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Comment Rediculous, but nothing new (Score 4, Interesting) 251

I worked tech support for Time Warner about 5 years ago. We were not 'required' to sell, but we were most certainly pushed to. We were reminded constantly, and people who did sell a lot were praised while the rest of us got the 'why aren't you more like this guy?' treatment. Our calls were randomly selected for review, and if there wasn't 'sufficient' effort put into selling, we were criticized heavily. In these reviews, it seems selling was weighted more heavily than whether we actually solved the issue properly or according to procedure, since nobody really gave you guff for failing to satisfy a customer's tech needs as long as you didn't piss them off. You would think that sending onsite techs out to jobs that could have been solved over the phone would get you in trouble. But as long as you sell, sell, sell, you got a gold freakin star. You ever wonder why you are on hold for so long? Because techs are trying to sell shit after they fix the customer's problem instead of hanging up the damn phone and taking the next call. Multiply that by 30+ calls per tech, 3 or so minutes per call, and you see what a giant waste of time that is. I left that horrible job after six months. I spoke with one of my old coworkers who lasted a little longer than I did, and he said nearly half of the 'veteran' techs left shortly after I had, some of them quite spectacularly. ID badges were thrown, "fuck this sales bullshit" was heard often. These bloody companies have dedicated sales staff, why load down techs with this shit?

Comment Losing battle? (Score 1) 169

For a company of decent size, having some sort of mandatory training may be in the realm of possibility, but good luck with all of the small business (20 employees) out there. My company provides IT services to these types of businesses, mostly medical practices. There is no way to do anything other than individual, one-on-one training, and then only after something has already gone wrong. The owners don't want to pay for our time, and the staff are simply too damn busy to deal with it. This could just be a medical office thing, but I doubt it. It seems like simply being a "business" is itself a hindrance to instilling safe habits. At least with my home user clients, I have the time to educate them in a way that resonates. Back when I was in school, "computer class" was typing, a little BASIC, and that's about it. I wonder if there is anything in the current curriculum regarding safe surfing and proper security practices?

Comment AT&T needs to get their sh!t together (Score 4, Interesting) 129

So what if they got fiber to everyone, everywhere? They would still be a nightmare to deal with. Business class is a joke; slow speeds, charging the customer for an onsite visit to fix AT&T problems (assuming they don't just tell you to fix it yourself), about a dozen different phone numbers to pick from and a truly epic automated phone-tree when trying to get support, etc. Home service isn't much better. I had U-verse a couple of years ago when they first rolled it out to my neighborhood. 24mb down, 3mb up. Worked pretty well, except with streaming services. I eventually went back to the cable company (faster and cheaper). Last week, some AT&T sales reps knocked on my door, claiming they had just added new connection to my neighborhood. I asked, "U-verse?" They said yes. I told them I had that a couple of years ago and they looked totally stumped. They were not even aware that U-verse was already well established and that half of my complex already used it. Just for fun, I checked the website to see what upgrades they may have made. LOL, now the max U-verse speed in my neighborhood is *slower* than what I had previously. AT&T can promise whatever they want, but until I can see it, I will absolutely not believe it.

Comment Re:I wonder what their real understanding is (Score 4, Interesting) 267

Those responsible in the NSA must have lost their minds completely and worked themselves into a mind-set where everybody is the enemy.

Yep. Everyone IS our enemy. We have completely lost our post-WWII advantage of being the only industrial power worth a damn. The world is catching up. If we want to maintain our "exceptionalism", we must consider every last nation a competitor. This means treating even our friends as rivals. It's pretty fucking stupid, but there it is.

Comment Re:I live a block away (Score 1) 961

i can't believe i'm having a reasoned discussion on /. anyways... 1) fair enough 2) they have a 'media team' for the livestream, but yah, they tend to get in the middle of it all. i've been thinking the same thing as you about this... 3) another problem with disorganization. the general assemblies held at the campsite are a good start for explaining the rules, but only the people there overnight hear any of that. 4) woops. Downtown. point conceded on the numbers, but still. 11 consecutive days can't be all that common..

Comment Re:I live a block away (Score 1) 961

1) they never claimed to have 20k. that was a goal, not an estimate. 2) smartphones/cameras. what exactly do you suggest they use instead? sketch artists? 3) yes the Cops in general are being professional. but, the protestors, for the most part, don't 'hate' the cops. many are protesting on the behalf of the Cops as well (chants of "we are the 99%, you are the 99%") 4) the Police have said that certain structures are allowed, provided they don't block NYPD line of sight (tents below a certain height, umbrellas, etc.) 5) Major Media is, or at least was, avoiding coverage. 11 days of anywhere from 150 to over 1000 people, often blocking traffic, many camping out, prompting large police presence, in Midtown freaking Manhattan is absolutely newsworthy, whether its 'disorganized' or not.

Comment cableCARD ready tvs (Score 2) 439

i worked as tech support for a cable company in souther california. the only guy who was honest about the specific flaws of each model of box was the guy who trained us. he told us what problems to expect and how often, basically saying that all the boxes in one way or another were crap, even the 'new' ones. according to him, the main reason the company did not allow customer owned boxes, was because most of them were not compatible with our proprietary software. (read into that what you will) his sincere desire, for the good of the customer and the sanity of the tech support people, was for tv manufacturers to get off their butts and develop 2-way cableCARD ready TVs. do away with the box all together. at the time, there were TVs capable of using cableCARDs, but only 1-way, meaning no on-demand or pay-per-view. eventually, TVs with 2-way function and internal HDDs will come along, but who knows what roadblocks are delaying this...

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"