Friday, November 28, 2014

Hello to my potential future employer

I'm dashing off a job application right now.

For the record I'm an adjunct lecturer in one of my roles, an external consultant academic in another, and a private contractor (skydive instructor) in a third. I'm not going behind any employer's back here.

Welcome. On my CV and Cover letter I made a whole bunch of points about why I would suit you and I addressed the six selection criteria you put forward. But really, if you want to find out what you're getting, a Google search on "Cullen Habel Adelaide" will give it to you, warts and all.

A ramble through this blog and my range of others (that you can get to from "View my complete profile" on the left) might show you more than you want but that's one of the things about me.

Very few secrets.

I hope you feel like you want to talk to me more.


Friday, November 14, 2014

A buddy's thankyou: why not wine?

I let a buddy borrow one of my skydiving rigs last week and when I got it back it came with a thanks. A nice bottle of wine.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A dull ache of loss

Nothing is more permanent than change. Except death. Death is forever. If you have a faith that says otherwise then I envy you, sort of, and faith is good. But to me, death is final.

All of my major losses have been pretty minor compared to this one.

My Uncle Mac died, that was real. Robbie died skydiving - a tragedy. My compadre Andre returned to Chile and my good mate Michael went to Queensland.

But the dull ache of remembering that my mum won't see this blog, or pick up if I call that number or be there to give a shit when it's all about me. Fuck, nothing compares to that.

I suppose it is now the new normal. I thank God that I have my sister. An echo of what once was. Forget that there have been times where we couldn't stand to share the same air.

All small stuff. It had been the same with Mum at times. We've just gone with it and been lucky that the ace of spades didn't flip when we hated each other. Luck is a blessing.

Nothing is more permanent than change. Except death.

Service Quality: Assurance, Reliability and blah blah

Two service experiences over the last week - one with a taxi company and one with a restaurant. And it draws me back to a seminal paper in services marketing by Parasuraman Zeithaml and Berry called SERVQUAL.

These people argued that when you're trying to deliver good service, your customers evaluate you on a number of things: Tangibles, Reliability, Assurance, Responsiveness, Empathy.

I'm sure we've all been a service staff in the situation where it's all gone to shit. The system has failed and all you've got left is to be the most caring and helpful (under the circumstances) service person you can be. Yep that's you trying to make up for bad Tangibles, Reliability, Assurance and Responsiveness with supremely good Empathy.

So, my good story.
I called a taxi under an hour ago to get me to Melbourne airport. They took my call quickly, they turned up quickly the cab was nice, the driver was good. And for assurance I got this:

The fact that they turned up on time ticked the fifth box - reliability.

But last week I ordered a rare steak at the Maid and Magpie hotel. 
  • The staff were pleasant but our food waitress didn't write anything down. My sister and myself agreed this is one of the more annoying thing about hipster food service. Assurance - fail.
  • My rare steak came out well done. Probably because the waitress had not recorded that aspect in her memory - reliability fail. Tangibles fail.
  • Waitress tells me the chef is very sorry - nice try at empathy but we know that it's your mistake. The new steak was on the way.
  • We got to where my brother and sister had just about finished the meal in this (pretty quiet) bistro and I checked up. Responsiveness fail.

Upon finding it will "just be five minutes" I got a bit tetchy:

"Five minutes? Say these words to the chef: it takes five minutes to cook a rare steak"

So, I never got my steak. I cancelled it even though they were offering it for free by that time, went home and ate some Kransky sausage.

So, good service is a system thing. Being nice to your customers is only one fifth of what matters. If you fall over on the other stuff, your attempts at empathy are just embarrassing.

Maid and Magpie you can contact me if you like.

Monday, November 10, 2014

At last - a bigger mouth than mine

Fate has it that I'm in St Kilda in Melbourne to run focus groups tonight and tomorrow night. Fate also had it that I had to get some notes, which takes me to Acland st and the walk back included the St Kilda Esplanade.

And here was Luna Park and the Palaus theatre! As I get older I just learn new shit. Most often by accident.