- V Yonkers
- Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Communication IS Customer Service
Well, so much for the best laid plans of mice and men. I guess I'll have to wait for a little while longer for me to complete my top 10. Today, I'm going to write about the event that has put my town in the middle of the National News--The Ice Storm.
By Thursday night, we knew we would most likely loose power as we already had a 1/2 inch of ice on surfaces. We lost power around 1:30 in the morning. However, we were prepared.
Around dawn, we heard a crash. A neighbor's branch had fallen and landed on our fence and shed. We heard another crash around 8:00AM and looked out to see the top branch break off and take down 3 more branches on its descent.
Fortunately, that was the worst of the damage. Being prepared, we had a battery operated TV, lantern, a gas powered fire place, gas for cooking, and a hot water tank which ran on gas. But until 5:30 the evening, we just waited--waited for information about whether to go stay with friends, waited for the lights to come on, waited to see if our house's temperature would go below 60F, waited before we began to move food out of the refrigerator into the garage to prevent spoilage. Just waited. With no information. Just a message that said, "Due to the catastrophic event, power will be out indefinitely."
As the day went on and we grew more and more frustrated, I thought this problem is a symptom of most businesses today. They are afraid to give you information for fear that it may be used against you. Just like this picture, you are trying to put together information, but the image is blurred.
The other power company had detailed information available for their users. They have areas where they were currently working and time estimates (including those that might wait a week). They also gave warnings that these were only estimates and that there might be additional power outages. People tend to be patient when they have a time frame. This GIVES BACK their time for them to control, without the hurry up and wait press that wastes the customer's time.
So, now we have our power. The tree branches and debris are being removed. We've had power 48 hours (although, we don't count out some blackouts still as repairs are being made), we got our internet connection back this morning, and as my pictures show you, the icing really does make everything magical. Tomorrow we are expected to have a big thaw--and hopefully there'll be power restored so the kids can return to school!