Saturday, January 2, 2016

Around the Clock

I have not received the newspaper for the past three days.  In late December the Boston Globe sent a note to all subscribers informing we all, that they were changing their delivery system--and therefore we subscribers might experience delays.  They apologized for the inconvenience.

Such apologies mean absolutely nothing to me. In fact, I find them to be sometimes amusing, and sometimes an irritant.  If the Boston Globe was truly concerned, it would have made sure that the delivery transition was seamless. To apologize in advance seems odd and inconsiderate.  Say you were going to bounce a check. Would it be appropriate for you to write to the bank ahead of time with this message, "I am low on funds. I intend to write a check for far more than what is in my account. Please bear with me during this transition period while I seek gainful employment. I apologize for any inconvenience."

The first few days after the announcement I did receive my newspaper. Then three days ago it stopped coming.  I went to a website the Globe provided for all customers. There was a long list of municipalities whose residents might experience delayed deliveries. My town was not among them.

I noticed another link on the website where one could send an e-mail indicating a problem.  A Globe representative, read the text, would get back to me.  In fact, a notice on the website acknowledged the problems. The notice assured readers that customer service representatives were working "around the clock" to address concerns.  Perhaps they have only two representatives Hank and Shirley who are working around the clock, because in three days, I have not received anything other than robotically sent responses informing me that "my e-mail is very important to us.  We will get back to you within the next 24 hours."  Nothing from Hank.

There is also a chat line set up so that if you are having a problem you can chat with a representative. I have tried to chat. Seems like nobody would like to chat with me. After a few moments of "please wait, a representative will be available shortly" another note comes up that says "All of our representatives are unavailable to chat."

I can live without the newspaper.  The last few days have been just fine. Throws me off a bit to be sipping my coffee while staring into space instead of looking at the newspaper, but I can adjust. What is amusing and interesting to me as I stare sans newspaper is how a venerable organization can do something so mind bogglingly short sighted. Could they not predict that during a time when many people are getting their news from the internet, such a blunder might encourage people to stop their subscriptions. And if this occurred, could they not predict that advertising revenue might plummet, and then maybe heads would roll.

I sit in on meetings at times and hear the most outrageous suggestions made.  I am not shy about offering diplomatic counter points and like to think that such comments have derailed preposterous plans on occasion.  But what happens when a group of well paid executives make a decision "to go with another delivery system and just send a note out to our customers that there might be delays, and just put on our website that you can e-mail us or chat--never mind that we have only two people who are chatting anyone up."  Does everyone nod and say, "Good idea, RK."

Not everything I write relates to sports, but in a way this does.  There are many people in this region who devour the sports pages at this time wanting to read minutiae about the Patriots in these last weeks of the season. I have a buddy who probably has not read the front page of a paper in a decade, but will tell me whose knee is hurt on the Patriots because of a one sentence reference in the newspaper.  These folks are livid these days. They need their Patriots fix.  And when they awaken before they go to work, they want to read if Tom Brady has a cold.

But that is okay figure the execs at the Globe.  We'll just apologize. That will probably work.

Go have an affair with your neighbor. Then send a note to the neighbor's spouse and your own:

Sorry for any inconvenience.

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