Sorry, no customer service after 4:00 P.M.

My real, live experience with “customer service”. If you run a business, don’t do this.

A while ago, I wrote about 8 ingenious styles of customer service that every business should know about, mostly because their employees have been inflicting them on unsuspecting customers.

For instance, I warned about “in your face customer service” and “run for cover customer service”, two equally effective opposites…like pouring too much sugar on your Shreddies one morning for breakfast, and dumping too much cayenne pepper on them the next morning. [Read more…]

Are you a giver or a taker?

Sometimes, you just have to take time to give a laugh at the English language. This is one of those times.

I was just told that: “There are two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. Takers might eat well, but givers sleep better at night.”


Here I was thinking that my lack of sleep was due to stress, an overactive imagination and too much pizza. Now I learn that my lack of sleep is from taking too much and not giving enough. So I set out to give as much as I could. [Read more…]

8 foolproof customer service strategies (that only a fool would try!)

Not everybody’s idea of customer service actually falls under the category of “service”. Here are a few handy tricks to avoid.

Have you ever noticed how widely customer service varies from one store to another? You walk into some stores, and before you can even get the words “Buzz off!” out of your mouth, you’ve been trumped by a salesperson asking “May I help you?”

“No thanks.”

“May I help you?” asks another. [Read more…]

Country living explained to city folk

I used to live in the city. I get it. But city folk just don’t get the country. So here’s a primer for them.

For the last time, I live in the country, not in the sticks. And I am relaxed, not a hick.

Ever since we moved to the country, I get the feeling you city-folk are confused. So here is a primer on what country living means. [Read more…]

Creating a memorable vacation in Honolulu

Dreaming of Hawaii? Me, too. It’s far away, but why not keep dreaming? Here’s what we are missing.

When my oldest daughter was very young, she had an imaginary friend called Lulu.  She came from…you guest it, Honolulu. Lulu was staying at our place so that she and my daughter would set up a “beauty shop”.

If you somewhat more adult fantasy also includes Honolulu, here are a few things to feed that fantasy. [Read more…]

There’s an app for that – top 12 Android tablet apps to make life easier

Yes, life can be hard. But there’s an app for that. In fact, here are twelve Android tablet apps to make your life easier.

There’s no doubt you’ve heard people say “There’s an app for that” – probably often enough to make you roll your eyes when you hear it.

While the saying may be somewhat dated, they’re not wrong. No matter what you happen to be doing, there is likely to be an app that can help you do it better, smarter or faster. [Read more…]

A bad hairdresser day

Should a hairdresser be held accountable for a bald spot growing under her care? The Happy Guy ponders this mystery of life.

Long ago (about a decade ago, actually), but not so far away (just ten minutes form here, in fact), back when I had hair…

“Hey everybody!” Hairdresser Lady called out. “It’s The Happy Guy.”

“Don’t try buttering me up, Hairdresser Lady,” I warned. “It’s not going to work.” [Read more…]

Every man is legendary at something, says Heineken

“The Odyssey” by Heineken® is an adventure in cool, exploring the possible, with an underlying message of self-confidence for every man. And every woman.

Let’s start with a confession.  I am not a big fan of commercials.  I flip the radio station in the car when the talking starts.  I have a sudden urge to visit the bathroom or the fridge when TV ads come on.  I don’t click on ads on websites – I just don’t.

But I have nothing against entertainment.

Which is where an amusing commercial called “The Odyssey” from Heineken® comes in.  I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes and wondering what I see in yet another beer commercial of good buddies, babes in bikinis, everybody having a good time, a cooler of ice with cans of beer, etc.

Scenes from The Odyssey by Heineken

The Heineken® commercial is different in a few important ways.

  • Bottles, not cans.
  • A lobster opens the bottle. (cameo appearance)
  • The lead character with dry hair hops aboard a cruise ship from below. (Don’t try this at home, for obvious reasons.)
  • He is a bearded dude. (Here is why that is so cool!)
  • He limbos. (OK, that’s almost normal for beer commercials.)
  • He dresses in two seconds flat.
  • A seagull comes at his beckoning.
  • He slides down the banister.
  • He catches a lady’s eyes (She’s in a classy dress, not a bikini.) and sends her a Heineken by shuffleboard, nailing it right through the walking feet of another lady.
  • He does some pretty crazy – make that “wild” – dance steps (including an incredible Russian!) with the dancing girls on stage.
  • Finally he does a backward dive off the edge of the cruise ship, back into the ocean from whence he first appeared. (No word on whether his hair stayed dry.)

Bottom line, this commercial holds our attention – who is this dude?  What will he do next?  And most importantly, Heineken® does not cast him as leaning on his beer in order to get the attention of the ladies.  He has their attention along with everyone else’s, and by the way, he drinks Heineken®.

The creators of the ad say that The Odyssey celebrates the premise that every man is legendary at something. The central character is played by several actors, chosen in open auditions for their unique talents and skills – because every man is legendary at something. Every woman, too, but this one is about men. Get the message – it’s a great self-esteem booster.

In the words of Sandrine Huijgen, Heineken® Global Communications Director…

“Our Legends campaign is an entertaining homage to our drinkers and their legendary behaviours. We are convinced that many of our drinkers out there have at least one legendary talent. They just need a chance to show it to the world. This is why we decided to offer our next film, The Odyssey, as an opportunity for 20 young men to show us what they’ve got. And they are all legendary.”

So let’s go straight to the commercial…

Seems legit.  Especially the dry hair when he comes on board from below. But not everybody agrees. Some people have taken to criticizing the authenticity of the commercial. So Heineken® has taken to the airwaves to fight back. Here is what they have to say…



In fact, if you want to see the casting films of each of the actors, there is an interactive video that shows them all on Heineken®’s interactive Odyssey video at

The Odyssey follows neatly the earlier “Voyage” campaign, in which Heineken® drinkers were also cast as “legendary”. They were drop-shipped into the middle of nowhere and amazingly found their way home. Without even a seagull to call on for assistance.

This post is sponsored by Heineken®, but the opinions are all my own (mine, all mine!). So let’s take out our lobsters and raise a bottle to them for such an entertaining experience.

The Odyssey Poster

Here is the campaign poster for The Odyssey.
Just like a movie.

The song is just a Memory now

For Wordless Wednesday, I would like to share with you a video of Chantalyne singing “Memory” last weekend at the 2014 Vars Idol competition.

Regular readers might recall that she won the Vars Idol 2013 title with a rendition of “Time to say goodbye”.

This year, they divided the competition into junior and senior performers, and Chantalyne’s performance earned her the title of Vars Idol 2014 (senior).

Vars Idol 2014