Okay, let’s revisit Big Beef Week. It seems over these months I have focused primarily on consumer courtesy. The lack of kindness in customers, friends, or acquaintances gave me reason to question our growth as a human race. To me, it seems we have become a completely self-righteous population and there are a gazillion variables why. It is next to impossible to pinpoint just one.
And then today, I realized for many, we are merely reflections of the actions poised upon us. One can only be so kind and thoughtful for so long. Today, I became one of those “Are you serious?” in your face kind of people. It was not a pretty sight.
Recently, I came home to find my internet cable unearthed with about three feet of extra cable suspended in mid-air by my back steps. Not only did they leave an obvious tripping hazard, instead of burying the new line under my foundation skirting, they cut a hole through it about two inches off the ground to extend it under the house. I must have stood there and stared for an hour. Why in the world would they do that? The skirting sits on dirt. All they had to do was bury the line – like they always do, by the way. There was no amount of wine that could make this an appropriate action.
So, the next morning I called to have the line buried and relocated underground. To my amazement, within three hours, I received an email alerting me my request was completed. Wow. That’s a world record, right? I come home to see they did indeed bury the exposed cable only to the side of my back steps and then wrapped it under them, fully exposed, with the same entry point in the skirting. Had I asked them to perform brain surgery? Obviously, something was missing in my ability to communicate effectively.
So, I called again. I had to work ridiculously hard to maintain an acceptable tone of voice, but this time included the phrasing, “Why in the world would they leave exposed cable with the instruction to bury it and relocate it underground? And furthermore, why in the world would they damage a perfectly good piece of siding in the first place? If they were not going to bury it, all they had to do is lift the siding and slide it underneath.” I have to admit, even the customer service rep responded, “They really did that?” Uh, yes ma’am, they did. I wanted to say, “Nah, I just called for fun.” Yes, my eyeballs did a full roll.
Well, this ignited some spectacular service. I had four escalated callbacks within the hour. I was impressed. Within 24 hours I had a company representative on my doorstep to evaluate the problem, and on a Saturday no less. Amazing, right? Then it started all over again.
This person admitted it seemed strange they would install in that way and verbally asked all the same questions I had asked. And, while he proceeded to tell me they would correctly bury the cable and replace the skirting panel, he did not stop there. I had mentioned when the weather gets cold wild rabbits and feral cats would paw and dig at that two-inch cut until they gained entry under the house. He told me I already had a couple other damaged panels nearby covered with white tape that could pose the same threat. And that is related how? Your workers damaged a perfectly good piece of siding. Period. I am not fixing your problem with white tape. I suggest you just fix it and move on. I honestly felt this big guy was attempting to somehow intimidate me. Newsflash: it did not work.
Little did I know, it felt really good to put him in his place and report it to his supervisor. Normally I would just smile and let it go. It seems professional courtesy is also at risk in our society. Maybe I have judged some people prematurely. Maybe, just maybe, they had tolerated all the nonsense they could handle for one day. I still do not condone thoughtless behavior, but it did open my eyes. I did not even know I had a limit. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
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