I am chagrined and frustrated. I’ve had two annoying experiences in the last week, both at the hands of lovely people, but both in the hands of poor quality workpersonship.
Episode number 1: Several weeks ago I changed my primary care doctor, and so, like a good subscriber should, I called Blue Cross Blue Shield to let them know and request my new ID card. Deed done, task accomplished. Wrong. After a week went by and no card arrived, I put it in my craw that I needed to followup with the Blues. Life intervened with other tasks, and, unfortunately, unexpected illness. I needed to see my new physician for the Swine flu, and fortunately, I was covered, but still didn’t have my new insurance card. Finally today I had the time to call the Blues — AGAIN — and got another lovely person. This lovely noted that the previous lovely person I’d spoken to had not issued the computer command to send me my new card. Was I supposed to have done something? Every time I changed docs in the past, the card was automatically generated. Double duty — no thanks.
Episode number 2: That new doc I was talking about? I had to see her — twice because of this flu thing. After the first visit, I cjecked out, got my appointment card for the next visit, and went off on my coughing, sniffling, miserable way. It took a few days before I felt up to hobbling over the my desk and updating my calendar, and when I did, I was frustrated to find that I indeed had a lovely card, complete with the appointment date, sans appointment time. The person who did this was indeed lovely, but. … So, another double duty — called back, today in fact, spoke with someone (also lovely) and went through the whole computer thing with her to get the time, which I successfully did.
Now to my point. These stories per se are not important, and I suspect that one minute after reading this, you will forget them. What I hope you won’t forget is the big question about what’s going on with the quality of work in today’s workplaces. In my experience there are too many loose ends, too many tasks undone, too little confidence in worker competence, and so on. Is it because of outsourcing, and if yes, what about outsourcing? Is it because companies are cutting back on worker training? Or perhaps there is more of an attitude of the customer be damned in some segments of the business arena?
I don’t know the answer, and I sure wish I did. What I do know is that I am scared. Real scared. Please, someone out there, tell me a story and give me an answer that ends with “happily ever after!”