Earlier this month I was able to spend a week back home in the San Francisco Bay Area. It had been two years since I’d been back, so I was really excited to be home and spend time with family and friends. 

A few months ago I had heard that Candlestick Park was doing daily tours until they demolish the stadium. Since my husband and I are both big 49ers fans, I got tickets for us, as well as my sister, brother and sister-in-law to all go together. The morning of the tour we met at the designated area outside of Candlestick. The tour was limited to 20 people, with most showing up dressed in their favorite Niners gear. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and we were all pumped for the tour to start. Our tour guide gave us a quick run down on what we could expect on the 70 minute tour, and then we were off to explore Candlestick. We got to see things like the jail cells the SFPD has in the stadium, the suite and press box areas, the locker room and the old Giants dug out. The best part by far was getting to run down the tunnel from the locker room on to the field and play catch. Tim and my brother even attempted to recreate “the catch”.

  

  

  

Our tour guide was super personable and knowledgeable which really added to how much fun we had. We had a great time and will remember the tour for many years to come. If you’re in the Bay Area over the next few months, I highly recommend the tour! You can find the tour info here: http://sfrecpark.org/parks-open-spaces/candlestick-park-guide/candlestick-stadium-tours/

 

I hate changing passwords.  It used to not be that big of deal, but the longer I go working in this field, the more passwords I establish.  I make sure to have good passwords and not reuse them but that means I have way too many personal passwords to change when something goes wrong.  Add in the amount of passwords we have as a company at Old Hat and today will be spent changing passwords.  

As much as I hate to do it, it needs to be done.  Heartbleed has become a giant pain for anyone who makes a living associated with the Internet.  I will be honest, I understand the ramifications of the vulnerability better than most, but that is only at the 1,000-foot view.  The bottom line is that people can access important aspects of your infrastructure and you will never know.  That scares me… a lot.  Websites are my livelihood.  When problems like this or people in hacker groups take advantage or attack companies, it is not just the corporations and giant companies that have to deal with it.  I have to deal with it and most likely; you NEED to deal with it. 

Check out this article that lists out some of the sites that you will probably need to change or secure your information.  

Happy password day, I mean Friday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, started like any other day.  I made my coffee, headed to work, and began my day of client relating.  However, at 4:27 pm, everything changed.

My phone rang.  Not too many people call me on my direct line unless it is planned ahead of time so it startled me a little bit.  The call went a little something like this…

Abram: “Hi, this is Abram from Brownwood, Texas.  I’m with a small school in the Southwest Conference (??), and I wanted to see if you could help me out with some football materials.”

Me: “Absolutely, what are you interested in?”

Abram:  “How about a life-size cut out of our quarterback that folds down to a schedule card.  Can y’all do that?”

Me: “Yes, we can design for anything.  I will just need to know what size.”

Abram:  “What about bull riding in the parking lot before the game?  I think our local bowling alley wants to sponsor that.  They have this dragon logo that isn’t very good and we don’t like it that much.  Could you make some adjustments to that??“

Me:  “As long as it is okay with them that we change their logo, then we could do that.”

Abram:  “Also, what about a 30 minute (yes, MINUTE) infomercial??  We have some slots available on the local stations we could fill with a football video.”

This went on for a good 10 minutes or so.  All the while I was thinking to myself…these are definitely the most unique requests I have ever received from a potential client.  But like I told him, we can design for anything; we just need to know the specs.   

All of a sudden, I realized I was hearing the voice on the phone echo in real life at the same time.  I spin my chair around, and I see none other than Robert walking towards my desk with a phone to his ear.  Not to mention the other five people that had since gathered around to listen and snicker at me.

I then hear the two words no one wants to hear, or rather…maybe they do: APRIL FOOLS!!!!!

Upon those two words, I dropped the phone like a rapper drops their mic. 

While I am so glad no one caught this extravaganza on camera, I REALLY wish you could have seen the look I gave Robert when I figured out what was happening.   I’ll just say this: at 5’2 and usually smiling, I’m not that intimidating…and Robert almost ran away.

Even though this was a prank for April Fools, I do think it was a good test of customer service.  As I mentioned, most of the time we are creating the usual posters, schedule cards and the like, but every once in a while we have requests for a little more obscure projects.  I could have easily dismissed Abram and seen him as a waste of my time, or I could treat him with the utmost respect and provide him with what he wants for his small school in the Southwest Conference, which I did and will always do for each and every one of my clients.

Go ahead...add me to Robert’s list of victims of his practical joking shenanigans.  

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