Lousy Management

24 Apr


I’m a big fan of Amazon Prime. On average, I order something off Amazon 4-5 times a week – paper towels, tacks, protein powder and a lot of common items people wouldn’t think to buy online. But my blog today is about the delivery side of Amazon; in this case, UPS (United Parcel Service) and USPS (United States Postal Service). A week ago, I ordered two items – a basketball hoop for my son’s birthday and headphones for my cell phone. In Minnesota, we also had a strange April blizzard with over a foot of snow – which is a part of my story.

I decided that I’d had it with winter and was only going to do the bare minimum clearing the snow – I snow-blowed about half of my driveway. I left the front walkway completely un-shoveled so the April sunshine could take care of it on her own.

The basketball hoop was promptly delivered by UPS. As mentioned, the driveway was only half clear of snow, but the UPS guy rolled the huge box up the driveway, around my car and into the garage. I love UPS. What can Brown do for you? (FedEx, you get a gold star as well).

The USPS took a little longer…

Day 1:

I received a notice from USPS that the mailperson couldn’t deliver the package and that they were holding it in the office. No problem, I took responsibility for not clearing my walkway and went into the post office the next day.

Day 2:

The lady at the post office was nice enough. “Oh, they tried to deliver it again today…. He wasn’t supposed to, but he did.” She also shared that the new carrier was replacing the old carrier on my route (he recently retired) and so “he doesn’t really know what he’s doing”. I asked her to make a note NOT to deliver it (and watched her write the note for him) and that I’d return to pick it up.

Day 4:

Two days later, I returned to pick up my package. “Hmmm (same lady), he for some reason keeps trying to deliver it. Let me have you speak with my manager…”.

The manager says “Oh, he doesn’t like delivering to houses with a little ice on their walkway.” She provided no explanation of why he continued his attempts to deliver it instead of leaving it at the office. She didn’t apologize but instead blamed her carrier. I changed my plan and asked the manager to have him continue delivering it – I’d take care of shoveling the walkway that evening.

Day 5:

Today, the walk is cleared, the mail was delivered – but no package with my headphones (much needed for making work phone calls). As I write this blog, I’ve been on hold with the post office for 34 minutes (so far). At this point it’s comical – I can’t get angry at something that I clearly don’t control – I’m just going to stay on the phone to see how this one plays out.

My primary critique is with the poor USPS management. The manager should have apologized and rectified the situation. My impression of the postal service has plummeted – not because of a bad employee (every big business has them), but because of one lousy supervisor who took no accountability of the situation.

If your front-line employees and customer service is sub-par, I’d look at your management team first. Is your current leadership team strong enough for these stories not to be shared about your organization? Ultimately, leadership must take accountability – and then take action. I’m still on hold at 44 minutes and counting…

Forward, never straight~ Drew


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