Who Will Driverless Cars Decide To Kill?

In philosophy, there’s an ethical question called the trolley problem. If you had to push one large person in front of a moving trolley to save a group of people on the tracks, would you? This abstract idea has taken hold in programming self-driving cars: what happens if it’s impossible to avoid everyone?

–Who Will Driverless Cars Decide To Kill? | Australian Popular Science


WordPress 4.3 “Billie”

Well WordPress officially release a new version just now.  Version 4.3, Bilie, named for jazz singer Billie Holiday.  The wonderful Konstantin Oberland led this release.  Though I am not involved much with core WordPress; my observations, and feedback I have seen and heard, tell me that he was on top of things and managed a superb release.

I  have already updated this site and look forward to playing with the new features!  So many wonderful features baked in to this release.  Well, time to get to playing!

For  more information about the new release, check out this summary: https://wordpress.org/news/2015/08/billie/

Philosophy of Support

Recently in discussions with other support professionals the question of a Philosophy of Support came up.  I always enjoy reading books and blog posts about providing the best support.  I will be creating a page providing a list of these soon.

After many years of working in varying support roles, I have developed my personal opinion on how support should be done.  I was recently referred to a few books to read up on support and clarify my own philosophy; such as, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.  I was pleasantly surprised to find Tony’s opinions very much in line with my own.

I have worked in support centers where the number one metric was the average length of a phone call.  Those who could go from “Hello” to waiting for the next call in under 10 minutes, were the stars.  This did not work for me at all.  I believe in taking time with the customer and making sure the issue is resolved.  The philosophy of low call time, is a very poor metric to focus on.  Don’t get me wrong, someone who takes forever to resolve every issue, is also a problem.  However, pushing for short call times does not guarantee resolution of an issue.  Some calls need to be long and some can be handled quickly.

The two most important items when working through a support case is to understand the question being asked and to satisfy the customer in whatever way is available to you.  Hopefully you have many options at your disposal and great flexibility to make the customer happy.

Zappos does not focus on call time, but rather on a satisfied customer.  In Delivering Happiness Tony records a truly special moment, which I believe truly exemplifies the principle of making the customer happy.  Tony was at a Skechers conference and with a group of friends called room service to order pizza.  They were informed that room service had stopped delivering hot food several hours prior. Tony convinced his friend from Skechers to call Zappos to try to order a pizza.  The Zappos rep patiently took in all the information about the situation, put the Skechers rep on hold, and returned shortly with information on Pizza places near the hotel that were still open and delivering.

This is what it means to focus on customer satisfaction and not some internal metric like call time.  While I don’t recommend calling Zappos to order a pizza, I have told about my own personal experience with them in the past.  I continue to see a company that exemplifies the support and service values that I see as so integral to maintaining a strong customer relationship.

Have you developed a philosophy of support over the years?  Do you find your philosophy in line with mine, or opposed?  I would love to hear your opinion.

Gotta love the Oxford Comma Fans!

I was just listening to a great WordPress related podcast, Dradcast.  I was happy to hear from Sarah Gooding of WPTavern that Matt Mullenweg is just as obsessive about the oxford comma as I am!  I’ve said this in many places before, but I will say it again; the oxford comma saves lives!

Let's eat kids. Let's eat, kids.  Use a comma. Save lives.
Commas Save Lives!

Dream Job

A common question during a job interview is “What is your dream job?” or more often, “What does your ideal job look like?”  This is a question I have given a lot of thought to recently.

I know that I have enjoyed my jobs until now. Most people are not unhappy with their jobs. Sure, there are always things you would tweak, but you’re not unhappy!

So what does that ideal dream job look like? Here’s my definition of a dream job:

If you won the $500 million Powerball jackpot, would you show up to work?

I can definitely think of jobs that I can do and want to do.  If I had such a job; that was truly enjoyable, I would not quit.  I think that job will differ from person to person, but there are some basic ideas that are probably consistent.  Some people do the things they love for a living.  Maybe you like tinkering with cars; you might be working as a mechanic.  Maybe you like working with wood, you might be building wood crafts for people.

I think a critical part of a job being a dream job is that you have a hard time telling the difference between a hobby and a job.  That you miss your job when you’re not there. And finally, that you could win a massive Powerball jackpot and still come back to work.  I know a few people in that situation, and I hope to get into that place myself.

What is your dream job?  What job would you stick with even if you became an overnight multi-millionaire?