business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to yesterday's piece about the thin line that seems to exist between being responsive to customers and being a creepy stalker, MNB reader Mike Starkey wrote:

Certainly an interesting time for all of us in the Loyalty Marketing space.  How do we provide relevant content while not becoming too creepy?  The best positioning, I have heard related to this issue, is likened to the service of a butler (of course, my only butler experience comes from watching Lurch from The Adams Family). 

A good butler is always there when you need him, but doesn’t seem like a stalker.

Seems to me a good Loyalty Marketer will somewhat follow this example.

You went to Lurch. I thought of Alfred, who would make sure the cape and cowl always are ironed.

Regarding out story about patrons being crowded out by pickers in some stores, one MNB reader wrote:

About 2 months ago, my vehicle needed routine service at my local Ford dealer.  I scheduled it for early on a Saturday morning.  By 8 a.m., it was complete, and I decided to stop at the Walmart across the street to pick up some grocery needs.  My thought of having a quick shopping trip early on a Saturday in my rural town was a joke.  The number or pickers for on line orders vastly outnumbered the shoppers, and I found the pickers to be rude, indifferent and quite frankly in my way as a shopper.  Their picking carts and attitudes indicated I was a nuisance to their task.  I found it extremely frustrating (get off my lawn type of frustration).  On the drive home, I spent a lot of time wondering if anyone had completed any real research as to the potential business disruption when online shopping reduces foot traffic to the brick and mortar locations – especially in rural America?

But another MNB reader wrote:

I’m a bit confused as to why this is an issue.  Whether I shop for myself or order online and someone else does it for me, isn’t it the same number of shoppers in the store? In one case, I’m the shopper. In the other, it’s someone being paid to shop for me.

Responding to my piece about difficulties I had when trying to get a Real ID, one MNB reader wrote:

Getting a Real ID as a married woman who changed your name is even more fun!  If you want to use your birth certificate as a document, you will also need to bring your marriage license to document the change from your maiden name.

From another reader:

It seems to me we are not seeing the forest for the trees, or something like that.  Why is the government stating on Social Security cards “Do not laminate.”?  Could they explain the reason for that?  I can remember when the Ohio BMV offices that issued driver’s licenses provided lamination for an additional fee.

On another subject, from another reader:

Kevin, I agree with you on the impact plastic is having on our environment.  I am surprised to see companies such as Waste Management not listed as an offender.  Why?  They had basically shut down their recycling efforts and had off shored all recyclables to China.  In addition to reducing the number of plastics littering this planet, we need to find ways to recycle plastics cost efficiently.  The top ten offenders and other business leaders need to become proactive in solving this problem.
This impacts the grocers who have to react to the plastic straw issue by replacing them with paper, replacing plastic bags with paper (not taking into account the impact on the forest), and face the potential of having to remove the plastic bottles from the shelves, plastic containers from the deli.

Yesterday, when commenting on the firing of McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook after it was found that he “violated company policy and demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee," I wrote:

Interestingly, the stories I've read about this have not made mention of what is happening to the employee. Is she or he losing her or his job?

Prompting one MNB reader to write:

“He”???!  Aren’t you worried that’s potentially libelous?

Interesting that you would view such a comment as libelous.

I actually was trying to be sensitive and not prejudge anybody's sexual orientation … especially because I didn't see any pronouns used when referring to the employee.

Libelous? I don't think so. (Years ago, after I argued here about a particular business issue affecting the LGBT community, an MNB reader wrote in to say that I should keep the fact that I am gay to myself. I didn't feel libeled by this. Surprised, maybe, though not as surprised as Mrs. Content Guy …)
KC's View: