Life is interesting when you own your own business. The challenges test your resourcefulness, resilience, and ability to delegate. However, no one on earth is God Almighty; all things definitely are not possible.
Mondays are vilified in movies and day-to-day living. There is truth in this viewpoint. Even Puss in Boots says, “I hate Mondays.” For example, some time ago, a national language agency contacted us via e-mail at approximately 8:51 AM to cover an interpreting assignment at 9:30 AM. When an urgent matter arises, e-mail is by far the most ineffective method of communication. Since we need to prioritize and work diligently, the e-mail notification pop-up box has been disabled. It took nine minutes for our office to receive a phone call from the agency. Though our day was not full, we were busy and unable to cover the assignment on 30 minutes’ notice.
Oddly enough, the agency again telephoned us at 9:10 AM, requesting that we provide transport services for the same particular individual at 8:45 AM. Our secretary replied, “You’re calling at 9:10 AM about an 8:45 a.m. transport.” The representative laughed, explained that the assignment had just arrived, and repeated her question. We apologized and declined. What did we know that the representative did not?
The agency is located outside of the area it was serving. We all knew that the individual had a 9:30 AM appointment for which interpretation services was necessary. It should have been evident to the agency at 8:51 AM that this person needed transport at 8:45 AM in order to arrive at the appointment at 9:30 AM. The key error here was ill-preparedness. Nevertheless, these horrific scenarios do rear their ugly head occasionally, and we have all handled the ramifications. Since we live in the region we serve, we knew it would have taken between 45 and 50 minutes to reach the person’s residence. Thereafter, another 45 to 50 minutes would pass before arrival at the destination. Had we a driver available to provide said service immediately, the person would have arrived one hour and 15 minutes late to the appointment.
For the next 15 minutes, I was stunned at the flippant attitude displayed by the agency and its representatives. Time was on no one’s side. At the very least, the representatives who called should have acknowledged up front that this was all very bad timing and apologized for it (even if the agency was not negligent). When one asks the impossible of a vendor, common courtesy dictates said decorum. When we make mistakes, we own them. When we triumph, we claim them.