Saturday, August 30, 2008

Overpromise Worse than No Promise!

Late Thursday afternoon, Mr. B.S., the regional manager for my company’s business insurance called to offer me two tickets to Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson fest. The package included a two-day pass to the festivities plus concert tickets to the Foo Fighters and Bruce Springsteen's performances. I immediately said I'd take them and began contemplating who the lucky recipients would be. Mr. B.S. was to overnight them so they'd arrive at my office first thing Friday morning.

As I walked into the office Friday, I saw was my co-worker JB's harley parked right outside the main entrance. I immediately decided he would get first dibs at the tickets. You should have seen his eyes light up when I asked him if he was interested in the Springsteen tickets. He and his wife had wanted to go, but the $60 entrance fee plus a $40 concert ticket was too steep for their budget. He would need to know soon, however, so he could secure a babysitter. I told him the tickets were his and I'd let him know the minute the package arrived. I would find a recipient for the Foo Fighter tickets once I had them in my possession.

11:00 came around and I still did not have the tickets. I asked J.B. what time our Federal Express courier usually arrives. He said, “They should have been here by now.” This was not a good sign; my past experience with Mr. B.S. has been spotty. He repeatedly has over-promised and under-delivered. I called Mr. B.S. to request he place a tracer on the package. Of course he didn't answer. Of course he didn't call me back. Of course 5:00 came around and I did not have the tickets.

I know this could have been the fault of the express mail carrier, but past experience leads me to believe my express mail package is lying on the back seat of Mr. B.S.’s car. Plus in the eyes of J.B, I now appear unreliable. As I see it, once again this manager disappoints. This could have been a great opportunity for him to redeem himself, but instead I am now more annoyed than ever.

Life lesson:
People don't like being disappointed, so it's better to under-promise and over-deliver than the alternative.

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