Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the past 137 years, but I'm afraid that meaningful communication has gone the other direction in the very company that is supposed to be the keeper of the flame. The "Telecommunications" giants have become all about the technology, but somewhere along the way valuable interpersonal and interdepartmental communication has been lost. The shortened version "Telecom" is the latest buzzword and I suspect that's because the "com" part isn't about communication any longer; it may be about computers, or possibly just complacency.
Consider the following snippets of recent messages regarding the installation of upgraded Internet "bandwidth" for our business:
- August 2012. Order placed -- Installation anticipated within 60 days.
- October 2012. Site survey conducted by carrier. We were asked to have an electrician come out and perform two tasks to prepare the site, which we did later that week.
- November 2012. Rep assigned to assist with service delivery, but he is unable to find record of the site visit in their system. He advises "someone should have provided the details as to what is needed.", which they did not. Despite the fact that we had already complied with the technicians request, the rep would not schedule installation without the "proper documentation".
- December 2012. Rep advises "I think we will have to start over on this order unless I get feedback today." At this point, installation technicians had been out of two separate occasions and performed work -- all of which would not have been possible if we had not complied with the site survey requirements (the rep did not schedule these visits and had no record of them actually happening either). Mystically, the rep then discovers the missing site survey documentation.
- January 2013. There has been stone cold silence for a month...
- February 2013. We discovered that the carrier was puzzling over what to charge for cancellation of service they imagined we did not want, since installation had not been completed.
- February 2013. I wrote to every e-mail address for the carrier that had touched the subject and stated: "I am interested in knowing exactly WHO is responsible for making this work happen, sooner rather than later." No one replied directly, but amazingly yet another rep surfaced and advised that we were "in luck" and they were able to resurrect our order from the dead. We were told that the circuit would come to life on 2/22, if we would commit to certain things they needed. However, on 2/14 one tech appeared to do some things and on 2/19 yet another made arrangements to finish the task. Meanwhile, the rep who promised life on 2/22 was dumbfounded when he discovered the work was already complete, but then quickly recovered and congratulated himself for being able to "get it done."