Be careful what you ask for

Too much of a good thing?

A few days ago I had to make a couple flight reservations. I had two canceled trips credits, one on United and one on American, that could be applied to the oncoming trips. Unfortunately, I could not do it online and had to navigate through the phone menus to get to customer service reps. BTW, I don’t like that voice recognition software, it often chocks on my accent and it takes me much longer to go through it than traditional “press zero to talk to a representative”. Anyway, I got to talk to the reps. With United the reps’ name was Chris what is probably, judging by the background call center noise and strong Indian accent, was short for Krishnamurthy. For American the reps’ name was Linda who judging by her southern drawl and jokes she cracked was very much local.

Chris was exquisitely polite calling me Dear Mr. Krym, asking for my permission to put me on hold, thanking me profusely for staying on hold while he was doing some research (most likely asking for permission for every tiny change I needed to make to my itinerary). Linda cut to the chase and while cordial was not particularly overwhelming. Anyway, less than an hour later I had both of my trips setup. There was a slight difference though. The transaction on American took roughly 5 minutes. Ticket change on United took about 45 minutes, and when I received confirmation I discovered that instead of returning on Wed night I was set for Tue morning and instead of non-stop I was on a ridiculous route with two hour layover. Continue reading

Of Frogs and Wrestlers

So you found a new vendor, negotiated a perfect deal and established relationships with key players. The team starts its work and shortly you can realize the savings you’ve been looking for. A year passes faster than you could ever imagine. Reports coming from the vendor showing good compliance with the benchmarks you established. You about to give yourself a pat on the back for being such an incredible offshore manager. And just to be a good sport you take a few business users for a dinner to share with them the wonderful achievements of incredible you.

Unfortunately even before you are done with the first round of drinks the conversation takes a rather unpleasant turn. No, they are not happy with both the quality of work your offshore team has been providing and their productivity. They are afraid of changes to be done to the systems your offshore team supports, they do not submit bugs because they are afraid that fixing one new bug would re-open a dozen of old ones; they do not enter RFEs because they do not believe they would ever be delivered, and so on.

What just has happened? All that rain on your parade is coming from a completely left field. Continue reading