The Value of a Smile and a Handshake

I was without Internet service for three days last week and AT&T had dropped the ball three times. What was scheduled was a series of appointments, three consecutive days in a row, with the hopes of getting the DSL light on my Motorola 2210 Modem green once again. It was not until day four when a technician showed up and and made me happy.

Three days of schedule rearrangements, fabricating projects to fill the time at home without connectivity for long stretches – 8am to 12pm, 1pm to 8pm, and 8am to 8pm.

After each missed appointment a call was made to AT&T, routed to a friendly and personable representative, on my side, fighting for me, trying every test and scan with all the patience in the world. How could I not persuade my nerves to ease, “I know it’s not your fault..” at the tip of my tongue.

But nothing had been delivered, still without Internet, still not sign of a technician showing up at my door. Frustration regained its strength. Blame had been shifted, packaged and routed into their well oiled abyss.

It was an abuse of my time and there was no need for their intention. I would much rather had been told that appointments we running long and they would need to schedule a time x days in the future. Painful, yes, but a truth I could have accepted and one they later admitted.

The value of a smile and a firm handshake plummets if they hold no intention and are not part of an organization’s culture throughout.