Mood management of customers

Apple employees are banned from saying “unfortunately” when delivering bad news to a customer, urged instead to replace it with the more positive “as it turns out.” And management apparently takes the ban seriously: One former Apple employee tells us that his coworker was put under a 90-day probationary period because he said “unfortunately” too much at the Genius Bar.

As it turns out, “unfortunately” is just one of a number of “stop words” that are not supposed to pass an Apple Store employee’s lips.

Here is more.  Elsewhere, inspiration from Minnesota may motivate the median voter and help resolve the state’s fiscal disputes:

The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported Wednesday that bars, restaurants and stores across the state are unable to replenish their liquor and beer supplies because they can’t renew $20 state-issued alcohol purchasing cards.

As it turns out, Minnesota cigarette markets will go away by Labor Day as well.  Unfortunately, it is hard to think of a comparable commitment device for the federal debt-ceiling logjam.


Not issuing Social Security checks would seem to be an attention-getter.

"... state officials have given the company days to remove their products from store shelves."

Who are these officials, and why can't they issue the licenses?

"who are these officials..."

I assume its a licensing organization, and they can't issue because the government of the state is shutdown and they are furloughed.

But if they are furloughed, who is asking the company to remove the products?

I don't think they furloughed the cops (and firefighters) so enforcement presumably remains in place.

Yes, but who is telling the cops to do this? Did they think of it all on their own? Seriously, are these matters even handled normally by the police and firefighters? Aren't such inspections normally handled by the agency itself?

Shouldn't an agency in charge of collecting licensing fees be self-funding? This strikes me as a pretty brazen attempt to maximize the inconvenience to voters from the partial government shutdown.

My pet peeve: Overdue fines. "You failed to return your video to the library on time, so you have to pay a $2 penalty." I am not a criminal if it takes me three days to watch Lawerence of Arabia. (I'm actually probably below average.) Charge me an "extension fee" or an "renewable fee". It's all the same, but it doesn't draw my moral character into it.

I thought a shutdown might work out OK, but it looks like the "but without government, who will give us permission to buy alcohol and cigarettes?" naysayers were right.

As it turns out, 60% of Minnesotans live in the Minneapolis-St Paul area--right across the river from Wisconsin. And the rest, I imagine, will probably be able to manage a beer & cigarette run to the Dakotas, Iowa, or Ontario.

That's fine for those who can, but what about the elderly and, of course, the kids who can't drive.
The need their nicotine and Alcohol fix too! :)

Well, how else will all the furloughed government employees keep themselves busy?

Tyler, rather than going through irrelevant examples and misleading characterizations of your country's problems, stand up to the fraudulent clowns that are ruining your country. The U.S. fiscal crisis has nothing to do with the debt ceiling --only journalists and pundits serving the clowns focus on the debt ceiling. Ask the Greeks (and the Italians, and the Spaniards, ...).

BTW, if you still have doubts about the origins of Greece's collapse, read the NYT's article on the Papandreous and the WSJ's on how profit has become taboo in Greece.

I just figured out why it HAS to be the crazy new tea party republicans causing all the ruckus- so that it isn't the things the establishment has been doing.

I also noticed Obama said he wouldn't sign an extension.

"BTW, if you still have doubts about the origins of Greece’s collapse, read the NYT’s article on the Papandreous and the WSJ’s on how profit has become taboo in Greece."

This is one of the best indicators that someone is speaking with an agenda: the citation of cultural rather than material conditions to explain economic circumstances. Do you have any better evidence about how the profit motive plays into the Greek crisis (I'd be looking at French/German banks more than anything for this one)?

But you're right, the fiscal crisis has nothing to do with the debt ceiling. Perhaps it has more to do with the 2Trillion of QE provided to banks which might have otherwise been used to create programs which would employ workers and produce greater production-oriented agg. demand. In fact, quantitative easing represents nothing more than an expansion of credit to the "producing class" - while expansion of government credit is being attacked. Perhaps it has to do with the constant competition between India, China and the US to provide less employee compensation and environmental regulations to make it cheaper for businesses to set up shop in the respective region.

One cause is obvious, though, and it relates to the wealth inequality which is looking more like that of the Great Depression every day: with less wealth concentrated in a large consumer class, and more instead in the hands of the wealthy elite, consumer demand for production is less profitable. Indeed, providing more money to "producers" (i.e. owners of capital) only makes the equation more lopsided: consumer funds are less relevant (per Mises' argument at the previous link) and investing more money to meet the same consumer demand will only make production less profitable - eventually making it a completely worthless option.

