You Can’t Get Something For Nothing

IKEA International Group
Image via Wikipedia

Call me gullible!  I just fell for one of the oldest tricks in the books.  Someone I know and respect sent me an invite to get a free $1,000 gift card from IKEA just by becoming their fan on Facebook.  Ah, if it were only that simple.  I should have known better but seeing a trusted friend’s name blurred my vision I guess.

So I went over to Facebook – became a fan then started following the rules for getting the gift card.  I should have bulked when it said you had to invite ALL of your friends or you might not qualify.  But no I blindly went ahead and sent an invite to all my friends.  The next step is what really brought it home to me that this wasn’t going to work – when you click on the register part you think all you have to do is enter your email address so they can notify you about the gift card – NOT!  Once you enter your email address you then have to select 2 offers from sites such as Netflix or VideoProfessor or others offered via GiftDepotDirect.com.   Then you are expected to take a survey that wants a lot more information than I am willing to give out.  I was ticked off because I had been duped.

I went back to the Facebook fan site and tried to leave a comment shaming Ikea for going this route.  Interestingly enough it would not allow me to make a comment.  The box appeared and I could type but when I hit enter the whole page refreshed and did post my comment.

Only thing that has made me feel better is knowing I wasn’t the only person sucked into this.  Several of my friends got suckered by this as well.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Home Away From Home – Day 2

Ah, day two and it should have started off better.  Knew I had to leave a bit early from home to drop my son off at his Dad’s new house.  Still trying to figure out best routes to and from his house.  This morning with the hazy fog it didn’t help and I was a few minutes late getting to work.

EntranceFirst one in the office this morning.  Dropped my stuff at my work space and scurried to get to the morning duties (I had switched days with a co-worker).  Unforwarded the helpdesk phone and then proceeded to swap the tapes on both the Horizon and Authority Works servers.

This was to be my IT @ Admin day so I needed to focus on the morning duties and get them out of the way.  Once logged into my Ubuntu and Windows machines I did a quick cursory check of email (no dire messages).  I then proceeded to do the morning duties (just like yesterday).

Once they were out of the way I checked the helpdesk tickets and assigned them accordingly to my co-workers (seems some days I get a lot and others I don’t – it all evens out in the end).  Opened Twirl so I can peruse Twitter (both my personal account – @mlibrarianus and the library’s official account @HoCo_Library).  Then I queued up a Tweet for the library’s account using TweetFunnel.

Our Network Administrator came into the office and had mentioned that we had a power outage (clock in the workroom before ours was behind).   PACs were showing red on PACMON (our own montioring system that our web programmer wrote) but luckily the Day End computer finished running Day End before the power outage (having to run day end in the morning before people start logging into Horizon is not a fun thing to coordinate).

I proceeded to work on the email bouncebacks.  I’m still amazed at how many we get.  Are that many people really changing their email addresses and not updating them with us or what?  Still trying to figure out the best way to ensure our customers get notified without this having to deal with bouncebacks.  It is a labor intensive process that should not be handled by IT.  Haven’t come up with the answer as I know that there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a tweet that made me chuckle.  I don’t normally follow the trends on Twitter but this one caught my eye #verydullbands.  Some were pretty good.  tumour seemed to be on a roll.  Time to head to our Administrative office in the East Columbia Branch and be the IT guru of the day (each of us takes turns spending a day at Admin helping with computer/software related issues that arise).

Home away from homeAfter getting my lunch in the fridge and things settled into the IT cubicle, I logged into the Ubuntu machine we have set aside for us.  Last time I was there I used Good OS – as if Google and Mac had a love child this would be it.  I really liked the operating system and having the Google gadgets.  Alas I was back to our staff desktop version of Ubuntu which is nice too.

Queued up another tweet for the library’s official account (which is approved by our Public Relations dept. and released to the Twitterverse).   Talked to a colleague who had heard I’d been recently to Spain recently and was thinking of going.  So I sent her a link to my photos from Espana on Flickr.

Consulted with fellow IT co-worker about iTouch and our collaborative software, DeskNow.  He had a Blackberry and wasn’t familiar with the iTouch.  Went around the Admin office asking staff if they had an iPhone or iTouch.  Found someone in Public Relations that had an iTouch who was able to help with the question another staff member had asked me.  I won’t mention my extreme jealousy of those with the iPhone or Blackberry (I soooo miss my Blackberry).

Helped another colleague with a PrintNow problem.  Think the delay was due to her Java update message wanting attention.  Once I clicked on that PrintNow printed the screen shot she needed.  Stopped by the cubicle of our Training Coordinator to discuss a request that had come up in my visits to the branches regarding our Staff Intranet.  She was open to the suggestion that the less formal “Lunch and Learns” be part of the training calendar as well as a notice on the Staff Intranet.

