A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

29 June 2006

Whatever Happened to Service?

I recall a passage from Heinlein's "The Man Who Sold the Moon", I think it was:
"Did you ever read the fine print on the back of a Western Union [telegram--Ed.] form? Do you know what it promised?"
"Why, to deliver the message, I suppose."
"It didn't promise a durn thing! Oh it promised to try and deliver the message, by camel or snail back or some other convenient method, but it did not promise to do anything."
Heinlein had a fine sense of the absurdity of things.

Yesterday I left work at noon, vice 4:30.

Cost Of
Time I now have to make up (ignoring cost of three projects shoved into next week): About $80.

Time I spent awaiting movers who arrived four hours late: Guess.
The moving firm, Gentlemen Movers, turned out to be gentlemen after all, and I had only a medium-grade fight to get them to give us $50 off the move.

Cost Of
Arrangements to make trip to pick up my hobby car, not including truck rental: estimate my time and effort cost $70.

At 5:30 PM yesterday the rental agent informed me that my rented truck would not be available this weekend (i.e., two days away). Fortunately, their competitors offer similar rates.

Cost Of
Patio furniture from Zellers: $300 or so.

Yesterday Mme Metro and I went to collect it, only to find it had been sold, so it seems, a second time. Our options: a) wait unknown time until they can deliver a replacement to the local store or b) spend our time and money going to collect it about an hour's drive away. How do you value time spent with nowhere to sit and drink beer on a hot day? "Priceless"?

Did we just hit it lucky in one day? Or is the idea of fair value for fair money truly the shibboleth of the modern company?


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