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Oct. 262013

October 26, 2013

►    Customer Feedback: An anonymous customer stated that their general shopping experience with us was Good.  Did any of our team members do an unusually good job?  “Yes!  Mia was awesome.  We came to buy a new filter and she told us we could buy parts instead of a whole thing.  Then she helped us put it together!  Great customer service!!!”  Sales help, operations and product performance were rated Excellent. They would recommend us to a friend.

►    Advertising, weekly specials, and department promotions continue from last week:  “Best of the Best”. Plus we are running an ad on sports collectibles at 20% off on the front page of the Telegraph Sports Section during part, or all, of the World Series.

►    Happy Birthday to Jen next Friday, November first; All Saints Day.  I guess that makes her a saint!

►    Happy Halloween!  Trick-or-Treat candy in the Frankenstein heads, at the registers.  Starting today (the Summer Events calendar is wrong) until Halloween.

►    Submitted by Jen – Weekly Fire Alarm Tip:  Acting managers are responsible for informing staff when it is safe to re-enter the building.  In the case of false alarms, always ask the fire department for the okay to re-enter. Fire alarm procedures are tested once a quarter. Your score on this test plays a part in the amount of your quarterly bonus. A complete answer key is returned with each graded test. If you would like another copy, please ask Jen.

►    Submitted by Anne-Marie: We just received an alert from J. D. Associates, there is a new virus going around that sends an email posing as a fake FedEx or UPS tracking notification. Once opened, the virus encrypts your files and asks for a ransom of $300 within 100 hours – a ticking clock shows you the countdown until the virus denies you access to your computer files.  As of this date, there is no way to decrypt the files other than paying the criminals involved. So, DO NOT OPEN anything of this nature.  Hopefully soon, a solution or malware will be created for this virus.

►    We are renewing our health insurance plan on January first this year, instead of April first.  We are also slightly changing the plan.  Advantages to those on the plan:

  1. Your deductibles and other annual costs, which have always been for a calendar year, will now match your plan.  Previously, they did not match for three months every year.
  2. The cost is only going up 5.33%, and we will absorb the entire increase.
  3.  Prescription copays will go down:  from $15/$50/50% to $10/$35/30%.
  4. We beat what looks like a much larger increase due on April 1st:  16% to 20%.  Possibly even more, because Anthem will price future plans according each individual’s age – we are not as young as we once were.
  5.  I am hoping that most disruptions caused by the rollout of Obamacare will have settled in by 12/31/14.  Hopefully, the next increase will be lower, or the small-company exchanges will be in effect by then.  We do not have enough information at this time (and it won’t be better in March) to understand the options.  There is only one disadvantage that I can see:  The deductible, and maximum out-of-pocket on covered services will rise from $2,000 to $3,000 a year.  So don’t get sick!

While Obamacare appears to be working well, with much lower-priced insurance in some states (California, Kentucky), New Hampshire is not participating well or quickly.  Hopefully, by this time next year, healthcare options will be much better for us.  And, if you are not on the plan, and wish to be, see Jen or me right away.  The deadline to join will probably be November 30.  If you miss a deadline, it is normally a year before you get another chance.

►    Submitted by Seth – The Olhausen Build-Your-Own-Table software is now running on the Design Center internet computer.  Just click on the BYOT icon on the Desktop to run it.  Functionality should be the same, except that you now use the mouse instead of the touchscreen.  (Note that it runs in a window and does not fill the entire desktop.)  Please let Seth know if you experience any issues with it.

►     It Could Be Worse:

I’d gone on vacation without having processed a pay raise for one of the employees of our medical practice.  When I returned, I discovered that my boss had filed the forms away.  I opened the file cabinet and looked up the employee’s last name, first name, subject matter – nothing.  “Hey, where did you file those papers?”  I asked my boss.  “Look under M,”  “M?” I asked.  “But his initials are C.S.  Why would you file it under M?”  Exasperated, he said, “For money.”                          Deborah Bush, Virginia

Feb. 182019
►     This week’s report card comes from the Smerekaniczs from New Boston.  They said that their shopping experience was excellent, mostly because Stephanie was so amazing.  They also said that the best thing we could do for our business would...
Feb. 112019
►     The Whites from Londonderry send us some very positive feedback!  “We love shopping at Seasonal Specialty Stores – there is such a great selection!  Everyone was awesome.  Nobody did a bad job – everyone was great.  You have a...
Feb. 22019
►     James & Jackie from Westford, MA have this to say about us:  Always professional and efficient.  Sean helped us buy a Saber grill.  Everyone was timely and polite and nobody did an unusually bad job.  We really appreciate the...