Category Archives: Other

Celebrate Nurses Week in Plain-Speak


When you are visiting a loved one in the hospital, it is not hard to get distracted by the drama surrounding you. If you are like me, you compare it to the latest hospital show you are watching, and find yourself uttering things like, “He needs some water, stat!” with strange assurance.

When my dad was sick, I took on a very Sherlockian view of things. Deductive powers gone amuck, i.e., “Surely that beeping sound means something!” Although my dad’s nurse never said it, I imagine “nervous Nelly” was one term that could have described me.

Amidst the chaos of changing shifts, moving patients, and impatient families, one thing was missed. What’s that you say? An ingenious Nurse code according to

It is often a waiting game, right? Waiting for results, waiting for the doctor, waiting for the “all clear” sign or even, “here’s what’s coming next” plan. However, during it all I can’t honestly remember hearing code like “Line & Lab” or “walkie talkie” when the nurses tending him were heroically moving heaven and earth, my dad, and my own heightened sensibilities about the place.

Maybe dad was a “frequent flyer.” Still, I was glad when the nurses seemed to be happy to see him again, although maybe not happy to see him back. I kind of wish now I would have known about nurse slang. And I wonder…there are codes for dramatic patients apparently, but what about dramatic family members? I might have earned that code once or twice, the name of some horribly gone-wrong reality star I am sure.

What nurses may not realize is that the family often has a similar unsaid code. It’s not too fancy, usually along the lines of “ministering angel” or “life saver.” Frequently it’s “wonder worker” or a “sensible Sally.” Sometimes, in the midst of a Jerry Seinfeld-ish “Newman” moment, the still small inkling lingers. Even though this nurse is giving me some tough love right now, the honest thought behind my blank/angry/tired or sad eyes is TGYH. Translation: Thank God you’re here.

Here’s to an amazing National Nurse Day today and a wonderful National Nurses Week ahead! And to all the hard working men and women who make up this field, let me speak for the patient and the family alike here…just call us “grateful.”

Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications @ Ergotron




Spiff Up Your Home-Tech For The Holidays

OmniMOunt Look Book 2014

Santa may have lots of tech in store for you…here’s hoping. Finding ways to store, charge and mount that tech is your job. Thankfully, whether you are bringing new tech home for the holidays, or trying to add new dazzle to your existing TVs, Ergotron’s OmniMount brand has a little something for every room in the house. Scan the Look Book, or match up your brand to the right product in the mount finder. Tech that good deserves to be viewed from any angle. Just saying.

Did you know? Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of all Americans

This is an important statistic to us here at Ergotron. Not only because it’s a statistic that has touched our lives, personally and professionally, but also because it something that we, as a company, are able to potentially and positively impact. Helping computer and TV viewers reduce their sedentary time and incorporate more movement into the computing and entertainment time does have an effect on overall health. Research is proving it.

This year, at the Twin Cities American Heart Association (AHA) Heart Walk® appreciation night at Target Field, we were proud to learn that Ergotron was recognized as a top fundraising small company. Our company president, Pete Segar, shown on the Jumbotron below, received the award for Ergotron.


“The AHA plays a major role in both cardiovascular research and in advancing public health knowledge, and those are saving lives,” said Pete. “Taking time to focus on personal health and corporate responsibility is important. Participating in a Heart Walk is just one way you can engage your employees in corporate fitness initiatives.”  He should know. He recently signed the CEO Pledge from the National Coalition for Promotion Physical Activity.

Heart disease and Stroke (the Nation’s No.1 and No.4 killers) claim more than 813,804 American lives a year. The AHA is hard at work creating programs and funding research to help prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. It’s an honor and pleasure to do our small part in working to change those statistics.

Here are a few ways you might want to get involved:

A life may be depending on it.


Thank you, Steve

Jane Payfer, CMO @ Ergotron

I had one personal interaction with Steve Jobs.

It was three years ago, and I had just gotten a fancy “high tech” new car.

I couldn’t get my iPhone to sync properly with the “hands free” system in the car, and, typical of tech support the world over, the car guys were no help whatsoever.

In utter frustration I reached out to Steve.

My plea for help was based on the fact I was a pretty typical “user” and it just shouldn’t be as hard as it was, to get the technology to work. He was the master of understanding how to make the hardest technology simple to use. I was not surprised when he responded to my desperation.

He asked a few questions, and then he connected me with the Apple tech support person who would resolve the issue for me.

And within 24 hours, it was resolved.

I thanked him but never heard back from him.

When he announced he was stepping down, I sent an e-mail to that same address, with the message:

“Know that many, like me, are praying for your health and your strength. And for your family. Weird, isn’t it—we all feel like your family.”

Especially now, let’s hold on to that feeling.

We can’t ever replace Steve, but as we did when Ergotron founder Harry Sweere died, we’ll all try a little harder to think like him.

Back to school dorm tech even moms will love…

Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager @ Ergotron

Have you been observing this wonderful season of back to school negotiation for students and parents in the department stores over the last few weeks?

