This Christmas, Count Your Blessings…

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This Christmas, Count Your Blessings…
ways to get more customers for your business
Just something that inspired me yesterday, about a man on disability income, these are his photos taken with a disposable camera, he inspired me and I really want to meet him, thank him and take his photo… Just sharing my thoughts and inspiration… Try the largest size

What Jim wrote in this article/photo essay…

Most days when I sell papers I suffer a great deal because I have a migraine and likely will for the rest of my life due to surgery on my eyes. I have had a migraine all day, every day for twenty-three years – that’s 24-7-365-23

Because of the migraines, I dont’ enjoy selling papers but that’s all I’m capable of doing. If it wasn’t for the paper I would be doing nothing. And what I like about it are the people are the people that do buy it or just give me a donation. Makes me think that there are some people that really care.

….

It wasn’t my dream to stand in front of Bankers Hall and sell papers for spare change. A lot of people don’t realize how good they have it. Some people are fortunate and some are not in life. That’s just the way it is.

Sometimes I thank God for my suffering because I have him working in my life. He is always on my mind and heart.

The editors note that accopanied the article/photo essay:

Jim MacDonald has been a Calgary Street Talk vendor for almost 10 years. For a number of years, he has sold the paper on Stephen Avenue Mall in front of Bankers Hall. He says that scores of people who work there or do business there have helped him in many ways.

Jim has lived in poverty for about 20 years. Jim is a schizophrenic and also has constant, agonizing headaches. He has searched in vain for relief. That search eventually led him to a Christian faith which he says offers him a better way to deal with his painful realities. His efforts have earned the respect and admiration of many customers and supporters.

Recently one of his customers gave him a disposable camera and suggested that Jim take pictures of his world. Jim felt inspired to write about the pictures he took. He showed some customers his story and one encouraged him to try to get it published.

"It’s the first time I have ever written such a story in my entire life," Jim said. "I really didn’t want to write the story. Finally it came to me one day to write the story. I prayed over it. I wrote stuff as it came to me. I have no education, only Grade 6. I don’t write and hardly read except for the Bible once in a while… I would like to read it more."

Jim wanted readers to know that his favourite and most important part of the story is that he is not perfect because Jesus died for his sins.

….

Welcome to this part of Jim MacDonald’s World.

Okay… still battling low light photowork… Thanks to GS Imagery for some photo corrections here

While on Hold… (#5 of 5) Linksys Story
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Here we are at the last of these five images in the series. And I promised "the story" behind them. Here ya go:

#1. Don’t let your babies grow up to buy Linksys products

#2. If you are stuck with one, read the cautionary tale below in case you think "Customer Service" and a warranty are actually honored by an American company.

Bought a top-of-the-line wireless router (Linksys) about 10 months ago. Yeah, I installed it with no problem and it made excellent connections through the whole house even though it has 16" adobe walls…

Periodically over the last year, my high-speed Internet was a problem and every call I made to the ISP had a "customer service" rep or tech inform me that it might not be them, because I had a wireless router. The goal is to find any reason possible NOT to come out to troubleshoot the connectivity problems from the main computer wired to their modem.

Of course, when I informed these folks that THEIR employee personally handed me this router to purchase, they backed down and sent techs out. About 9 times in this last year.

After 5 tech visits to my house, the entire wiring house to pole was replaced, all outlets replaced, the "maintenance crew" replace the "node" to the neighborhood and the problems continued. Then on the 6th tech call to my home in 7 weeks, the "NIU" box to the house was replaced. Now I was "ok" but had intermittent "drops". I was then informed that the company was concerned over area routes and told to be aware that there was going to be much more work in the area.

All the while, I am now enjoying the best connectivity and speed in a year, finally, after 6 weeks of taking off work at times to meet the techs from the ISP.

THEN, suddenly my connectivity when kaflooey and it was now time to call Linksys to troubleshoot online. After first downloading the "Firmware upgrade", a week later the next "Customer Service" troubleshoot call with Linksys resulted in my having to file an online request for an "RMA" (return merchandise authorization) that was approved as the latest call 3 weeks ago certified that I had a "defective unit".

Ok, follow directions as I am on hold with Linksys Customer Service and complete the registration to get the replacement wireless router. Now I am told it will be 3 to 4 business days for delivery. AND my credit card has a hold on it until the delivery and then I return the defective unit.

THREE WEEKS LATER, no replacement arrives and I have been calling Linksys for two weeks with little luck in getting the calls to get past "hold to wait for the next available representative". I learn that the Customer Service is in the Phillipines. Also that my unit "has been in queue ready to ship from the warehouse in Texas" since January 7. Informed that "UPS does our shipments and they only pick up so many parcels a day" and that there is no way to find out when it will actually be shipped out.

I have now been making a series of calls to follow up, 7 in one week, each call averaging 1/2 hour. Finally on the third call I am informed that the Customer Service reps are "not allowed" to transfer a call to a Supervisor. The only way I can contact a Supervisor is through email to a special addess. 4 emails later over 2 weeks, and all I receive are auto-responses "Your email is important to us and a Supervisor will contact you within 72 hours". Never happened.

Friday this last week I was really boiling and got through to a "Customer Service" rep who transferred me to a (get this) Supervisor in Technical Support" who is in India. He cannot figure out what to do for me as he is not allowed to contact a Supervisor in Customer Service directly. After 45 minutes on the phone with him desparately trying to get me to a Supervisor in the Phillipines, he finally got me back to a…. (ready?) …Customer Service rep in the Phillipines. Finally this person was able to get a Supervisor on the phone. After 1 1/2 hours of being on the phone with Linksys, I now learn that 1. My order online was not completely submitted (even though I had copied and saved the transaction report). 2. The Linksys warehouse in Georgia is still in process of moving to Texas. 3. The new warehouse in Texas is using a whole new database and all previous orders now have to have a new number and be entered into the new system. 4. The company is still trying to ship out replacement for defective units back to November 2006 and 5. It will be at least two weeks more before my replacement MIGHT be shipped.

So, why these photos in this series of 5? Well, I get pretty bored while on hold, so voila! Speakerphone to the rescue and I take out my camera and start shooting at anything I can see from my back door towards the side yard. I was most intrigued to see that I could see a perfect reflection of me in the old screened window nearest me. And another reflection farther on. Turns out my roommate has a mirror on the far end of her bedroom and now I could get double self-portraits for the heck of it. This image and the others look far better in the large view. At least for my pain, I got some play time in with my camera. And I feel better now that I have something, anything to show for the hassles. After I got off the phone Friday I went out and purchased a brand new wireless router and installed it. I wonder if I will ever receive that replacement unit?

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