Friday, March 15, 2013

The Face And Voice Of A Company

Do you ever feel the Lord sent someone just to you? Like there was one perfect person to get you through the predicament you were in and they just appeared? That happened to me today and not just once, but twice. I awoke this morning to find my Internet not working. Sometimes it's slow getting kicked into gear but after several hours, I knew there was something wrong. I mentioned I upgraded to a cell phone six days ago which required some changes to my Internet service but it stayed with AT+T. Two days ago, there was a notice on my door that a guy named Sam had come by and connected me back up. Since it worked fine, I thought end of story but it's never that easy. Sam kindly left his name/number on the notice so this morning, I called him. He was in the neighborhood so he stopped by. He explained I needed a new password and had to register my new account  Since he was there, he did it for me, explaining as we talked that he has been with AT+T for thirty-two years, a rarity these days, and why my Internet was so slow in the morning- my shutting off the modem every night . I thought that was all she wrote but when I came home from working out this afternoon, the Internet was out again and my laptop kept directing me to an AT+T site which took me fifteen minutes to go through, telling me something I didn't understand. I wasn't frustrated, just resigned that all the stuff I need to get done tonight and tomorrow would be interrupted by trying to figure out how to fix the problem. Well, maybe I was feeling sort of sorry for myself but I prayed about it and called the AT+T tech support line. I was connected to a wonderful lady named Elizabeth. For the next forty-five minutes, she walked me through a series of fairly complicated sequences on my laptop and not only restored my service, but corrected several issues I was having which I didn't even know I was having. I asked her if she worked from a script with all these scenarios written out but she told me she simply has them memorized. Here's the amazing thing- Elizabeth acted like I was doing her a favor for allowing her to help me. Before we hung up, which I guess you don't actually do with a cell, I profusely thanked her repeatedly. My Internet had been restored but so had some faith in corporate America.

You may disagree and that's your prerogative but I don't think it's coincidental my path coincided with that of Sam(uel) and Elizabeth today. You might say they were just doing their jobs but if you know anything about my lack of even the most basic tech skills, you know that not just anybody can help me sort things out. Then there's the name thing. You Bible scholars are way ahead of me. You know that Samuel's mother, Hannah, prayed for a baby and he was the answer. You know Elizabeth prayed for a baby and the result was John the Baptist, even being announced by the angel Gabriel to Zechariah! The Bible says both Hannah and Elizabeth were barren but these two women of God produced two men of God who were essential in the story of the Messiah, and both life long Nazirites! (I know all my students can effortlessly list the five parts of taking this ancient vow.)You know, the world may not care about a Bible application to this story but it might about customer service in an age of lowered expectations. I mean, I'm the one who thanks the employees at the grocery store and fast food chains when good business practice teaches it should be the other way around. But now, when I think of this huge corporation, I'll associate AT+T with Sam and Elizabeth, whose last names I don't know and in her case, I can only go on a voice. Come to think of it, that might be a good application for Christians. No one knows everyone in a church but they might know you or me and they could judge the group, and maybe even the Savior, in the impression we make in our interactions. We will make an impression: make it a good one. I saw two pretty good examples myself today.

Applicable quote of the day:
"It's easy to make a buck.  It's a lot tougher to make a difference." 

Tom Brokaw

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

1 comment:

Susan said...

I totally agree with you Steve. God has placed so many people in my life when and where I needed them. Sometimes it is difficult to deal with customer service reps (especially over the phone when there is less accountability for either party since they will probably never meet). You helped me realize there is no use blaming the CS rep for the problem and we can resolve so much more if things remain friendly...