Friday, August 05, 2005

A Waste of Time

It seems I haven’t been able to get away from the topic of time!
Without seeming to rant (ok, it is a rant), I want to know whatever happened to good service. It seems the goal for every business I have visited this week has been to waste my time.
First, I took my laptop into a computer place to have some additional RAM installed and to order a new battery. I get a call about a week later saying it is ready. After I picked it up last Friday, I didn’t try to use it until Saturday morning, at which time I discovered the back plate missing off of it, exposing its innards. They had also left a programming disk I the machine. I tried calling, but of course, they weren’t open on Saturday. On Monday, when I took the laptop back, one of the co-owners completely ignored us when we walked in the door and continued talking to a co-worker for at least five minutes before getting up to help us. When I told her about the plate, she searched high and low, finding it right on the front counter. She made a comment about being “flaky,” re-attached the back and handed the computer back to me without another word. You would think an extra trip in for me would have rated at least, “I’m sorry.”
Yesterday, my mother needed some prescriptions and as always, we decided to use the “convenience” of the drive up window. There was one car ahead of us and it didn’t look like there would be too much of a wait. After sitting there for 20 minutes (no, I’m not exaggerating), and watching the guy behind me leave the line, I gave up and went in. “What is the problem in the drive thru?” I asked the clerk. “She’s having trouble with her insurance.” I took a deep breath and said, “Well, don’t you think people with insurance problems should be told they have to come in instead of making your other customers burn their gas for 20 minutes?” She just gave me a blank expression, handed me the bag and told me to have a good evening.
This morning, I loaded Emma, our 72-pound Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix for a visit to the groomer that I scheduled one week ago. When I made the appointment, I told the woman I would be taking her to update her shots this week (which we did yesterday). “I’m sorry,” the perky groomer told me when we arrived and I handed her Emma’s vaccination papers. “We can’t take a dog until 48 hours after they’ve had their shots.” You would think the appointment lady would have mentioned this when I told her Emma was visiting the vet on the day before her appointment.
Whatever happened to good service and more importantly, what ever happened to doling out freebies if you put your customers out?
As a writer, I don’t often think of myself as being in the service industry, but weeks like this one makes me think of my customers. My main customers are my editors, who like me, don’t seem to like to have their time wasted. So, I will resolve today to try not to waste their time with missing deadlines and turning in stories that need heavy editing. I will make sure they get their source lists on time and try to put myself in their place.
And I will always try to keep in mind a quote I received by email on Monday: “In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with.” -- Brian Tracy
The world would be a much better place if we always tried to think about the other guy.


Blogger Terri said...

This is a very good blog article and absolutely true. My husband and I comment on the bad service we so often receive that we're actually surprised when we get good service. ::sigh:: Kudos to all those out there who actually care about their customers.

10:43 AM CDT  

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