ITBack to my cubicle.  Checked on the Merlin site since I was playing admin while Nini Beegan was on vacation.  Cleaned up a bunch of registered users that were clearly spammers.

Consulted with web programmer and network administrator about the best way to get a new image onto our PAC screensavers.  The library’s unofficial (yet very professional and wonderfully talented) photography, Fritzi Newton, had taken shots of each of our 6 branches along with iconic views of our county and mixed them with photos she was able to obtain from Enoch Pratt.  She put these altogether as a screensaver for our public computers.  There was wording on each saying where the photo was taken.  After 2 years of these being out there for the public someone had realized that one of the slides had Maryland misspelled.  Fritzi corrected this and gave us the new image (with correctly spelled state) to use.

Realized I hadn’t really talked to our staff at Admin about the revamping the Staff Intranet.  I had been to all the branches to get feedback so I wondered around the office and talked to different staff.  Along the way I helped with a couple browser settings.  The one feature that I love on our Intranet was one that I pointed out to several folks.  Our web programmer had created a staff directory – the staff search box searches that directory.  So if you don’t know what branch, the phone number, the exact spelling of their email, what title they have, etc you can search for a person (last name or first name or full name) and see all of that plus a picture.  I convinced several people that using the staff directory search was 100 times easier than scrolling through the phone list.  This made me realize that this well used by many but missed by some box needed a more prominent spot on our Intranet.  So I moved that up further on the left hand side along with moving the Quick Links further to the top as well.  These are just temporary stop gaps until we revamp the whole Intranet.

LUNCH!

Assigned to myself and closed helpdesk ticket regarding receiving spam from old email address.  *sigh* The only 100% sure fire way to not receive spam is to not use email.

Played telephone tag with the editor of our reader’s advisory blog, Highly Recommended, regarding a few tweaks and a new idea that had come up in a meeting.  Then I went about interviewing more of the Admin staff about our Intranet and what ideas they might have.

Dealt with calendar settings for two people in Public Relations.  They didn’t have a box checked so the calendar invites were not showing up on their calendars the way they should.

Debunked an Urban Legend that was sent via email to IT.  I love Snopes.com.  I used to hang out on their bulletin board and I do miss the folks from there.

Discussed ideas with the Events & Seminars Manager about the use of voice recorders regarding local authors.  Getting them to read excerpts from their books or interviews with them as part of a podcast.

Answered an email from staff about the spam filtering option setting in our email.  Explained that we use Barracuda, spam filter, on the main email server so there is no need to use the one provided by DeskNow (if you do it actually creates more work).

Decided to make another change to the current Staff Intranet (that was brought up by staff at the branch) and managed to not screw it up.  Deleted code and things still worked properly.  Then I got a little too confident and removed some more – this time I did screw it up.  THANKFULLY, our web programmer who has the patience of a saint with me was able to figure out what I did wrong and fix it.

Way past time for me to go, so I turned off my machine and headed home.  I had to pack and drive to PA that night since I going with my parents the next morning to the hospital.  My Mother was having a biopsy of her lung done.  Here’s hoping it all goes well and the results are good.

I’ve Failed as an Educator

As a trainer and someone who believes in spreading information not disinformation, I still struggle to educate friends, family and co-workers. Educate, how? Educating them in regards to urban legends, BCCing, so called “friend” survey, etc.

Why do people immediately believe anything that appears in their Inbox as 100% gospel truth and take offense when I try pointing them down the path of truth and light? How do you convince someone that addressing an email to everyone in your address book who don’t know each other is not the best practice? Why do people who call you friend insist on “bullying you” into filling out a survey by saying you are the person to least fill it out? Most importantly am I the only person who seems to be bothered by any of this?

I’ve tried over the years each time someone forwards me an urban legend to counter it with the truth usually sending them a URL from Snopes. I will continue but it is definitely discouraging when people continue to fail to learn to question those emails that seem just a little too good to be true.

Email isn’t a new form of communicating by any means, yet I still know people who don’t understand that it is considered poor form to send email to multiple recipients that don’t know each other or have each other’s email addresses. I will continue to try to educate them about viruses and how they go directly to the address book, take an address and then proceed to send the virus email out in the name of that person (who didn’t send it in reality).

Friendship surveys or whatever you want to call them are far from that. You know the ones that ask you questions that although maybe slightly humorous don’t really reveal anything about your friend. They almost always end in a passive/aggressive way “____ is least likely to respond”. *sigh* I’ve tried ignoring them but someone people seem to get offended if I don’t respond.

I feel like a failure. So how do I educate these people? I guess the old saying “you only control 2 things in life – you and your actions” still holds true. I can only do my part and if they believe it, learn from it or not is totally up to them. I just hope they all understand that my attempt at trying to educate them comes from wanting the best for them.