March 12, 2023 · 8:52 am
Is it any wonder I sometimes find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place as an adult, when scenes like the following played out in childhood?
My mom would be in the process of trying to gently steer this only child onto the more courteous road of life where the world didn’t actually revolve around me. She would share words of wisdom and life lessons on the importance of patience, with beautiful sayings like “good things come to those who wait” and how taking turns just makes the world a better place.
Moments later, my Dad would stomp in, turn off the TV and announce that the grass needs mowing… now!
Maybe they should have checked first for the scheduling and timing of their life lessons, but despite the mixed messaging, in time I came to realize that they were both right.
In life, some things must be handled urgently while others can (…and should) be scheduled and addressed at a mutually convenient time. To recognize the difference is what I would consider to be the “wisdom” part of the equation.
But not everyone seems to have gotten the memo. Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, Inspiring, stories
Tagged as client, customer, demands, expectations, human, humanity, industry, labor, labour, patience, patient, people, perspective, service, speed, staff, tech, technology, time, urgency, urgent, wait, waiting, work force
February 12, 2023 · 8:22 am
One of the greatest ironies about getting older is that despite the whispers of life experience and wisdom through which we can better take life’s drama with a grain of salt, and to view it with the perspective and acceptance that prevent our heads from exploding on a daily basis, there is one troubling reality: new situations to replace them… which still hold the power to make our heads explode.
To me, a recent bugaboo has been company name changes.
A few weeks ago, my partner and I received an email from a company we deal with, announcing their name change. Frankly, it wasn’t a big change. They just dropped a few letters from the end of their name.
I felt empathy for the poor employees having to drop everything to update all of their forms, templates and signature blocks, at a time when their plates were probably already full. It brought back memories of a position I have been in more times than I wanted to recall.
I sometimes wonder if it’s just me who thinks that company names seem to be changing at a faster pace than before.
But the evidence speaks for itself when watching a vintage episode of “The Price is Right” on YouTube and noticing that many company names that were household names in the 1970s have completely disappeared.
I have to admit that remembering names is not my strongest attribute. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, pop culture, stories
Tagged as aging, brand, branding, business, change, changing, client, company, consumer, corporate, customer, goods, history, memory, name, names, recall, reputation, service, services
December 30, 2018 · 9:16 am
When I attended university 35 years ago, majoring in business administration, the book “In Search of Excellence” written by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. was often referenced as a case study in best practices.
As a student in the 1980s, the book resonated with me. I was particularly in awe of the innovative concept of seeking input from clients and front line employees for simple yet effective ideas for enhancing the quality of products and services. The concept’s success was further demonstrated in the documentary movie that was making the rounds at that time.
“In Search of Excellence” was probably the book that inspired me most to pursue a career in business. Even as a young man, I was moved when a business (a store, a restaurant or a service) valued quality and worked a little harder to achieve it. This was (and still is) an important value for me and it appealed to me to think that a business career could revolve around the theme of quality.
But when the business world constantly hungers for a competitive edge, management principles are ever-evolving and replaced by new theories and best practices. And as a consumer, I am saddened that quality has been caught in the crossfire.
Some products don’t seem to last as long as they used to, despite the call to be more mindful of our use of landfills. Some stores are ghost towns, where it is impossible to find assistance when I need to ask questions or to get a product from a high shelf. And when I am able to find assistance, on some occasions I am given wrong directions or wrong answers.
I have also noticed some products I buy often getting cheapened by cutting corners on workmanship or incorporating cheaper materials. It is very disappointing. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Inspiring
Tagged as business, businesses, client, client service, commercial, customer, excellence, expectations, feedback, loyalty, New Year's Resolutions, quality, resolution, resolutions, restaurants, retail, satisfaction, services, shopping, stores, sustainability, values