Thursday, June 08, 2006

Some humble pie

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" was first published in the US in 1936. It was published for the first time in the UK in 1953 and has been republished many times since. It has (along with As A Man Thinketh and Think and Grow Rich) some claim to be the grandaddy of the modern self-help / self-improvement / success literature genre. Anyway, the reason I mention it is that the very first chapter, and the first principle in improving your ability to win friends and influence people, contains the advice "Don't criticize, condemn or complain". Apparently, Dale says "any fool can criticize, condemn or complain - and most fools do". Well - in my last blog entry, fuelled by a 4-hour stock list compilation binge, and frustrated with some usability gripes, I made some derogatory comments about the Gardners website. Yesterday, I had the great pleasure to spend several hours with Jim Youell of Gardners, and now that they have answered all our questions, and frankly exceeded all our expectations in terms of the services they can offer us, I feel obliged to offer an apology. In addition, now that I understand how the system is *supposed* to work, I will now eat this large slice of humble pie regarding the website design. Sounds of pie being swallowed. Glad that's done. It's fair to say that, thus far, everything Susan Hill said about Gardners has been true, and more so. I cannot praise them highly enough, and we look forward to working with Jim and the rest of the Gardners team in the weeks and months ahead. And while I'm in the confessional, Nicki referred to the 'vile green' wall we've recently redecorated in the shop. That was my comment Jill, and I had no idea it was the colour you chose when you originally moved in. Profuse apologies. Gosh, I feel much better... (BTW, a geeky factoid about Dale Carnegie: he was originally Dale Carnagey, but he changed the spelling of his surname in the 1920s to be the same as that of the phenomenally successful Scots-born steel baron Andrew Carnegie...)

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:41 PM

    That's a factette not a factoid.

    A factoid is something that "everyone knows to be true" but is actually false. So named because it behaves just like a fact [in the way it is cited, taught, reproduces itself] but isn't. Just like a spheroid - which behaves just like a sphere but isn't one. Or typhoid - which is just like typhus but isn't typhus.

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  2. Delighted you find Gardners good.. their customer service is the best I have ever come across apart from Boden !!
    much enjoy reading about your shop.. don`t forget Long Barn Books give a 50% discount to all independents on everything other than single copy orders..! check out the website..www.longbarnbooks.com . though Gardners stock us too.

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  3. Thanks Susan - we will be in touch shortly...

    Re: Factoids. I seem to remember them appearing heavily in "The Day Today".

    Factoid 'fact': it was coined by Norman Mailer in 1973: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factoid

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