I remember when I was about twelve, I had to go to work with my mom one day. She worked at Hardees and she set me up in the back with the training videos to keep me occupied. My favorite involved a mime that taught about kitchen safety by making very unsafe decisions. He ended up cutting off a finger and accidentally deep-frying his hands, etc. I watched it over and over. My morbid enjoyment of a mime in pain is not the point though. The point is that all of those videos kept repeating one thing over and over. The customer is always right.
Somewhere between when I was twelve and now, we seem to have lost that. It seems like these days, it’s more like “the dollar is always right.” At my job, I’m trying desperately to get them to upgrade their data entry stuff from an old DOS-based program to Microsoft Office. In the course of that attempt, I had to call around in Topeka to get some quotes for what it would cost to set up a server and blah, blah, techno stuff I understand but could never repeat with coherency. Of the three or four Topeka companies that had a web presence (something I appreciate in a tech company), only two of them responded to my query. And only one actually provided me with a quote.
Anyone who has tried to set up something like this for an office knows that one quote is not enough. The powers that be always want at least two, just to determine whether or not the first is even close to the market standard. Three or more is better. So, only getting one quote, meant that nothing happened. Then, last week, we had a temp come in to help me get caught up to the load from recent storms. Since I’ve been double-entering everything, I get behind quite a bit easier than the other office. Anyhow, she said that she’d had a lot of problems with the Topeka printers when she’d been working for an attorney. Topeka businesses just don’t seem to take their customers seriously. She suggested that I contact businesses in Kansas City.
Now, I believe in keeping your money as close to home as possible. But when my local people are sucking ass, well, I just can’t give them my money. So I hit the internet and not only were there at least twice as many KC companies with a Net presence, but of the 7 or 8 that I queried with email or web forms, I’ve actually received contact back from more than half. If I get quotes from even half of those, I will have made more progress in a week with Kansas City than in several months with Topeka.
We aren’t a huge business. Between the two offices we maybe employ about 20 people. But it could be just me contacting a company and I want them to treat me like I’m Donald Trump or something. A customer is a customer, especially lately. The companies in Topeka missed the boat on this one. And Kansas City will benefit. All because Topeka companies have recently been treating me like I don’t count. And that’s uncool to me. I’m the customer. I want to always be right. No matter how much money I’m giving you.
As an aside, we’re also going to be doing our printing (business cards, letterhead, etc) outside of Topeka. Though, I’m going even further away for that. But basically, unless Topeka stops sucking, I’m tired of messing with the shit-ass companies here.