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Comment: Re:When people abuse prices go up (Score 1) 503

For me, and many other people, it is an extreme inconvenience to deal with shipping an item back, especially if it is defective. If it is defective, I want it replaced today, not next week. This is the primary reason why I, personally, chose to shop brick-and-mortar unless there is simply no option to buy the item locally. I will drive 75 miles to the nearest Guitar Center, if I can't get what I want local, before I will wait a week for something to show from Musician's Friend, and I will die and go to hell before I will pay for next day shipping. That completely negates any discount that I might get. I order some things from Newegg because there is no other option, and will pay slightly more at the Mark-of-the-BeastBuy to have something in my hand immediately. The only time that I will order 'normal' stuff is if it is something that I really don't care when I get it because it is completely superfluous and I don't have to have it soon. And that is rare.

Some people, on the other hand, prefer to order everything online, and the shipping doesn't bother them. The thing is, when you need or want something now, sometimes next day shipping just doesn't cut it. I have a friend like that, and he is all the time having to borrow shit because the new whatever that he ordered won't arrive for another X days.

He even orders bullets, instead of driving down to the damned gun shop. Seriously. There are two gun shops and a Dick's Sporting Goods on his way to work. When you need to shoot someone, you don't want to tell the rapist/murderer/robber to wait for a few days, because your bullets haven't showed up yet. And he ends up paying the same or more than he would if he bought locally.

Comment: Re:3d is annoying (Score 1) 404

by fat bastard of doom (#39002451) Attached to: When it comes to 3D TV:
Go look up stereoblindness on google. One interesting article is this one. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/14/health/views/14vision.html

To make a long story short, about ten percent of the population suffers from some degree of stereoblindness. This means that we are immune to the 3d effect, and, in some cases, are caused discomfort by it.

There are several tests for this condition, with one of the easiest being being to hold a finger up on a distant object with both eyes open. Close each eye in turn, and, in a normal person, the finger will appear to move left and right due to the effect of parallax. In a stereoblind individual, this does not work properly. For example, if your right eye is completely dominant, the apparent finger position is the same with only the right eye open as with both eyes open. You only get the parallax effect when you close the right eye and force the left eye to actually work.

What I am getting at with this wall of text is this: People who have issues with 3D are not just whiners and pussies. They are people with actual medical conditions which prevent them from using 3D at the very least, and may cause acute discomfort as well. For this reason, people will always need to be given an option of 2D. 1 percent of the population is one thing, but 8,9,10 or more percent of the population is another story entirely.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 134

I don't understand why anyone compares the internet and social media to addiction.

Understand that one of the hallmarks of addiction is the process of fulfilling the addiction is overwhelming and interferes with other aspects of an individual's life. If you spend every waking moment trying to obtain your next 'fix', whatever that may be, then you suffer from an addiction.

In the fairly recent past, I have had to terminate employees due to sneaking phones into work so they could hide and play with Facebook. I even fired one when I walked into my locked office, the door had been jimmied open, and an employee (aged over 30, by the way) was on my office computer on Facebook. He paid for a new door, too.

The people that were fired for sneaking in the phones were not fired out of hand. They had warning after warning, and had signed acknowledgments of the new handbook policies prohibiting cellular phones for non-management personnel. If anything, I probably was more lenient than I should have been. And lest you think that management got away with it, I fired several members of management, including my assistant manager, over varying degrees of the same thing.

This was during the time period of 2008 - 2010, and the interesting thing is that the majority of employees that required discipline for social media/text messaging issues were over 25, and many over 30. Certainly old enough to know this shit is not acceptable.

Comment: Re:And the moral of today's story is... (Score 1) 611

by fat bastard of doom (#38151760) Attached to: Baker Has to Make 102,000 Cupcakes For Grouponers
No, customers are not rational beings. Despite this, you have a promotion that is either time limited or numerically limited. That is the very definition of a promotion; it is limited and it ends. Despite their general lunacy, most customers understand this. You, as a manager enforcing these limits, are beholden to your superiors, who are beholden to all stakeholders. It is your and your company's job to balance the intent of the promotion with the execution of the discounts. If the intent is to move that product out then, by all means, run a no limit sale. There are plenty of them, and I see nothing wrong with that. Simple examples are dollar or percent off sales on a particular item for a set amount of time, generally to move out the product.

This does not mean that, when the promotion ends, you keep giving the discount out to all and sundry. This is counterproductive. Your normal sales price is set where it is for a reason. Limited promotions are used because of this. As mentioned earlier, there is a set number of discounts that a company decides that it is able to absorb. If number is 100, and you give out 750, this heavily affects the net profit. Also, if you make these kind of exceptions once, you are expected to do it for everyone, every time.

It should also be of note that customer loyalty is not involved when dealing with the 'steep discount' crowd. They are wedded to the discounts and, other than some slight level of brand preference, they will shop where the price is the lowest. It is not possible to sustain a business with the dubious 'loyalty' of these customers unless you are in the business of discounted retail or food. Take a look at the behavior of some people when it comes to gas prices. I have heard it said more than once that gasoline is the only product in which people will go miles out of their way and waste time in order to save pennies.

I own and operate a grocery business, and do not use coupons for all of the reasons that have been brought up. I use limited time targeted price reductions, and these are effective for what I need, which is to move out old product. I do not use sales to encourage people to shop because, when all is said and done, my prices undercut the chain grocery stores by quite a bit. If I go much lower than my regular prices I make no money. Not only do I not make money, but the customers come in to buy the sale items and nothing else, and I never see them again. None of them convert to loyal customers.

