“When I use my strength in the service of my vision it makes no difference whether or not I am afraid.” ~Audre Lorde

Ernestine Tomlin - Switchboard in "Incredible Shrinking Woman"I had an appointment first thing this morning with a large cable company to install internet service at our new place. It is not first thing this morning any longer and I have seen neither hide nor hair of an installer so far.

I did however have a fascinating conversation with someone in customer service who is making great strides to learn English. She told me that the mass transit strike (local to me) has impacted their installers showing up for their appointments. Since the strike lasted about 36 hours and ended several weeks ago, I am not feeling confident about this rationale. Perhaps the happy news of the strike’s resolution has not yet reached New Delhi.

She assured me that someone from the Escalations Team will call me by 12:07pm to give me a new appointment time when I can expect their intrepid installer. It’s the precision of that 12:07pm deadline that gives me comfort.

It got me thinking what a lousy job it must be to be on the Escalations Team or to work for a company that needs one. They only get to talk to people their company has already disappointed. Yeah, sign me up for that gig. It makes me happy to own my own company.

So, why all this kvetching you ask? It’s just that this company runs millions of dollars worth of television commercials to tell us all how great their service is. Because if they didn’t tell us, we sure wouldn’t know. All we would have to go on is our own experiences with them and those of our friends, families and acquaintances. And that paints a very different picture.

I refuse to become cynical. I do not believe at a certain size a company can no longer give good service. I do not believe any industry is cursed to give poor service. I do not believe competition or lack of it dooms service quality. It is merely a choice they make and we make, pure and simple.

Don’t tell people you are receiving “unusually high call volumes” or that demand has exceeded your forecasts. Don’t blame the infrastructure or the AFL-CIO or “management”. Stop making excuses that something happening “out there” is at fault for whatever disappointment you are delivering.

I had to reschedule some appointments today as a result of the fact that I don’t have adequate internet connectivity today. It is my obligation to have adequate connectivity to handle my business. I also need to arrange for electricity and I need to keep the rain off my laptop. It would be silly for me to blame the cable company or the power company or the roofer for failing to deliver today.

So here I sit in a Starbucks because they have a roof, an electrical plug and something resembling internet access. It isn’t good enough for VOIP but Facebook and email work adequately. While personally I prefer quiet for writing, I can deal. I am a bit of a usurper here as I am not one of their regular wifi users. But the locals haven’t kicked up much of a fuss. Maybe I’ll buy a round, that always works at a new pub.

“What can you do when what you count on fails?” click to tweet

Doo-doo occurs. We may be the center of our respective universes but we are not so much masters of them. The nitty gritty details are too petty to manage anyway. The successful entrepreneur does not attempt to control his world, he rides it like a wave. Today I didn’t have to make my own coffee because I am online in a coffee shop. I take advantage of what is in front of me. Tomorrow will be another day.

How have you rolled with the punches lately? Tell us about it by commenting below.

Photo credit: Elmer Cat

What Can You Do When What You Count On Fails?
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3 thoughts on “What Can You Do When What You Count On Fails?

  • Permalink

    So true… in the past I would have found myself gritting my teeth and feeling negatively about the *bleep* situation (how silly).

    How silly that the ego feels… that others people’s thoughts and actions are directly tied to my personal agenda. Sure, we had an appointment BUT sometimes things don’t work out… like you say there are other options!

    More importantly YOU get to CHOOSE how feel and respond. LOVE LIFE, love everyday !

  • Permalink

    Great post.

    While I do agree that it is good to ride the waves, I also feel that you still need to have the rudder in the water to take you in the direction that you want to go.

    • Permalink

      So true, Doug. One thing to make sure of though is that the rudder in actually in the water (among your choices) and not flailing in the air (among your unfulfillable wishes).


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