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Some practical stuff that just might come in handy

Each of us has a series of little known but very useful practical tips that come in handy on occasion. I thought I’d share a few of mine that I learned recently in the hopes that you’ll share some of yours. Here goes:

1. Auto Dealership Repairs: auto dealerships have standard pricing for each car repair procedure and part. That means that they bill you a certain amount of hours at their hourly rate for a tuneup for example. Let’s say they bill you at a bajillion dollars per hour times 2.5 hours. Now the procedure only takes 45 minutes but you’re going to pay the standard price regardless of how long the technician works on your vehicle. It might sound unfair but those are the facts. Now for the ugly part…if you sit in the waiting room, they don’t tell you your car is ready until the full 2.5 hours have elapsed. They just park your ride in the back lot and let you get another refill of that savory ersatz coffee. Customers sit cooling their heals for hours on end…just waiting until the end of the fictional repair time. Here’s what to do: Tell the service tech that you know how the billing system works and you’d like your car when it’s ready. You won’t avoid the standard pricing but you will avoid another viewing of The People’s Court.

2. Follow up emails: How many times have you gotten an email when the sender is ‘just checking in’. Come on! – is that the best you’ve got? Think of something interesting to say to re-engage the reader. Offer some new information or reason for them to respond. By writing “I’m just checking in”, you are saying that I didn’t bother to take the time to say something more interesting.

3, CodeAcademy, the Y Combinator start-up, motivated me to learn to code this weekend. It was an exercise in empathy for my software clients. If you’d like to give it a try, go to!/exercise/0

Hanna’s soccer team continued their record of improving the self esteem of their opposing team today. Hanna even hugged her opponents to celebrate their goals. For the first time, she appeared to touch the ball on purpose this week (it was more of a ‘hit & run’)…there’s still the possibility of academic scholarship. 🙂

See that comment box below? Pony up some good ideas please…you know that whole ‘social’ part of social networking thing. If you require anonymity, send me an email and I’ll write about it.


About venturedebt

venture debt firm providing growth capital for emerging growth companies


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Tim O’Loughlin

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