Fun places to work. Remember the Fotomat Store?

O   It’s the smallest United States Post Office (so the sign says). It’s down in Alligator Alley in Florida. It kinda reminded me of the Fotomat store. Are you old enough to remember the Fotomat store? I worked in a Fotomat store for a brief period of time; about two weeks; if that long. Being confined in a space not bigger than the picture above was enough to drive me crazy. And when the senior citizen hit the building, at 5 mph fortunately, it was more than enough to say “Outta here!” But it got me thinking about all the different places people work. They work in coffee shops, bars, hotel lobbies, parks, poolside, in traditional offices, home offices, their car, on buses, on trains, on the beach. People work above ground and below ground. I can go on and on. What’s the worst location you have worked? The best? The oddest? The most fun? The one that energized …

And the INCONVENIENCE at America’s Most Convenient(?) Bank continues

Below is a copy of an email sent to Joe Culos, SVP of Something at TD Bank Dear Joe, Perhaps you’ll remember me. We spoke last month about all of my inconveniences and bank errors since transferring four accounts to TD Bank; my favorite being cash deposits that were held and frozen by your “back office”; the people that no one outside the back office are allowed to contact voice-to-voice. Well the stupidity and inconvenience continues. TD Bank either has the most sophisticated banking system, the most screwed-up banking system, Training and Customer Service Departments that need to get their act together or people who are just worried about volume and numbers; and not customers. I’ll let you choose the scripted answer. But since you’re the Sr. VP of I Might Actually Have A Clue of What is Going On I am now turning to you. I have a simple …

Reason for Refund: We Suck!

My last two attempts to get a package delivered overnight via the United States Postal Service were unsuccessful. They never got to the recipient the next day. Fortunately in both cases it wasn’t the end of the world. This morning I went to get a refund for one of those packages. The clerk was doing something on the computer and talking out loud when he apparently came to the “Reason for Refund” field on his screen.  “We suck!” were the words that came out of his mouth. I laughed. And thought true, yes you guys do suck. But then I  thought…………. Imagine if “WE SUCK” was an option. Imagine if the employee chose that option. Imagine if someone up the USPS food chain read that option. Imagine if employees were given that option as a way to express their frustration with poor service by their employer; about being the ones on the front lines who have to …

Please take a Recess from that type of thinking (and talk)!

Yesterday I called to make an appointment for my mother to see a new doctor. The first question was what was her insurance. The next comment was we don’t accept that.  I get calls regularly from organizations wanting to hire me to fire up their team/group/association; to get them thinking about creating a fun thriving working or meeting environment. The number of calls that start out with “I know you probably cost a lot but we have no budget or a very small budget.” I was just forwarded a copy of an email from an incoming Governor to State Employees. Today was this Governor’s Inauguration. The first communication out of the Governor’s Office is I’m looking forward to working with you; although there will be sacrifices. And this to me is what is wrong with our world. Too many conversations start out with why things won’t work or what we don’t have. We need …

My three step employee policy manual

Hey Kids! 2011 came and went. Happy New Year! So how are those resolutions going for ya? I still think the whole resolution thing is pointless and just a setup for failure. My reason: Most people are going to take the same approach they took every other time they failed. It’s like people who follow any diet plan. They tell you the diet “works” and that’s why they’re doing it again. My response is “Why are you still fat if the diet worked?” The diet did NOT work if you couldn’t figure out how to make it work in a way that involved long term weight loss. But go ahead; have a ball again this year; doing it the same way. Last night I was watching Jay Leno interview Ron Howard. Now for those of you reading this who are members of Toastmasters, you would have had a field day …

Maybe it’s not the employee that needs to be corrected; but the policy?

When I sent a message to the bus company this past summer about a somewhat racist remark the driver made over the P.A. system I refused to give any information that would lead back to who was the driver. When I was dealing with the Ivory Tower folks at TD Bank recently I did not give names about my nightmares but chose to talk about the experiences – the bad experiences. And if higher ups at CVS see my post about an employee texting DURING my transaction yesterday I will not give that employee’s name. Yes, I’m an advocate of employees. Yes, I think employees are often not treated fairly and are not utilized in the manner that would best move the entire organization forward. I even told the folks I was communicating with that they would not get names because discipline is too often used before learning/training/policy review. I was …

The movie Unstoppable. A great lesson in employee engagement.

If you haven’t seen the movie Unstoppable you might not want to read this post yet. If you have seen it or are not going to see it keep reading. My favorite part of the movie was at the very end……. when they told you that the Corporate Jerk lost his job to the woman who really understood train operations. I also couldn’t help but laugh at the apparent CEO’s golf game being interrupted as tragedy was about to happen at his company. This is the stuff that employees assume is happening anyway; why not have some fun with it? This is the stuff that decreases employee engagement and makes for a lousy employee experience. Leaders often forget that those running their business know more about the day-to-day of what is working and what is not. Unstoppable had a little bit of fun with that one. Let’s not include vital people in making decisions; by vital …

Your brother in law is dead. Or is it the dog? Or is it an employee?

My sister calls me last night and tells me she just ran into a friend of mine. That friend had just gotten a call that her brother-in-law died. I called a friend of mine to tell him that Maggie’s husband’s brother died. Maggie sends me a text message shortly thereafter saying her sister’s friend’s dog died. I was confused. I send Maggie a text saying my sister thinks that your brother-in-law is dead cuz that is what you told her? Who is dead? TIME OUT………..PICK UP THE PHONE RICH!!!! So here’s what happened………… Maggie’s sister was on the phone with a friend. That friend had just found her dog dead. Maggie’s sisters son picked up the phone in another room, heard part of the conversation and interpreted it as his uncle had died. Now this is where I get lost. Somehow Maggie’s sister’s son let Maggie’s husband know his brother-in-law had died. …

Want to know how to reach Company Executives? Tweet about their crappy product/service!

Beyond annoyed with my new bank (see my earlier post) and tired of dealing with clueless telephone reps and “store” employees who seemed perfectly fine with not dealing with my issues, I did what any sane person would do……………… No I didn’t blow up the bank; although that did seem like a great idea. I did something even better. I tweeted my frustration about my level of inconvenience that just kept getting worse. Well, not only was someone at TD Bank monitoring the tweets, but I got a call from the Big Head Bank Boy in CT (he had some other ridiculous title that was supposed to impress me or describe what he did yet made no sense to me; they really do need a RECESSitation Pack and immediately get to the Engagement Recess to get rid of that crap.) Titles don’t impress. Actions do. Now he couldn’t fix my problems; he didn’t need to. I’ve been assured …

Hey BIG COMPANIES, Why should I complete your survey/feeback form?

Last month I leased a new Subaru. My experience was great – from the time I called the dealership with my wishes until the salesperson called me back two days later to tell me he had the car I wanted, on his lot, and I could drive home with it tomorrow (that day had I been available). I drove there the next morning. The car was waiting for me to test drive and a few hours later (they needed to install the blue tooth) I was on my way home. Yesterday a survey from Subaru Inc. arrived in the mail. 4 pages long of question after question. Do big companies not get it? Hotels ask me to take a 10 – 15 minute survey after my experience and give me nothing. How about some extra rewards points? A 10% savings on a future stay? A cocktail on my next visit to one of your …