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These days when I hear people being 'surprised' by negative feedback they weren't getting but 'everyone' knew about:

You should ask yourself why people stopped coming to you with information, and why someone else has it instead of you. Especially if it's your job to keep on top of that issue. You've alienated them in some way that means they're avoiding talking to you, from fear or contempt.

In the cases I've been involved with, I've come to realize that people don't like to look stupid, and some people accidentally or on purpose put you into that scenario a few times, and they just start avoiding you. You no longer get all the information, and the people they feel safe giving it to will include people who you already have a strained relationship with, and they may use this information as ammunition against you.

It's better that people ask you dumb questions and you teach them how to answer them or steer them toward better questions, rather than imply that's a dumb question. Most especially if any other people are going to observe the conversation. Will you get interrupted a lot? Yes. But you'll also know where all of the choke points are in the system - where everyone else is getting interrupted. If you're doing policy or architecture without knowing pain points, you're going to be the one who looks like an idiot. But nobody is gonna tell you that to your face. Or at least not until your goose is cooked.




This happens in all kinds of modern companies. A (paid!) vendor I’m working with uses Zendesk exclusively for support. Want to pay them for an enterprise plan with phone support? Great, but you initiate phone support using Zendesk.

It turns out they thoroughly flubbed their integration. It works on Chrome and fails on (at least) Firefox and Safari. By “fails” I mean “complete inability to interact with the ticketing system.” This includes their iOS app. Click support, click a ticket, get home page, not logged in, embedded under the word “support”.

Of course, most customers won’t tell them it’s busted because the only way to tell them is via Zendesk. Oops. So they can live in their little bubble and not realize how broken their site is.


Zendesk was still requiring third party cookies long after blocking them was the default configuration in all major browsers. They're kind of a sad joke.


Searching my inbox for "Zendesk incident notification", it seems Zendesk has some trouble weekly, if not daily. During the slow summer months, I actually got more notifications for Zendesk issues than issues in our own product.


It is? I thought the rollout of that change wasn't coming for a few more years. I feel like I've had to turn it on explicitly in Firefox and Chrome fairly recently.


It's a bit like trying to deal with Facebook without having a FB account .... no phone numbers, no email, ....


The last time I had trouble with my personal AWS account, which I use very intermittently, by the time I figured out how to even file a ticket for having trouble logging in, I was so spun up that I'm not sure my report even made any sense.

I had an old account that I had stopped using before my credit card got reported as stolen, but I owed like $30 which they couldn't bill me for so my account got closed. Once you have a closed account the entire AWS workflow has mystery failure modes that don't show up the rest of the time. A closed account is closed forever, and it mucks up their whole UI (as if their UI needs any help in that dept)


It's like trying to deal with FB or Google period.

We got locked out of our FB account once because FB randomly required a phone number and someone in our marketing Dept provided their own. Despite owning the email address and knowing the password, we couldn't get in because we didn't know who the 2FA code was going to.

We had similar issues with our Google Pay Account.


Yep, I was trying to make a Facebook account to _give them money through Facebook ads_, and they decided for some reason that I'm not real. I wanted to appeal this decision so I could _give them money_, but there's no way to contact them without having an account.


In my case they let someone register an account using my email address - so much spam! but no way to contact them to fix it


It feels like an episode of Kitchen Nightmares. For those with better things to do, that's a reality TV show where failing restaurants ask the host for help. And yet in nearly every episode they're shocked to find out that their food isn't good, despite that obviously being a key part of running a restaurant. "We've never had any complaints" is a common refrain, and many are irate at the suggestion.

When I go to a restaurant and the food is bad, the last people I'd tell are the restaurant staff. I simply stop visiting that business (if I can help it) and maybe recommend other people avoid it as well. The same is probably true in most lines of business.


You may also be surprised how many owners thinks their food are great.

We had a recent discussions on HN, how many people just couldn’t tell the difference between better speakers headphones, food, wine etc…. Or they just don’t care about it enough. I have only learnt this very very late in my life I wish I knew this earlier.


same with most jobs. unsatisfied employees will just start looking at other jobs rather than raise issues with their boss. managers really need to set the culture otherwise.


And that’s the charitable interpretation. The non-charitable one is that they simply lied.


'Public Relations' is the result of the word 'propaganda' being given the propaganda treatment. To corporate PR, lying comes as naturally as breathing. Every time an executive gets publicly disgraced they "decide to spend more time with family." Every time an employee is injured, the company "takes safety very seriously." Every time your personal information is sold to data brokers, it's "shared with our trusted partners."

These lies are so prevalent they've practically become memes. PR is propaganda. To a propagandist, lying is just another tool for manipulating people. Lying is in their professional DNA. Never give these assholes the benefit of the doubt; assume they are lying until proven otherwise.


> 'Public Relations' is the result of the word 'propaganda' being given the propaganda treatment

This meme elides over the historical reason Bernays et al eschewed the term propaganda: the fascist regimes were printing outright lies, something he worked to avoid. To differentiate propaganda which doesn’t lie (but still, of course, seeks to influence) from the kind which embraces outright lying, the term “public relations” emerged.


Public relations doesn't distinguish itself from propaganda by not lying; that is itself propaganda about "public relations". Public relations lies nonstop. Public relations is nothing more than a rebranding of propaganda because propaganda became associated with fascism.

And Bernays had no qualms about lying. This is the man who endeavored to convince women that cigarettes were "Torches of Freedom." He was an amoral psychopathic dirtbag.

And yes, he knew what he was doing was wrong:

> Throughout the job, Bernays concealed the fact that he was working for the American Tobacco Company, and succeeded in keeping his own name out of the affair as well. Staff were instructed never to mention his name. Third parties were used, and various notable people received payments to promote smoking publicly as if on their own initiative.[47] (Decades later, however, Bernays boasted about his role.)[48] Bernays did not smoke cigarettes himself, and persistently tried to induce his wife Doris to quit.[49]


I think it's somewhere in the middle, which is somehow worse.

The 'dumb' vector works on technical people. But we know, or at least can read between the lines, from big scandals that management has trained their reports to lie to them by omission. Don't bring me bad news and I can say with a straight face that we aren't aware of any problems.


A bit like Captain Renault proclaiming his shock at finding gambling in Rick's cafe.


Here are your winnings, sir.


Apple is "surprised" that other countries are starting to tear down the App Store. They don't want their minimal effort cash cow going away.

Don't be silent. Keep telling your representatives how unfair this is. Show them how PCs and Macs do not have an app store or review process. They'll need a little help to understand.


So you don't think the new $5 Billion new HQ sent the warm fuzzy feelings they'd hoped for?

Nothing at all like a Fortress Temple of Elitism...




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