I Got Excellent Customer Service

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It’s not often that I get to tell of an experience with a company’s customer service that has a happy ending or even a happy middle. However, yesterday the rules changed and when I hung up the phone I was very satisfied with the phone call eventhough my problem was nowhere near resolved. Are y’all wondering how that can even be so? Let me explain. Back in June of this year y’all might recall that we bought my wife a 2014 Ford Mustang which has performed beautifully since the day we bought it. But, a few days ago my wife, who drives the car daily, informed me that the car stereo was not notifying when a text message comes in on her phone. Something she has become very accustomed to, probably to the point of being spoiled, she has really gotten used to the hands free voice activated controls. Needless to say, her world seemed to crash a bit when it stopped functioning. Boo hoo right?

Being the good husband I am, I took a look at it since I was the one who figured it out in the first place. Having zero success I resorted to doing some research on the internet, tried some different things, but was still very unsuccessful in my efforts. After two evenings of playing with it I finally broke down and called Sync customer service. I was preparing for the worst since calling customer service for anything usually results in me trying to reach through the phone so I can choke a motherfucker. With this phone call, in this instance of contacting customer service, I stand corrected. He was polite, courteous, apologetic, and sounded genuinely concerned about the issue. As much as I would like to tell y’all that the problem was resolved I can’t, because as hard as he tried, it’s still not working.

However, he did teach this old dog many new tricks concerning the stereo and other electronic components in the car. I knew it had features but shit not all the things he went through. A car stereo isn’t just a car stereo any longer boys and girls. Little did I know, the last new car I bought was in 2005 and I was impressed with the single disc CD player. Anyway, seems we were only using about 3% of the features to our advantage, but now that has changed. Yes, I mentioned he could not resolve our particular dilemma over the phone but he located our area Ford dealership, verified the services they provide, and set us up with an appointment this Saturday morning. He reminded us that everything is under warranty and after they perform a system update that our problems should become a memory. In the event it is a hardware issue and not a software issue, the Ford dealership will replace the stereo. I will let y’all know how it works out Saturday.

I would first like to thank Scott for providing us with top notch customer service support. I appreciate being treated like a human being instead of a customer with a problem. His attitude made a huge impact on my attitude and I actually enjoyed our entire conversation from start to finish. Whatever they are doing really works and it shows people like myself who have been tainted over the years that calling customer service doesn’t have to be a labored and fucked up experience. So, my hat is off to Scott, thanks for not making me feel I needed to choke the fucking life out of you. But seriously, thanks Scott, you couldn’t fix it but you tried and you took steps to get it fixed, which will make my wife happy, which in turn will increase my happiness.

The Time Has Come To Go To Work

As y’all have been reading, I have been on the hunt for employment, which up until now, has been dismally disappointing. I said up until now, the wait is over, tomorrow I start my new job. I owe a great deal of thanks to someone I’m not going to mention because I thanked him in private. In all reality, he had just mentioned to his friend, and fellow blogger, to take a look at my blog when he got a chance. Anyway, one thing led to another in conversation and I was informed that he just might have a job for a guy like me. Come to find out, he was working only a short distance from where I live. We met in person a few times over the last couple of weeks, I took the preemployment drug test today, and I start first thing in the morning. I’m super excited about the new job and looking forward to a new career. I will get into more on the new job later as time progresses.

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What does this mean for this blog. It means nothing to tell you the truth. Why? Some of y’all may have thought I update here via my computer, which is false since I don’t even own a computer, but I do own a 7″ tablet and a Droid Maxx which suites all of my needs perfectly. However, in regards to internet, 97% of the time I’m at home on the WiFi network so there’s no problem. Once I begin working is when I will have to monitor my usage. But, have no fear, I will do updates in the mornings and in the evenings, probably won’t see anything during the day. However, I will still check notifications and emails when time permits. No more sitting around all day doing as I please screwing around on my phone. Y’all will see, it will be all good.

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While I’m here, I figured I could do as I ask y’all to do, and share a couple of pictures of how my blog is seen on my two devices, the top being on my phone and the bottom being on my tablet. See, even I am willing to play my silly little games. Don’t worry, I’m not abandoning my blog or y’all, in fact it ought to get better, new times equals new things to post and share.

Observing Other People’s Children

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There is no doubt that in my actual day to day life I spend a great deal of time “people watching” because it is just something I really enjoy doing. However, I also spend a fair share of time surfing the internet where I see pictures of what people are doing in their lives. Now, not unlike real life, I spend a fair amount of time scratching my skull asking what the fuck were they thinking, we call those WTF Moments, we all have them, and we all question why we are questioning. Below will be some recent pictures that raised my eyebrow, let me know what y’all think. And, btw, every one if these pictures were found at one place or another on the grand ‘ol web we call the internet. One day, I fear, I will come across friends or family doing dumb shit, then what will I do? Post that shit of course, what in the hell were y’all thinking!

