.

So there was no updating anything until my crew had successfully implemented a jailbreak for it.

Consequently, I watched curiously, from the sidelines, as others eagerly updated their devices.

Like giddy children, they clutched their iPhones and sat through the (painstakingly long) process of getting the update to their devices.

Unblinking, they sat, eyes glued to their screens as slowly (oh so slowly), the progress bar made it’s way across the screen.

Muffled gasps escaped their lips, as the updates completed and they were presented with the shiny new iOS 6 welcome screen.

Wide-eyed, they stepped through the balance of the set up wizard.

Apple Id sign-in. Check.

Location services. Enabled.

Set up complete!

But wait!

What’s this?

There’s more stuff to update?

iBooks, Map, Calendar, Address Book…

Well okay…

More updates.

More wide eyes.

The anticipation was palpable.

And then…

The same old home screen.

No…no…

Wait! What do I spy?

Passbook?

What is this passbook?

Is this the thingamajiggy that lets you store all you loyalty cards and accounts?

Whoa! Somebody’s all fancy schmancy!

Is that a…

A new map!

Stop the presses!

Hmmm…interesting, no navigation dock or buttons on the bottom…it’s all map!

And they’ve re-arranged the buttons behind the map, how nice.

I wonder how turn-by-turn works…

Dude, who’s calling you?

What?!!

There are updates to the phone too!

In addition to “Accept” and “Decline” buttons there’s a little phone icon, that pulls up a bunch of options.

Don’t want to take a call, now you can (politely) tell the caller to piss off!

What will they think of next?

Ummm…you can hit “decline” now.

I’m done with this update.

Was? (“What” indignantly, for my German-challenged)

Is that a slight tint to the color of the status bar I see?

Those sly devils!

Hold on…don’t put it away quite yet…

What are you doing?

I haven’t finished reviewing iOS 6…

There’s no need to get back to work…

The clients can wait…

What about Siri?

And all the other stuff?!

What about all the other stuff!

C’mon! Don’t put your phone away!

Why you gotta be like that?

You’re right.

I shouldn’t be breathing all down your neck.

I didn’t even realize I was drooling.

Don’t worry, it won’t stain…

And you could have just told me I was wolfing…

Anyone got an Altoid?

Seriously, my eleventeen readers need this review!

Well eff you then!

iOS 6 ain’t all that anyway!

And you have dandruff!

Note: What you’ve just read was pure nonsense. If you want a real review (albiet a self-serving one) check out the What’s New in iOS 6 page at Apple. And for a step-by-step walk through to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 6, check CNET’s insightful article.

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Filed under iPhone, mobile, rant, Smack talking, technology, Uncategorized

uniqlo gets it right. Customer service with a smile.

My recent experience with Louis Vuitton has left me a bit…jaded.

But today, an interaction with two extremely helpful store associates at uniqlo brought me back from the brink.

The wife sent me on the unenviable task of finding some innocuous sweater at the uniqlo store on 34th Street, that she had seen online.

It wasn’t an ordinary piece of uniqlo clothing – oh noooo.

She was looking for an exclusive promotional item from the uniqlo undercover line.

Apparently, she spied this fashion forward line, that was only going to be here for one more season, and simply had to have a piece from the collection.

So off I went, on my lunch break, to try retrieve a bauble for my boo.

Imagine my dismay when I walked through uniqlo’s doors, and saw the sheer expanse of store stretching out before me.

The store legend on my immediate right told me that there were three floors in this labyrinthian space.

Undaunted, I forged ahead.

Women’s – 2nd floor.

Up the multicolored stairs went I.

2nd floor.

The massive women’s wear floor  beckoned.

Excuse me. Where can I find the ‘uu’ line?

Couldn’t remember the name of the line…uniqlo uniques?  uniqlo uniforms?

Damn! Damn! Damn!

“Um, that’s back downstairs, on the left side. Near the kids’ section.”

Back downstairs?

We’ll she seems to know what I’m talking about.

So down the stairs I trudged.

To the left…

Aha!

uniqlo undercover!

Now, where are the sweater tunics?

Was that what they’re called?

Damn! Damn! Damn!

I can’t remember what she wanted!

Text her.

What’s the name of the sweater you wanted? Was it a sweater tunic?

Send.

No response.

Call.

No answer.

Voicemail.

“Hey babe. I’m at uniqlo. What was the name of that sweater thingy?”

Nothing.

Search frantically through the racks.

After several minutes of fruitles search, I caught the attention of one of the many black clad store associates, to ask for assistance.

With a wide smile, she bounded off to see if she could help me locate the item I so desperately coveted.

Hither and tither, she weaved through clothing racks, trying to find me the tunic sweater?

To no avail.

Then, she asked if I had a picture of the item.

Whipped out my handy-dandy iPhone, pulled up their site and navigated to the ‘lounge dress’.

