Vale of tears

October 30, 2005

I like JetBlue a lot, so this isn’t by any means an overall slam… but I’m astonished at their ineptitude when it comes to doing business on the Internet, given that they bill themselves as the web airline. Unlike EVERY OTHER vendor in the travel business, they don’t appear able to send you a confirmation email after you buy a ticket — which means no confirmation number unless you write it down by hand. Uh, I don’t think so. And if you call them to get a replacement email sent, it might take 24 hours or not get there at all. They claim they get caught in spam filters a lot, but that convenient excuse just makes them look more lame. Dudes: if Southwest can send me email without fail, you can too.

Since we’re getting rolling on a rant here… have I mentioned the curious case of the post office with no mailboxes? It’s the only one I’ve ever seen, and of course it’s in beautiful downtown Sunnyvale. Instead of mailboxes, they have these lovely antique brass slots in the wall, each of them only wide enough for one small envelope at a time. They’re carefully labelled “Sunnyvale letters”, “Out of town letters”, “Sunnyvale flats and bundles”, and “Out of town metered mail”… which leaves out stamped large envelopes going anywhere other than Sunnyvale. For those, you’re apparently supposed to stand in line behind a dozen septuagenarians who appear to have nothing better to do than ask questions about sending mail, until you get to the front of the line and are allowed to HAND your envelope to the nice postal worker who will promptly toss it into a bin. The thing that irks me the most about all this absurd time-wasting rigamarole is that they justify it in the name of homeland security, when most of the other towns near us have drive-thru mailboxes.

Other things I learned this week: don’t use DHL as your shipping option with ThinkGeek, because if they can’t deliver your package they’ll just give it to the USPS; if your computer is stolen or otherwise fubar, you will fervently praise the majesty that is IMAP; and don’t believe guys in pinstriped trousers when they whisper sweet nothings in your ear.

One bright spot in a vale of tears: our kick-ass designer Torrey has ported our chat interface look and feel over to Adium with Dojo! Now you can experience the thrill of our superlative text bubbles while your text fades in gently. Oooh!

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