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I LOVE technology…BUT… (Part 2)

I mean it – I REALLY do!!!

I love that I can shop online for all my favourite stuff.

I love that I can speak “face-to-face” with friends anywhere in the world on Skype (and it’s FREE!).

And I love that phone calls with people, companies and organisations various can now be “fun”…

Except… when they’re NOT!!!

My interesting, if more than a little frustrating, saga begins with a letter from a Federal Government Department, dated the 1st of the month telling me I need to amend some details within 14 days or the Hounds of Hell would descend on me.

Slight problem was that the letter didn’t arrive until the 9th so I was already 8 days into my allocated 14 days. The weekend arrived within hours and, of course, these departments don’t work when we’re free to answer their officious demands…hey ho – nobody said life was easy…

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Gone With the Wind – the Rhett Butler guide to Customer Service…

Yes it’s time to rant – again, and you will understand me when I say it started when I was dealing with a phone provider….

The failure to resolve the issue, the failure to keep me in the loop as to the progress and the failure frankly to give a rats and make me just wait.    And wait.      And wait just a little more leading my sense of almost homicidal frustration. (Thankfully I have over my years of working behind the Iron Curtain in Russia acquired the skill of patience to soften those homicidal tendencies!)

Of course this is the exact moment of me to regale you with a story from Mother Russia a number of years ago…

In the old days of Russia, when almost every necessity was in short supply, there is a tale of a man who waited 5 years to rise to the top of the list of those entitled to buy a car – yes back then Russians were ‘chosen’ for car ownership…weird I know…

Well this man fills out the required 20 forms, makes his deposit at the Dept. of Transport and is told “Your car will be delivered in 3 years’ time’

Being the polite Russian he is he asks “Will that be in the morning of the afternoon?”

The officious Transport employee bluntly asks ‘What possible difference could that make?”

The concerned Russian quietly replies “Well the plumber is coming in the morning”

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I LOVE technology…BUT… (Part 1)

As a fairly slow adopter of “new technologies” in the early nineties in the last 20 years I have embraced it fully – even if some of it still seems like “magic” to me.

About 3-4 years ago my IT guy took my phone, loaded an app and then tapped our phones together and a photo from his phone was suddenly on MY phone. I’m like WOW!!!

And the vast majority of said technology improves efficiency and (should) add to the customer service experience.

BUT…sometimes all it does is create WHAT…???…!!! moments…

So, to todays rant…

I took my little girl last week to see the new movie “Sing” (recommended by the way – much better than the reviews I saw!) and booked and paid for the tickets on line. Basically I do all the work, saving the cinema time and, presumably, wages in the process. I don’t mind – it means I don’t have to wait in a queue.

BUT…having saved the company money I REALLY object to having to pay a “Booking fee”!!!

I checked some other cinemas and the booking fee isn’t even a standard amount – it ranges from 30c ticket to 90c per ticket. At the higher end that means, effectively, a “tax” on me doing all the work of 5%.

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Saying NO is more important than you think…

You finally get around to organising that weekend away with the family – you know, the one you’ve been promising for the last 100 weekends – when your boss comes to you on Thursday afternoon and says: “We’ve just found out that we’ve won that new contract! But we must have all the logistics in place by next Friday. You’re the only one here that can do that, Jack, but I’m afraid it’s going to mean you working this weekend”.

You start off on the right track… “I’ve got some family commitments this weekend…”, but then you pause…and the boss doesn’t fill the crucial silence…so you do…”but, I suppose I could re-arrange those…” and the deal is sealed with, “Thanks Jack – I knew I could rely on you!”

So why didn’t you say “no”? Was it because the whole team is depending on you? Maybe it’s because the annual reviews are due in the next couple of weeks and you really don’t want a black mark against your name at this time of year? Or do you just lack the assertiveness to spit it out? It could be something as simple as the fact that your family are easier to negotiate with than your boss – BUT, ask yourself who you would miss more if they weren’t around…???…!!!

I’m sure you could add your own examples here…but the main issue is very simple…

Saying, “Yes” when we really mean (and want to say!), “NO” is one of the biggest causes of extra work and associated stress.

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