Thursday, October 18, 2007

LATI Mystery Shopping

My first job ever was in a grocery store. I started as a bagger, worked my way up "the ranks" to cashier and, lastly, to office cashier. (You know the girl who cashes checks and prints out lottery tickets? That was me.) I started at age 14 and ended my stint at 24, so I feel extremely well-schooled in the concept of customer service. I'm a bit of an idealist with regard to customer service.

As a separate side note (and critical to this mystery shopping expose), I am a magazine junkie. I have been reading magazines since I was 14, starting with the quintessential young girl read: Seventeen. I will keep the final tally of magazine subscriptions I get a mystery, but just know it is a lot. I will share with you my recent experience in trying to order a magazine from a discount seller online.

I will keep the seller's name anonymous. I had purchased a few subscriptions in the past and was pleased with the service overall. Last March (yes, March), I was renewing a magazine and added another for a sale price. I was told that I would start receiving the magazine in July. So I waited. And waited. It's now approaching November, and I still haven't received it.

I am pretty tenacious. I have followed up with phone calls, e-mails and many an expletive shouted in my own head. Monday, I e-mailed customer service and was notified that I would received my first issue no later than the end of this month. So, I will see what happens.

I've decided that when my subscription runs out, I won't be using the service again. But some people don't realize that buyers hold a lot of power. We can spend our money in a variety of shopping outlets. The small gestures of good customer service can translate to big bucks. It really is about "power to the people."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

#23 Final Destination...

I really appreciate this 23 Things journey, especially since I've never been one of those overzealous folks who embraces technological changes. I'm in no way a dinosaur, mind you.

I'm pretty practical, so I approached this from the standpoint of, Will this help me better serve customers? I say, Yes when it comes to RSS feeds, blogging, Zoho Writer, wikis, downloadable books and podcasts. Personal takeaways that I enjoyed and will use: and image generators.

I thought the discovery process was beneficial; I valued the self-paced program and incentive (MP3 player) given at the onset. I was surprised I enjoyed 23 Things as much as I did... I only wish it hadn't taken me so long to complete.

I welcome the next discovery journey!

#22 Net Library

I think this a useful tool and see myself utilizing the site with helping customers. Although I couldn't locate specific titles of supreme interest to me, I did stumble upon a book I thought looked interesting: University of Hard Knocks (very apropos in describing my journey in discovering technology).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

#21 Beowulf Podcast

I'm not really into epic-style movies, but I am impressed with all the hype surrounding the upcoming release of Beowulf (out November 16). If you go to (I found the info from, you can preview the trailer and listen to podcasts from the actors who were involved in the movie. I listened to the podcast of Robin Wright Penn (wife of Sean Penn and a great actor in her own right). The cool (and useful) thing about podcasting is the ability to do this anywhere. Wright Penn delivered hers while on vacation in Hawaii. How cool is that?

This would be a great vehicle for intervewing authors about their work and tying the information in with new book releases.

Monday, October 15, 2007

#20 You Tube

This wasn't my first visit (or last) to YouTube. I like it because it serves as a vehicle for anyone to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame. I don't like it because it serves as a vehicle for anyone to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame!

I checked mostly entertainment-related videos such as Amy Winehouse's Back to Black video and a few recent interviews with Joaquin Phoenix and Eva Mendes for their movie: We Own the Night, which was excellent by the way. I also got a few giggles from watching the video: Dachshunds Gone Wild! It plays out like a typical day in my household.

I think podcasts would serve as a better format through which the Library could document programs (such as Evening in the Stacks).

Friday, October 12, 2007

#19 -

What a fun web site! For those who are cocktail connoisseurs, this is the site for you. You can get the recipes for drinks, recommend your favorite drinks, as well as get suggestions on drink recipes based on the liquors you have in your cabinet.

I don't see this having any practical use in the Library. However if the site was revamped to offer reader's advisory recommendations from our Librarians or based on book genre, that is another thing all together.



#18 - Zoho Writer: Me Likey!

I explored Zoho Writer and created a sign-up sheet, with a table, for my Teen Time book club. What a cool application! I can see myself using this program more often in the future. It's very user-friendly.