News and Reviews
I woke up this morning and realized it was Thursday. I immediately started thinking of all the things I “Had” to do today and then realized it has been more than a few weeks since I took the time to post my “Thoughts for Thursday”.
Make no mistake, I have had many Thoughts over the weeks, but either haven’t been able to find the time to share them or realized that some of my Thoughts don’t or shouldn’t be shared. My general aches and pains, what I ate for lunch, the hot weather, why my clothes appear to be shrinking, -not all of these need to be offered up for public consumption. So, I do everyone a favor and try to keep my opinions on a great many things to myself.
That brings us directly to where my Thoughts settled for this post, but first a bit of Computer Greeks’ related news.
Beginning tomorrow, we will update our Mask Policy to reflect the current advice of the CDC and the State of Illinois. Vaccinated Customers and Employees will not need to wear a mask in the store. If you have a mask you really, really like, didn’t brush your teeth today, and still want to wear one- you go right ahead. No worries.
We will still be asking those who have not yet gotten the Vaccine to be considerate and wear a mask and that our customers still give space to others. I’ve really appreciated the increase in Personal Space and was never a great fan of Close Talkers. I can hear you fine from over here thanks anyway.
We will not be performing antibody tests to confirm if someone were Vaccinated or not although there could be a short quiz with an essay section added at a later date.
So, this is the Honor System and I trust everyone will behave accordingly. I could not imagine a person who has not been Vaccinated, that would choose to lie about it and not wear a mask when that could even remotely endanger someone else just for their own convenience.
Ahem, Cough, Cough. Moving on…
As I was saying, Having Opinions and Sharing Them. The modern era and the advent of the Internet has made our ability to share our thoughts and opinions easier than ever before. When I was a kid, you had to find a Stone Tablet and spend the better part of the day Chiseling your thoughts onto it. It was a huge time commitment and believe me, those things are heavy, so putting your thoughts onto a Tablet was something you really had to want.
But today, you can pull out your phone and start Thumb-Typing away in no time so everyone can see your thoughts in near real-time- for better or for worse, with very little time spent considering your actions.
When you have a small business, you are very sensitive to the thoughts and opinions that others share about you that we have come to call “Online Reviews”.
Yelp, Google, Bing, Facebook, Angie’s List, BBB, and many more- offer the consumer a chance to share their experiences. Good, Bad, or Indifferent- you can tell anyone who wants to read your Review what you think.
This is not a bad thing.
Honest reviews are a great tool for anyone wanting to ensure that their Next Meal, Contractor, Doctor, Karaoke Session, Lambada Lesson, or Computer Repair Experience is the best it can be. I use Review Sites everyday to make choices both big and small and I love the ability to have the input from others to help make my decisions.
But there are some serious issues here to note.
Number 1- Who leaves reviews? Much of the time, you will find reviews tend toward Polar Opposite Opinions. You mostly get the 5 Star- “This is the Best Thing Ever”, and the 1 Star- “I would rather Live with My Mother-In-Law” Reviews. This trend goes to the fact that you need to be Motivated to leave a Review in the first place. You may not have to pull out the Old Stone Tablet these days, but it still takes a few minutes to jot down your thoughts on a site.
This is the Best and everyone needs to know or this is the Worst and everyone needs to know are the primary reasons people post their Reviews to begin with. You will see some of the Middle Ground Reviews as well, many of those can be chalked up to people who simply like reviewing stuff.
It is fun to be an amateur Food or Movie Critic and think that our opinions matter and are helping to guide the lives of others. I like to think that my “Thoughts for Thursday” are actually read by more than 6 people, but in reality, I know they don’t amount to much more than my own personal entertainment. I don’t think my wife even reads them- (Hi, Steph!) And that’s fine. I can still hold out hope that one day some Newspaper will read this and realize my untapped potential, offer me a column that will eventually become Syndicated Nationwide and I can be the next Dear Abby or Li’l Abner. Did he write a column? Maybe I’m thinking of someone else, anyway-
Number 2- Taking time to Think First. The ease and speed at which we can share our Reviews online can sometimes be a problem. There is an old adage, “Slow to Anger, Quick to Forgive”. When we get mad we may say and do things that later on we regret. Happens all the time to me at the store and sadly, I have not always been the most patient and professional person that I would like to be over the last 25 years.
There are stories that I could tell you of things I’ve said to people (who honestly started it and deserved to be told mean things but that doesn’t make it ok and I feel like I’m trying to get my mom not to ground me) that I won’t because while absolutely hilarious today, still makes me feel bad that I acted that way so many years ago.
Leave a bad Review as a quick reaction to being really mad is understandable, but after a day or two to think about things, you might not feel the same way and may regret your “Choice of Words” as I have.
Last week I called a florist to send an arrangement to a wake that was out of state. It was for the sister of the husband of the cousin of my wife, so a slightly indirect family member, but we still wanted them to know we sympathized and supported them during this time.
We didn’t get notice of the date of the wake until the night before, so when I contacted the florist the next morning it was the day of and options were limited. They told me they could not do flowers in time, but that they could put together a plant that would be appropriate and delivered on time.
