Hello this is ______. How may I help you?

I cringe when ever I hear those words!

I think it was from all those times calling HP and all those companies supplying support to the PC platform.  Unfortunalely, I never could understand what they were saying.  It wasn’t THEIR fault,  but it was hard and very difficult to deal with.  The calls were frustrating to me: I had to keep asking them to repeat.  I am sure it was frustrating for them…also.  When I heard a few years that Apple Computer had a total US call center, I went with Apple…and I haven’t looked back.

There is one PC program I still use: Quicken.  I even recently bought a new PC just to run that!  I have been using Quicken for years (since 1989), but never had a problem.  That changed last year.

I used to be able to figure things out.  With the stroke, that changed completely.  Luckily for me, I still try to figure problems out. But when I get stuck, I call the help line.   So far, I placed 3 calls over the past year.  The first 2 were easy solutions that my wife could answer..I just didn’t ask her.

The call today was different

I  won’t bother you with the details, but I spoke to a girl from Guatemala…and I could only detect a very slight accent. I asked her how long she worked there…she told me only a few months.

When the first thing didn’t work, she told me she can fix it, but it will take awhile.   She could tell I was super happy, because I gladly said YES.  She had me looking for things (she didn’t tell me why each thing was important) and told me exactly where to look.  When I didn’t understand (a normal occurrence for me) she didn’t get mad…she just said it in a different way.  Isn’t this the kind of call you always wanted?

When she was done (in 45 minutes) she asked me if there is anything else she can do.  I wanted to  think of something just to see how she handled it…but I told here she did a great job.

Quicken is a fabulous company and they truly care about their customers. Here is what they sent to me after the call:

Quicken offered excellent help and I will tell anyone who will listen. HP and all those other companies can learn something from this!!!!

Did I mention that Rachel was pregnant?


Jill and I just spent the weekend in Meridian Park Maternity room…and got to watch this beautiful baby girl come into this world:  Stella Kathryn Viggiano born 10/29 at 6 lbs and 14 oz. Isn’t she wonderful?

Now Jill and I will have Rachel living with us…for a year or so…until she is ready to go it alone.  The good news: no rush for us.  We just completed a 2 month renovation of the downstairs of the house on Friday…the same day the Rachel went into the hospital. It was touch and go …would the baby come first….or would the house be completed. We made it as the final carpet went down on Friday.  (I was going to show you the Before/After, but it will wait till next blog.)

I never imagined what being a grandfather was all about.  I went into the hospital as the same guy I was before.  But now, it is different; I can’t explain it.  All I have to do is look at this gift and tears come into my eyes.

You know that I don’t feel old; I just feel proud that my daughter gave birth to this precious little girl.  I really admire Rachel!

My little girl graduated yesterday!


My little girl graduated from the University of Oregon, School of Journalism with a Public Relations degree.  We enjoyed the occasion with my brother and sister in-law and with my wifes’ parents.


I am SO proud of her.  She got this job all on her own.  To me, this means she CAN do it.

For 4 years, she has talked about doing ANYTHING except sales.  So what did my girl decide???  Yup…she will start a job in sales!!!

I am very proud of her…especially since I didn’t even mention it to her.  Now we will wait and see.  Does she have what it takes to be good?  I think she will surprise you!