What do you do with 41cents?

My family went on an adventure this evening to IHOP.   The food was normal for IHOP and the deal was good because the kids eat free after 4 or something.   Sometimes on the rare occasion that I take the brood out we go there because it is family friendly.   After we ate dinner we paid with a gift card that one of our dear friends provided.   After the meal was rung up 41 cents remained.  My wife asked if we could just get the 41 cents and of course they said “no.”   This is the icing on the cake for a wonderful day of great customer service.  DEERS the military personnel system was down all day and I sat and waited for hours.. I mean HOURS and it never came back up.   When I was driving home talking to my wife and others my phone dropped calls……..every call.   We bought some stuff at Sears last week and they were supposed to make a price adjustment but that couldn’t happen because “the system” couldn’t do it today.  We have to wait until next week.   What the hell has happened to this country?  What the hell has happened to customer service?  Since when does the machine rule us?  We don’t have to wait for the Terminator scenario, our lives are already controlled by the machines.

I am a technologically oriented guy and still I think it is ridiculous.  You want to know what happens when you put machines in place of people?  You spend more money.  Companies look to save more but they wind up spending more.  Think about DEERS today, it was a worldwide outage.  WORLD WIDE outage and people still went to work and went to the pass and visitor offices to get their common access cards or whatever they needed and the system was down.   It was like a snow day for the DoD personnel associated with CAC or anything that had to do with DEERS.   How much did all the labor and travel cost?  I know it cost me money, it cost me travel, time and I had to buy lunch and moreover I get to do the whole thing again tomorrow!

We really need to think about the costs of trying to save money and create efficiencies.  We really need to think about customer service.. oh yeah.. customer service.   We really need to think about people.  I can tell you that my day wasn’t limited to just this idiocy, there was more.  We need to think about the cascading domino effect of how we touch people and we need to take individual responsibility to make things better.   If we don’t start changing our behavior.. this will only get worse.