Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Do you use two pillows to sleep?

So what if I do?

I came across this question while filling out paperwork for a new dentist.

Why does he wish to know this? I have no idea!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Human Nature

Like many scientists, I subscribe to the weekly journal "Nature". Being a well-respected and popular scientific publication you would expect the Nature Publishing Group (NPG) to be a tightly run ship... right? Well maybe not...

At the beginning of August last year I get a call from NPG saying that if I renew early (my subscription was due to expire in November) I will get 30% off my subscription fee. Would I like to renew early? Why yes I would!

Later in August I was sent a letter from NPG saying it was time to renew my subscription... I figured this was just an automatic renew letter, but to be safe I rang NPG. The operator told me that yes, I was renewed until November of the next year, and not to worry about the letter.

The next day I get a phone call from NPG saying that it is time to renew my subscription!!! I politely explain to the voice at the end of the line that if he checks my records he'll find that I am renewed... He checks my record, but clearly cannot find any renewal... Rather than tell me I need to renew, he simple takes my word for it and alters my record to say I am renewed...

In October I get another renewal letter from NPG... I ignore it.

The cover of my "final" copy of Nature specifically states "Your subscription has EXPIRED. This is your final copy of NATURE."

At the beginning of November I wait for the first copy of my new subscription of Nature to arrive... A copy of Nature does not arrive... Instead, two copies of Nature arrive!! Since that day I have had two copies of the journal every week, but I have only ever been charged for one... I'd cancel one of the copies except for the fear that I'll lose both!

But wait, there's more... Last week I collect my two copies of Nature from the mail room. In between the copies is a letter from NPG: "We're sorry you decided not to renew your subscription to Nature. If this was an oversight, please contact us immediately."...