Where Do I Live?

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones has a blog post up about the “voter fraud” that South Carolina is trying to fight with I.D. requirements.  It turns out that there is no evidence of the claimed fraud. Discrepancies are invariably the result of simple clerical error (although one dead person did manage to vote by casting his or her ballot early and then sneakily dying before election day.)

This leads Kevin to:

Despite Newt Gingrich’s infatuation with having MasterCard run our country’s immigration program, anyone who’s ever worked in the private sector knows that keeping customer and prospect mailing lists clean is a huge pain in the ass. If you manage to stay even 95% accurate, you’re a genius. That’s doubly true for voter registration rolls, which are a nightmare of people moving, dying, getting married, registering twice by mistake, providing incorrect addresses, and so forth. After any election, you can always find thousands of discrepancies if you look hard enough.

Twenty years ago I met my wife and moved in with her. Not surprisingly, we never stopped getting mail for her ex. But it was weird when my ex started getting mail there! Two years ago we moved to another city an hour away. I do not believe that we have received any mail from my ex here, but we have received mail for my wife’s ex.

The White Pages Neighbors site (a cool or frightening site depending on one’s perspective) lists as residents in our home my wife, her son and her ex. I’m not listed.  This is despite the fact that the phone number is in my name.

You Can Leave But You Cannot Check Out

Having moved to Fort Wayne, we no longer need our previous isp.  We kept it for awhile so we could get the email.  Yesterday I went by the Marion cable office to return the modem and settle up.   I gave the woman the modem and told her to shut it off we have moved.  She asked for our new address.  I almost protested that they had no need for the new address, but I was lazy and gave it to her.

She told me the amount I owed and I handed over the bills while she further explained that the amount was only an estimate and that we would be sent a bill after the system finished calculating the final bill.


I told her (with a smile on my face) that any system that could not come up with the final bill right here and now was an ef’ed up system (that’s how I said it).

And I walked away laughing.

The famed efficiency of the private sector.

Meijer comes to town

Meijer opened a location in Marion a couple of months ago.  With the great coupon we received in the mail, I was there shopping the first week.  Upon entering the store, there was the panel that held the map of the store layout.  I could immediately see that this store had a dramatically different layout than any such store I’d been in before.

As I shopped, it became clear that the layout was indeed different and I had a very difficult time finding the frozen foods/dairy section (surrounded on all sides by non-food merchandise.  The few people I know who have been to the store have the same reaction to the layout:  what the @#%@! (not in so many words).

On the way home today, I stopped at Meijer to take a picture of the store map for the purposes of this post.  I walked through the store and could not find it.

I spent a few minutes looking for a map online, but I am not that persistent when searching the net and I didn’t find one.  I did find a couple of pages that extol the new Meijer store layout: “Products are located in a much more ergonomic fashion, designed to make the shopping experience more efficient and enjoyable for our customers.” That’s talking about the Gaylord, Michigan store, but what description it gives of the layout also applies to the Marion store.

Also, “the store will be much more user friendly in its layout”, which is discussing the Marion store.

On the way home today, I first stopped at Walmart to buy a few groceries (yes, I know, shopping at Walmart is an issue unto itself).  Walmart being a large corporation, is not likely to just ignore the opening of Meijer just down the street.  Sure enough, there is a reaction.  Walmart is reorganizing the layout of the grocery section (at least).  Now, I’m not saying the previous layout was the final answer for supermarket layout, but it wasn’t bad.  The early outlook for the new layout isn’t promising.

So, someone at Meijer was paid money to devise a store layout that forces someone looking for a frozen pizza and a gallon of milk to walk though the clothing area.

And someone at Walmart was paid money to decide that in response to this competitor with the absurd layout, Walmart should screw with their own layout.  How does this make sense?

And this is the vaunted private sector.