blognauseam.com lives! Plus a web browser tip

I have registered the domain name blognauseam.com because:

a) it will stop anybody else grabbing it; and

b) it will make it easier for people to remember the URL if they don’t have me bookmarked.

No changes are required to your bookmarks or links, I just redirected blognauseam.com to blog.cadnauseam.com and will continue to use blog.cadnauseam.com.

That leads me to a web browser tip. I’m sure most of you already know this, but if one or two of you go “Ah! Cool…” then it was worth typing it up. When entering a .com URL, you can save time by just typing the main part of the domain name and hitting Ctrl+Enter. Your browser will then add the http://www. prefix and .com suffix for you.

Putting the two parts of this post together, that means you can type blognauseam into your browser, hit Ctrl+Enter and you should end up right here where you started.

Customer Service 1 – McDonald’s

I have a few customer service stories to share. Most are about bad service, but one is about very good service indeed. This isn’t that story. It’s a rant, but it’s true, and it is offered here for your amusement.

A couple of years ago I took my eldest daughter L to a school friend’s party at a local fast food outlet. (It’s McDonald’s Melville, actually. I see no need to protect the guilty). As second daughter E would have been left out, I took her too. They could play on the playground together. L was being fed at the party, but I was looking after E myself. I don’t particularly like feeding them that kind of stuff, but once in a while doesn’t hurt too much.

The party was from 11:30 to 1:00. I went to order food for E and myself at about 11:55. There were queues (that’s lines to most of you) and I eventually got to the counter at about 12:05. Bear in mind that I had a four year old girl out of sight in the playground while this was going on, and although there were plenty of school mums I knew out there, it was still uncomfortable not having direct supervision. I wanted to get back out there as soon as I could, preferably with E’s food so she didn’t start getting ratty, as she does when she’s hungry.

I ordered E’s chicken nuggets & chips kid’s meal, and my double beef and bacon value meal, without any trimmings. At the same time, a woman who also had a kid at the party ordered some other stuff, including a McOz burger with extra tomato. A couple of minutes later, my tray had some of E’s stuff and my chips sitting on it. After five minutes, it also had some drinks on it. Another five minutes later, the girl said there was a delay on the burger and that she would bring it out to me, and proceeded to hand me the tray.

I put my hand on the skinny little large-surface-area fat-and-salt-magnet excuse for chips (that’s fries to most of you) that they serve at McDonald’s (“Australia’s Favourite Fries!”), and they were of course stone cold. I said, “Excuse me, do you think I could please have some warm chips?” She said “Oh, OK”, as if the idea of food going cold when left out was some kind of novelty she had never come across before, and proceeded to take away my chips and replace them. I then said, “Do you think I could have these replaced, too?”, pointing at E’s chips. Another surprised , “Oh, OK” and those got replaced too. I don’t know what the training is like at McDonald’s, but “Getting a Clue 101″ obviously isn’t one of the subjects. I didn’t bother with replacement nuggets, as I just wanted to get out there to feed and supervise my child. Likewise, I also didn’t ask for my now-partly-flat Coke to be replaced. It always comes out of the tap partly flat anyway, so what’s the difference?

So, I informed the girl that I’d be outside in the playground area and took my tray out there. E and I ate our lunches (at least as far as I could), and when we were finished there was still no sign of my burger. The woman who ordered her stuff at the same time was also waiting for her McOz with extra tomato when she finished her lunch with her kids. After a bit more waiting, I eventually decided to go back in and chase up my order. Mrs McOz asked me to follow up hers while I was in there.

I got in there to find it packed out with people waiting, and employees doing their stuff behind the counter and avoiding eye contact. Not wishing to barge in, I waited off to one side, as I could see Manager Woman with her back to me, dishing out chips into bags. I thought she would be done soon, so I waited. And waited. After she had done about 304 bags of chips, she turned around and I managed to attract her attention. I told her politely that I’d been waiting for 25 minutes for my burger, and that there was another woman outside in the same situation. She asked what the orders were for, and then she went into the kitchen to find out what’s going on. She came back out and told me she was going to have fresh ones made and brought out. I told her that I was near the playground, and that Mrs McOz was too. So out I went again.

