Archive for the ‘Unemployment’ Category

Service of Who Cares About the Customer?

Thursday, December 10th, 2020


What happened to “the customer is always right?” Here are three examples that illustrate the opposite. One is of a chronic nature; the other two are impacted by or are a result of the pandemic. There are simple solutions to all three.

Rethinking Hospital Tradition


There may be a million good reasons for it but patients suffer because of a tradition by hospitals, in these parts, to notify a patient the day before an operation–sometimes late in the day–about the timing of the procedure and when to show up. Some patients need to arrange for a friend or relative to pick them up if they are an outpatient. Not knowing the time until the last minute ties up the friend’s schedule and adds needless anxiety for the patient.

There must be a way to program operations a few days ahead of time.


I’ve quoted this former boss before. He’d say, “How come you don’t have time to do it right the first time but you have time to do it again?”


A friend has spent hours getting through to unemployment on the phone, waiting on hold for as long as 90 minutes once she succeeds only to have the employee say they’ve solved the problem when they haven’t. This has gone on week after week and the latest glitch is always something simple to fix such as checking a box. The result: Still no money.

With the crush of people needing help due to the furloughs and layoffs resulting from the pandemic, there must be a way to simplify the procedure and to decrease the number of errors that add to the lineup of phone calls.

Weighty Decision


A friend continues to pay full fee to Weight Watchers for the virtual meeting she now attends with a group in which she’s participated for eight + years. The studios are closed due to the pandemic. She is comfortable with the participants/support group she knows and the time for the weekly Zoom appointment fits her schedule.

The company notified the team leader it was cancelling the meeting at her time because they considered 15 to 20 participants too few and offered her other inconvenient times–with strangers. She says she will miss the collegiality of the group–essential for a program like this.

You would think that a big business could operate with a bit more heart during the pandemic, especially since clients are paying full freight while not attending in person meetings.

Why must patients be notified of the time of their operations at the last minute? How come the directors of unemployment haven’t simplified the application process to cut down mistakes relieving the clog in the system? Should a corporation like Weight Watchers, with a mission that involves support, be flexible in its bean counting during an especially stressful time for its clients?


Service of the Unemployed

Thursday, January 27th, 2011


The AP just announced that jobless claim “Applications surged last week by a seasonally adjusted 51,000 to 454,000, the highest level since late October, the Labor Department said Thursday.”

Some of the smartest people I know are un- or severely underemployed. As a group, they are the primary focus of the United States President; they earned a New York Times Magazine cover story last Sunday and their number is measured and analyzed almost as often as a critically sick patient’s blood pressure and temperature.

dontgiveupWhat I admire most: They never give up. [One suggested this topic.] They sharpen their skills doing pro bono and any other work they can find, write countless proposals and are the epitome of “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

They represent the pioneering spirit on which this country is founded. They live on a barren frontier coming from fertile land. Their tools are honed for the latter.

According to Peter Baker who wrote the magazine cover story, “The White House Looks for Work,” the President was frustrated by his staff because nobody had come up with any creative ideas to spur employment. In his Tuesday night State of the Union speech, President Obama sees good prospects for math and science teachers who are sorely needed to prepare and direct children to the R&D and tech jobs that will not only get us out of this slump and improve our productivity but let us regain control of our former prominence in the world economy. I can’t argue with that strategy.

reinventThe President took some words out of my mouth: People must reinvent themselves. But I still didn’t sleep well after the speech because those fuzzy words were the only clue I took away for today’s unemployed in the 40+ range desperate to pay for food, shelter and medicine.

It’s shocking, heartbreaking, debilitating and bewildering to realize that few if any will pay for your skills when you’ve worked hard all your life. Countless artists, authors and poets who died penniless were discovered long after their demise but if you’re none of these people, and you’ve diligently followed the right steps, you don’t expect this scenario for your middle-of-the-road, traditional, shoulder-to-grindstone, responsible self.

I have spent hours thinking about unemployment and like President Obama’s staff, haven’t come up with earthshaking suggestions. Here are some:

**Get out in the digital world. It’s a way to make new contacts at the right price–$0.

**Write a blog on a subject you love-especially if it helps you reinvent yourself in an area in which you’d like to establish credentials. Note: I’ve gotten business from mine.

**If you don’t want to write a blog [though it’s a lot of fun], comment on someone else’s–as many of you already do–and propose topics and offer to write a post.

**Form alliances with people you trust who do well in an area in which you’re weak and go after business with them.

**Think of what people need such as elder care.

**A photographer who knew people I know introduced himself to me through LinkedIn. He asked me if I or my clients used his specialty. I gave him some suggestions, one of which might help him hit pay dirt.

**Many make amazing contacts on Craigslist. A client turns to this list to find people from musicians to Pilates experts to assist him.

**Keep up your spirits. I know a person who could be trampled by a heard of elephants and nobody would know. They would also be unaware that she’s under huge stress and strain. She’s cheerful and always hopeful when any potential opportunity presents itself and has a stack of refusals as thick as “War and Peace.” I asked for her secret. Her response: “What else can you do?”

Please share your ideas and thoughts. 


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