[Synopsis: A mistake with one customer can make things hard for people we’ll never know about.]
I’d only been working as an operations manager for a couple of months when Barb in the office came up to me.
“When do you have the Carter move scheduled for?”
I looked over at the board. It was only April, so the docket was still relatively light. The Carter job was slated for the next day.
“Tomorrow,” I said. “Everything okay?” Having seen that face from Barb before I was pretty sure it wasn’t.
“Well, I’ve got Mrs. Carter on the phone, and she’s wondering where her movers are.”
I felt my whole body break out in a sweat. “Her move is supposed to be…today?”
The next half hour was a lot of fun.
The salesman, as it turned out, had made a mistake when scheduling the move date. Lucky for everyone involved, I had a few guys and a truck I could get out to take care of Mrs. Carter who, through a combination of her astute powers of perception and Barb’s honesty, knew we had messed up. She was also well aware it could have been a lot worse.
If it had been a lot worse – if it had been June instead of April, if I hadn’t had any guys available or if that one truck big enough to hold all of Mrs. Carter’s stuff hadn’t been out on another job – we would have had one upset customer and one huge logistical mess the next day.
Considering all the moving parts in an interstate move, who knows how far the domino effect might reach in a situation like this.
We’re all human. We all make mistakes. Unfortunately, some mistakes affect people far beyond the job site.
We hope you all made it through the summer without getting that look from Barb. If not though, please share your story below – we’d love to hear about it.