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TOO RACY FOR YELP – My Review of General Electric

The following review was removed from Yelp for not being “primarily relevant to a consumer experience.”

I actually see it as being relevant to many consumer experiences over my life.

Yes, even the part about Jack Welch and his previous leadership of the company.  I believe my statements about his “legacy of management” are still extremely relevant to all GE consumer’s experience because Jack Welch’s tactics encouraged fear and a “dog eat dog” culture at GE that led to a lot of corners that were cut.  (Corners like the quality of a refrigerator failing and actually heating food.  Hmmm.)  This directly affects customer experience.

My wife disagrees with me, but this is my blog, right?

General Electric – Rating:  1 half star half star    (Hey–we’re not on Yelp now–I can actually DO that!)

First of all, I can’t believe that no one has reviewed GE before. This surprises me due to the fact that they are the 4th largest global company in the world per Wikipedia. Perhaps the lack of reviews is due to the fact that no one really understands what they do.

GE is one of my least favorite companies in the world. Is there some product/service that they make/offer that I actually like? Sure. There’s probably some company somewhere that they’ve scooped up along the way that they haven’t screwed up. (Yet.) Statistics are in their favor that there’s something that you use on a daily basis that has been made by them or one of their subsidiaries. But give ’em time! The odds ultimately aren’t in GE’s favor for making things better.

I’ve interviewed for jobs before at companies which were previously owned by GE, and they probably hate GE more than anyone else. This is due to GE’s “legacy of management,” which I’ll describe after getting into a few other points.

The “straw that broke the camel’s back” which resulted in me writing this review was the fact that I went to our refrigerator yesterday (which isn’t that old) and the freezer is working but… get this… the refrigerator is actually HEATING the food contained in it. That’s right, I said heating. When I opened the door, the contents of the entire fridge had been raised about 20 degrees and the butter had melted all over the contents of the refrigerator. I had to throw away all of the food in our fridge. I guess the point on this point is that they “They Bring Good Things to Life” and then kill them with a slow, surprising, and painful death.

Let’s just talk about consumer products, shall we? I honestly can’t remember ever saying, “Gee. I really love that GE *Insert Cool Item Name Here* that I purchased last week. I’m going to go recommend it to my friends.” Now, being fair, GE’s into a lot of other things that aren’t classified as “consumer products” on a daily basis (weapons, locomotives, wind turbines, medical devices, etc), but generally speaking, the products and services that I’ve interacted with are so poor that I actively avoid buying things like GE refrigerators, televisions, and anything that has their outdated logo stamped on it.

Transcending the product discussion, those that read my reviews on a regular basis know that I am a Disney fanatic. As such, this review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning their Epcot pavilion and dark ride. Ever have memories of riding horizons when you were a kid? Remember that the GE Pavilion was called Horizons, and it surprisingly shut down in 1994 right after GE killed their sponsorship of the attraction? Yup, you can thank GE yet again for killing another thing that we all love. “Imagination at work?” More like “Imagination without sponsorship, bulldozed into retirement.”

When riding Horizons, remember that robot that had the huge mess in the kitchen? And somehow, all of the messy plates never got cleaned? Ironically, that’s the only part of this ride that GE’s actually been instrumental in making true for myself, at least from my refrigerator experience.

Perhaps there was one man who was likely responsible for ending the partnership with Disney who had his hands in the rotten aspects of GE? Let me introduce you to “Neutron Jack.” Jack Welch (who was the CEO that probably actively ended the Disney / Epcot relationship) was a manager at GE that encouraged management by objective in a frightening way. Jack Welch was the guy at GE that annually would fire his bottom 10% of his company, and not think twice about it, regardless of anything else related to those employees and their positions. (Know how everyone is dreading getting a 1/5 on their performance review, no matter what company you work for, because you’ll probably get fired? Just thank ol’ Jack Welch.) His management style encourages a dog-eat-dog corporate culture of fear mistrust among employees–all to increase the bottom line (or the appearance of one) on wall street. This is never a good long-term strategy for management, in my opinion. This is the “legacy of management” that I referred to earlier in this review. Jack Welch created this legacy–he birthed this culture.

One day in MBA programs, we’ll probably all look back on the decline of businesses of the United States and their “competitive edge” over companies in the rest of the world, and many of the negative long-term effects will probably be directly traceable to Jack Welch’s management style & GE.

The same could probably be said about corporate loyalty (and the fact that virtually no one entering the marketplace today will end their career working for the same company they started at).

Here’s my “bottom line” on this review: Avoid their products and services at all costs.

Recent Yelp Updates

Review: Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill

Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill – 5 Stars

Ahhh, Kenny’s.  One of the best places to eat in Dallas, hands down.

