OPP (other people’s problems)

We live in a world full of acronyms e.g. PPO, OPM (Other People’s Money), SOP, CDO, COD etc..

In big companies, Customer Service reps just get through their day, throwing around acronyms to feel they are on the inside, without thinking about “touchpoints” (problems as opportunities to upsell).

My cable acted up two days ago.  The CS rep on the phone failed to help, so I had to take the box to the local center for an exchange.

The reception area was tiny, the guard imposing and customers, many were old men, holding the box with no place to sit. The rep first wanted me to drop my ticket in a pencil holder (her makeshift trash bin), then proceeded to check my ID. If it weren’t for the sign that says “Comcast” , I would have thought I had been at a DMV (whose seating area was more comfortable. In fact, the DMV in Stuart, FL was excellent at being “civil servant”.  Comcast reps should come over to learn a few things).

Take away: we are born naked and will die rotten. What we have now is all derivative (from our lineage, our society and our global links). Customers will always vote with their feet and they don’t wait until November. No contract could lock anyone in. Companies should periodically audit employees’ “attitude” (Sales should pick up Service skills, and vice versa). Gone are the days of “yesterday we were nice because you were a prospect”.

In its place should be the kind of enchantment Guy Kawasaki was referring in his book.

There is a reason Nordstrom and Four Seasons got their J.D. Power awards even in tough times.

(Recent USA Today poll features a large percentage of consumers cutting the chords with their long-time Hairdressers, Personal Trainers, landscapers etc..).

The trickle down economy.

Even China is growing only at 8% (down from earlier 10%) while the US teetering over the red line. Not all emerging countries are doing well. Thailand got a centennial flood. Like global recession, global warming is not OPP. A UN expert on Natural Disasters opined on the Newshour that it’s 50-50 natural/man-made split, let’s say, in the Mekong River (logging, upstream dam overstretched…) or a Honda plant in Thailand was submerged while Toyota parts couldn’t get to us from Fukushima.

Jasmine rice from Thailand (with Elephant brand) will be in short supply next year.

Tomorrow we will enjoy Bill Clinton’s birthday concert, brought to us by Yahoo.

But we can not just download the good stuff (democratized technology) while ignoring our carbon footprints.

Technology and globalization are the two sides of the same coin.

A manufacturing plant cannot move overseas without dumping toxic waste into someone else’s stream and water supply.

Again, early civic lessons came to mind (a neighbor found a dead rat in his yard. He decided to toss it over the fence to his neighbor. The next day, the whole neighborhood, his house included, smelled dead-rat). Or as in a story about living down-hill from someone else’s farm. The act of helping to water a neighbor’s farm uphill,  ended up with the benefit of having part of the water flow down hill anyway. In doing good, we are also doing well (Henry Ford knew this when he decided on paying high manufacturing wages “so my workers can afford to buy my model T’s – in any color they want, as long as it’s black”. We will all need to relearn the concept of service in today’s hyper competitiveness yet globally connectedness (and not letting the machine-generated “Now, serving number B-52 at window number 3” announcement put us in a trance, or worse off, become machine-like ourselves.) Want another acronym? It’s called living in the age of AI (Artificial Intelligence).


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