From my new friend Dorothy who is a Gutsy Catholic Mom–LOVE IT! She leads corporate seminars and traces the significance of Catholic teaching and a corporation’s bottom line–something that would be higher if employees learned their 10 Commandments growing up!
My husband got a gift subscription to Forbes magazine, it’s a perennial favourite in our household because both of us are self employed. Problem is, somehow Forbes got the wrong address, so it appears that a neighbour 100 houses away has been enjoying one of our favourite magazines. Managing a business, a household and two kids, meant my phone call to the customer service department got delayed. We missed several issues of Forbes. In phoning the the customer service department in the United States, I wondered how difficult it was going to be to build my case and extract the missing issues. I was delightfully surprised. Forbes not only apologized for the error, but offered to extend the subscription to compensate for the missing issues. No questions asked.
I am one happy customer.
At this point, you might be wondering why this story is appearing in a Catholic blog. How does this story relate to the Catholic Faith. Well, read on my dear friend, I just can’t wait to tell you.
For well over 20 years, I have been delivering customer service seminars, many through the Schulich Executive Education Centre here in Toronto. Whenever I have instructed customer service seminars there is always a module on the concept of service recovery.
Service recovery has a simple but powerful premise: if a business does something to disappoint or frustrate a customer, it is critical for the organization to assume responsibility for the error, apologize and correct the problem. No questions asked. Service recovery also teaches customer service associates that it is also very important to do something additional to make up for the inconvenience or the error. To me, this has always sounded an awful like the Catholic concept of penance that my mother taught me as a child. I have always been amazed that some folks have not learned this from home.
In my household growing up as a child, it might have sounded something like this: “Dorothy, when we were over at Mrs. Frankfurt’s house, you broke a vase. I know you didn’t mean to do it, but let’s go out and buy her a new one. Let’s pray we can find an exact match, or one that’s even prettier. Let’s write her a nice card, saying your sorry. Let’s wrap it up in the most beautiful paper we can find.” Then, on the way to Mrs. Frankfurt’s house — we would of course get a beautiful bouquet of flowers or maybe some delightful pastries from the best bakery in our neighbourhood.
To this day, my devout Catholic mother at 84, is also relentless about sending thank you cards and expressing gratitude. Something that is so clearly taught in the Bible.
In this day and age, with mothers being as busy at they are, I often wonder if they have the time to do these things, talk about these things and show their children that what the Catholic Church teaches, what Jesus taught, is extremely relevant in the year 2010. It makes a heck of a lot of sense too, but our children do need us as parents to help make the connections for them.
In delivering corporate seminars on a variety of different topics — I have made dozens and dozens of connections between what the gospel teaches and how it makes good sense in so many aspects of daily living. I can’t talk about it openly in a corporate seminar, so I am thrilled to do it here!
Many of us recognize goodness when we get it. That goes without saying – it resonates with a strong sense of justice that is embedded in our very souls. But how many of us are actually good at teaching our kids to deliver — and I mean deliver a spirit of service to friends, family, employers, schools and the community at large.
I have often been flabbergasted in working with corporations that are challenged in managing loss prevention, that’s another corporate term. What does it mean? It means corporations are having to increasingly manage people (both employees and customers) who are stealing.
I can’t help but wonder, didn’t anyone teach them about the ten commandments?
When parents tell me that they have stopped going to mass with a litany of 101 good reasons, I just shake my head and pray that by the grace of God one day they too will make the connection. It’s a powerful one.