Anyone really care?

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So, there is supposedly one of the biggest sporting spectacles on Earth starting today (really is started a couple days ago with a soccer game) and I have to admit, I could care less. Like, I won’t even go out of my way one iota to see what is going on with the competition.

Does anyone really care about the Tokyo Olympics?

I mean, obviously, the athletes do but beyond that is there anyone left that really cares all that much?

I used to love the Olympics when I was younger and I can’t completely put my finger on the reason I don’t care about it now, but maybe it is because there is just too much attention paid to the athletes themselves and their only concern is really on themselves rather than representing the country for which they compete. I know for sure I could care not a lick for the politics and social agenda being injected into the sports.

Or maybe it’s the fact that the cities/countries that host the games are expected to spend HUGE amounts of money to build modern, spectacular facilities and new infrastructure to support the games. The spending has gotten ridiculous – money that could be spent elsewhere – all for the sake of impressing the world for a short period of time. After the Olympics are over, some of the facilities are converted for public use and others are just abandoned.

There is no luster left in the competition, despite the Olympic committee trying to generate it. At least, there isn’t any for me.

I am curious then, who is still interested (let alone excited) for the Olympics? If it still gets your attention, why? If you are no longer interested like me, what was it that caused you to practically ignore that it was even taking place?

Ad-versary

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Facebook, you are doing it to yourself. The revolt against you and your policies, oh and your very very underhanded and sneaky use of people’s data, are going to do you in. You still have an audience, but people are growing tired of being suspicious of everything you do in the background and they just want some safety and privacy from your all invasive practices.

No one wants to be bombarded by advertising. No one wants to be tracked everywhere they physically go and no one wants to be tracked where they go digitally either. So, this little deal you got going on here shouldn’t fool too many people…except that it likely will.

Perhaps Apple is actually trying to protect people and their data. Perhaps they are just making room for their own tracking and advertising. I haven’t a clue. But what I do know, is that I like the way Apple has shown that they are trying to protect people’s data. That goes a long way in trust, something Facebook doesn’t have and likely won’t have (for sure from me).

Facebook is scrambling to adjust over new alerts coming from Apple in the near future that will let people adjust how they get advertising from Facebook by opting out of tracking (or in, depending on how you view this approach). In essence, it will block tracking data so you don’t get “personalized” ads. I am all for that!

Actually, I don’t like ads at all. I’d rather not have my feed filled with ads that some company thinks I might be interested in. I could totally do without. I’d even consider paying a small fee to go ad free. But, at the same time, if I am going to pay a fee to not see ads I would also expect that I am not going to be censored for my views, thoughts, beliefs, etc.

Apple and Facebook have taken an adversarial approach to how they are going to work together and I like it. Big tech and other companies should have to fight over customers and the more people make them work for their dollars the better off we are as consumers. But we as consumers need to be smart about how we give our business to these companies in order to make them compete for it, otherwise we get all-encompassing monopolies who then dominate the marketplace and make up new rules and charge ridiculous fees because they have no one to oppose them.

I like what Apple is doing here. I hope they aren’t just trying to make space for their own scheme. But for now, I am glad to see Facebook about to take it in the nose for their privacy and data collection practices.

They actually deserve it.

Stepping back

photo of pathway surrounded by fir trees

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So, there was a pissing match and I didn’t want any part of it.

Turns out that the extra effort to prove me wrong wasn’t just about proving me wrong but to vindicate herself to another teammate too. As a result, a pissing match and tension.

I just decided to step back and not play along.

You can do your thing and the other can do their thing…but tell me what I m supposed to do to help clients when the info wasn’t readily available nor was it clear that there was much more involved than simply running a report on the data.

The problem with pissing matches is that everyone gets burned.

Weird play on words, but it’s true.

Have you stepped into something recently only to realize you best step back rather than get into the middle of it?

Savings

abundance bank banking banknotes

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Anyone else notice that banks, the place that needs money more than anyone to do the business of money, does nothing to encourage savings? I mean, well, they do give it lip service but that doesn’t really count.

A bank is a place to put money, to store it or save it. That’s what they were originally created for. It was safer to have it stored in one place where they could keep it safe and then when people needed it they could go there to get it out.

As time went along, the banks figured out they could make money by loaning out the money people deposited with them and then charging interest on the loan, thus making it a profitable venture to store money.

As banks increased the amount they loaned out, they needed more and more people to “invest” with them and they used the new capital to loan more money out. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, but it makes sense for all involved until…

…until it didn’t make sense to put money in the bank any more.

The interest rate you get from the bank on the money you put in the bank is almost nil. Like far all intents and purposes, it is ZERO. So, what is the benefit of putting money in the bank? Sure, there is the convenience of not carrying around piles of cash or pounds of coins, but is that all?

Banks need capital. You think they’d do something to encourage people to put there money there. I actually deposited a rather large amount of money in a bank that was giving an outstanding rate on CDs (Certificates of Deposit). That’s how a bank should generate capital.

They seem to take for granted that they are just guaranteed business, which maybe they are. Maybe consumers pay no attention at all to the fees or benefits they get from bank to bank, but it does pay to shop around and give business to banks that actually benefit you rather than just use you as an endless supply of currency to feed off of.

We need to be better consumers and actually cause the banks to fight for our money. Let’s bring the competition back and make them beg for our money instead of letting them tell us what we can do with our own money. Make sense?

Who’s with me on this?

Price match please!

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Competition is rough these days! Retail stores, brick & mortar vs. online, are in a battle to get your dollars because there are so many choices out there. Most stores, in order to overcome the competition, will do just about anything to get your business once you’re in the store, so many of them will price match identical goods found at other stores just so they can capture your money before you walk out the door.

Walmart won’t even match it’s own online price!

Yesterday was the strangest experience I have had as a consumer in quite a while.

My daughter wanted to buy “Grand Theft Auto V” and she was going to just buy it online from the Microsoft store as a digital download for $29.99. I said she should check around first to see if she can get a better price since it has been out for a while. So she did. As it turns out, there were several stores who had it on sale – Walmart and Game Stop, just to name a couple.

So, we jumped in the car and headed out to Walmart. We located the game in their electronics section in two place, neither of which indicated the online price as seen above. One was priced at $29.98 and the other one was priced at $59.98. These are the same game, mind you…

We asked for some help, showed the employee the price on the phone, he looked in the locked case and said something to the effect of “Well, we just updated prices so that is a bit of a mystery.” He pulled out both items at different prices and we went to do a price check. Both came up as marked. Wait, what?!? So, I asked if we could get the price as indicated online and he looked at my phone again, scrolled through the listing and said, “It must be an online only special.”

I was like, “It doesn’t say that anywhere. If it were online only, it would say that wouldn’t it?”

His response was, “It usually does.”

So, again, I asked if they would honor online price.

He said, “I don’t have the authority to do that but if you want to order it online then you could pick it up at the front of the store.” REALLY???? You’re gonna go there?

I asked for a manager. He said he called one. We waited for 15 minutes and still no manager. I asked if one was coming. He said they should be but they have to do “rounds” before they can get there.

I called Game Stop, verified they had the game in stock, left Walmart, and she spent her money there instead. No hassle.

When the physical store can’t (any employee should have this ability) to match it’s own online store price, you have a problem.

Walmart versus Walmart.com – both losers in my book!