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I Dislike The Facebook Refund Status

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Here is a status update no one will “like” – one of America’s largest companies avoided paying federal or state income taxes, and is poised to do so again this year. In fact, they will likely receive a check from the federal government in the form of a tax refund. Despite bringing in more than $1 billion in U.S. pretax profits last year, the social-media giant Facebook reported a combined $429 million refund from their federal and state tax filings. Uncle Sam cut a check to Facebook for roughly $295 million in 2012, according to one analysis of the company’s 10-K filing. Facebook’s first annual 10-K report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for 2012 details the company’s use of the employee stock option tax deduction, which lowered the company’s income taxes owed to federal and state authorities by $1.03 billion last year.

By providing stock options as a major form of their compensation, to date, Facebook has claimed $3.2 billion in federal and state stock option deductions, $1.03 billion of which was used to offset their total U.S. pretax profit of $1.1 billion in 2012, and $429 million was refunded from its 2010 and 2011 tax bills. The remaining $2.17 billion in stock option tax deductions can now be carried forward by the company and used to offset future tax liabilities. This rollover, in addition to currently outstanding employee stock options, may once again make this year’s tax bill disappear. If Facebook has the same U.S. pretax profit in 2013 as last year ($1.1 billion), the company will be able to zero out their tax bill for the next year. Taxpayers gave Facebook a gift card worth an estimated $295 million in 2012, and Uncle Sam will likely cut the billion-dollar company another big check in 2013.

Information found for this “Your Tax Dollars @ Work” post was done by using a Google search. Information compiled from multiple public websites & media outlets.

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Should I Even Call This Mess A “Blog”?

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I suppose by “definition” what I have here could be considered to be a blog. Do you know the definition of blog? The simple version which concludes that a blog is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. Mine does that. I also do allot of Mobile blogging (moblogging), which is a method of publishing to a blog from a mobile phone. A moblog helps habitual bloggers (like myself) to post articles and pictures directly from their phones even when on the move. Mobile blogging has been made possible by technological convergence, as bloggers have been able to write, record and upload different media all from a single, mobile device. Mobile blogging is popular among people with camera phones which allow them to send photos and video that then appear as entries on their blog, or to use mobile browsers to publish content directly to any blogging platform with mobile posting compatibility. In the end, it is convenient because I can do when the moment arises or the thought crosses my mind. There are many advantages to being able to blog from anywhere and anytime. Mobile blogging is particularly helpful to travelers or people on the move when access to a computer with Internet connection may be difficult. The traveler can snap photos and with an enabled phone can easily upload such pictures with text descriptions directly to his or her blog. If the camera phone is equipped for Auto-geo-tagging, the blog may be able to show a map of the locations. With my new phone, (Motorola Droid Maxx),  which is less than a week old, has many new features which have been really exciting as far as being able to keep up with my blog and all the ones I try to visit regularly.

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A majority of the blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other on the blogs, and it is this interactivity that distinguishes a blog from other static websites. In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking service. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers throughout the world. Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. I think I’m still qualifying as a blog. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs.

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People have different ideas when it comes to the length of post. Many people advocate keeping it short, however some of the best posts I’ve written or read have been long, some very very long. They were the best because they did not skim the subject so they gave real value and often told their story making it engaging by making a personal connection with me the reader. I believe that the posts that make that personal connection that resonates with the reader get more likes, more comments, and get shared more. Being I post allot of pictures here as well I often have very short posts because the “message” is self-contained in the picture.

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Anyone who surfs the “net” can find that the blogosphere counts several million active blogs offering a great variety of topics and content. The wonderful aspect of a blog creation is that anyone who has a particular hobby, knowledge, passion or a business to promote, can easily do it, and they generally do. I guess, looking back, the danger is starting a blog without a specific plan, target group, and more importantly knowledge of content for which the blog was created. Good content is the most important factor of your blog since not only it is the key to attract readers and turn them to loyal followers but also to increase your internet exposure via the search engines. I don’t look for search engine exposure, meaning I don’t do anything on purpose which gives me a ranking or page position. People just find me one way or another. I follow some basic rules of engagement in order to produce what I consider to be successful content and, at the end of the day, achieve my blog’s goal which is to get read and encourage readers to return back to my blog. Let’s explore my general rules of engagement and guidelines.

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The 10 Rules I blog by.

01. Define your blog and who you wish to target to read your blog. The 1st thing to do is to organize your ideas and define the main topic which will define your blog’s identity.

  • What do I want to write about today? The next day? 6 months from now?
  • What is my target group of readers, follower, and visitors?
  • What type of language should I use to communicate with my readers?