I could see the drive-through customers being served reasonably quickly, orders coming and going even before I got to place my original order. If I had any sense, I should have abandoned the queue right then, got in my car and driven round and placed the order. So much for hindsight, on with the story.

The kids were playing away happily enough, but by the end of the party at 1:00, it was time to go. Neither missing burger had turned up. However, the clueless girl who took the order did come outside and say the Manager was sorry for the delay, the burgers would be out soon, and if we went inside we could have a free sundae. By this time, neither Mrs McOz nor myself were in the mood to hang around any longer, and certainly weren’t interested in joining the queue in the hope of eventually getting a large cup of lamb lard with added sugar, so we both declined and both requested a refund. Surprisingly politely, given the circumstances.

Another five minutes later, Miss Clueless came out with a $3.95 refund. However, she seemed completely baffled by the concept that there were two people who both needed refunds, despite the fact that she had been told about that 5 minutes earlier, so she couldn’t work out who it was supposed to be for. Eventually, I took the money, politely declined a second offer of lamb lard with added delay, and left with my kids. Mrs McOz was still waiting for her refund when I left. For all I know, one day in the distant future they will discover her skeleton and those of her kids, still sitting on that bench waiting for their $4.25 refund.

If the manager had any sense, given that she had two customers already annoyed by a 25 minute delay, she should have either done the orders herself or stood over the guys in the kitchen for the 2 minutes it takes to assemble a burger, then brought them out herself, with profuse apologies and vouchers for free stuff. The fact that she didn’t do that, and she quite astonishingly allowed the situation to repeat itself immediately after having had it brought to her attention, shows that she was even more clueless than the girl who took the order in the first place and then forgot about it. Some degree of cluelessness isn’t unusual in a 16-year-old girl working in a busy Macdonald’s, but Manager Woman was supposed to be the manager. Well, she managed to get a lot of chips into bags, so maybe that’s all that is required in that position.

Actually, that’s not quite true. She also managed to annoy not only two customers-of-the-moment, but two customers with five kids of Macdonald’s party age between them, who had actually held at least two kids’ parties there in the past, and who never will again. Plus, the other parents saw what was going on and won’t be too keen on going back. They will tell other parents, and so on. Plus, it’s now on a blog. How to lose bulk customers in one easy step.

McDonald’s Melville – The Place Where It Takes Over An Hour To Not Be Served With A Burger. Twice!

As I was leaving, we Hungry Parents had this little exchange:

Steve: “They call it fast food.”
Mrs McOz: “Faster than what?”
Steve: “Faster than starting with a cow and a field of wheat.”

New blog nauseam feature – AutoCAD tips

The top of the blog nauseam page now features a randomly selected AutoCAD tip. There are only a few at the moment, but I will be adding many more as time goes on.

Melanie is \m/ too

I’d like to thank Mistress of the Dorkness Melanie Perry for her kind welcome to the CAD blog world. I appreciate the flattering photo (from Autodesk University 2006) and felt compelled to return the favour.

Autodesk University 2006 Video

I didn’t make this video and it’s old news, but as I contributed some photos and I’m in it, I guess I’m entitled to link to it in my blog now I have one. If nothing else, you can use it to see what I look like (unfortunately). Except I now look different.

By the way, I meant everything I said in this video. Autodesk University is an awesome event.

Created by Helge Brettschneider, originally posted on Between The Lines by Shaan Hurley.

YouTube Link

Lynn Allen’s Famous Cell Phone Story

Whatever the subject, Autodesk evangelist and fellow Cadalyst writer Lynn Allen always gives a very entertaining and informative presentation. If you attend one and you’re lucky, you might get to hear this now infamous story.

This footage was taken at Autodesk University, Las Vegas, November 2006.

Sorry the sound’s not the best, you may need to turn it up a bit.

YouTube Link

How can I complain about AutoCAD wasting screen space…

…when this blog layout is wasting so much more of it? OK, I haven’t complained about AutoCAD doing that (not here, anyway). Yet. But I will.

First, I need to get my own house in order. So, expect to see this blog change its layout a few times over the next few days as I try to make the best use of your pixels. Do not be disturbed. OK, you can be disturbed if you like, but I won’t care.