Wandering through the gear department stores churn out designed to win the Good Housekeeping cool dorm seal of approval, they compare prices and haggle over wants vs. needs. I’ve personally seen a rise in requests for “must haves” in tricking out the dorm in my daily HARO and am not surprised to see sites like this one featuring Dorm Room Decorating in 2011.

It got me thinking. How will the student mount that new laptop or computer or the new TV that they got for graduation? Who is taking care of the hardware?

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Hockey and Motorcycles- A Marriage Made in Heaven

OK, I realize this topic is not really about Ergonomics.  But it is a solution to a problem that I have had for years.   In Minnesota, when we get a nice day, us motorcycle riders like to ride!  But in my case,  twice weekly ice hockey games have prevented me from riding every Tues and Thurs.  Today, I have a solution: 

Pete with VRod loaded with hockey equip

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Life in the Cube: 5 Ways to Increase Productivity?

Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications @ Ergotron

Recently posted Business 2.0 Magazine writer-reporter Michal Lev-Ram’s piece titled “Designing the 21st Century cubicle.”  

Michal outlines a few “enhancements” companies are choosing but I still think they are getting it wrong. 

With the exception of one small company that I worked for right after college, most of my career has been spent in some style cube or another.

In that spirit, here’s my personal list of the top five cube enhancements companies may want to consider to garner ultimate productivity for the long-term cube dweller.

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QR this…

What are QR codes?

According to Wikipedia, a “QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smart phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.”

Say what?

It’s this:


Or this:

Have you seen them around? On magazines, in airport signage, circular inserts, allergy medicine bottles and more? Chances are you will start seeing them more frequently.

In fact, you’ll be seeing them on Ergotron promo items, sales collateral and more in the weeks and months ahead.

This bit of technology has been around for several years overseas but is just getting off the ground in the US. So how does it work?

  1. Find a bar code reader application for your phone and download it
  2. When you spy a QR code, follow the steps your phone and applicable app suggest
  3. Browse the data that comes up

Of course, there are lots of different types of smart phones out there, and several different QR reader applications.

Here are the top five most popular phones; we’ve made it easy and linked to some Google results for each:

  1. iPhone 
  2. BlackBerry 
  3. Anroid
  4. Palm
  5. Windows Mobile

If your phone isn’t listed, try searching for your phone name + free applications + reader.  It is good to note that some apps are free and others cost money.   

Share your recommendations with us in the comments!

Help us help you…keys to customer driven service














In reading the white paper, “Accelerate Your Customer-Centric Journey:  Four Best Practices,” by Bob Thompson CEO, CustomerThink Corp, I was asked to think about this key question: 

Do you understand how your customers perceive the experiences your organization delivers, including the emotional impact? 

The white paper identified four best practices and highlighted responses from 500 executives rating their own companies. These areas included: organization and people, process and experience design, information technology and customer collaboration.

As the Global Services leader here at Ergotron, it feels good to be able to informally evaluate and rate Ergotron against their criteria. Not only from the perspective of carefully implemented process, hiring, training, etc., but also from the prospect of concrete customer feedback received across all Ergotron’s customer touch points from Customer Care calls to social media tweets.

In particular, I’d like to highlight product experience and people contact.

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Top Ten Turn-Offs from Telemarketers

Jane Payfer, Chief Marketing Officer @Ergotron

When you reach a certain point in your marketing career, you begin to realize you have seen it and heard it all. At least in the case of fielding telemarketing calls.

Here is my personal list of turn-offs. Telemarketers of the world, listen up!



  1. “I’d just like to tell you about our new solution.” My thought is this: I really don’t care about your solution, new or otherwise. I care about my problems.
  2. “I just need five minutes of your time.” If I gave five minutes of my time to everyone who wanted it, I’d rarely eat or sleep.
  3. “What’s your functional role at Ergotron?” Snappy comebacks aside, if they don’t know that, they haven’t done their homework prior to calling. Good-bye!
  4. “I sent you an e-mail last week. Please return my call.” Which one of the 1762 e-mails would that have been?
  5. “I’m not sure if you are the person I want to talk with…” I don’t know, who do you want to talk with? When you decide, don’t call me back.
  6. “What does Ergotron do again?” Peole, there’s simply no excuse for not finding this out before you pick up the phone. None. Period.
  7. “Bubba told me to call you.” Not knowing if Bubba is an influencer for me or not is tricky. “Bubba” may be my least favorite person – better understand those relationships before name dropping (with apologies to all the real Bubbas out there).
  8. “Call me at your earliest convenience.” Well good, maybe in about four years from now. . .
  9. “I’m calling on behalf of ‘SuzyQ.’” Really. So I’m not worth the time for SuzyQ to contact me on her own, but she wants my time? Hmmm.
  10. “Thanks, Jen, for taking my call.” My personal favorite, saying my name wrong. I mean really, how hard is Jane?

All kidding aside, it is important in challenging economies to stay focused and targeted in order to become faster and stronger. We’re using this list ourselves as a reminder to help avoid the gaffs. How friendly and approachable are your email programs? Customer Service or outbound calls, or even your social media push?  

Check in on it periodically. Someone else will be glad you did.