Broken Windows and Back to Blogging

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Sep 08, 2006 1:04 PM

So, you sign up for a service appointment with one of your local, friendly utilities. You overlook the fact that said appointment comes a week after you really need the appointment, and you wait patiently. You know, because they're very busy people.

They give you a window during which the technician will show at your house to render the services you needed a week ago. You tell your boss and everyone who might need you that you'll be unavailable during this 4-hour window, and your boss agrees to the plan, although probably somewhat grudgingly.

The day of the appointment comes and you are so excited because you've now gone 168 hours without the service you needed. You wake up early to take care of some work business before the precious window opens at 7 a.m., knowing full well that the utilities gods will not shine upon you and bring your savior at the beginning of the window.

But you sit and you hope. As the window is closing around 10:58 a.m., you call to check with the utility spokespeople, who you really hope are recording this particular conversation, and ask why the heck there's a window at all if the technician will not be arriving within it. Turns out the window is more of a guideline than a hard-and-fast kinda thing.

Because you called, and only because you bothered to call, you are told the window will actually last until around 12:30 p.m. since the technician is running late, which is all well and good except that you hadn't told your boss about the easily adjustable length of the window. Oops.

Around 12:15 p.m. you get a call from another customer service person, ignorant of your previous call, who asks if you're still at the house. You wonder if it's better that they know you might have other stuff to do and just ignore that fact or whether plain old thoughtlessness would sit better with you. You vote for thoughtlessness. You wonder to yourself how much productivity they'd gain if technicians showed up within the given windows, thereby eliminating the need for customer service people to call and check if customers are at their houses.

The technician finally shows up, hooks you up within a matter of minutes, and leaves without acknowledgement or apology. Either I've gotta find out if we have "utilities" days available as part of our benefits package or I've got to become much more of a witch on the phone with customer service people.

Sorry for my tardiness, everyone. Back to blogging.