I was glad they could get something on such short notice, but given the circumstance, no pictures of what they would send was available. (Their website didn’t have any pictures of arrangements at all- everything was order by phone).
A few days after the wake, my wife’s cousin contacted her to thank us for thinking of them when they honestly didn’t even know we were aware of things. It was a nice to hear they had gotten things delivered in time, but then they sent my wife a picture of the arrangement.
A plant like thing with a palm tree looking thing growing out of it. Interesting, I thought and not a big deal given the short time provided.
Our issue was with the Tropical Bird in a Nest on top of the Tree Like Thing and the Giant Pink Bow that adorned the basket it came in.
It’s a Frickin’ Wake.
What did people think we were trying to say? Sorry for your loss, but isn’t this Parrot in a Nest and the Pink Bow from a “Congratulations on your Baby Girl” going to cheer you up?
What was the conversation at the florist after I hung up? “This idiot wants us to get something to a wake that’s later today.” “How about that leftover Baby Bow, the Plant from the Lobby, and the Parrot in a Nest from our Tropical Office Party last month?” “Perfect! They live out of state and won’t even be there.”
I’m pretty sure that’s the way it went down, so now the question is what should I do about it?
Leave pictures and a scathing Review to show them my displeasure? Many people might do just that, but I chose to call them and explain what happened and my confusion over their choice in Aviary Accessories and Pretty Pink Death Bows. I gave them a chance to hear from me (something every business really wants, especially if they’ve fallen short on expectations) and to tell me what they thought about it. They were polite and explained that they send something like this all the time to a wake and it wasn’t out of place.
Now they are in North Carolina and told me that this was normal for “Here”, so maybe I’m just not clued in on the Culture or Traditions Down South? (North Carolina is still “South” even though it’s got “North” in the name, right?)
Did I leave the negative review complete with pictures and my characteristic scathing sarcasm?
No. I didn’t want to cause damage to a business for this level of an issue. It wasn’t that level of mad after giving it a few days and to be honest, it makes for a pretty funny story going forward.
Number 3- Liars and Fakes. I got an email a couple of days ago that we had received two new reviews on Google that were both 1 Star.
Two reviews, the Same Day, from two accounts that have never left another review of anything ever. So interesting.
It causes me a great deal of upset when we receive a bad review for several reasons. Is this going to hurt the business? Did we fail to do our jobs properly? Did we not treat someone correctly? So I rush to read the review and see if we dropped the ball (or the computer) in some way only to find two 1 Star Reviews that are as Fake as most Instagram Pictures.
1- “Worse experience ever” 2- “Made pc worse then before I brought in to shop. Now a paper weight”
Ok, as mentioned, same day and no other reviews ever. Check the names with our service records- no customer by these names ever. Both are grammatically hilarious. No punctuation, can’t tell “Worst” from “Worse” which is used in both Reviews, “Paperweight” is one word, doesn’t know “Than from “Then”. (Ok, now I feel like a grammar school English teacher- where’s my Red Pen?)
What is the point of all of this? (Always a good question with any of my posts to be honest).
Someone decided (Our competition most likely- not that we really have any competition- Bite It, Circuit City!) to try to hurt our business by leaving lies that someone deciding where to go for their Computer Needs- at 12222 S Harlem Ave in Palos Heights open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday (see what I did there?) would believe.
We do everything we can to try to earn your business and making our customers satisfied is our job, but sometimes we do come up short and when that happens, I want to know.
I would prefer a phone call or to hear it in person rather than just reading about it on a review site- that gives me a chance to fix the problem, but sometimes people just want to vent, and I get that. I’ll still reply to the honest reviews asking to learn more or to have a chance to makes things right. Sometimes they reach out, sometimes not, but we do really try. It’s important even after all these years to work to be better.
The Fake Ones are still the worst. (See, it’s not “Worse”).
Those are the ones that really Grinds My Gears! (Wait, that was an old “Thoughts for Thursday” wasn’t it?) I want to reach through the internet and choke someone, but instead, all I can do is craft a clever and indignant reply that hopefully will let someone reading the Negative Lies understand the truth. So mad…
So again, What is the Point of all this Uncle Steve?
Well, I guess it’s I’m still pretty mad (about the fake 1 star reviews, not so much about the Pink Bow and Parrot), think before you post stuff that’s online forever, consider reviews when you read them and don’t just take them at face value, and in the end- think for yourself.
Now, having said all that I’m going to do something that I have never done in 25 years and that’s ask any of you who were kind enough to make your way to the end of this really long and tedious post (like that’s new) to take a few minutes and leave us a 5 Star Review. (Why would I ask for a negative review, seriously?).
Facebook- (Here we are) Google (Search for Computer Greeks- Click on Google Reviews under the listing and Write a Review) Yelp (Go to yelp.com search for Computer Greeks and Write a Review)
I would greatly appreciate the time and it would help offset the Lying Liars and their Lying Liar Reviews.
As always- Stay Well and Stay Safe, Uncle Steve