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#Smallbiz Wrap: Giraffes, Chickens, and The Mouse

Tebowing: coming soon to a dictionary near you

Welcome back to our #Smallbiz Wrap, a weekly roundup of the business stories we found useful, interesting, or just plain odd. This week, we’ll be looking at whether the deck is stacked against small businesses, what happens when a dictionary crowdsources, and chicken-sized, non-lethal fighting gloves.

But we’re going to start with three stories about customer service, or, what we can learn from a giraffe, a mouse, and why some tech companies don’t want you to call them on the phone.

When a Disneyworld patron asks “What time is the 3 o’clock parade?” you might think the answer would be snarky or condescending. It isn’t. Find out how the happiest place on earth answers the simplest question on earth.

There’s good customer service and then there’s great customer service. If your child happened to leave his stuffed giraffe at a Ritz-Carlton, you’ll get the latter. Actually, “great” doesn’t even begin to do this story justice.

Meanwhile, tech companies are abandoning the phone call as a way to help their customers. As someone who just got an Amazon order rerouted over the phone, can’t say I agree with this idea. And for the record, Rocket Lawyer hasn’t left phones behind. You can call us at (877) 881-0947

Is the deck stacked against small businesses? Elizabeth Warren thinks it is.

But stacked deck or no, American employers recently posted the most new job openings in four years. We read a lot about whether the economy is recovering or sputtering, but this is information everybody can cheer about.

And yet, some businesses prefer to stay small. Why? For one thing, more growth generally means less control for the founders. For another, some owners are happy with where they’re at. After all, does bigger mean better?

Manchester United certainly thinks so. They’re going public. And besides the Green Bay Packers, I can’t think of another team who has done so. The Packers, it should be mentioned, are a very, very different kind of “publicly owned” though.

What happens when you crowdsource new words for your dictionary? You get bridezillas, Tebowing, and sweatworking. I’d never heard of that last one either.

From snake-walking leashes to beer umbrellas, a look at some bizarre patents on the books. If you’ll excuse me, I have to work on my “gloves for your feet” idea. Ah. You’re right. Those are socks.

And lastly, if you thought hunter gathers burn more calories than office workers, well, you were wrong. A recent study found that the average person’s energy expenditure per day, across cultures and lifestyles, is remarkably similar. That’s a nice conclusion to remember the next time you’re answering emails at 9 p.m.

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