02. Make time to make posts.

  • A blog needs time and efforts to stay permanently active and help you interact on a regular basis with your readers.
  • Don’t risk losing your audience because of a lack of communication.

03. Take time to talk to your audience. Make them feel as though they can interact with you and make sure they get the interaction they are looking for.

  • Having defined your target group of readers, you will need to write in the appropriate tone and style to attract their interest and understanding; imagine having a conversation with your audience and write clearly and simply as if you were talking to them.
  • When I write, I write as if I am talking, whether just out-loud or physically to others.

04. Give your blog and posts a friendly and inviting format.

  • Even if you believe your post is original and really interesting, if it comes in a big block of text, no one will take the time to read it; you need to provide the reader with a friendly post format by separating it into distinct and concise paragraphs, preceded by sub-headings when needed, use bullet points lists where needed (like here with what I’m doing), illustrate it with images, use bold or italics to point out your key elements and you’ll get your reader’s attention.

05. When starting a new post use eye catching and attractive titles.

  • Once your post is written, take your time to come up with a fantastically eye catching title. Your title is how you’ll attract the readers repeatedly. It should directly inform the reader regarding what your post is about, a sort of “summary” of what he/she will read.

06. Be sure to use “tags” which will be effective in relation to your post.

  • Ask yourself which terms are more likely to be used by users when they search for the particular topic.
  • Then make sure you use the main keywords and come up with different variations that are likely to be searched when formulating your tags.
  • Finally try to incorporate the “tag” words in the keywords of your post in order to increase the possibility to be found in the search engines.

07. Update your blog frequently to keep the content fresh and inviting.

  • As mentioned earlier, you need to determine a time plan in order to frequently update your blog, ideally on a daily-basis.
  • This will not only keep the attention of your readers but also it will help you attract more readers and loyal followers to your blog.
  • The more content you produce the more traffic you are likely to get from your readers.

08. Use “social media” buttons to encourage your readers to share.

  • There are many out there, I personally use Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter.
  • By setting up an RSS Feed and by encouraging your users to subscribe, you will increase your readers and you are more likely to get more returning visitors.
  • Note that most Blogging engines automatically support RSS feeds, so all you need to do is to place their button in a strategic position in order to help readers subscribe.
  • It doesn’t hurt to belong to a great blogging community either. My personal favorite is Blogcatalog!
  • Additionally social media can drive you lots of traffic and they can help you build steady communication with your readers.
  • Make sure you add sharing buttons in your blog and try to place them too in strategic positions to increase the number of shares.

09. Try to incorporate “how-to” and “top-10” posts on occasion to mix things up and keep the reader wondering what’s next.

  • The how-to guides and the top-10 articles usually become very popular on social media networks.
  • People love these articles and they are more likely to read them, like them, comment on them, and share them.
  • Additionally by creating such content you are more likely to increase your search engine traffic since many surfers search for such content regularly.

10. I have found that proof reading and spell checking are valuable tools.

  • This might be common sense but sometimes we can be so enthusiastic about a new post that we forget to take the time to proof read it.
  • Remember that you may be listed and archived in the Internet along with your grammar, syntax or even informative mistakes.
  • Don’t forget to be honest about what you share.
  • If you have the patience to keep being an active blogger and creating good content, you will be surprised to see your audience growing and your blog getting the success it deserves.

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I have learned over the years that my blog(s) tend to develop multiple personalities and sometimes I need to reel them back in. When I started here at WordPress I wanted to have one blog that expressed ALL of my ideas. I wanted one stop shopping. I combined 6 blogs to create The Sting Of The Scorpion which I feel know encompasses the message(s) I’m trying to express. My blog is very much a reflection of what mood I am in at any particular moment. In the end, it works for me and that results in more mileage for my blog. I am very dedicated to the upkeep and appearance of my blog. This keeps me active here which results in more posts for others to read.

All the pictures and some of this information was borrowed from the World Wide Web to be placed on The Sting Of The Scorpion, because everything else just bites. Remember boys and girls, eat it everyday, and twice if you are up to it.

Update After Appointment With Surgeon

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Okay, for those of you playing at home, I have an update on my status.

After seeing the surgeon this afternoon I am pleased to say that my 5th day post op appointment went rather well with no concerns noted by either one of us. Meaning? I am healing well. I should not need physical therapy, if so only for scar tissue breakup. If all is well I will have the sutures removed on 09 Oct 2013. I am not required to have heavy bandages, just a band aid which covers the area. There will remain to be NO boot to wear. I will need to stay off my foot as much as possible until suture removal. I will continue with ice for any discomfort. And finally, he was pleased I have not taken any pain meds since Saturday afternoon.

In the end, so far so good.