There was no ‘tunic sweater’ after all.

Still confounded, she snatched up a store manager, who happened to be passing by.

After a brief rundown from Nancy, he asked to see the picture of it on my phone.

I whipped it out, once again, and showed him.

“May I?” he asked double-clicking on the image.

How polite.

He pulled up the PDP (product description page), got the product number, and was off!

Like a bloodhound he went.

Up the stairs.

Down the stairs.

To the back.

To the rack.

Back to the back from the rack.

And then (after what seemed like an eternity – but was only about four minutes) be beckoned me over to the rack he had previously gone to and fro…

And there, in neat little bins, were the lounge sweaters!

My quarry.

They were folded and tucked into thin plastic bags.

I would NEVER have found them on my own.

I was elated!

I thanked him profusely and asked for both his name (Martin) and the name of the associate (Nancy) who had originally aided me.

I’m sending a letter praising them to whoever runs uniqlo so that they know how DOPE their store associates are.

I’m just saying.

A little customer service goes a long way.

Dude could have easily given up on his many searches around the store to help me find my item.

But he didn’t.

He went above and beyond the call of duty.

And for that, I am truly grateful.

Wife was pleased that my trip was successful.

And my faith in store-associate kind has been redeemed.

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I’ll admit it: I’m addicted. Confessions of an Apple fanboy.

My precious….

I just got this headline on my iPhone from FierceWireless: “Apple shatters iPhone pre-order sales record.”

For all the naysaying about the lackluster iPhone 5, and how disappointing the enhancements were, folks (including your’s truly) were unfazed.

Ads, like Samsung’s touting the plethora of SIII features over the paucity of the iPhone 5’s, did nothing to quench our thirst for a new iPhone.

Hate on haters! I’m still getting the iPhone 5. Compare that!

We were undaunted.

Over 2 million of us, just HAD to have the coveted device.

So when pre-orders opened on Friday, Apple doubled the previous pre-order sales record set when they released the 4S.

With iPhone 5 pre-sales moving so briskly a week before they’re set to be sold in stores, analysts are predicting that this will be the best selling iPhone of all time.

So let me say this for the record: I don’t get it.

I can’t figure out what has occurred that so many of us simply MUST have the newest of whatever Apple puts out.

No, really.

Apple ‘fanboys’ take lots of abuse for this manic loyalty to Apple devices.

Most of the comments I got from my previous post on the iPhone 5 last week, were from Android users simply hellbent on calling us out for being mindless fanatics.

Hostility aside, they may be on to something.

What is it about Apple that makes us throw caution to the wind?

I often attribute our loyalty to compatibility.

Apple products are so compatible with one another, that there’s no learning curve.

You get a new device, take it out of the box and go.

No referring to a user manual.

No need for a quick-start guide.

Just go.

But is that really it?

Perhaps it’s the allure of greater speed the latest devices offers.

Everything will be quicker.

I’ve gotten used to the speed of things when I’m not on WiFi.

And I’m on AT&T, and we all know how abysmally slow it is.

But each new iPhone holds the promise that things are going to be materially faster, WiFi or not.

Maybe it’s that we simply don’t want to be the odd man out.

Conformity is a mutha!

I remember when I got my first iPhone.

A few months later, they released the 3G, and then the 3GS.

I resisted the urge to purchase either of those devices, standing stalwart against the sweet siren song of a new Apple device.

All the while, I experienced severe iPhone envy.

Each time I pulled out my original 2G, as others fondled their newer, shinier, more feature-filled iOS devices, I was jealous.

When Apple introduced the 4G, I knew I could wait no longer.

I’m no fanboy, I thought.

I let two successive iPhone iterations passed without jumping into the fray.

But I would be denied no longer.

How I coveted my new phone.

Then Apple released the 4S, with Siri.

Eff Siri!

Who needs that know-it-all mouthy digital slut!

But then came the 5.

Any my device envy reared it’s ugly head.

Come to me, my precious…

Are we simply drinking the KoolAid?

Is there no rational explanation for our actions?

I’m just saying, I’m really at a loss.

I’m getting ready to drop two or three bills for a new phone, when there is nothing…absolutely nothing wrong with my current phone.

But it does have a four inch screen…

C’mon!

So what if the screen is bigger!

Why do we act like this?

Could it be that we’re addicted?

My wife is always telling me that I’m always on my ;.

Perhaps she’s on to something.

If you’re iPhone 5 conflicted, like me, holla back.

I can’t be the only one with this dilemma.

Help me understand why I’m so hooked on these damn devices!

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Filed under branding, digital advocacy, iPhone, mobile, Smack talking, technology

Louis Vuitton. Customer service. FAIL.

This is what my Louis looked like in it’s prime. Today, not so much.

Note: You can read this long and rambling post or skip to the end and watch the video.

