Monthly Archives: September 2013

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

reduce reuse recycle - alpha testing

Our San Antonio office staff understands the importance of recycling! When Phil Johnson found out there was no municipal system available for recycling at our office, he devised a plan to recycle in the face of adversity.Phil brought every employee a recycle bin for their desk.  Staff then collect and place  the materials in their residential recycling bins.  The process is a team effort, generating a total of 50 pounds of recycling each week!  The primary recycled materials are paper and plastic cylinders. Keep it up San Antonio!

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Keeping Fort Worth Clean

trinity river trash bash 2013Robert Boone Trinity River Trash Bash 2013This past Saturday was the 22nd Annual Trinity River TrashBash in Fort Worth and Alpha’s Robert Boone was at the 4th street trailhead site, just east of downtown. The TSPE Fort Worth Chapter notified Robert of the event. Community service has always been a part of his life, so he agreed to boldly go where none have gone before. Robert grabbed a trash bag and went to work, and is fully expecting additional Alpha support next year!

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Shoemaker & Hardt – Wylie, TX

wylie coffee shopStaff has found two reasons to frequent the “Shoemaker &Hardt Coffee House and Country Store” on N. Ballard Street in Wylie, TX.  The location has business week appeal as it is centrally located when work takes you to Wylie.  The weekend appeal includes great coffee and a chance to peruse local collectibles and trinkets – like you have never needed a last minute gift?

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Opposites Attract

Paul Muller. Opposites Attract 2Paul Muller claims to have both personality and charisma, but Stanley steals the show! Stanley is a Great Dane with a great heart.  His sidekick, Gus, came to the household as a (tiny!) rescue duckling, and the two formed quite a bond. Gus has gotten large enough to be released at a local park, but still comes out of the water to greet Stanley when he visits.

Paul Muller. Opposites Attract 1Paul and his wife make a habit of rescuing all manner of wildlife – having boarded dogs, cats, squirrels, raccoons, birds, pigs and even the odd skunk or two.  Yeah, try finding a foster home for some of those!  They take pride in the results of the Muller Zoo, and enjoy the permanent zoo residents Stanley, Dave the Lab, and Delilah the cat!

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Somebody Else Gets It!

We at Alpha Testing, Inc. have always placed a first priority on service.  As part of that, we strive to make each interaction with us a pleasant, non-threatening, and help-filled experience.  We enjoy what we do, and it should show.  Apparently someone else “gets it”, too.

Maybe it’s the aftermath of the recession, or maybe some wonks at various retail and service establishments have tried something “new” to make their customer experience better.  To wit, I’ll give a call out to three local retail establishments.  An electronics superstore, which can be like entering a car dealership, a used car lot at that.  Movie houses ought to be an enjoyable experience, but often are not.  And, who really wants to be inside a drug store?

At my local electronics store recently, I actually had the greeter say “welcome”, had three salespeople ask if I needed help, and when I finally did, one ran, RAN!, to where I was standing.  And then, in response to my unknowing questions, he taught me quite a bit about HD TV, optimal viewing distance, and sound augmentation ideas. I learned they no longer work on commissions, and I did not get a hard sell.  I thanked him, and you bet I will go back, and even though there appears to be extra staff recently, I will ask for Ozzie.

Best of two worlds, a movie on the big screen and food brought right to your seat.   These places are great at any time, but I recently visited one in an area I do not usually frequent. From ticket purchase, to check in at the entrance to the theaters, to half a dozen times enroute to my seat I heard “enjoy the show”, “ hope you enjoy the meal”, “thank you for coming”, and (OMG!) “do you know where you are going?”  This from clerks, bartenders, waiters, and custodians.  And I had the same experience when leaving, and every time it was with a smile.  I was so impressed that I went back the next night (for a different film) and the results were identical.

At my local drug store, I have noticed changes recently.  Every staff member makes eye contact.  Then, (gasp) they say welcome and ask if they can be of service!  And on the way out, “thank you for coming”, or “thank you for …” – how amazing.  Let’s face it, most of us show up at a drug store when we are feeling like death walking, or when we need our monthly mortality reminder that, yes, one needs one’s cholesterol medication.  These folks are making it an enjoyable experience.

Alpha’s goal is to make each interaction with us a positive experience, from the reception desk to my desk, and beyond.  If we don’t, please let us know.  I guarantee we will be taking a fresh look at how we approach this, based on my recent experiences with “service with a smile” – when and where I least expected it.  JGW

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Texas State Railroad

Need a quick break from the routine?  Take a quick jaunt to Palestine and / or Rusk Texas and pick up the Texas State Railroad for a two hour roundtrip ride. Texas State Railroad The Texas State Railroad website will give you all the schedule information you could want.  Lunch can be pre ordered, or you can bring your own.  With fall just, (JUST!) around the corner, the open air cars will be the way to go.  If you happen to be leaving from DFW, the best routes are 175 to Athens, then on to Palestine by way of Texas 19.  An alternate route back will take you up FM 315 and FM 314, and once in Ben Wheeler, TX, find your way to I-20 and head home.

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Progress, Progress, Progress!

Alpha Testing, Inc. Fort Worth office expansion

The Alpha Testing Fort Worth office is getting a well-deserved expansion and facelift.  Expanding into an adjacent space, we are adding new offices and a conference room, as well as making modifications to the entry area.  The expansion is about a 50% increase in space for operations. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

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