Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Cleaning Lady vs The Cable Guy


You've been there before. You've gotten that crazy timeframe from the cable company. You know, something like "We'll be there sometime between 12-5". You hate it. It's ruins your day. But you can't do anything about it. Nothing.

You can't do anything about it because you need your cable. And there's only one choice when it comes to cable television in your area. So you're forced to sit and grumble for 4-5 hours. And then you're forced to pay your cable bill month after month.

The housecleaning industry is a lot different. There's literally hundreds of so-called cleaning companies out there. A new one is born everyday. But the cable industry does have a link to the housecleaning industry. The link - you have to wait just as long for your maid as you do your cable guy.

Of course, you don't have to wait for your maid. You could force her to treat you like a customer. You could demand that she arrives on time. And if she doesn't-then you could fire her. After all, there's more than one maid in your area.

But you don't. You keep sitting there. Same, old tired thing week after week. You do this for one of two reasons.

1. She's cheap.
She's so cheap that you're willing to overlook the terrible customer service. She's so cheap that you don't expect her to treat you like a customer. But then, you're not really acting like a customer anyway. You're fine with it as long as she keeps charging you next to nothing.

2. She's become your friend.
She's now your friend. And you can't really discipline your friend. No matter if she's late. No matter if she screws up. You can't do anything about it. You're no supervisor. You're not even a customer. You're her buddy.

Of course, you're going to hit your tipping point someday. It might be that her late arrival makes you late to an important meeting one day. It might be that her constant lack of attention irritates you so much that you just explode one day. It might be that you hear about your neighbor's housecleaning company and you get a little jealous.

Your neighbor is talking about punctuality. Your neighbor is talking about customer service. Your neighbor is even talking about professionalism. Your neighbor is talking like a customer. That's the difference.

Your maid isn't a monopoly. You don't have to keep sitting there waiting on her all the time. The choice is yours.

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