I was the middle of five kids in the typical Catholic family in Northeast Portland in the seventies. My mom had to go to work to help ends meet and so the house cleaning was pretty much left up to the kids. My mom used to say (sometimes scream):

“If everyone would just pick up after themselves, we wouldn’t HAVE a dirty house!”

But since no one followed this brilliant advice, we had a chore schedule. And on Saturdays (when my dad was in charge) NOBODY got to go out and play until the chores were done.

If my mom were still alive and was a culture consultant, like me, she would convert her sage advice to the front-line and it would look like this:

“If everyone would just DO what they SAID they would do, we wouldn’t NEED a customer service department!” 

For example:

  1. If Verizon had actually KEPT their appointment instead of making me wait for hours, and then days for service, I wouldn’t have given up and switched to their competitor (after calling their customer service department four times and being on hold – giving up four hours of my life).
  2. If the guy at Saturn who changed my oil last Friday had properly torqued my oil filter, I wouldn’t have had to pull my car over in Northampton Massachusettes because my check oil light came on and it sounded like a jackhammer under the hood of my car. 
  3. If the guy at LIPA would have made a note in our new file that our house in Port Jefferson is a SINGLE family dwelling instead of a duplex, like we discussed, our gas would not have been shut off today.
  4. If the gal at Group Health pharmacy would have mailed my prescriptions overnight like she promised instead of Bulk Rate USPS – I wouldn’t be blogging bitchy topics like this!