Back to the coupon example from Hardee's. This was a real example which, unfortunately, was more common than you might think. I spent 12 to 15 hours in the store 5 days a week. Do you think that my regular customers tried that? No, they did not. Do you think that, even if I gave that massive discount that I would ever see them again? No, I would not. People that try this sort of thing are generally people that found a stack of coupons and wanted something for nothing. Now, though the coupons were limited to 1 per customer, I had a policy to let them use multiple coupons in the order as long as they did not stack. They are going to use them at some point, so why not let them use them all at once. My hard line stance came from the stacking of multiple coupons affecting the same item and people wanting the limited BOGO coupon discount constantly with no coupons.

Something else to think about, and this applies to retail as well as fast food. As a manager, your allowable payroll generally derives from the sales. This often does not take excess coupons into account. If you turn in $250.00 in coupons and you actually gave $1000.00 in discounts, your allowable payroll takes a hit. This affects your ability to properly serve your customers.

Naturally, I am not any more likely to change your mind than your are to change mine. We are on opposite sides of the fence, and there is certainly room for both opinions. I would, however, like to do something that is rare here. I would like to thank you for an interesting and thought provoking discussion.

Comment: Re:And the moral of today's story is... (Score 1) 611

by fat bastard of doom (#38144852) Attached to: Baker Has to Make 102,000 Cupcakes For Grouponers
No, you don't grant as many discounts as the customers want. You certainly do not offer the discount to anyone who walks in the door, whether they have the coupon or not. Offering the discount without the coupon should be used as a last resort, and at the discretion of a manager or owner, in order to keep a repeat customer.

There is generally a set amount of profit that a company is either willing or able to leave on the table when designing a discount campaign. With coupons, for example, a company will generally set a certain number of discounts. This is because the executives, owners, or whoever makes the decisions, has decided that there is a specific number of discounts that can be given out before the cost of the promotion gets out of hand. Though you may not think so, in many cases coupon discounts bring an item close to cost.

In my earlier example, that $1.99 hamburger coupon actually cost me about $1.85 to make. This accounts for its proper share of costs, including food cost, labor, utilities, insurance, advertising, and so forth. The only thing that figure does not include is the taxes. Retail can be similar, depending on the item being sold. Something with an MSRP of $50.00 may have a wholesale cost of $15.00. That may sound like a lot of profit, but overhead and other costs can quickly send the actual cost well upwards of $30.00. Giving everyone that walks in the door that 30% off coupon doesn't sound so pleasant now, does it?

I am not trying to be an asshole, nor am I trying to personally attack anyone. Unfortunately, you probably either 1.) have never been in a high enough level management position to understand certain aspects of business and/or 2.) have never taken bachelor's or masters level business administration courses, in particular, cost accounting, supply chain management, and applicable marketing courses. I have. I left my restaurant to finish my MBA. I have held several senior management positions in my life, and dealing with these issues was my bread and butter for years.

Comment: Re:And the moral of today's story is... (Score 1) 611

by fat bastard of doom (#38142932) Attached to: Baker Has to Make 102,000 Cupcakes For Grouponers
Actually, I used to be the General Manager for an extremely high volume Hardee's. One of those nice 24 hour jobs off of a major interstate. We had the problem with people trying to fuck us over with coupons and getting aggressive about it. For example, we had shit like people trying to combine a BOGO Thickburger coupon with a $1.99 Thickburger coupon, and then with a free fries with purchase of Thickburger coupon, and then trying to use a free drink coupon. NO! NO! Fuck you very much. Not happening. Period. You do not get two big bags of food for two bucks.

They would try to bully their way with the coupons with my crew and my management staff. I started throwing them out on their asses, and sometimes not in a pleasant way, depending on how pissy they were getting. Coupons plainly state the limits on them and that they can not be combined with any other offer. This includes combo pricing, assholes. The other thing that they would try is to keep the coupons. Sorry. No coupon, no discount. Fuck you very much for coming in. Expired coupon? No. Fuck you!

You know what the funny thing was? This didn't affect my customer count and sales. Most people trying to screw businesses over with coupons and discounts are not regular customers. You will not see them unless they can get something free or highly discounted.

Thank these Extreme Couponers for this shit. Fuck them.

Comment: Re:Definitely an (Score 1) 212

by fat bastard of doom (#31986296) Attached to: McAfee To Pay For PC Repairs After Patch Fiasco
I was always taught that, in the case of a proper name in a case like this, it would be Priuses. If you had a brand name called Fungus, for instance, the plural would be Funguses and not Fungi, and similarly the Ford Focus would be Focuses and not Foci. I could be wrong, but I don't feel like getting out a textbook.
Space

Geomagnetic Storm In Progress 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the sky-is-falling dept.
shogun writes "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a strong geomagnetic storm is in progress. The shuttle, ISS and GPS systems may be affected." They think this storm was caused by a weak solar flare on April 3rd. As you may expect, this has caused some unusually impressive northern lights since it started. What you may not expect is a photograph from Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the International Space Station showing the aurora from orbit. He apparently tweets a lot of pictures from space. He and his crewmates have taken over 100,000 pictures since coming aboard the ISS.
Earth

Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic 807

Posted by kdawson
from the so-many-notes-mister-mozart dept.
DJRumpy writes "The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.

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