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  • Jerry Phillips

Covid As An Excuse

Last weekend I flew for the first time since July 2020. My wife and I flew to St. Louis to see our son and daughter in law, and to see our grandson. We had not been on a flight together since 2019. I’m grateful for Southwest Airlines keeping our status and our companion ticket. They know that the pandemic created havoc for us as a business traveler as well.

It felt like there was light at the end of the long, dark tunnel. The plane was mostly full of passengers again. The terminal was not as busy as normal, but it was busier than it was in July. The parking areas around the airport were still empty and that gave us pause. We still are wearing masks, and we are still being cautious. The threat of Covid is not over, but it is livable. We have adjusted. Yet we haven’t.

I order online for several items, as does my wife. I’m tired of seeing a message pop up that due to Covid, your shipment may be delayed. It should say, due to Covid, we have an excuse to mess up your order and lose your order. LSO is a delivery service based in Texas. In the last two weeks, they have lost two orders from two different companies that we ordered through. They are not alone in poor service. My son in law and daughter are opening a Ju Jitsu school and they ordered mats for the studio. They were two weeks late, and the freight company delivered them to the wrong address. The address was corrected, but they chose to deliver them to an address that they were familiar with. As my son in law saw them being delivered, he ran out to catch the driver. The driver told him he had done his job. He wouldn’t bring the mats to the correct address. Covid is not an excuse for poor customer service. It’s been over a year. Figure it out. Most companies have.

On the positive side the company that the mats were delivered to has a great service. Their warehouse receiving person took his own time to take the forklift and drive the pallets of mats to the studio. The company that shipped product to my wife gave her credit for the lost order. The company that shipped my order that was lost, shipped an entirely new order that was delivered a day later. I strongly suggested they find a new freight company. The lowest priced doesn’t always fit with the best service. In fact, it rarely does. I’m willing to pay for great service. It costs more money to have product lost. It costs in replacement product, and customers who go elsewhere.

Great companies, like Southwest Airlines have found ways to survive and improve service during the pandemic. They have enhanced their standing with me, and I will be flying much more over the next year. LSO has gone the other direction. At one time, I thought they were a great delivery service. Today, I’m not so sure.

This week my business partner and I worked on our business. We looked at the past three months of client work and dove deeply into what we learned, and how we could improve. The only way to thrive is to exceed expectations. We identified work that we do that we could streamline. We found ways to improve our client communications. We divided our workload so we could be more productive.

Our trip to St. Louis was a wonderful experience. We enjoyed our family, and we enjoyed flying again. One side effect of Covid that hasn’t gotten publicity was discovered as I wore business attire again. It shrank my clothes. They were a little tighter than they were pre-Covid. However, I can’t use Covid as an excuse. I’m back to working out and eating less…

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