Recently, I had a “First World problem.”
My internet was way too slow, which made it nearly impossible to stream anything. I know – poor me, but I don’t have cable and depend on streaming for nightly entertainment. For us cord cutters, life without Wi-Fi can get pretty old, pretty fast.
After tiring of watching the buffering wheel chase itself around, I called my internet provider and scheduled an appointment for a technician to come check it out.
When the tech arrived, he was extremely friendly and began testing my internet speed. At first, I thought nothing of his chattiness; however, as an hour passed by, and then two hours, I began to question his motive. Was he more interested in chatting with me than troubleshooting my connectivity issues? I awkwardly continued to talk with him simply because there wasn’t anywhere else for me to go while he ran his tests. The conversation, in my opinion, began to get a little too personal, as he began asking about my music preferences, my occupation, and other subjects that had nothing to do with my broadband internet.
I became a “prisoner” in my own home.
Meanwhile, as the third hour approached, I was still waiting for an answer on what was causing my internet issues.
Finally, he came to the conclusion that I needed to upgrade to a faster speed. Did he really need three hours to provide such expert advice? As he finished up, I showed him to the door, where he paused with a confused look on his face before shuffling out.
That night, while talking with a friend, I brought up the incident and told her something just did not feel right. This tech took what seemed like a very long time to perform a job that should and could have been completed much sooner and seemed genuinely hurt when I showed him out. She told me it was probably nothing, asking, ‘What do I know about how long it takes to fix an internet problem?’
In all fairness, domain name servers and internet protocol addresses are not my areas of expertise, so I agreed with her and dropped it.
The next day, I was on my favorite app, Snapchat, during my lunch hour. I noticed that someone recently added me as a friend, so I went to see who it was. I didn’t recognize the name of the person, so I clicked on the photo and there he was. The creepy cable guy was chumming up to me on Snapchat. Needless to say, I declined his invite to connect.
As a single woman living alone, I was taken aback. This man, who knows my address, phone number, and that I live alone, went out of his way to find me on social media.
Paranoia set in. For the next week, I found myself peeking through my blinds. Would this man show up unannounced at my front door? I felt scared, uneasy, and vulnerable.
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
While there is nothing wrong with being friendly to a client and making conversation, at the end of the day, as a service provider, you are there to do a job.
As an HVAC tech, your job is to solve those issues, not to leave with a phone number. Personal connections with clients should only occur off the clock.
And, friendly conversation is fine, until it interferes with the job at hand. In this case, I didn’t appreciate the amount of time his “flirting” added to his visit. His personal ambitions were disrespectful of my time. And, he used my personal phone number to access my Snapchat account, thus my personal information was, essentially, compromised.
Do you think I’ll be calling this technician again the next time my internet crashes? Absolutely not. Do you think his boss would approve of him using my personal information to connect with me on Snapchat? Not a chance. Would I recommend him or the company to someone looking to get internet? Never.
So, don’t be “that guy.”
The goal of a service call is to provide service, not make personal connections.
Clients expect nice, courteous, and respectful interactions. Anything outside of that is impermissible.
Improper comments or uninvited actions on the job are inappropriate, inexcusable, and may be detrimental to your company’s future.
Publication date: 5/22/2017