Don’t You – Forget About Me…

Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!


Special Announcements:

Musical RIP: Etta James. With every note ringing true here on earth, now each one is heavenly…

Life & Football Coach RIP: Joe Paterno. Keep on coaching, Joe…

Welcome!: Lunar Year! January 23. Don’t worry – there’s still time to celebrate!


So, there I was – smack dab in the middle of a New Year’s slump; a losing streak. Battling the Forces of Evil as I might, well-oiled laptop keyboard in hand, I could not fight my way through the morass of beginning-of-the-new-year challenges to write a new episode of Friday Fun Fact for our editorial staff to carve up prior publication. So darn, gosh frustrating!

And then, it came to me…

Like a bolt of lightning in a thunderstorm;

like the whistle of a long black train; like hot sauce on a chicken wing

(Special Note I: Or, Asian Zing sauce, RobC!); like tax booklets in mailbox just after the Holidays end.

OK, actually, it came to me in an email from one of our esteemed members. But you know we had to make you read all that other stuff to build up the suspense.

As I was saying, one of our esteemed Friday Fun Fact members sent me a note through the e-waves suggesting a topic. I said I would take it to The Committee for approval, and here we are, smack dab in the middle of another quality non-quality customer service story.

The story goes something a little like this (Special Note II: Hey, Tico, give me a beat!):

A repair shop schedules with our esteemed Friday Fun Fact brethren to come out to the house to do some… are you ready?!… repairs. The estimated time of arrival: somewhere between 8:00a & 5:00p. And the extra-special news is that the appointment confirming phone call doesn’t come the day before to allow for ANY planning, but the day of the appointment. Oh, AND upon further investigation, the company doesn’t even have the customer’s phone number listed in order to call to confirm. Thank goodness the customer called to confirm the appointment. Ya gotta love this kind of customer service quackiness.

Let’s roll through some quality analysis, shall we?!

  • With the advent of the telecommunications age and automated call systems, why in the name of the  21st century can’t the confirming call come the day before?
  • If this particular company sets a customer to be the first service stop of the day at 8:00a, when exactly does that confirming phone call get made?
  • If the company didn’t utilize some sort of best practice to obtain the appropriate phone number from the customer when the repair request was made, how exactly do they plan to call the customer?
  • How does the repair company make a profit with customer service “efforts” such as this?
  • If the cable company can narrow down their estimated arrival time window, surely all companies can, don’t you think?!

That last one is my favorite. If we can get the cable companies, notorious (or infamous!) for their “we’ll get there when we get there” arrival times, then why can’t a repair service provide something a little better than sometime between 8 &5?! We can now look at cable companies as the innovator in comparison. Frightening…

Of course, this particular repair company may have some of what we call “embedded challenges” in the business world that are alive and well within their company matrix:

  • They only have one phone.
  • They don’t have any best practices.
  • Maybe they only have rotary phones, you know – like you see in old movies?!
  • Maybe they haven’t been educated in the realm of customer service protocols.
  • They are the only game in town, so they can service customers at their whim.
  • The last calendar they posted in the office tells everyone the date… in 1982.
  • The switchboard operator calls off sick a lot.

Today, in 2012, companies need to move towards customer service, not away from it. Regrettably, or justifiably, there are paths to take to express dissatisfaction through the Better Business Bureau to online service sites. Companies need to not only be better about customer service, but also need to be transparent about it. Maybe the company who has blessed Friday Fun Fact with another customer service episode will learn their lesson someday. I’ll try calling them tomorrow to schedule a feedback session – sometime between 8 & 5…


Tunes of the Week:

Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds

Wait – White Lion

Disconnected – Queensryche

9 To 5 – Dolly Parton

Where Everybody Knows Your Name – Gary Portnoy

Hanging On The Telephone – Blondie


Raise A Glass!

May Your Friday Be Followed By A Saturday…


Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Janpm1211 at 11:01 pm  Comments (1)  

I’m On My Way, No You’re Not Gonna Change My Plan…

Dear Failure –

Thank you for all you taught me in the past year. Thank you for the many politically-correct “challenges & opportunities” that you brought to my door step to “enhance my learning curve” through unexpected setbacks, more money out of my wallet, lost time in the pursuit of goals & ambitions, and the taste of utter defeat like a sour rhubarb pie left in my mouth at every turn I could possibly anticipate; and even more that I couldn’t. They say, Failure, that you make me stronger for all that I experience – that somehow, I learn more from you than I could possibly ever imagine learning from the much happier yang to your yin, Success. What I’ve learned in earnest is that you are Trouble Walkin’. As well, and unfortunately, Failure and Success have a philosophical tendency to be cyclical. So, to the assumption that we arrive at Success ultimately through Failure, I borrow the words of the fictional character Justin Jones in responding to a superior who claims she knows they’ve been through h-e-double-hockey-stick, “B$%#&, we’re still here!” (Special Note I: Ladies & Gentlemen, that last quote is not for the faint of heart. Great Luck on your search!) To all of the “They Philosophy” blessing your guidance in my life, I say hogwash.

To quote the immortal words of the great American philosopher, Jon Bon Jovi, “Call it Karma, call it Luck, Me I just don’t give a….a….uh…uh… an ‘Oh, Darn!’” (Special Note II: OK, look, this is paraphrased. Even though he never actually says THE word, this may still be a kid’s channel, so we watch our words somewhat. Or, at least we try to!). In this new year, 2012, I’m taking Jon’s words to heart. I’m fighting back! I’m not going to take you & your so-called learning experiences lying down! This year, I’m going to Bounce back and win a round or two. I’m going to do a better job of counting my Successes. I’m going to do an even better job of creating more of them. I’m going to do the best job I can of keeping you, dear Failure, out them completely!

In 2012, I greet you, Failure, arm-in-arm with Lady Success. Together, we will conquer your tenacity for black clouds, black holes, and snatching defeat from the jaws of Victory. After all, life, given its glorious ups & downs, is to be enjoyed; and, as we learn all too often, is also too short (RIP: JimboW, SidneyR. Those you left behind will not forget you.). To smile in your all-too-smug face will be my pleasure when you think you’ve trumped me. You will find your efforts to sabotage my dreams, actions, and determination, will die in vain at my doorstep with no hope for resuscitation. You won’t be invited to our party.

Beyond a Shadow of a doubt, 2012 will be the year I count on, date, and embrace Lady Success, and leave you, Madame Failure, far behind. In the immortal words of another great American philosopher, Stephen Pearcy –

“You’ve got to pay to play, so don’t you stand in my way…”

Raise A Victorious Glass!

May Your 2011 Be Followed By A Successful, Prosperous, Healthy, & Self-Fulfilling 2012!


Realizar Sus Ambiciones

Published in: on 13Janpm1211 at 11:31 pm  Comments (2)