This is a story about a FedEx driver/delivery person who decided getting paid was more important than doing the job properly.
A young couple in Nashville, Tennessee, like many 30-something couples these days, are into juicing….fresh vegetables and fruits fed into what is basically a seriously beefed-up blender, creating an end product that is healthy and pretty much free of chemicals and other things that aren’t good for us. So, since a sister in Tucson, Arizona had a birthday coming up, the couple decided to send her a juicer.
And, so they ordered it on-line, and it was shipped via FedEx Ground….
And FedEx delivered it…..by throwing over the fence into the yard.
Now, on the surface, this story might seem to be about nothing more than an un-motivated, lazy employee, but as you can see by my title and opening line, there could be more to this story, and based on what I know about the shipping business (which, I admit isn’t a great deal) I’m betting that there is more to it than just laziness and inexcusable behavior on the part of an employee.
The reasoning behind my opinion is that since I am regularly on the receiving end of shipments due to on-line purchases and business purchase situations, I’ve had a few brief discussions with drivers and discovered some things that aren’t necessarily common knowledge. For example, while some companies that deliver things to your home or place of business (UPS for example) employ drivers who are just that….employees who are paid an hourly wage plus benefits to drive a company-owned truck and deliver packages to their customers, other companies have a system in which not all drivers are exactly an employee, and not all trucks are exactly company-owned.
Instead, the truck that shows up in your driveway or in front of your store or shop is owned or leased by the person doing the driving, and, under contract with a major, branded, well-known shipping company, is paid by the package. Which, by the way, is a system that I’m all for…I think it’s truly a wonderful idea to create opportunities for small business of all kinds. Heck, that’s how it works for most of us in the HVACR business, and I personally wouldn’t take back 99% of the experiences I’ve had as an independent service company owner. So, like like I said…..bravo….let people have opportunities for independent employment. It’s an essential element of the heartbeat of American business and I think it’s one of the greatest things we have going for us in the United States.
But, in this case, I’m convinced the system broke down and resulted in horrible, inexcusable, unbelievably bad behavior on the part of a FedEx driver/delivery person.
Sure, there was a fence and closed gate around the property. And sure, there was nobody right there in the yard at the moment so the gate could be quickly opened, allowing for a speedy and efficient delivery of the package (which wasn’t ‘just a package’, it was a gift that somebody decided to send to somebody else, and they trusted that it would be delivered in a professional manner that would ensure that it got there safe and sound, because as the customer in this scenario, that’s what they had every right to expect would happen regardless of the structure of the delivery system) but, what I’m convinced happened here is that somebody decided it was more important to get paid for that package right then and there rather than leave a notice that would result in a return trip to get the job done correctly.
(Author’s Note: In order that you understand just how I feel about this type of situation, re-read the above paragraph, note again the italics, and imagine that the well-known comedian Lewis Black is telling this story.)
So, what is the lesson here for HVACR technicians who provide a service to customers and, as an arrangement with their employer, part of their compensation package is based on commission or bonuses?
Never lose sight of what your responsibility is to your customer. Never cut corners. Always do the right thing for your customer, even if it doesn’t result in getting compensated immediately.
Because, there’s more to your job than just getting paid.
(Another Author’s Note: If somebody from FedEx wants to tell me that I’m wrong about what happened regarding that juicer delivery, by all means, get in touch. I’ll be happy to make sure I’m correct.)
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