Monthly Archives: December 2012

Service in America!

I am a big fan of ABC’s “Made in America” crusade, and Diane Sawyer and crew have made me very cognizant on where something is made when I buy it. I do look for the “Made in America” label over the “Made in _____”. I do that because I am American and I want to buy what we make, I want to buy American so my fellow American can make that product, and then s/he can spend that paycheck on other American products. And so on, and so on… And the dollar will flow.

That is only one part of the picture. The other part is I want “Service in America”. Let me tell you a story:(background information) I live in a town with a couple of  internet providers, but where I live there is one choice of high-speed internet. All was well for years, then, for unknown reasons, the service was intermittent at best. That is not good for a person who wants to blog and eventually  tutor on-line. It’s okay, not good, but okay, to miss a week of blogging; but, that would never be acceptable if you are tutoring and lose connection while you are tutoring. Let’s just say, I would definitely be replaced. Since I take pride in my work, I would be frustrated, angry over losing something that was not in my control, and simply embarrassed that someone would view my work as sub-standard.

With the advent of intermittent service, I contacted the internet provider daily, sometimes a few times a day to have internet service. I worked and worked with whoever was on the other end of the phone. I did what they said: bought a new router, bought new cords, bought their upgrade in service. But nothing worked. In fact, there was one day that I was on the phone for ten hours (that’s right 10 hours) and talked to people in five (5)   countries. I was so frustrated at 10 p.m. , that I told the girl from India I was frustrated. She told me not to get upset! I am mild-mannered, maybe too mild mannered, but I told her I had talked to and worked with people from noon to now, and you have given me to people from the Dominican Republic to the Phillipines, without anyone knowing what to do. I told her I was tired of the incompetence, and hung up with the issue not resolved. I needed to eat, and to calm down. I was tired.

This scene continued for months, all the while I making the full bill. Which is another issue altogether. Finally, I hired a computer technician from town and asked him if he could help. Another bill. We agreed to try another box from the internet provider, so back to that phone call. Reluctantly, they did give me a new box, and the technician came back to plug it all in.

In between time, there were two things I learned. Number 1: I did have another choice (which I now have after last week and the final help call to the first internet provider), and Number 2: no matter what I said to the other person on the line, if I could not understand his or her accent, how could s/he understand my frustration level. I am fully aware that the person from the other country can speak English, but does s/he understand my English? I found that each person could only deal with one aspect of the problem before s/he sent me to another person, and when I started to ask about other issues, or alternative solutions, the person was stumped. So, I concluded the English they learned was only for the call center. It would be the same as me working in a German restaurant where German was the only language spoken, and I knew how to take the order in German, and I could converse in German with anything to do with the food and its preparation, but if the patron asked me a question out of that sphere, I would be stumped. I would have to send the patron to another person who could answer that question. I finally understand the foreign call centers.

So, through my arduous journey to secure reliable internet service, I learned a valuable lesson. I want Service in America. I will not only buy what is American made, I will work with companies where they employ people from America in America. Maybe, just maybe, little by little, we will take America back. Thanks ABC…



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