Monday, January 14, 2013

A New Year



A New Year

A new year comes with resolutions, new ideas, and fresh beginnings.  So with that mindset, I'm changing The Arte of Motivation to The ARTicle.  Same guy writing conversationally about stuff that happens; same attempt to make a point about how that might apply to life; and same hope that you enjoy my musings.

So....

I recently called and made plane reservations to go to Las Vegas to see my family.  Travel agent suggested I try Virgin Atlantic...bad idea.  Made the reservations 3 weeks ahead of time and was told the seats were already on "airport hold"; okay, I'll wait.  Twenty four hours ahead of flight time I went online to check in as recommended.  Got an unexplained error message, so spent 2 hours trying to get through to a live agent to explain why.  Told i can't check in without seats; explained they didn't give me seats: checkmate.  Spent another hour arguing for seats, repeatedly told no by an agent who had a script that was obviously devoid of common sense.  Asked to talk to a supervisor: waited 20 minutes until the reluctant agent I'd been talking to came back and..... gave me two middle seats. HUH?

Got to the airport and the gate agent asked if i would like better seats than the two middle ones the phone agent had grudgingly given.....she said they had lots of seats open.  HUH?  I asked how that could be and the gate agent just rolled her eyes at her crazy phone agent colleagues. HUH?

What's really weird is that companies allow this kind of thing to go on all the time.  They have high-minded mission statements and low-minded performance.  Maybe it's just the airline industry, or maybe it's just that we all accept poor service as the price we pay for a "do more with less" corporate mentality.

Don't accept that!  Ever!  Vote with your feet and let the lousy service companies go broke because you and other customers go to their competitors.....the ones who know that poor service kills business!  The ones who understand what it's like to be a customer.  The ones who win!

My message this week is about being professional, and how that can lead to winning:

“The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.”  Steven Pressfield

How do you get to be a professional?  Because you were born into it, or you bought the designation?  Or did someone confer that title on you?  Of course not!  If others see you as a professional it’s because you studied or worked hard, practiced for years, used common sense, put yourself in the shoes of others, and through trial and error learned what you needed to know.  People seem to accept the fact that doctors and lawyers and accountants and engineers and musicians are professions practiced by professionals; but what about service employees, and mothers, and drivers, and phone operators, and so many others – they too are jobs that must be performed by professionals if those things are going to be done well.  They’re done by people who are professionals by virtue of hard work; and by focusing on that work they get in a position of being rewarded for what they do.  Being rewarded up to you – concentrate on doing good  work and the rewards may come to you!

Stay Well!