I could probably write all day about Kenny’s restaurants.  This is the first restaurant that I was exposed to from Kenny.  The “Kenny’s” restaurants (collectively) are essentially my second (possibly first) favorite place to eat in Dallas.  While it is a bit on the expensive side, for a chef-style meal, this is probably the most bang for your buck you’ll get in Dallas.  Worth EVERY penny.  Breaking things down:

Atmosphere:  Sleek.  Sexy.  Kind of darkish.  Overall, pretty awesome.  It does get pretty loud at peak hours, though.

Service:  Wait staff is prompt and do a very good job.

Food:  Frickin’ AWESOME.  I’ve never had a bad meal at Kenny’s, and I’ve been a NUMBER of times.  Probably my favorite things here are:

-Appetizer:  The Brie Cheese Fondue at Dinner
-Free Appetizer:  They’ll always bring you a popover at dinner.  (I’m not sure if they do at lunch, though.)  These are awesome, and fun to eat in the aforementioned brie cheese fondue.
-Wine:  I recommend the Conn Creek.  Expensive, but quite good.
-Meal:  You can pretty much throw a dart at the menu and you’ll get something awesome.  My favorite thing on the menu is the steak sandwich.  The meat is juicy and tender (my mouth is watering just thinking about it).  It’s got just the right amount of topping, an awesome bun, and the sauces that come with it are top-friggin-notch.  Especially the homemade horsey sauce.  Mmmmm….  that stuff is FANTASTIC.  I’ve had other things here (also amazing) but I can’t think of them off the top of my head.
-Side Dish:  There’s two that I usually go between, because there’s a couple that are worth mentioning.  My two favorites are the french fries (quite possibly the best in DFW), and the adult Mac & Cheese.
-Dessert:  The bread pudding is legendary.  Get it and you won’t be disappointed.

Overall – GREAT restaurant.  I’d love to have my picture on the wall of Kenny’s.

Review: Magic Time Machine

Magic Time Machine (Dallas location) – 2 Stars

The Magic Time Machine is the place that I always bugged my parents to go to (when we lived in San Antonio–there’s a location down there as well).  They never brought me, but I was always intrigued by the concept that the waiters dress up and act as different characters.  Now that I’ve grown up, frankly I’m not really sure what to think about it.  I’d probably give it 2.5 stars if I could.  I kind of feel like a “hater” giving it 2 stars, but I think it’s just honest.  Also, I’m not really sure where to start with this review.  I’ll just break it down into categories.

Location:  The location of the restaurant is awesome, and this actually hurts the restaurant.  It’s at the heart of restaurant row on Belt Line Road in Addison, across from Kenny’s Wood Fire Grill (easily one of the best restaurants in Dallas, IMHO).  It’s between Chammps and Hooters (this kind of helps, because I’d go to the Magic Time Machine before I’d go to either Chammps or Hooters, given the choice.  However, those that know me know that this isn’t much of a compliment for the Magic Time Machine.)

Atmosphere:  The Magic Time Machine is probably the most fitting name ever.  When you sit down to eat, it’s almost like you went back to the 70’s.  (At least for me, this is NOT a good thing.)  Not that I was even around in the 70’s myself, but what I think of the 70’s, I think of the Magic Time Machine.  It’s in an old schoolhouse building which is a neat concept, but kind of creepy when you think about it.  Also it kind of smells funny.  Eeew.  Also…  the decor of the restaurant is kind of DRESSY.  What’s up with that?

Food:  Okay, but not great by any stretch of the imagination.  Certainly pricey, if you ask me.  The salad bar in the car is kind of nasty.  I don’t know why, it just is.  As for the main course:  the portions are fairly substantial, but the food just isn’t that good!  And looking at the menu, you get the idea it’s kind of a “steak and pasta” kind of place.  Again–with Kenny’s, Houston’s, and about a million other places where you can get a better steak for about the same price, I just wonder “why?”?

Experience:  The servers are always very nice and funny, and act like the character they are.  We’re not talking true thespians or anything.  Just nice people having fun.  This is the most endearing quality of the restaurant.  And I say this though I’ve had pretty slow service before.

Overall:  Heck–it’s been around forever.  It’s extremely eclectic, and that’s usually something I like.  Every time I’m here, I want to give it a chance…  I want it to be a “win.”  I REALLY want to like it.  (In fact, I always kind of want to go back to give it another shot!)  But, when I walk out, I always wonder–am I missing something?  Simply put–it’s pretty much underwhelming.  If this restaurant was in rural Indiana by my parents house, I may go to it more often.  (Actually, I’m not sure that I would.)  But this is Belt Line Road!  The sexiest of sexy of restaurant eating!  Perhaps the thing I’m missing is the nostalgia of the 70’s…

Either way, something you may want to check out once, though you may get frustrated like me.