Unprepared to Do Business

Steve Pilgrim pointed me to James Lileks’s entry today about his trouble with a DirectTV installation:

One service call turned into seven. One three-hour wait window turned into 21 hours. I can still see the original installer who screwed everything up — scrawny, nervy, tar-stained teeth, a lummox associate whom you expected to say “I will do a good job George I will get the diplexer from the van and I will hold it and pet it and hold it and pet it.”

Steve Pilgrim, though hits the real problem of stories like this on the nose:

[This is] the story that every one of us faces countless times each year.

Change the sewn-on name tags on the shirts. Change the logos painted on the service vans. Change from esoteric toys to pest control, plumbing or roof repair, and you’ll get identically the same story. America is dreadfully unprepared to do business.

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