Mea Culpa/Murphy's Law Redux
October 1, 2007
Volume 3, Issue 10

Mea Culpa

I have always strived to provide excellent service. This includes a prompt response to e-mail, voice mail and written correspondence. You can imagine my shock and embarrassment this month when I discovered that the contact form on my website had not been working for the past several months. It is not clear why this happened or exactly how long ago it broke down. The only thing I do know is that email generated from the contact page on my website has ended up somewhere in cyberspace. This means that potential clients who were trying to contact me never received a reply because I never received their emails. If it hadn’t been for a new client following up with a phone call to let me know that she hadn’t heard back from me, it may have continued to go unnoticed for months more.

Many of you subscribed to my newsletter after finding my website online, and many of you may have attempted to email me through my contact form at the same time. I am writing to formally apologize to those of you who may have tried to reach me in this way and never received a response. I am very sorry for this unfortunate circumstance and regret any frustration or inconvenience that this may have caused. In an effort to make this up to you, I would like to offer a free half-hour phone consultation to anyone whose email was ignored. Please call me at 416 498-1352 or email me at barbara@barbarafish.com to set up an appointment.

Murphy’s Law Redux

I have already written about poor service in a previous newsletter, (“At your Service” http://home.ezezine.com/1179_2/1179_22006. but after a series of events in the last month (including the one listed above), I feel compelled to write again. As you know, we moved into our new office a month ago. If I were to say that the transition has gone smoothly, I would be lying. Despite our attempts to be proactive and make all the necessary arrangements months in advance, there have been numerous problems and delays.

To begin with, my partner didn’t receive telephone service for two weeks! He sat and waited for 3 full days on a holiday weekend, waiting for a technician to arrive. Attempts to reach a customer service rep were frustrating and futile. What one individual said was refuted by the next. No one seemed to know the location of the technician or when or whether he would be arriving.

Given that a cell phone could easily replace a landline, being without a telephone might not appear to be such a terrible inconvenience. However, his telephone was also the conduit through which he processed his credit card transactions and through which we are networked to the Internet. Because we purchase our telephone service from Rogers, and our Internet service from Bell, it took three more weeks before they could work out their respective roles and before we had access to the Internet.

Since our office had been apportioned from a much larger office in the building, we discovered after a week of no mail delivery that we didn’t exist on the Canada Post official registry and needed to apply for registration. Despite the fact that our building has been receiving mail for the past 25 years, and that the mail deliverer passed our door every day on the way to delivering to our neighbours, we needed to wait another two weeks before we finally began to receive mail directly to our door.

In working out the plans for construction with property management, we had stressed the importance of soundproofing to ensure privacy and confidentiality. Property management had supplied insulation in the walls between offices, but unfortunately, not in the gaps between the drywall and the ceiling, nor along the windows where the sound travels freely. Radios and white noise machines do little to mask the sound of voices through the walls, so we are still struggling to resolve this problem.

And then there were the computer problems. Not only did I discover the non-functioning contact form on my website, but I also found that having two email addresses and two websites was not without its problems. One day, you could reach me via my careeractive.com address; the next you could reach me through my barbarafish.com address, but not both at the same time.

One might think that having so many problems at the outset of one’s move is not that auspicious a beginning. However, I have chosen to take a different view. In many ways, dealing with all these issues all at once clears the way for an unobstructed path towards future growth and opportunity. I have come to appreciate the value of good service even more – one in which the customer service provider not only listens, but understands and acts quickly to resolve your problem.  I have learned that I should not make assumptions that things are running as they should, but regularly check to make sure that they are. I have relearned that life’s little annoyances are merely that and that being resilient to life’s changes is much more important.

I am happy to report that despite these initial difficulties, I am enjoying our lovely office - the centralized location, the friendly neighbours and the proximity to all the conveniences that being next door to a mall can offer. We have received many compliments and expressions of gratitude about the peaceful and pleasant setting that we have created. Many thanks go to Francine Gilbert (franjessco@sympatico.ca), a friend and interior decorator who shared her wonderful colour sense and expertise in helping to create just the right mood. I welcome you all to come see for yourselves.

Barbara Fish, M.Ed.
Personal and Career Counsellor
416 498-1352

“Helping Your Life Work”

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