While I’m back home again to Phoenix Arizona. It’s been a while since I lived here. Ahh! Fifteen years in the Philippines and things have changed or is it me that is just getting set in my ways. Mmmm! That means that I’m getting old. I think I will deny that , I’m not getting old.
Well let me tell my story and I will let you decide. I came to Phoenix to find an intelligent being. I just move from a farm town in California. I needed a job in information technology. The story begins when we arrive and we need an apartment to move into. There are lots of apartments for rent and they are all running specials to attract renters. Our first stop was at Timber Trees Apartments. We were rejected because my credit score was not high enough compared to my income. Well I got into an argument about how stupid credit scores are. We will talk about that in a different blog.
Well we got moved in and now we need a phone and Internet connection. We walk to a nearby mall (MetroCenter) and stop at the Quest kiosk. We sign up and they make a mistake on the apartment number. The say they will change it. We come back the next day, because “we” made a mistake on the apartment address. We are greeted by a new attendant. I sense that he is not to responsive to my request. He changes the install address and ask me if that is all I need. I answer yes. He then says that the billing address is still the original. I say we need to change that also. I then here the comment. “You told me that we are done and nothing more needs to be changed”. I say “ The Install address and the billing address need to be the same”. I again hear the comment “You told me we are done”. I hear this four or five times. In a louder voice I say “I am the customer. You are the dog and I am the master”.
The end of this story ends with the guy calling mall security. They come and talk to me. They are very accommodating and treat me like a customer. We go to the nearby mall customer service desk and I’m ask to fill out a customer complaint against the kiosk. The security officers are friendly and I thank them and continue wonder around the mall.
In our second week in Phoenix I attend a job fair sponsored by the local newspaper. I finally get to meet a lot of intelligent beings. Yes, they are the same age I am and they dress not to look stupid (long dress pants and button shirts, some in full suit and ties). Of course these are all men and no ladies. I find out that represented companies are looking for people that are willing to relocate. The local companies are looking for workers to work in the local defense industry. Well I strike out and my introduction the the intelligent class is a failure.
Our next venture is to ride the local bus and light rail system here in Phoenix. This is a first time experience for me. We buy an all day reduced pass( available for senor citizens). We get the transit schedule and route maps, and we are off on our adventure. We go from MetroCenter mall to Arizona Mills Mall. About a 50 minute bus ride at 3 pm in the afternoon. The bus fills up with students from the local schools and it’s packed and noisy. We get to Baseline Road and transfer to an east/west bus. We arrive at Arizona Mills at about 5 pm and it starting to get dark. We can stay and we move on in our adventure.
We decide to go to the light rail station in Tempe. Arriving a the station, the train is is there and filling with passengers. We are on the wrong side of the tracks and cross the tracks. There is a big sign that says “Do Not Cross The Tracks”. We board the train and we are off on my first train ride in Phoenix. Oh Oh! We didn’t pay. We ask a rider who will swipe our day ticket. Mmm! Seems we bypassed the swipe robot at the correct way to enter to waiting area. The train ride is a very pleasant and we are soon at the end of the line. We get off and two more bus rides and we are home. It’s 8pm, a five hour adventure in the world of mass transit.
My take on my first month in Phoenix
Well I’ve been home here in Phoenix for a month. My experience has been very enlightening and one of my stories to tell when I’m 80 years old. What have I learned?
I’ve been in Phoenix the last month with the old, the young, the disabled, the job seekers and the unemployed. This is what I have found. There is a lot of conflict among these groups. The old is still looking for jobs and are in conflict with the new graduates. The young are in conflict there peers and race is a major factor in this conflict. To be unemployed is very stressful. A lot of unemployed and disabled are riding the bus. The riders on the bus were arguing with fellow passengers or on the cell phone arguing. Public arguments has been very my dominant experience here in Phoenix.
My second take on my return to Phoenix is the tension between the different groups. Tension between races and income class come to the forefront of my mind. My conflict with Quest was race related but I do have to confess that my dog statement did not help. My defense there is that I said “You are the dog” and not “You are a dog”. A possible mix up there. See my blog on “The Dog Theory of Marketing”.
My last take on my return to Phoenix is the robots you talk to when you call a business. Ahh! This one of the reasons I left Phoenix in the first place. Nothing has changed here. Well that’s not true. I have have come back to even a worse thing. Now when you visit a business, the answer to your question is “It’s on the Internet”. Yikes! That’s the same answer I got from my professor 50 years ago. “Read the Manual, It’s in the library.” See my blog “Read the Manual”.