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January 2020

As technology improves service is getting better - Walmart!

Years ago, I ordered something from Walmart and chose order pickup.  Horrible experience, couldn’t find the order pickup, the employees couldn’t find the items for the longest time, just a mess.  Didn’t do it again.

I needed a large item and didn’t really wanted it delivered to the house, especially if they sent the wrong thing.  So I did the order pickup thing.

This time, it was heads above different.  This time, I got a text message inviting me to check in, in advance.  I did.  I got to the start on Friday morning, expecting it to be quiet and the parking lot was full.  There were three people in line in front of me.  I stood there maybe 30 seconds when a smiling employee came out and ask me if I was there for order pickup (the other three were men).  They even asked if I wanted help out!!!!

I asked if they would open the box for me as I wanted to check I got what I ordered — I did.  I asked if they would keep the packing materials.  They did, and it was a win win for all.

Love the use of technology.


What good is a degree?

This comes up in discussions a lot when you are an educator and especially in technology where a lot of people are self-taught.

The biggest thing a degree gives you if proof that you can accomplish a long term project - a bachelor's degree typically takes 4 years - with an arbitrary set of rules that can change.  It also shows your potential employer how well you can follow the rules.  If you get a bachelor's degree in 4 years vs. 5 years, for example.  Now there are good exceptions to the 4 year thing -- if you show that you were supporting a family while getting that degree that can be impressive.

Having the degree means a lot if an employer is looking for someone that is going to be a team member for multiple years.  I was hired by Texas Instruments as someone they wanted to invest time and energy into.  I spent a lot of time learning the next thing working there.

A degree isn't necessary for contract work, but that employer is not looking for a long term employee -- they are looking for someone who has a specific set of skills, and they are not investing training, etc.  You come in, you do the thing and you are out.  I've done that too.

So the answer is: do you want to have a long term career with a company and grow with it, or do you just want to come in and do a job?


It shouldn't take a degree in C.S. to use an app

I am opposed to using a credit card at a gas pump.  I'm fairly sure my identity has been stolen at one at least once in my life.  Also at a hotel in west Fort Worth, and at a Chili's in North Dallas.

I got spoiled on my trip to Boston, all the pumps took Apple Pay.

The easiest gas station for me to use (across from my gym), is one I worry about have card skimmers.  I've been working hard to find pumps that take Apple Pay.  Thought the Chevron did near the house, and while it has the symbol, I couldn't get it to work.

Today I tried to use the "new" Exxon/Mobile + app.  Supposedly it works with Apple Pay and supposedly it works with credit cards, but not today at that station.  I ended up sitting down and reading it in my car before I pumped gas to get it to work at all --> collect points.

So I still had to run my card through the reader to get it to work.  It honestly should say in advance if it isn't going to work.

One the other hand, the McDonald's app worked flawlessly this morning in Cleburn, Texas.  So I have that.