Receptionists that Rule —DeWese
In a minute or so, I heard a tap at my window. It was Linda, wearing yellow rain slickers with a matching yellow hat and carrying an umbrella. She took the package and, since it was a Friday, even volunteered to drop it off at her boss' home. She wanted him to have it, so he could study it over the weekend.
Linda Harkins has been giving this kind of extra service for her company since 1985. She does it with the same high-level class and panache as Karen Howerton on the other side of the river.
By the way, Karen and Linda don't get any commissions, despite all the work they help to influence with their positive behavior. They don't get ridiculous Wall Street bonuses like the hot shot MBAs at Citicorp, INA and Bank of America. You see?
They work for printing companies and, contrary to what the print buyers think, their employers have to bust it in order to generate even a measly 5 percent profit in good times, and these years now are bad years. But, as bad as things are, Linda and Karen keep smiling and continue to make other humans feel good.
And, if I'm buying some printing, I'm buying it where I can at least feel good.
There is a point to this column, so I'll get back to it.
During the next 25 years, graphic communications technology will change enormously. All of the terminology will have changed. The equipment will be different. The workflow will be different. All the differences will be the result of billions invested in the new technology.
On the human side—since humans will still buy and sell printing and all the new surrounding marketing services—there will have been little or no investment. Employees like Karen and Linda will have gone right on improving every year and making customers happy. Maybe our graphic communications companies in 2034 will be producing and selling something called Great Human Behavior, and Karen and Linda will be recognized as the Gutenbergs who invented it.