A Little Enthusiasm…

…goes a long way.

I love my work, and as a result, I love getting paid. And today the boot is on the other foot, I’m paying bills and stuff this morning. I told you this gig was pure rock n roll huh.

A lot of these transactions have been over the phone. I say transactions quite deliberately because in the main, my approaches to the companies and people I owe money have been met with a lack of interest, a sense of…emptiness.

I’m phoning – to pay you money. You aren’t having to chase me, I believe in what goes around comes around and I’m a full member of the pay it quick club. I don’t expect you to let of fireworks and call a public holiday just because some guy has chosen to pay promptly – but a vague hint of life from the other end of the phone would go a long way.

A notable exception is my local bike shop who today have most cheerily accepted the money I owe them for repairs and servicing on my mountain bike. I like that.

To the rest of the miseries I spoke to – have a nice day. Nahh, I’m kidding, if taking my money is that dull and lifeless, go and get another job.

photo credit

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

18 thoughts on “A Little Enthusiasm…”

  1. Great post, Doug. I am deeply suspicious of companies that make it difficult to take the money I’m trying to give them, whether it’s because they are completely apathetic or don’t bother to make it easy. I enjoy getting paid and am grateful for it – I want to make it as easy as possible for people to pay me.

    More surprising is all the businesses that complain about the economy and reduced sales and then seem uncaring or even resentful about the customers they do have…

    Note to businesses: given current technology, EVERYONE should accept cash, check, and all credit and debit cards. If you make me think about what’s in my wallet, I am likely going somewhere else.

    Note to businesses, pt 2: given current technology, I don’t have to purchase from you. I can shop in another city, state, or country as easily (maybe easier) than I can from you. Make doing business with you delightful. If you can’t manage that, at least act like you care.

    1. And if I’d had my brain screwed in right this morning – broc’s comment is what I would have written – thanks dude.

  2. trouble is that these people are in jobs they don’t enjoy, because of the poor quality of both careers advice and recruitment that exists.

    Most people don’t even know what jobs they’d love doing because they’re told they have to do jobs that they hate, and that there’s no other option.

    Then, once you’ve solved those issues you can then focus on training customer service employees so that they understand how to give a customer a good experience.

    Interesting you mention bike shops, I’m seeing them (and mini grocery stores) as the more successful independent retail shops that are managing to survive.

    1. Hi Claire – I’m an optimist – and sometimes my sympathy runneth out. I do agree with you and overarching everything is our own ability to choose our own attitude. If where you work makes you feel that flat – do something about it. Leave your shitty employer and find a better one – they are out there πŸ™‚ I know I could have and should have put that rather more constructively and I also know it can be done. Thanks ever so much for coming by.

    1. Cheers Ian – thanks for coming by and thanks for your feedback.

      Get involved, get upset, or get out – love it! Great link.

      Cheers – Doug

  3. I once met a “guru” who questioned why anyone in their right mind would pay promptly… it was a pivotal moment that showed what a self-centred idiot he was and how ethically different we were. I’ve since heard others raise eyebrows at his name yet he’s still lauded as a “guru”… My learning? An ethical path always trumps self infatuation. Good on ya Doug!

  4. Once again a group of smart people take my raw material and make it so much better. Thank you all for your valuable additions to yesterday’s frustrations.

    1. And therein lies a part of the problem when dealing with the state. You can’t go anywhere else. It’s no excuse but it does seem to be at the heart of a lot of government customer service challenges. I had a few issues with building control a while back and they wrote to me describing their charges as a stealth tax whilst of course still saying – pay up. Not good enough Peter I agree.

  5. OOOh, so much good stuff in the blog Doug.

    Attitude – which you can change. Look, if you don’t want to find another job, make this one great by yourself (see fab things on mindfulness including http://www.getsomeheadspace.com). It may sound trite but it is one way of getting back at the man – nil carborundum etc. And you get your soul back into the bargain

    The Man – dry, dusty bean counting, shareholder valuing worshipping bastard(s). Is life really about getting the highest return by squeezing the last drop out of every penny. It is only money.

    Politicians – David Cameron thinks he helps SMEs by allowing them to sack people more easily. Er, they are shit employers/managers if they can’t work out someone’s capability etc after 3 months. Giving them two years makes them shit and spineless. If DC really wants to help – make it illegal to take over 30 days to pay a bill.

    Karma – yes. Be the good guy and pay on time if not before. The pleasure I get from turning around one of my consultants or other suppliers invoices in a day or so is lovely. It’s like letting someone into the traffic queue. Costs me nothing and makes me feel smug all day…. One of my favourite bosses made prompt payment a mantra.

  6. We have a garage just round the corner from work (= convenient) and 2 cars which seem to blow lights on a horrifyingly regular basis (= first name terms with the owner). Recently they’ve changed at least 3 bulbs for us, done an MOT and a service – and forgot to charge for any of the bulbs (‘oh we’ll catch it on the next bill’, and then having forgot to ‘oh don’t worry, not worth doing the paperwork for a couple of quid’). It was a great feeling to turn up with a tin of chocs to say thank you – and they have a loyal customer.

    1. Thanks for the story Lydia – there’s that local thing again. Four out of the top 8 in the 2010 ICS customer satisfaction figures were local businesses. Hmmm…

  7. I think you’re right, it’s important that people and businesses take seriously the needs of others, we are all part of a much bigger whole in economic as well as social terms. It also does make you feel good as well to pay before being chased, so is a win-win.

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