I’ve just got to unburden myself.

I do that occassionally.

I went to Short Hills Mall today, to drop off my Louis Vuitton messenger bag for repair.

I’ve had this bag since 2001, when I bought it for the wife as a diaper bag for our first child.

That bag has been through 3 more children and several trips to the Louis Vuitton store, to fix one defect or another of the bag.

The first two trips were to fix the elastic band, which had snapped.

This third trip was for the handle, which was literally hanging on by a thread.

The leather loop, which held the strap to the bag, had separated at the joint.

I thought it was a simple repair and was quite taken aback as <the unnamed person at the counter> told me that the canvas was so stiff that she doubted it could be repaired.

I didn’t think the fabric was all that stiff, as she attempted to ‘assuage’ my concerns by ‘checking in the back’ to determine whether her assessment was off.

She then walked away, and (I guess) beckoned me to follow her.

I was slightly unsure because she seemed to have been distracted by the appearance of <some long-lost-or-favorite-friend-or-associate-that-was-clearly-more-important-than-providing-me-her-undivided-attention>.

I was therefore (again) taken aback when she came back around the corner she just disappeared behind, with annoyance beckoning me to…the back?

She had placed my bag on a counter around the corner from where I had first encountered <the unnamed person at the counter>.

She then proceeded to tell me the same thing she had previously stated less than 30 seconds ago.

Perhaps her desire to reunite with <some long-lost-or-favorite-friend-or-associate-that-was-clearly-more-important-than-providing-me-her-undivided-attention> was such a distraction, that she forgot she had just given me the exact same rundown.

I racked my brain to see if I had missed some critical detail in her initial assessment, as she once again explained why she thought the bag couldn’t be repaired…because of the stiffness of the fabric.

“They won’t touch it because it might crack, and they wouldn’t want to damage the bag.”

Ummm…the bag IS damaged, that’s why I’ve brought it in.

Okaayyyy…

Then, as if to clear Louis Vuitton of any further responsibility for the condition of my “rather old” bag, she whisked the bag from my clutches and marched around another corner…presumably to “the back”.

And this next point is literally from a movie…

She came right back out of the same around-the-corner doorway she disappeared into five second earlier, proclaiming, “Yeah, it’s too stiff. They won’t touch it.”

And it was done.

My beloved bag was deemed irreparable.

“You want a bag?”

My mourning over my old friend was broken by the thrust of a crisp brown Louis Vuitton shopping bag into which, was deposited my (now) retired friend.

Can’t have the walking wounded on fully display of potential LV owners.

My shame was tucked out of sight in a sleek bag that would have all who gazed upon my departure from the store, see me outfitted with the signature brown bag (with my ‘broken’ messenger bag tastefully hidden away).

She handed me my bag and traipsed off to join <some long-lost-or-favorite-friend-or-associate-that-was-clearly-more-important-than-providing-me-her-undivided-attention>.

There was no, “Can I interest you in another bag?” or “Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

Just her back.

When I walked in, I had spied several replacement bags, in the event that the news I received was, in fact, the case.

I’m past the ‘diaper bag’ years, and so I was looking to acquire a new Louis.

My wife has at least seven different pieces, acquired over our 12 year marriage, so I’ve been super loyal to the brand.

The only reason I took the bag there was because of their (formerly) superb customer service.

And the pride (they formerly seemed to take) in their work.

So I was committed to acquiring a new piece.

But this chick pissed me off so bad…

I told my three kids, who I had with me…

Oh yeah, I had my kids with me.

…that we were leaving and hoofed out of the store.

Where I paused, and called customer service to get their response to my repair situation.

I had been so thoroughly dismissed by old girl, that I felt I couldn’t rely on her perfunctory assessment.

When I got through to <an unnamed operator> and ran down the situation, she confirmed that Louis Vuitton would not take for repair, any item that was deemed not sufficiently supple to withstand a repair that could potentially rip the fabric.

She apologized and hurriedly asked me if there was anything else she could do.

I barely finished saying “No thank you. I..” and she was gone.

No, “Can I get your name and email?” or  “Can I send you a catalogue of our new line of messenger bags.”

Just dial tone.

I kid you not.

No effort at all made to assess whether they could help me replace my (obviously) now useless Louis.

I couldn’t believe how bad these guys were flubbing an opportunity to sell me another bag.

Mind you, you’ve got to drop coin to get these stupid brown canvas bags.

Oooo…it’s stamped with an L and a V.

Ahhh….the pink leather patinas over time and takes on this rich tan hue.

Kick rocks!

But here I am, with a bag I can no longer use and not one person at the store or on the phone, even interested in helping me buy another bag.

And so now, in my heart, Louis Vuitton has stepped into the place of poor customer service.

I pay homage to you, old friend Louis Vuitton, with a video.

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Filed under opinion, rant