AutoCAD 2009 – The Prequel Part 2 – Status Bar Left

Enough of linking to other peoples’ observations about AutoCAD 2009, here are some of mine. There is a lot I don’t like about AutoCAD 2009, and I will be covering that side of things in more detail once I have the shipping product to play with and I’m certain that the bad stuff is still there. This post is about the mostly good stuff that will definitely appear in the finished product.

AutoCAD 2009 is all about the user interface, but it’s not all about the Ribbon. There are other interface changes too, and some of them are quite welcome.

Let’s have a look at the left side of the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen. The buttons have changed from the traditional text labels to incomprehensible icons, at least until you get the hang of what they all mean. Don’t get too outraged about that, because thankfully Autodesk has allowed you to easily switch back to text labels with a couple of clicks. If you prefer to put the effort into getting used to what is the standard interface, hovering over each icon in turn will reveal a tooltip that deciphers the hieroglyphic for you.

What else is new down there? A handy way of controlling running object snaps, for one thing. Right-click on the osnap icon and you are presented with a menu that shows you what running osnaps are on and allows you to turn one of them on or off. It’s unfortunate that the menu then vanishes before giving you the chance to make more changes. It would have been nice to allow multiple changes, perhaps by holding down the Shift key or similar. It would also have been nice to have Clear All and Set All options on that menu.

This animation shows the following:

  1. The new-look status bar icons.
  2. Right-clicking on the object snap icon reveals the handy osnap menu.
  3. The boxes show which running osnaps are currently turned on.
  4. As in earlier releases, on any status bar right-click menu there is a Display item, allowing you to control the visibility of the status bar items. Note that Quick Properties is now on the list.
  5. By turning off the Use Icons item, the icons transform to text.

My next post on AutoCAD 2009 will cover what’s new on the other side of the status bar.

AutoCAD 2009 – The Prequel Part 1 – Links

AutoCAD 2009 is about a month away, but people with pre-release copies are already allowed to start talking about the product. I intend to do so soon, but for now here are a few mentions I found:

http://autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/2008/02/the-2009-produc.html
http://lynn.blogs.com/lynn_allens_blog/2008/02/autocad-2009-is.html
http://lynn.blogs.com/lynn_allens_blog/2008/02/the-autocad-200.html
http://heidihewett.blogs.com/my_weblog/2008/02/the-word-is-out.html
http://heidihewett.blogs.com/my_weblog/2008/02/autocad-2009-a.html
http://discussion.autodesk.com/thread.jspa?threadID=643193
http://discussion.autodesk.com/thread.jspa?threadID=643871
http://mistressofthedorkness.blogspot.com/2008/02/some-autocad-2009-thoughts.html
http://rcd.typepad.com/rcd/2008/02/time-flies-its.html
http://rkmcswain.blogspot.com/2008/02/autocad-2009-in-2-minutes.html
http://worldcadaccess.typepad.com/blog/2008/02/autodesk-worl-1.html
http://worldcadaccess.typepad.com/blog/2008/02/autocad-2009.html
http://www.theswamp.org/index.php?PHPSESSID=31k5jnveooq0qn8ecci6i72o34&topic=21356.0
http://forums.cadalyst.com/showthread.php?t=5808
http://thecadgeek.com/blog/2008/02/13/introduction-to-the-autocad-2009-ribbon/
http://cadit.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/02/autocad-2009–.html

How do you get a pre-release copy of AutoCAD? Well, assuming you’re not a pirate, you can join up with the Autodesk MyFeedback program. It’s too late for AutoCAD 2009, but sign up now for 2010…

Welcome to blog nauseam

This is the blog of cad nauseam owner Steve Johnson. Expect to find a somewhat strange selection of stuff about AutoCAD, music, image manipulation and video.

Graham Greene – The Vowels of the Earth

Stick with this video beyond the first minute or two, I think it’s worth it. Graham Greene’s “Happy Sinners” supporting Voyager at The Amplifier Bar, Perth, 1 Feb 2008.

Hand held video camera. Some sound distortion (brick walling) on the power stuff, but the clean guitar work sounds OK and I think the video quality is pretty good.

Artist website: www.grahamgreene.com.au

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