Q&A / 

March 4, 2014 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips

Your Special Skills

You realize you have special skills, right? I'm willing to wager many could benefit from what knowledge you've accumulated during your journey through life.

I'm sorry in advance for what I'm about to do to you, but please understand, it's very private.

This may not make sense to you and leave you wondering about details, but what you're about to read is all I'm willing to share.

Last Thursday, I opened my email inbox and there was a heartfelt message from a young woman who I had reached out to about six weeks ago through her attorney.

It was one of those rare times in life that does take your breath away. I thought I'd NEVER hear from her.

You can experience the joy her email brought to me and help others at the same time.

I had reached out to this young lady to offer free advice about anything related to home improvements, buying products or hiring a contractor. Because of the torment, turmoil and tragedy in her life, it took her a while to respond. She was very appreciative.

Her email had a profound impact on me. It reaffirmed in my mind that good does trump evil, and we should all stop and offer up any help we can to those that have a very real need.

When I say offer help, I mean you doing something, not suggesting others performing it as your proxy.

Believe me when I say this young woman has a gaping hole in her life that will never be filled and she will need help and advice. There are hundreds of thousands of people in our world that need what you have in your brain or in your fingertips, but these folks don't know who to ask for it. What's more, they often don't have the inner strength to request the guidance.

What skills do you have? I know you have many. How can you share your knowledge or talents?

Can you mentor a child? Can you stop by a retirement center and do magic tricks one afternoon? Can you teach a simple class about flower or vegetable gardening? How about teaching sewing, baking, computer wizardry, business tips or ???? at your local recreation center?

Stop and ask yourself how you can step up and help someone.

As Nike so wisely says: Just Do It


Tip of the Week - Check Customer Support BEFORE You Buy

FIRST: Are you an appliance service tech? If so, please email me. I have a question for you.

Four years ago, I purchased a top-of-the-line Viking dishwasher. Kathy selected it and it does a great job of washing dishes. It's also quiet.

But I believe one of the parts is ripe for a nationwide recall.

For the second time in eighteen months, a sensor in the machine has gone bad. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I decided to go to the Viking Appliances website and get in contact with their media contact to have a discussion.

Guess what? Viking Appliances has made a conscious decision to make it as hard as possible for members of the media to contact them. That's odd, wouldn't you say?

Nowhere on their site can you find a Press Room. Nowhere can you discover a media contact. Nowhere is there a directory of media contacts.

I called the phone number to corporate headquarters and got an automated answer. If you choose the zero button on your phone to speak to a live operator you get: "Invalid Entry - Try Again!" GRRRRRRRRRR.

After starting the message over, I select the Customer Service option and was greeted by a woman that sounded like she woke up ten minutes before I jingled her.

She didn't know who the media contact was and said, "Can I put you on hold?"

"Sure. (groan)"

"You need to call Brent B. at extension XXXX."

"Can you just connect me?"

"No. You need to call back the main number."

As Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) said in the 1991 remake of the Peter Pan movie, "Bad form!"

What's the lesson here?

Before you purchase a big appliance or expensive item for your home, do yourself a favor and TEST DRIVE the Customer Service vehicle of the company. See how easy it is to get an answer.

Believe me, some companies RUN TOWARDS problems.

I think I see the backs of the Viking Appliances management team and they keep getting smaller.

Do you want to see how it's supposed to be done - in my opinion?

Go to the Dickies website. Look at the text navigation at the BOTTOM of any page.

BOOM! Right there baby: Media Contacts TRICK LINK!!!! Click to see what happens! Shameless - I KNOW.

Stain Solver Sale

My very good friend Tim Kerber had this to say today about the winter of 2013-14:

"Winter (in the USA) has become the Justin Bieber of seasons. Initially, viewed as fun and exciting by many. It has now overstayed its welcome, become obnoxious, and should go back to Canada."

With that thought, I've given Old Man Winter exactly THIRTEEN days to vamoose from New Hampshire.

In this spirit, you can now get 13 percent off my larger sizes ONLY of Stain Solver. That adds up to BIG SAVINGS on the 9, 18 and 50-pound sizes.

The Perfect Sample Size is also on SALE for $9.26. BUY ONE now to PROVE to you Stain Solver works!

Why that number?

Mess with the three digits and see why ... Can you solve that simple puzzle?

With Spring just about here, you'll NEED Stain Solver to do lots of cleaning.

The prices have already been marked down. You don't need a promo code.

You get FREE SHIPPING too.

This sale ENDS on Sunday, March 9, 2014, at midnight Eastern Time.


Zip Tie on Garage Opener

Burglars can break into your home in seconds with a coat hanger. It's really easy if you have a garage door that has GLASS panels at the top.

All they do is activate the emergency door release latch by snagging the rope and handle with a hooked metal clothes hanger.

You can thwart them by installing a smaller zip tie that will provide increased resistance to the tension created when you pull the rope handle. A zip tie that's too beefy will interfere with the latch in an emergency.

Does this make sense or do you need a photo and video?


Ingenious Russians - Simple Machine Video

Problem: SUV falls through an ice-covered lake.

Question: Can you and one or two friends get it out with minimal tools and maybe a bottle of vodka?

Watch this unbelievable video of Russian ingenuity.


Colin Jaffe' Interview

Three weeks ago, I was in sunny and warm southern California, a guest of Behr Paint. It was their first-ever editors/media conference.

It was their coming-out party /  debutante ball. Behr has kept a fairly low profile for years and they now are ready to tell some of their fascinating story.

I was lucky enough to snare a VIDEO interview with Colin Jaffe', the Senior VP for Professional Sales. Colin has a deep and rich heritage with Behr Paint. He's uniquely qualified to speak about the Behr culture and what it means to you as a consumer.

Sometimes top management at companies spout off rhetoric. After my tour of the Behr's corporate headquarters and factory in Santa Ana, CA, I'm here to tell you Colin does NOT speak with forked tongue. LISTEN closely to what he says in the video interview.


Treasure Hunt Answers

Have you been playing the Treasure Hunt? If so, THANKS

If you want to start playing CLICK HERE.

Are you wondering about the correct answers for each four past days of the Hunt?

I've got some pretty funny comments with the answers.

DON'T CLICK these if you've not played!!!!!

Day One Answers

Day Two Answers

Day Three Answers

Day Four Answers

That's enough for this week

NOTE TO SELF: Make a promise to each newsletter subscriber to improve the QUALITY of the newsletter each week moving forward.


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