So are you saying they should print money that the government then spends directly?

It would, at the very least, lead to an honest catastrophe rather than the dishonest one we are heading towards.

That might lead to job growth. Tax cuts and QE haven't: if we're going to spend 2Tn in credit on QE alone for that (supposed) goal, why not instead spend it in such a way that actually creates job growth - i.e., employ more people directly?

Yes, by all means let's beef up the public sector. Maybe we should go to a bimonthly census - turn census taker into a career track opportunity.

Have you made any post recently without mentioning clowns? What's with this circus obsession?

Seems to be an accurate description, and relevant to the posts.

Not just clowns, fraudulent clowns! These are guys who can't even get into the circus on merit.

I prefer the term "Ass Clowns", but E. Barad. is too classy for that.

Great comment, E.

Too late though unfortunately to fix this Ponzi. Time for anyone who wants to preserve their middle class lifestyle to buy gold and silver while your greenbacks still can. . .

The highlight of my morning has been reading the comments attached to the Apple article you linked under "Here is more."

If the state officials are on furlough, who's going to enforce the ban?

If you read the article you find that -"Of the roughly 10,000 establishments that sell liquor in Minnesota, most of those who needed to renew their buyer purchasing cards managed to do so before the July 1 shutdown started. About 300 were caught with cards that expired on June 30 and no way to renew the permits."

You have to understand that the Strib is desperate to back Gov Dayton and a misleading headline like this one is very typical of their coverage.

Enforcement (cops) may not be on furlough. For that matter, the state will eventually come out of furlough and then there will be fines to pay. I don't think a rational business would run that risk.

I wonder if such fines could be challenged in court.

If the Depts of Education, Agriculture, and/or Energy were shut down for the Fall, would the quality of life in the US really suffer? Aside from those who are feeding off the fat of the land?

I like the Department of Defense approach: They focus on adjusting the quality of life in nations outside the US.

Oh shucks, and here i thought only state parks and lottery tickets were the only things not functioning...

restaurants and stores across the state are unable to replenish their liquor and beer supplies because they can’t renew $20 state-issued alcohol purchasing cards.

If the paper-pushers selling these permits are not at work is it likely that the permit enforcement is on the job? Just go ahead and keep tapping the booze and selling the smokes I say.......

Why would a wholesaler risk legal trouble selling to such establishments? The courts, police, and prosecutors didn't shut down.

I think the legislature should announce that any budget deal must include a blanket amnesty for anyone who broke the law due to unquenchable thirst. I mean, these people pay their taxes and generally follow the law - why should we penalize them?

This shutdown is working markets are developing already. I bet alcohol consumption will not decrease when the $20 permits are not issued.

Speaking as a Minnesotan, I think I'd better stock up on wine and gin. It wouldn't be an inconvenience for me to shop in WI, but Trader Joe's and Costco are both only in the cities.

The Minnesota liquor problems apparently just affecting retailers.

"Neville says MillerCoors must remove the beer because they did not renew their brand label registration with the state before the shutdown began. By law, brewers must renew those registrations -- which show the label on each brand of beer -- every three years.

The company tried to renew in mid-June, but the process got delayed when they wrote a check for too much money. Green said they sent in a new check, which the state received on June 27, but nonetheless got a letter three days later saying their brand licenses had expired."
Nice commentary on the state of government regulations. If a $1.7 billion company like MillerCoors can't smoothly navigate the regulatory waters and potentially lose its ability to do business due to _overpaying_ a fee, how is life for small and medium businesses?

New game: call Apple support and try to get them to say "unfortunate."

As it turns out, Apple's support page doesn't give a phone number for support.

How unfortunate.

I was hoping your last graf in the post would look like this:

"Reportedly, Minnesota cigarette markets will go away by Labor Day as well. Unfortunately As it turns out, it is hard to think of a comparable commitment device for the federal debt-ceiling logjam."

But then I thought that maybe you were consciously making note of story with your chosen wording--perhaps to show a more proper usage of the phrases in context. Since you've only used the phrase "as it turns out" one other time in your posting on this site, I am guessing you consciously worded the last paragraph that way.

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