Does the east coast have a ‘go fig’ culture?

Nearly a year ago I went for a company sponsored training at MIT and got to see the Boston area. My first impression was that nobody in the east coast gives a damn about ‘ease of use’ issues (apparently it’s an artistic exaggeration, but you know what I mean). The signs were often wrong (contradictory), confusing or not at conspicuous places, ranging from traffic signs (lane markings are optional, plus there are plenty of last minute turns at acute angles) to the MIT summer program registration itself (intentionally not telling you where the classroom is located before you book the hotels, and there were no signs telling you how to get to the registration if you came from the back end of the building).

Here’s a funny example:

(In case if you didn’t notice, the buttons points down. Telling the people who uses it to ‘go straight to hell’, hehe.)

I understand the people in the east coast must be very smart given that they have to dance around the mess every day. For me, I’d rather focus my effort developing algorithms or solving engineering/business problems than sorting through the mess to get the basic information I need. 🙂

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Ebay customer support’s on-hold music: Weird Al?!!

A couple of months ago, before this blog started, I called eBay’s customer support and I was put on hold for a whole hour. It would have made my day miserable, but the on-hold music they played made my day: it’s Weird Al Yankovic’s parody song eBay!

Couldn’t stop chuckling for the first half hour despite the gruesome wait … I just couldn’t get enough of it even if loops every minute or two! I kept thinking: this can’t be true!

Yes, the eBay’s official hotline plays Weird Al’s parody of eBay to their customers while they wait! They didn’t even bleep out the word “crap” as in “this crap, shows up in, bubble wrap, almost every day“. Well, I guess they have to, as “crap” is essential to the spirit of the entire parody!

I love these people. They really have a sense of humor, and they are willing to make fun of themselves!

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