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Lower 9th Ward: March 2006

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« We Must Have The Important Stuff Covered | Main | FISA Lawsuit Hope »

December 03, 2008


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This is awesome. I'm not thinking that those ideas were vetted by the head folks, but the fact people are willing to listen makes me happy.

True story: I had a problem with my imac in which instead of going to sleep, it shut off. I tried to get it fixed three times and each time, the kid tweaked something in the system to keep it awake longer, but never really fixed it. Finally, I heard from a friend that there was something about this online. Turns out, it was a flaw in the design and they had done a recall on them.

I tried to get in on the recall, only to find out that I was about two months outside of the window for when they'd allow it, even though it was the problem they outlined and my serial number fit the range of recalled units. I called the help line and was told to fuck off in no uncertain terms. Finally, I saw online that Steve Jobs had actually posted his personal email address and that if you were at all unhappy about anything Apple, you should email him.

I sent the email, explained the problem and figured I'd get the "thank you for your concern" email. Instead, I got a call from a VP type guy in executive relations. We hooked up, he took down my info and said he'd look into it. A week or so later, he said he would call the local Apple store and authorize the repairs. Full coverage. He said he and Mr. Jobs appreciated my loyalty and hoped this was satisfactory.

I don't believe for a second that Steve Jobs ever saw that email. That said, I know they fixed the problem and that someone above the Time/Life operator of doom was willing to look at my issue and try to solve it.

I don't think Obama's checking site traffic or reading emails at night sent by random folks. That said, it looks like someone important is working to get a solution. So happy about that.

I looked at that invitation to express my ideas, then noted that over a thousand had already done so, and not wanting to read all thousand of the previous comments, I just passed the opportunity. In fact I find it very hard to believe that anyone actually sat down and read all three thousand comments, taking notes, totaling the number that wanted free liposuction, etc., and finally produced a report summarizing the experience. That is just a huge amount of reading to do.

I'm still impressed that Obama did that, and I hope after taking office that he continues to do that, with an adequate staff to actually make use of the comments received. This is still like an out-of-body experience for me - competency and caring in the Oval Office isn't something I can remember or ever dreamed of getting.

They solicited input by email too and my Mom responded. She started nursing school in 1948 so she's got some ideas on health care. She was excited about it. I'm not sure blog comments or having a website are the important thing (don't something like 90% of readers online never comment?) so much as just asking people, all people, what they think. It's a sign of respect if you listen, even if you don't agree.

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