NorthWorst Airlines

I spent the entire day trying to get my daughter to Minnesota for her job as a camp counsellor. It should have been easy, but the disgruntled employees of Northwest Airlines made it a rather trying time.

The string of problems started with equipment malfunction. My kid was actually on the plane at 8AM, ready to go, when they announced a “mechanical failure” involvolving the navigation system, and cancelled the flight. (I have to wonder why they didn’t discover this when the aircraft came in last night…really gives me great confidence in their maintenance people and procedures.) Like a house of cards, their entire flight schedule came tumbling down. Among several “solutions” the Continental Airlines staff cross-covering Northwest found was a transfer to Delta, routing my daughter to Minnesota via Orlando. It would have worked, except Delta couldn’t find the transferred ticket. There was considerable finger-pointing on that one, and as yet I’m not sure if Delta wouldn’t or couldn’t find the data in the computer. I tend to think the latter. After a few more false starts, and notice from the camp that they couldn’t pick her up at the late arrival time, I ended up driving the kid to another city to attempt to catch a flight that might have worked. I averaged about 85 MPH in this attempt, and actually made it to the other airport 20 minutes before flight time. I shoved the kid out the door with her rolling duffles, and parked the car with the valet service (a real life-saver). By the time I got to the ticketing desk, the kid was in tears. The agent, whose English was somewhat lacking, had assumed that my daughter had insulted her: the kid had asked to speak with someone who “might be more capable” to get her on the flight after saying, “PLEASE help me!” The woman, Elizabeth L., was not going to help her at all until I got there, and my daughter grovelled with apology for her “rude” behaviour. She finally made it to Minnesota about 9 PM, and has a 3 hour shuttle ride to camp sometime tomorrow. Friends of a cousin are sheltering her tonight.

I may be old fashioned, but I expect service from the service industry. Anybody hear of Nordstrom’s? The customer is always right? We are the customers of the airlines. Sadly, the attitude has become, “it is a pleasure for you to be served by us”. My daughter did NOT sass the agent; Ms. Elizabeth L.’s poor command of the language added weight to the chip on her shoulder, and she was quite ready to withold service to a 4’10” 17 year old who just wanted to get to her job as a junior-counsellor at a girls’ camp.

I am currently holding 3 more tickets on NorthWorst. I will move Heaven and Earth to change airlines for these trips. Northwest’s employees are not acting like they want my money, and I’m not giving them any more. I would strongly urge all of you to avoid this poor excuse for an airline as well, and tell your friends to do the same.

And now, back to PACs….

Thanks to HIStalk!

The author of HIStalk, a blog about hospital IT services, thought my blog worthy of mention, and I see many of you have come here to have a look. Welcome! I hope you find my babbling interesting, or at least amusing.

Greetings also to visitors from Amicas, GE, HBOC, Mitra, ScImage, Siemens, and various PACS and IT professionals from around the world! (And apologies to those surfing blogs with the “next blog” button that land here by accident!)

No, I am NOT paid by Amicas….

Our Amicas install has become a favored destination for site visits. We had a group come through the other day, and I was more than happy to wax poetic in favor of Amicas and to, um, dissuade them from purchasing Evolved (see below..) In the middle of my anti-Evolved spiel, one of the top Amicas guys gently suggested that I get back on the Amicas track, lest the visitors think that I am paid by Amicas to say bad things about their competitors. Let me assure everyone that I am NOT paid to say (or not to say) anything. I do own stock in one company that makes a PACS system: GE! That doen’t keep me quiet about them, now does it? I do have my price, but none of the PACS vendors can afford it…well, maybe GE can, but they haven’t made any offers as yet.

In the spirit of fair and balanced reporting, here are some minor changes I would like to see Amicas make in the LightBeam product. Yes, some of this is borrowed from other systems I have seen, and some I made up all by myself. Likely many are already in the pipeline…

  1. Unify the function of the measurement tool so it works the same as its counterpart within the Voxar tools…both need to be click and then drag or drag and then click. My two neurons get confused very easily, you know. There should be a way to drag the label out from over something interesting, too.
  2. Add the ruler function to the right-click options.
  3. Lock the display window to maximum size within designated monitor(s). Right now, the viewer is within a regular Windows window, and can be (too) easily resized. Might as well use all that monitor real-estate we purchased.
  4. Add some additional markup tools.
  5. Use the mouse-over state to decide which window is active.
  6. Bring the comment window to the front, or create a button for one-click access instead of two-click access (radiologists are lazy if you didn’t already know that!)
  7. Make a second great big “X” on the left side of the screen as well as the right so I don’t have to move the cursor all the way to the other side (see comment on #6.)

See, I don’t think Amicas is perfect, just darn close.