Wednesday, 9 November 2011

New Ebook Being Written on the VX-6R Amateur Radio Handheld

I am currently working on a new Ebook: "The Complete Guide to Yaesu's VX-6R", subtitled, "And How to Program it With The VX-6 Commander Software". Hoping to have it finalized and available for sale come late spring/early summer of 2012.

Monday, 31 October 2011

I have found out that a new book publisher is opening up very shortly here in Canada that would suit my novels. Going to submit my work the day they start accepting submissions. Maybe I can get in on the ground floor. Fiction sure is hard to sell, not like non-fiction. What the hell, I like writing fiction too!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Back in the saddle again.

I have been on a little hiatus for a while, concentrating on getting some writing done and sent out. This has taken up a bit of my time but I hope to be more regular on my blogs, hopefully every week or two. The leg is healing, though stairs are still a bitch to do and my limp is quite pronounced. As for writing, I am now concentrating on marketing my freelance writing services via LinkedIn and other outlets. This involves a lot of research, a bit of schmoozing, and an offer of services. As well, marketing efforts continue for my two books "The Complete Guide to Canada's General Mobile Radio Service" and "Slot Machines: Fun Machines or Tax Machines?". In addition, submissions of my two fantasy novels DRAGONSTOEN and TATTONVILLE continue to publishers and agents, and of course submissions of my short stories are continuing. I am also currently working on a new Ebook, "The Complete Guide to Yaesu's VX-6R", a reference guide to a popular handheld Amateur Radio unit, and a political/romance/thriller (I really don't know what to call it), SVETA. Combine the above activities with the daily grind of life and there just seems to be no time to eat, sleep, or do anything else. But I don't mind. As a writer, I love to write. most writers do. It's just trying to find the time to do it.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Real Reasons for Slot Machine Addiction

 The Real Reasons for Slot Machine Addiction

by Phillip J. Boucher

When you look at the volume of books and reports that have been published over the years in regard to Slot Machine, also known as Electronic Gaming Machine, problem gambling, you will notice a particular pattern. Research, observation, and counseling of those addicted to EGM's, whether done at a kiosk, in an office, or conducted through a simulated casino environment, are lacking one specific and very important factor; the fact that these studies and counselings are not taking place in an actual gaming environment. It's fine to apply responsible gaming tactics and practices to try to help those addicted to electronic gaming machines, but nature and nurture causes fail to address the fundamental reason for EGM problem gambling; the proliferation of the myths, misconceptions, and urban legends that abound in books, magazines, online, and in television shows and movies.

As a long-time slot machine technician, my observation and discussion of problem gambling with patrons always came back to the fundamental beliefs in EGM myths; the machines are rigged, the government decides who wins, and the industry is simply an authorized "rip off" of the public.

With an approach to try to help these patrons, I told them the absolute truth about EGM's. How they are designed, how they operate, and how they determine outcomes. Through education and understanding I discovered that once a patron was receptive to understanding how EGM's work, they tended to either reduce their problem gambling activities, or were able to eliminate them altogether.

Nature and nurture causes of problem gambling aside, unless a counselor or other responsible gaming advocate deals with a patron right on the gaming floor with the belief in EGM myths and misconceptions, even the best programs and help are not enough to assist most problem gamblers. As I have proven through direct dealings with patrons, and through feedback from my book, "Slot Machines: Fun Machines or Tax Machines", the hardest part is getting the patrons to understand how EGM's really work. After that, traditional methods of treatment become much more effective.
 
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Website: http://www.phillipjboucher.com

View Phillip J. Boucher CESsr, CTT, CSS, GMR, VE3BOC's profile on LinkedIn


This blog may be re-posted both electronically and in print provided it remains unchanged in any way, gives credit to the author and provides a link back to this blog, and also provides a link to the author's website, http://www.phillipjboucher.com

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Front Line Staff the Best Indicator of Customer Satisfaction

 Front Line Staff the Best Indicator of Customer Satisfaction

by Phillip J. Boucher


Your company could have the best customer service indicators available, but still lack real data on just how satisfied your customers truly are. Surveys, data mining, letters, and comment cards only give you a small idea of a customer's opinions about your services or products. Many companies ignore the best indicator of just how well they service their customers, and they already pay for it. Front line staff.

