The United Airlines representative did not sell me
when she replied with that tight, uncaring smile you often see today.
a mechanical problem. I’m sorry.”
Sorry? I don’t think so.
commercial airline business faces many obstacles in its pursuit to run smoothly
and at the same time make a profit.
Battling weather, high gas prices and increased air traffic are only
some of the problems the airlines must contend with. However, one of the ways airlines could improve their baggage-charging-no-real-service
image is to stop outsourcing their workforce. US fliers are already po’d before they pick up the phone,
and speaking to a representative in India or the Philippines doesn’t usually
alleviate their angst. Most of the
time—and I’m speaking from my own recent experience—it has the opposite effect.
am not saying that customer service representatives in foreign countries are
inept or unqualified, but English is not their native tongue, and the American
flier usually has to spend more time describing his particular problem.
United Airlines “sorry” that I had to spend more thirty minutes painfully
detailing my lost luggage situation to not just one representative but two?
don’t think so.
problem here is not the overseas representatives. They work hard and try to help, and most of them speak two
languages more than the average American (and that includes myself). No, the real problem is with the
high-level decision-making executives who aren’t thinking about the poor
schmuck who just wants to visit his family for the holidays. No, their thought process circles
around a second or third home, another luxury car, or maybe that dream island they
hope to buy one day.
these decision-making executives really care (“I’m sorry”) that they are taking
away jobs from capable Americans?
Of course not. They want to
save the company money—money that will line their own pockets—and keep the
stockholder happy. (Let me know the next time a
public company announces layoffs and its stock is down.)
time to take one for the team as the saying goes is long overdue. If there ever was a moment for personal
sacrifice from America’s business leaders to retain personnel, this is it. Stop telling us you’re “sorry” and
start showing us you care about your fellow Americans. Take away the overseas phone lines and
put people to work right here at home.