Monthly Archives

January 2011

Going to Court and WINNING is AWESOME! Mediation is my Future

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Court is awesome as long as you win

I went to court the other day. The court proceedings were concerning a customer who received the site they asked us to build and then choose to not pay for it. The client let us know that they intended to seek damages from us. The fact is we finished the site with even more functionality than the customer had asked for and we did it quickly. Because we had a hunch that the client was going to take us to court we decided to go after her first, after all she owed us a lot of money. Our customer didn’t show up to the hearing, which we didn’t think she would so a default judgment was made in our favor. This was the second default judgment we got against this customer. We made this same lawsuit a few months ago and won then also, but she appealed the ruling. What was the point of appealing if she wasn’t going to show the second time?

This was the third time I was asked to go to court for my company. The first time was as the defendant. We had built a website for a customer who sells printer ink and toner. They had a specific request for their site that we fulfilled. The site did exactly what the customer wanted and they admitted that in their arguments to the judge. When you go into court the judge explains that before anybody gets up in front of him they should consider mediation. I’ll talk about that in a bit (mediation is awesome and I want to be a mediator!). We opted to go to mediation where both sides put up their arguments. In the mediation we agreed to give $500 back to the customer, who turned down the offer because they wanted everything back. Since we didn’t settle our differences there we ended up in front of the judge. We presented our same case to the judge who seriously didn’t understand why the plaintiff was arguing (he had already admitted we did the work he wanted). My company did the work and we did it better than how the contract said we would do it. The real argument from the customer is that we used JavaScript instead of a database. In this case, we were actually using JavaScript to access the database through AJAX to save page loads! It’s what you would WANT for your website to have! I believe the judge did what he could to not laugh as he closed the case and the customer didn’t receive a dime from us.

Mediation is Awesome!

For $1,000 you can take a course on mediation. Once you pass that course you can go sit on the sidelines of the court room and wait for a case to come to you. It’s a free service you’d be offering to get experience but it’s so awesome. As a mediator you take both parties into a room and let them show both sides of the argument. From there you try to see if there is a middle ground both sides can agree to. If there isn’t you just kick them back to the court room. If you succeed as a mediator you save both parties a lot of headaches. I really want to do it, but I would need the cash for the class first. Once you get some experience behind you in mediation you can start selling your services. As a mediator you can charge for your services and save businesses thousands in legal costs. Mediation really is the best way to go when you have something to fight over.

Other than the courts…

What is it about getting less sleep and being less tired at the same time? I have a new outlook on life lately. I know it will last forever because I want it to. I guess when you feel a dark cloud over yourself for a few years you end up with few options. The first is to just continue feeling that way until you die and the second would be an attitude adjustment. Apparently I opted for the attitude adjustment and I’m feeling a lot better lately. I’m more in-tune at my job and at my home and I’m even having an easier time with the boy.

Natalie got a part time job selling make up. I don’t really know what she does but she can take the kids and she just schedules appointments to get makeovers. It sounds like a Mary Kay type business. If I cared about make up at all I might care to learn more about it. Personally I wish all the make up products would be destroyed. I can’t convince my wife of that though.

The Stupid Things We Say and The Stupider Ways We Hear Them

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It’s my blog and I’ll say what I want to!

I’ve never grown up. This blog is proof of that. Have you ever had someone say something to you and even though you heard the exact words they said, when you took action (no matter how small the action) they go off on you and put you in your place because you got it wrong? As a dude it’s my obligation to take what was said as it was said. How can anyone expect me to see more than that in a direct comment?

I’ve got this really good friend from high school who I haven’t seen for the past 5 years. We went to lunch on Friday, which was awesome and it really was just like I was back at Skyline High. Last night this friend and her husband met us at the Olive Garden. We were there a long time and I really didn’t notice the time pass by. I didn’t even feel the need to draw back and cower from the social setting, which I generally do. In fact, I felt very much myself and the Zuppa Toscana was amazing as always. We stayed until almost closing time then headed home.

– side note, our baby sitter is awesome and the girls love her. Aubrey woke up asking if the sitter was here yet. I’m so glad she’s able and willing to watch the kids!

Other things that happened this week include working. I’m making more of an effort to get into my new position. I just need my current customers to realize that they have what they purchased. Why is that so hard? If you purchase a website and we give you a website why would you think you deserve a refund? Anyway, I think my company has a good plan for the future. We just need to focus on that plan.

What else is going on? Nothing. I really have nothing going on other than my friend who told me something that really wasn’t a big deal but it’s POSSIBLE that it could have been. What was said is not important, but I’m going to leave it open ended like that so you can make all the assumptions you like. You’ll find out what kind of person you are by what you come up with. How I acted, based on what I was told, was important. I can say that now because she can’t argue with me through my blog :). I didn’t even act badly. I just tried to gather more information about it and apparently I should have known that she didn’t mean what she said as it was said. There, that should make you really think the worst about what was said.

Can a dude and a chick be friends?

While I’m on the topic I’m curious about… ‘stuff’. I’ve known this person of whom I’m speaking, Suzanne, for about 20 years now. We’ve been very good friends all that time. So, the question is this: Can a guy like me, and a girl like Suzanne who have been friends forever continue to be friends after both of us are married (to other people)? Could we go to lunch or hang out at a park with just the two of us? If not, why not? We used to go to the movies and parks and just hang out and there was nothing hinky going on then. Could it be the same now? I’m asking because I’m curious what everyone else thinks of it. If Suzanne was a dude there would be no issues with it right? So what makes the difference?

