295 More Days

295 more days until I retire. Most of the time I am good with that. My work has been interesting, gratifying,and challenging but I am ready for a change and a rest. Especially on weeks like this, I am so ready!

I grew up in a small family business. I know how to work and I know how to serve. I was raised to respect and appreciate our customers. I was not told to respect and appreciate our customers, I was taught by example. My parents were honorable, intelligent people who believed in providing value for the products and services they sold. They treated their customers with respect and appreciation because they had genuine respect and appreciation for their customers .

I have been fortunate, working in the construction industry, that those I worked for have shared my work ethic and integrity. For the most part, I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with co-workers, suppliers and support industries who took pride in value, quality and service. 

Unfortunately, despite everyone’s best intentions, there are times when things go wrong. In this day and age, one small input error on a computer screen can cause major problems. That I can work with. What I cannot work with, are those times when things go terribly wrong and no one is concerned with making them right. What I cannot handle are those times when people would prefer to pretend there is no problem or that the priority is finding someone to blame for the problem, rather than just acknowledging there is a problem and focusing on making things right.

That was what I dealt with this week – and what I seem to be dealing with more and more frequently. I have gotten to point where I am exhausted. I am exhausted from making excuses for the inexcusable. I am exhausted from sending urgent messages to a supplier regarding yet another bungled order, only to be left hanging without so much as a simple response that they have seen my message and are working on correcting the current issue.  I am exhausted from calling and leaving voice messages, when I know that there will be no call back. I am exhausted from having to call a client, who was depending on me to provide answers, and telling them that I have no answers to give.

Communication has never been easier.   With desktop computers,  laptops, tablets and smart phones, a response is always a click or a call away.   And yet too often, the response is no response at all – especially when there is a critical issue to deal with.   That to me is beyond sad, and says so much about our current, big business culture.

Many feel that these huge, technically driven corporations are a sign of progress. Personally, I do not see how showing a lack of respect and appreciation for others is a sign of progress for any part of our society. To me, it is not a sign of good business.

2 thoughts on “295 More Days

  1. I am happy for you that you can retire. However, I am sad that you are because there are very few people left like you in business. I don’t think we will ever see customer service like we did in the past and like we remember any more. It used to be the customer is always right….not anymore.

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    1. Thank you. I have no idea how some companies survive these days. But the customer wasn’t always right back then. I heard my Father yell once it my life (I almost jumped out of my skin). I was pumping gas into a customers car and Dad came out of the shop to see a customer standing right behind me with a lit cigarette. A big man, successful business man. Dad just tore a strip out of him. But the guy was still a loyal customer and I never saw him smoking near our gas pumps again.

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