I hear it all the time, and I’ve caught myself saying it a few times too. A bad experience or two with a product or company makes people want to avoid a company forever. I especially notice this with cars, airlines, stores and restaurants. Here are a few scenarios from modern life: A customer gets delayed on a flight, gets lied to by the airline employee and then has to stay in a hotel overnight to catch the next flight. A person buys a car, has a few problems that the dealer doesn’t fix properly and then gets another problem one week later. Or, somebody goes to a restaurant, gets food that’s too cold and takes too long. These are examples of events that make people never patronize a business or establishment again, but many of these people forget that it happens to lots of customers with lots of other companies!
It’s often just a matter of who you’ve been exposed to. People living in Detroit or Minneapolis use the terminology "Northworst Airlines", but those in Chicago might make fun of American Airlines for having bad service. People should at least give a business a chance to make it up to them. Negative things happen randomly or just because one individual happened to have a bad day. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all the company’s products or services are not worth buying again. The next 10 flights might be on time, or the next five on a competing airline might be really late. You may have gotten one of the bad cars on the assembly line with more problems than every other one built that month. Your cook at the local Ruby Tuesday’s may have just had a really bad day and so she forgot to put salt in your soup.
The company’s ability to rectify the situation should be taken into account, but just don’t expect much. People often leave one company, go to a few more and then they realize that they’re pretty much all the same. Because of this and the fact that it’s a pain to switch something like a phone company, it’s best to stick with a company for a little bit. I think people should give businesses at least a couple of chances to get a product or service right. Then, if you continue to get bad experiences, you know that it’s probably time to move on. It might be worth leaving if you get a vibe that things will never be right based on a string of incidents.
Unless you have real data from objective sources or lots of reviews from others, it’s hard to pass judgment on a business. Also, businesses change and can improve. I work in marketing so I’m especially sensitive to trying to please the customer. But since so few companies truly delight customers, we need to start taking bad experience with a grain of salt. Bad experiences are to be had at most companies and the grass is usually just as brown on the other side too.
I was one of the billions who watched the amazing opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics in Beijing and once the torch was lit, my thoughts on the Olympics over the years came rushing back to me. The controversy over censorship and then the fact that Russia used military action on Georgia goes to show that, although it’s a game, sports culture is ironically more mature than the culture of politics. When the athletes get together, political and cultural barriers come down and competition somehow leads to harmony. While they had the parade of nations, I learned about new countries that I had never heard of, (and I thought I was pretty good at geography).
But then it dawned on me that countries with less than even a million people get to participate and represent such a small political entity. Accordingly, each of the 28 states in India, (average population of 40 million), should get its own team. But then, India just earned its first gold medal ever. It was Abhinav Bindra who won in the men’s 10m air rifle competition. I’m not used to seeing the Indian flag on the podium or hearing the Indian national anthem. Perhaps some of the mega-billionaires in India like Mittal or Tata should start an Indian Olympic fund to better develop sports programs there. There are probably many potential talents out of all those people. It’s also been great to see fellow Indian-American Raj Bhavsar winning a bronze with the US men’s gymnastics team.
As an Indian-American, if I were to try to get into the Olympics, I might represent India because it would be easier for me to get into the games, and they need medals more than the USA does. I would have to partake in a sport like curling or mountain biking, sports that most Indians there probably don’t even know about. I wish bowling was an Olympic sport because I know a few buddies of mine with whom I could start the Indian national team.
I also find the sports selection in the Olympics to be funny. Some sports seem so obscure that I wonder how they were ever added to the list or how people decide to pursue them for serious competition. K1 kayaking looks like fun, but how do you get scouted for that? Synchronized diving is never part of a child’s sports dream, is it? Or are these just athletes that want to find an easy way to win a medal like I do? Speaking of the number of medals, if a team wins a medal, I believe, (but can’t confirm), that everybody on that team gets an actual medal to wear. So, if a guy subbed in for a soccer game for 5 minutes out of 8 matches, he wins a medal. Add a new team sport and the International Olympic Committee has to provide more medals. Add a weight class in boxing… new medals. But to balance out the medal supply issue, sports like baseball and softball are getting dropped in the next Olympics.
I do enjoy watching the Olympics though. They happen infrequently enough to make them special. You inevitably see some amazing sports moments like Michael Phelps winning gold medals as if they’re no big deal. You learn about new countries and culture, all while watching sports you wouldn’t otherwise get to see and rooting for your country (or countries), and the occasional underdog.