There has always been that invisible solid wall that separates front line staff from supervisors and managers. Neither side will step over the line, staff for fear of reprisal and management for fear of capitulating. But there is a saying that is true to business: Managers know how to get the job done. Staff know how to actually do the job. And on this line of separation lies the barbed-wire fence that needs to come down. Staff should not have the fear of telling management exactly how it is, and management should not have the fear of hearing what they don't want to hear.

As a supervisor or manager your daily interaction is mostly with your staff. Yes you may occasionally deal with customers, and may even have close dealing with a select few. But in reality, with all the customer service data your company has collected, do you really know what your customers think? Do you really understand what they want, or how happy they are with your company? Most think so. But if you talk to front line staff, the overwhelming consensus is that you don't have a clue.

Whiny little ungrateful low-paid peons! We are supervisors and managers. We know what customers want. That's why we make better money! Go back to your menial jobs.

Yes, some companies do have that attitude. And if even one person in your organization thinks the same then your company as a whole doesn't have a clue. But the people who work with your customers everyday, serving them, helping them, listening to their praise and complaints, talking one-on-one, keeping them coming back, these are your best customer service indicators. Because as much as you may think that staff don't know anything about running a business and customer service, you'd be dead wrong.

Staff do know what customers want. They know what products and services customers like, dislike, or would like to have. They understand customers' needs. They hear exactly what customers think about your company, good things and bad things that never make it onto surveys, comment cards, or letters of praise or complaints. Sadly, no one asks them what customers truly feel. And when staff try to tell those in the chain of command, they are halted, refuted, and made to feel as if the uppers truly don't care. Staff actually know what works what doesn't.

Here's your chance to change that and get real, honest indicators about customer satisfaction. Motivate your supervisors and managers to actively listen to what staff are saying in regards to customers. Make it a two-way welcome interaction in which staff have no fear of stating exactly what customers are saying, and management has no fear of actually hearing it. Ensure that what staff is saying and managers are hearing makes it way to the top of the pyramid. Embrace the fact that staff are the best data mining technique for true customer satisfaction indicators.

Yes, they may work hard and get little pay for it in the grand scheme of things, but after all, there are more of them than you, there is strength in numbers, and you should utilize that strength to improve every aspect of your customer service program.
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Website: http://www.phillipjboucher.com

View Phillip J. Boucher CESsr, CTT, CSS, GMR, VE3BOC's profile on LinkedIn

This blog may be re-posted both electronically and in print provided it remains unchanged in any way, gives credit to the author and provides a link back to this blog, and also provides a link to the author's website, http://www.phillipjboucher.com

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Back on Track

After six months of physiotherapy and pain, I am back on track and can now walk without a cane. With this progress, both my physical and spiritual wellness are coming back to normal. This translates into a more productive avenue with my writing, and hopefully a more prolific output of work. I'm approaching several manufactures of two-way radio equipment for assignments to write user manuals and ad copy, working on a few new short stories and novels, and trying to promote my writing services through both traditional and social networking pathways.

As such I hope to write on this blog more frequently and avail myself of the opportunities that abound.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Dragonstoen: An Amulet for a Prince to be published by Necrology Shorts

Well finally. Although the fantasy novels Dragonstoen and Tattonville are still out at publishers, at least one of my fantasy short stories is seeing the light of day. "Dragonstoen: An Amulet for a Prince" will appear in several media publications of Necrology Shorts, such as their website at www.necrologyshorts.com, and through download to Kindle devices via Amazon.com. With the publication of this short story, the adventures of Addler Berrington and his charge, Nesra the dragon, are about to unfold. This story features many of the main characters from the novel, such as Princess Alnya, Rapopella the Dragos, Lord of the Knights Kaska, and former Lord of the Knights Jastin Berger, and takes place several years after the events in the final book number five of the novel series. The story will be available online within at week or two on their website. Why not pay a visit, read my story, and let me know what you think.