Categories
Writing and Publishing

I’m Back!

A few months ago, in my post “The Work of Publishing Periodicals” I explained why I hadn’t blogged for awhile — for 21 days to be exact. (Prior to that, the dubious record was 14 days — see “The AWOL Blogger is Back .”)

In my entry, I blamed my absence from the blogosphere on attending a convention.  First I was busy trying to work ahead in anticipation of being gone, then I was gone, and then I was catching up from being gone.

So what’s my excuse this time for an embarrassingly long, record-setting, four week absence?  Another convention!  This time it was the ATA (American Teleservices Association) convention in Orlando.  It was a great event and time well spent, but once again, the ramifications of attending precluded time to blog.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, I do.  I just haven’t carved out the time to do so.

Perhaps this blog will jump start that process — and if not, expect another long delay between posts!

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Categories
Miscellaneous

Travel Trivia and Other Tidbits

I’m back from my trip to the ATA (American Teleservices Association) convention.  The convention was great; if I could just get there without needing to travel.  Here are some random thoughts and musings from the past three days:

  • Two of my four flights were late; fortunately, they weren’t at critical points in my itinerary.  Still, a 50% is not too good.
  • The $5 box snack on the airlines was largely non-nutritious junk food.  So I bought semi-nutritious food in the terminal.  (The Pop tarts were quite good, but the Fig Newtons weren’t as tasty as I remembered.)
  • Despite talking to people all day long at the convention, I had few truly meaningful conversations.  Three exceptions were the podcast interviews I recorded and the fourth was on the shuttle to the airport.  It seems that people either had an agenda or weren’t really listening.  It true communication a dying art?
  • I was blogging about the ATA convention.  I did this a little bit for the ATSI convention in June as a trial.  The blogging went pretty well and many people (presumably not at the convention) were reading my posts.
  • In addition to the interviews and the blogging, I also snapped about 300 photos, so I was a busy guy.
  • In order to focus on the convention, I didn’t check email or voicemail.  I came home to 279 email messages and five voicemail messages (an interesting ratio, given that I cover the call center industry).  It’s a bit overwhelming and it will likely take the rest of the week to catch up.
  • As I predicted, Detroit won the WNBA in three games.  Since I missed watching it live, I plan to view a recording tonight.
  • I also missed the debate (and would have skipped it anyway).  I understand the question was asked if healthcare is a right, a responsibility, or a privilege.  It’s not in the constitution or bill of rights, so I’d have to say that it’s not a right.  Besides, housing is a more basic need than healthcare and no politicians are running around claiming everyone has a right to housing.
  • Finally, this thought from the Tuesday issue of A Word A Day: “Journalists do not believe the lies of politicians, but they do repeat them — which is even worse!” -Michel Colucci, comedian, and actor (1944-1986)
Categories
Call Center Articles

A Trip to the ATA Convention

Tomorrow afternoon, I’m heading off to the ATA (American Teleservices Association Meeting) in San Antonio, Texas.  It should be a great meeting and I’m excited about it (all except for the traveling part).

I won’t likely be blogging while I’m gone, but do plan to submit some convention reports on the Connections Magazine newsfeed, so if you’re in the call center industry, check that out next week (October 5-8).  I also hope to record some interviews as well.

In an unrelated issue, Detroit is currently playing San Antonio for the WNBA finals.  Ironically, I will not be in state where any of the five scheduled games will be played (not that I have any interest in going).  The first two were in San Antonio this week, while I was in Michigan.  The next two will be in Michigan, while I am in San Antonio.  The final game, if necessary, will be in San Antonio, after I return to Michigan.  I doubt, however, we will ever get to game five, as Detroit took the first two and only needs to win one more.  They should accomplish that on Sunday — unless they get overconfident.

So, when I return, I may have something to blog about traveling (airlines and hotels), share about my latest saga with the post office… or maybe something completely different.

In any event, I will try to keep it interesting.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Connections Magazine, covering the call center teleservices industry.

Categories
Writing and Publishing

Travel Tidbits

I have returned from a phenomenal conference.  ATA knows how to put on a first-class event.  I was able to hear several great speakers (CNN’s Paul Begala, for one — he gave some cogent and compelling insight into the US Presidential race).  I saw old friends and made new ones.  I recorded three podcasts — the first one is already online.  Plus, I took over 400 pictures for Connections Magazine.  I am still processing everything — as well as trying to catch up — and will have more to share tomorrow, but first, I have a few sundry items to get off my mind:

Both airports (Grand Rapids and Washington-Reagan National) had constructions projects underway.  Am I imagining things or are airports more likely to be undergoing construction than not?

I struck out again with airplane food.  I think they’re trying to kill me.  The trail mix I ingested on the way there had 18% of my recommended daily allowance of fat — per serving.  The 4 oz bag contained 4 servings!  On the return flight I fared only slightly better with the Pringles (but they did taste good!)

The hotel was great; friendly and professional staff (who used my name whenever possible — and mostly pronounced it correctly, which is not common when I get away from SW Michigan) and smartly decorated and furnished rooms.  But how come the more you pay for a hotel, the more likely they tack on extra charges?  For a $70 for a room, there is free Internet and local calls (sometimes even long distance), the workout room is included and often a continental breakfast.  The room includes a coffee maker (not that I use it), a mini-frig, and sometimes a microwave.  However, when I pay 3 to 4 times as much, they charge for Internet and local calls (I heard of one hotel charging for room-to-room calls), there is no coffee maker, mini-frig, or microwave.  Breakfast is on your own — and expensive — while one visit to their exercise room is often more than the introductory rate for a month at the gym.  I don’t get it.

On the issue of the linens, they crossed the line.  A note card informed me that to “conserve water” they would not be changing the bedding — unless I called the front desk.

Lastly, I am perplexed.  What name do you use when the maid is a guy?  “Male maid” rolls off the tongue, but it’s certainly not politically correct.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Categories
Healthcare Call Centers

A Tale of Two ATAs

This weekend I’m headed out to the ATA meeting in Washington.

You may be wondering, “Didn’t you just return from the ATA meeting in Washington?”

Ah, yes, but that was the American Telemedicine Association (aka ATA) meeting in Seattle, Washington.  Now I am going to the American Teleservices Association (aka ATA) “Washington Summit” in Washington, DC.

I know; I get confused, too.  The first ATA was for AnswerStat magazine; coverage will be in the June/July issue.  The second ATA is for Connections Magazine; coverage of that event will be in the June issue.

This is my second year attending the ATA Washington Summit.  I’m quite excited; it’s a great association, with wonderful leadership, and the members are first-class.  In addition to preparing attendees to meet with their Congressional representatives, there will also be some PAC (Political Action Committee) events and the SRO (Self-Regulatory Organization) will be discussed.

For this trip I was fortunate to book a direct flight from Grand Rapids (about an hour north of were I live); that’s a welcome bonus.  Flying out of Kalamazoo (the closest airport to me) always requires a connection — unless my destination happens to be a hub city!  So, I will gladly drive a bit to enjoy a direct flight.  The only downside — which is minor — is less travel time to spend reading and listening to podcasts.

So, this blog will be idle for a few days, but I am sure I will have lots to share when I return.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat and Medical Call Center News, covering the healthcare call center industry.