Literary Critiques of App Update Messaging

REVIEW: Brevity, thy name is Adobe. Such an economy of words that even punctuation was deemed unnecessary. One thrills at the prospect of knowing with certainty that bugs will be fixed, lives will be spared, and hope restored to mankind.

REVIEW: The glove has been dropped, Adobe. Mint has seen your message, called your bluff, and raised it one period. Will it be fisticuffs? Guns at dawn? Swords drawn? History alone will toast the winner.

COMPANY: The New Yorker
UPDATE MESSAGE: * bug fixes and performance improvement.
REVIEW: The New Yorker—the pinnacle of American publication style—has presented us with a puzzler. From the opening asterisk, to the oddly placed space before the first word, to the utter lack of punctuation, there is clearly something deeper going on here. The observant reader will quickly deduce the answer. The asterisk is in fact, the Dog Star, Sirius. The “bug fixes” and “performance improvement” are clearly a veiled reference to the impending alien invasion.
Well played, New Yorker. We are packing for the emergency shelters now.

UPDATE MESSAGE: In this release, we’ve further improved the app, making it even easier to find all of the things that matter to you.
REVIEW: “All of the things that matter to you.” Is that even possible? No, a bold claim, but one that falls woefully short in practice. We have endeavored to find a first edition of Don Quixote, however Tile was unable to complete this task. In fact, Tile was only able to locate our keys and iPhone, and it did so with alarming regularity.

UPDATE MESSAGE: Fixed bugs, improved performance, took out the garbage, mowed the front lawn, and now we need a little nap.
REVIEW: YouTube, Mecca for soapy cat and testicular damage videos, is also the haven for those who over-share as evidenced by this witty update which reminds us that most developers still live with their protective mothers.

COMPANY: Procreate
UPDATE MESSAGE: If you’ve got one of the new iPad Pros, this update is for you. This fixes a cancelling issue with the canvas zoom and pan gesture on both new iPad Pro models.
REVIEW: In one fell swoop; the haves and have-nots are segregated. The wealthy have gifts bestowed upon them from the opening salvo, while the lower castes are left to contend with substandard zoom and pan gestures.

UPDATE MESSAGE: We regularly update our app to fix bugs and improve your Vevo experience!
REVIEW: Your experience is paramount to the Vevo development team, as evidenced by their use of the exclamation point. Without it, this would be another dull and uninspired update message, but with the addition of this simple punctuation, something magical has transpired. Vevo, formerly a passive video experience, has been released from its chrysalis and metamorphosed like Gregor Samsa. The critical “!” has transformed an erstwhile unadorned Bon Jovi video into a Disney-esque extravaganza. We raise our glass to you, Vevo. Champion of the people!

Death works at Q’Doba

I don’t normally blog about consumer experiences. I did once before I got popular as a blogger, but *sniff* I was young and needed the money. Today however, I had a consumer experience so annoying I feel compelled to share with you.

I went to Q’Doba for lunch, a place I go to probably once a week out of convenience, and because I like their vegetarian nachos. There is a Q’Doba near where I live; it’s in downtown Royal Oak, so it’s always busy, but it’s super quick to get in and out of.

Then there’s the restaurant by my office. Seated within one mile of my office (one of the largest ad agencies in the US) and the GM Tech Center, it gets a good lunch crowd. It also seems to have half the staff required to run it, and those that bother to show up for work seem pre-occupied with something other running a restaurant. I suspect the rays from the Mother Ship are foiled by Q’Doba’s shiny aluminum surfaces.

For the past three weeks, I have come to Q’Doba on a Monday. Little did I know, Mondays are Two-for-One Slack Off Days. You get two employees to do nothing for you instead of one.

Today, there were only 13 people in line in front of me. Not bad, but I was in line for 39 minutes. Now before you stop me and say, “Hey, that’s only three minutes per person. Is that bad?” Yes, it’s bad. There was not a single person assigned to the register. Apparently at Q’Doba, you are required wait by the register until your expression looks pathetic enough that one of the employees saunters over and rings you up. I’m sorry, that was a lie. They wait on the carry out orders first, and then are guilted into ringing you up.

What is 39 minutes in line at Q’Doba like? Well, it’s like standing in line to vote, but it smells a little better. I can tell you one thing. While I was in line, I actually had time to research stopwatch applications at the iPhone App Store, download a few and test them out before being waited on. There were only two people ahead of me when I decided to do this.

I figured I could start the stopwatch the second Emo-Boy asked for my order and end it the second Suicide Girl rang me up. That took over nine minutes. This is on top of the 39 minutes I’ve already donated to Q’Doba’s Kill Your Lunch Hour With Us Fund. So now, with 48 minutes of my lunch hour spent in line, I have less than 2 minutes to eat and jump back in the car.

As for the food, they rocked it. My nachos looked like they did on the menu and that’s saying something. But, oh boy! There’s not a napkin to be seen. As I approached the counter to inquire where I might grovel for one, another customer beat me to it. Like the hand of Death itself, the skeletal finger of Emo-Boy indicated the rear of the restaurant. I actually saw ectoplasm emenate from his mouth when he croaked out, “Uh, I think there’s some left back there, dude.”

“Why not get off your scrawny butt and refill the other five containers,” was my first thought. Listen, Dave. You just slow your roll. That’s not how we do things at Q’Doba. We don’t refill napkins until every last one has been sneezed on, rubbed apart, chewed, torn or spat on. First things first, y’know? You and your pathetic 60 minute lunch hour. Make me sick.

All in all was this a horrible experience? Not really. It was just so damned disappointing compared to how swift their other restaurants are. Will I go back? Sure, the next time I have a 500 minute lunch hour to kill.

An Open Letter to Marriott Hotels

Dear Marriott,

I spend many nights in your hotels on various business trips. Generally, I have a good stay. Your staff is courteous and helpful, the rooms clean. But I do have a few suggestions.

  1. English Muffins should generally made from flour, not a high-quality latex rubber. You might want to look into that.
  2. Your “Orange Ginger” hand lotion should be renamed “Lemon Pledge” as its scent is a dead ringer for the wood polish
  3. Not wishing to repeat a breakfast of latex muffins, this morning I opted for hash brown potatoes. HINT: they need to be cooked before they can be served.
  4. (Also, one ugly garnish per plate is sufficient)