Please don’t ask me how I am

//Please don’t ask me how I am

Please don’t ask me how I am

It’s all very well complaining about how customer service is not what it used to be etc. but if you take a step back, it’s often not too difficult to realize why? Here’s a true story that happened to a colleague of mine just last week.

He was phoning a client who he had not spoken to for a while.  The call was important, a contract needed to be prepared and he needed some additional information.  After trying a few times to get through, he finally managed and opened the conversation with:

“Hi there how are you?” 

The reply was quite astounding:

“Please do not ask me how I am, if everyone who called me asked me how I was I would never have enough time to get my job done!” 

My colleague was shocked but sympathized with her predicament. “I am sorry”, he said “I understand, but please I meant it genuinely, we haven’t spoken for such a while and I was just trying to catch up”.  At that point she realized what she had said and apologized and they engaged in a short but meaningful exchange.

With the pressure of looking for ever greater efficiency from our staff, cutting the numbers back to the bone, year on year, it eventually becomes a matter of choice to decide how far we can and should go.  As anyone that knows me is aware, I am a very busy person and I must say that I recognize myself a little in the story but at least I do try (most of the time) to show some interest when people ask me how I am, even if sometimes I don’t really have the time to reply.

At a reception last week someone reminded me of a joke I first saw on a poster back in the eighties, somehow today it seems to be far more poignant:

“If it wasn’t for customers phoning me the whole time wanting to place orders, I could get on with some real work!”

Have a good week,


2016-11-17T08:25:26+00:000 Comments

About the Author:

Harley is a dynamic 'we can do this' kind of person with a successful track record of working for a wide variety of companies in all kinds of sectors. From very small family run businesses right through to giant multi-nationals. Over the last thirty five years Harley has built a reputation for inspiring those around him to rout out and tackle the core problems facing their organizations. Armed with a wide range of pragmatic tools that he has developed over the years, Harley is able to help his clients bring about long-term, sustainable solutions, while having fun at the same time. Harley is a motivational 'people person' who is nonetheless tough on efficiency and delivery. Apart from being well known for his highly entertaining and motivational speeches, Harley is also a blogger and author of four books; 'The Change Manager's Handbook', 'Transition', 'Inspirational Leadership’ and ‘Making a Difference’.

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