When a negative becomes a positive

I made a phone call on Monday morning to a local government agency trying to get ideas on how to handle a situation. I preface this by saying that I had to be one of the first persons that this individual spoke to that day, due to the time of my call. If I were grading customer service, I would have given a D. The individual that I spoke with was abrupt and rude. It takes a lot, on another person’s part, for me to say this, because I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Part of the issue could have been my desire to remain anonymous during my inquiry, but I felt it necessary. You might wonder, who does this guy think he is grading someone’s customer service? I remind you that I spent thirty plus years as a public servant, serving in the United States Coast Guard and Chesterfield Fire & EMS. Customer service were two words that we heard practically every day. This conversation constituted the negative.

The positive came moments after I hung up the phone. What the individual had done for me was to stop me from looking elsewhere for help, and look at our own ability to help in this situation. We immediately began to mobilize people and resources that were within our reach. I realized that sometimes no help is just the help that we need to get us where we ought to be. If you knew the details of this story, your heart would be moved to action. The problem is that due to the sensitive nature of it, I must remain vague. Of all the fire chiefs that I served under, there was one that always said, “Do the right thing.” At first, I believed that the phone call was the right thing, but I now know that allowing God to lead us in the direction that we are now headed is best.

I have lost my confidence in this government agency, but maybe I should have never placed any confidence there to start with. I do encourage government employees to remember their internal and external customers, when going about their daily duties. This whole situation has shown me how easily people can fall through the cracks of society. We read of tragic events across our country, and I wonder if someone could have made a phone call that might have averted the incident, but instead was blown off by a person that only works for a paycheck. I end by saying, thank you to that individual for getting me where I needed to be.      

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