Tuesday, August 11, 2009

29/52: "The System's Bitch" by John Wright

Book 29/52: "The System's Bitch" by John Wright, 3/5 Stars

Though I've never met the author, he is a long-time friend of someone in my family, which is how his book came into my hands.

Any man married to the same woman for the majority of the time that he's been on the planet and who shepherded three daughters into the their adult lives with her... well, that man deserves to have his book read.

"The System's Bitch" is a humorous take on Mr. Wright's customer service experiences over the years. He writes with a straight-forward wit that makes getting through the book an easy and delightful process. His take on the world is one of common sense and he asks why we put up with the things we do as the desirable quantity--the customer.

Convenience has swung from the customer to the business. In other words, the business now finds it convenient to charge more for less because we accept it as a bitch of "The System."

I can relate to Mr. Wright because I have the worst customer service karma there is and I've not found what is supposed to be balancing it on the other side. For my bad traffic karma, I have good parking karma; makes sense, right? But, when my water gets shut off because the water utility changed their billing address and didn't tell my Bank ePay or DirecTV phantom charges me a buck here and a buck there for three straight months when my service was supposed to off while I was in the process of a move or when my health insurance provider fails to charge my credit card and then sends me a letter, which by the time I receive it and respond my insurance has been canceled (you couldn't pick up the phone and call me? Seriously, I pay YOU and you just let it cancel?)... well, I know what it's like to be "The System's Bitch."

The only criticism that I have of the book is that it is fully intended to be a rant, as far as I can tell. And, although the squeaky wheel, when screaming, often gets greased, I don't typically find favor in simply shouting... I always try to find a way to take one more step and relate to some way that we can make the world a better place, either through action or enlightenment.

So, let's look for him to focus on the solutions instead of the problems in his next book!
GOAL: 52 books in 52 weeks!

Book #28 = "Twitter Power" by Joel Comm, 3/5 Stars
Book #27 = "The Cluetrain Manifesto" by LLSW, 3/5 Stars

Book #26 = "What Kind of World Do You Want?" by Jim Lord, 5/5 Stars
Book #25 = "The New Rules of Marketing & PR" by David Meerman Scott, 4/5 Stars
Book #24 = "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell, 3/5 Stars
Book #23 = "Lisey's Story" by Stephen King, 1/5 Stars
Book #22 = "My Favorite Place on Earth" by Jerry Camarillo Dunn, 4/5 Stars
Book #21 = "Wisdom 2.0" by Soren Gordhamer, 4/5 Stars
Book #20 = "Oath Of Gold" by Elizabeth Moon, 5/5 Stars
Book #19 = "The Age Of Engage" by Denise Shiffman, 3/5 Stars
Book #18 = "What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20" by Tina Seelig, 4/5 Stars
Book #17 = "Animal Farm" by George Orwell, 4/5 Stars
Book #16 = "Divided Allegiance" by Elizabeth Moon, 3/5 Stars
Book #15 = "The Curious Incident of the Dog..." by Mark Haddon, 2/5 Stars
Book #14 = "The Sheepfarmer's Daughter" by Elizabeth Moon, 3.5/5 Stars
Book #13 = "Love Is The Killer App" by Tim Sanders, 4/5 Stars
Book #12 = "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk, 4.5/5 Stars
Book #11 = "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger, 5/5 Stars
Book #10 = "The Finder" by Colin Harrison, 3.5/5 Stars
Book #9 = "Veronika Decides To Die" by Paulo Coelho, 1/5 Stars
Book #8 = "By The River Piedra I Sat Down & Wept" by Paulo Coelho, 3/5 Stars
Book #7 = "Stiff" by Mary Roach, 2/5 Stars
Book #6 = "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, 1/5 Stars
Book #5 = "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, 3/5 Stars
Book #4 = "Eleven Minutes" by Paulo Coelho, 2/5 Stars
Book #3 = "The Good Guy" by Dean Koontz, 3/5 Stars
Book #2 = "My Ishmael" by Dan Quinn, 2/5 Stars
Book #1 = "The Zahir" by Paulo Coelho, 3.5/5 Stars


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