My husband and I have been in the janitorial business for twenty years. We offer free estimates on potential jobs. We show up promptly which we are complimented for, walk through the property taking our measurements, and listen very carefully to the client’s needs. Then we return to the office, type up the estimate, drop it off when scheduled and wait for the client to contact us.

Of the clients who decide on another company, most of them never bother calling to let us know. We have to chase them down, leave messages (which are rarely returned) and then try again, until we reach them. They offer no apologies for their rudeness.

We remain respectful because if the company that they selected disappoints them, they often end up calling us back to see if we are still interested in the job.

When this happens, I have to be careful not to show my aggravation.

What happened to manners in the world of business?

I am tired of the excuses. If you tell someone that you will contact them…follow through.

Let’s imagine the shoe being on the other foot…

Rude person who doesn’t return calls at work has a broken dryer and is told that the repair man will show up between 9 and 12. Rude person has to take off work to sit home and wait. The repair man runs late on another job and never calls. Rude person is fuming because now he or she will have to miss more hours of work. Doesn’t feel so good, does it?

Another example…

Rude person is planning a big company party. Flowers are ordered and they never arrive. Rude person’s boss is furious. Oops…The flower shop ran into a problem getting that order out and neglected to call the client. Doesn’t feel so good, does it?

My last thought is…We have so many ways to contact each other in business, there is absolutely no excuse for just not doing it. Whatever the situation calls for…pick up the telephone, write an email, send a fax or contact by snail mail…If your last words to a person are, “I’ll be in touch” …live up to your words!

Treat others the way you expect to be treated.

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