When robots tell you that "your call is being recorded for quality assurance," does that recording start then? Does anyone hear me shouting that I want to talk to a person? This is typical with most businesses these days, but the current target of my ire is the USF Credit Union. I've had an account there since 1972 (!), but I spent a full hour trying to straighten out the most recent error. Read More
Doris writes a weekly column for LaGaceta, the nation's only trilingual newspaper, which has pages in English, Spanish, and Italian. Begun in 1922 for Tampa's immigrant community, it continues to thrive more than a century later. Her column is titled "In Context," as it aims to put contemporary issues in the context of the past.
I'm home from a ten-day trip to the Ozarks. I went mostly because of a family funeral, but also because I wanted to see autumn leaves. In my childhood there, one could be sure that trees would color by mid-October, but all was green this year. Indeed, it was over 90 degrees until a thunderstorm (not a big one by Florida standards) dropped temperatures down to a more comfortable level. Still, I never needed a sweater, and except for autumnal decorations, it did not feel at all like autumn. Read More
Every fall, I regret that I have not led a campaign with friends who specialize in PR. I would call this educational effort "Be Bright at Night," and it would come out at the autumnal equinox, when short days begin in September. Until the winter solstice in December, our nights will be longer than our days, and therefore late afternoons and evenings – after the school day -- become more dangerous. They used to teach this sort of thing when I was a kid, but now it seems that many people do not understand that they should make extra efforts to be visible at night. Read More
A few years back, I was asked to speak at the downtown library on what turned out to be a very cold January morning. Few people came, but one who walked from her Methodist Place home turned out to be a real asset to Tampa. Gloria Jean Royster had moved here from Chicago, and she took up historical causes, especially that of Madame Fortune Taylor. You may know that the Civil War's Freedman Bureau made reparations to some former slaves in the form of land, and in 1875, Fortune Taylor was granted a homestead at the north end of what then was downtown Tampa. Read More