After 37 Years I’ve Decided I’ll Never Amount To Much

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I’m into my 38th year now and I’m not annoyed with it, though I did think I was younger. I’ve met many people and got to know them pretty well. I looked to their advice because they were older than I and therefore they had more experience. My delusions were shattered when I found out I was actually older than them. What a kick in the face that was. Now I’m supposed to be the older and wiser person. Big Pancakes - too many, but goodThe problem with this is that I’m an idiot. The bright side to being an idiot is that I made too many pancakes this morning, and I like to play with my camera!

I’m not saying that I haven’t accomplished much, I think I have. I’m a certified advanced SCUBA diver, along with my wife. <sarcasm> Having the certification to SCUBA dive is awesome and it’s really convenient to have since I live in Utah and all </sarcasm>. I actually had to get the certification after I found a lake out near Wendover called Blue Lake. It’s a fresh spring that divers from all around can go to any time of year. Even in the dead of winter it stays warm. I was out there on a scout trip and saw all these divers heading to the lake. I spoke with one of them and he explained that more people should get into it. So I did. It counted for credits I needed in college anyway.

Among other things I’ve done is get my programmers certificate. I only wish I knew that any monkey could copy a programmers certificate off their home computer and hand it out before I paid all the money for it. I also decided I wanted to be a fire fighter (passing this certification was much more satisfying than the programmer certification). Along with the fire fighters certification I also got my HAZMAT certs and CDL-B license. I even passed the EMT course. I think I would have done well as either an EMT or a fire fighter, but I wasn’t fortunate enough to get on with anyone.

It’s What I Do That Defines Me

All in my FamilyMy life is as it should be though. I have a good job that has a bright future. I have an awesome family that lets me stay down in my hole writing this blog while they’re upstairs making my cake. Kitti in danceMy girls are in dance and seem to love it. One day I intend for at least one of them to get into softball. I’m assuming that will be Kittie, though Bobbi would have the attitude to intimidate the other team.

The year in review includes taking on foster kids which more than doubled my family, Considering alternate employment (but Staying at my current employment), taking on an army of upset customers (and winning most of them over), running the Salt Lake 5K (which I was told was too short of a race the other day – lies), Signed up for Night of the Running Dead race (but couldn’t run it as I was watching the kids that day), won a trip to Moab and loved it and that about sums up my year. I’m so boring, and I love it.

Finding An Unexpected Opportunity and Letting Go of Another

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The need for a new opportunity grows

Over the past few months I’ve been feeling the need to look for new employment. It’s not that I don’t like where I work. I really do, the people are great and I love working in the web. I have been working on the programming team for the past 3 years and the last year I’ve spent as the supervisor of the team. Being the supervisor of the team means I get to take the supervisor calls and help those who feel they didn’t get what they purchased. Apparently I have a knack for taking the heat from upset customers. Despite all the good, I felt it was time for another opportunity to grow.

Since I started on the programming team I always thought that I really wanted to be a programmer and I wanted to really dig into the code and learn all about the actual programming side of the business. A while ago I started noticing that I really don’t care about the code as much as the other members of the team do. I like it and I would enjoy doing it all day, every day, but there are other aspects to the web that I’ve found more of an interest in. Right now I’m into analytics and SEO.

An Unexpected Opportunity is offered

Since we don’t specialize in SEO at HIT I started looking around and there is another company right down the street that does specialize in SEO, Orange Soda. I took their test and met with some people and they are all amazing people and I believe they like me as well. I let my manager know that I was considering alternate employment and she let my VP know. This is typically the point where I assume they would come back and let me know how under-appreciative I am – but not HIT. Instead, they offered me an unexpected opportunity handling quality control and looking for ways that we can improve the company and our quality and perhaps streamline the production process.

If you haven’t read my mind throughout my life you wouldn’t know that I’ve always thought that I would be good at removing the excess from any business. What they offered me was an opportunity to do what I always wanted to do (other than psychology) and hopefully improve my workplace at the same time. I’m actually very excited about this new position and sadly, I’m afraid that I might have hurt my opportunities with Orange Soda in the future. I don’t intend to go over there at the moment, but I like to keep my options open.

What’s all this about SEO anyway?

If you haven’t figured it out already, the internet is big. There’s thousands of websites about thousands of topics out there already. If you want to know about it, you can find out about it with just a few searches. The trick is to be the site that is found. That’s where good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes in. Getting to that good SEO involves having a good analytics system built into your site. That’s where I come in, or at least that’s where I would like to come in. SEO work is fun, interesting and cutting edge. There’s always something new to learn and plenty of competition to keep it exciting.

The Web is Weird

One of my customers that I’ve been helping for the past few weeks has a site that is dedicated to cats. At first I thought the couple was a little odd. Who cares enough about cats to dedicate a website to them? I later found out that they are not simply odd, they are flat out nuts! Their website is to be a community website (think Facebook or MySpace) that will let the members sign up for themselves and then sign up their cats. They can then go through the website as if they are the cat and make comments on other peoples pages under the cats name. I let them know they were odd and they assured me that they already knew that but they had a ton of people already lined up and excited to get on the site. People want the oddest things for their websites. I suspect I’ll be able to do some good SEO work on their site though.

I Blame My Faith

I want to also give credit where it’s due. I didn’t choose to stay with HIT easily. The future of my family depends on my employment. I’m taking a chance by staying with HIT and I wouldn’t take that chance easily. I know that I have God backing me up on this decision. Whether I help the company to pull out of the slump or the company falters I know that everything will turn out alright. Life always turns out the way it should, just not always the way I expect it to – or the way I want it to at the moment. I’ve taken the opportunity to get to the temple more recently as well. It’s something I should do anyway and now that the boys are back with their mother I have more opportunity to get there.

Did I mention the twins are gone?

Last week the twins were allowed to go back with their mother. Things are looking up. We have the older boy still but he’s not nearly as much trouble with his younger brother gone. In the next few months he should be able to return to his mother or father also. The parents are doing better as well, but I’m not going to get into their story.