With modern technology, communication has never been easier. Mail, telephone, cellphones, text messages, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Open Q & A sessions and Town Hall Meetings – the access to the knowledge we seek is right at our finger tips. And when that fails, we can just write it to a blog, get found on the internet, go viral, and responses will pour in.
Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. Mail gets trashed, voice mails deleted, Facebook algorithms your posts out to make room for advertising spam, LinkedIn charges you to send a message, Twitter is run by robots, town hall meetings (don’t tase me Bro!) and live debates/chat sessions are all pre-screened. Think Bill Gates checks his LinkedIn? Do you?
I’m writing this as I wait for a call back from a Comcast “Supervisor” after being on the phone with a “Customer Account Executive” for 30 minutes to get a installation fee waived after we being told that there was no fee to fix a faulty box. Jennifer (the account executive) told me there were no notes indicating that the fee was waived and that she has been instructed to not waive fees without notes or she would be fired. It was supposed to be a 2 hr call back, which still hasn’t happened over 12 hours later.
The Decision Maker is always NOT Available
You can never find them. “I can’t do that” “I can’t give you a refund” “It doesn’t work that way”. Yes, it does, and yes they can.
Do you think I’m making this up? Well, it took me over 6 years to get my drivers license back. I wrote to every official I could about the injustices I received in California, such as not receiving a trial (though I went to court 12 times) , to getting denied removal from the PDPS (Problem Driver Pointer System) in New Hampshire. I had to ride a bike around everywhere including court appeals, in the rain, only to find out that trial wasn’t that day. It wasn’t until I moved back to my home state and got an office across the street from the state capital building, requested a hearing, filed an appeal and harassed my local representative, governor and DMV Commissioner weekly that I got my license back. I literally slept at that office – secretly living there at the beginning. Then, one day, all holds on my license magically “vanished”, along with most of my friendships. I never did get an explanation or meeting with the decision maker, so I remained quiet and content with just my message making it past the gatekeeper.
Another example is being harassed by a website registration company Register.com for two days when I tried to transfer my website away from them. After showing them the article I wrote, I got offered $500 as an apology, accepted, only to be told the next day that it could only be a credit to their horrible company. I declined the credit and was not given a reason except they looked at my account and they could no longer offer me the cash. I know why though. See, all the top searches for “Register.com Review” belong to hosting groups and review sites that companies like Register.com pay to be a part of, which in turn censors the reviews. They researched it and knew I didn’t pose a threat, therefore they could continue to milk other unsuspecting customers with much less time than I.
I have lists of other issues from countless other companies and organizations that have wasted my time and yours. It seems now there are more and more groups using bureaucracy as a shield to swindle money and time away from consumers. After all – it works for the government.
What really kills me is that growing up, I always believed that people wanted to help me out. That we could find the right solution if we asked the right questions and learned from others, whether from books or mentorship. I have been searching ever since for that place of scholarly wisdom and discussion to no avail. Now there are all types of meetup groups, networking events and such with one thing in common: they are lacking the decision makers. Filled with corporate lackeys and pyramid scheme marketers, members are unable to make any decision besides taking your money as they have been instructed to. There is no deal making or bartering. I want to talk to Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerburg, my local representative, or anyone else besides Sales Associate Level 1.
What Can We Do About It?
I’ve racked my brain over and over about this topic, and the only thing I can think of is to only do business with organizations you can communicate directly to the top with. This includes who you vote for. Why? Because every time you do business/vote, you give away your power.
“It is not beneficial to give power to those that you cannot contact.”
You loose control. Example – Ron Paul. He claims to fight injustices abroad, so I sent him my injustices. No response other than a few “We are reviewing this” from some person that looks at emails that get sent to his site. Never a decision, no “Robert, we are sorry but we don’t see any injustices in your letter and think you should grow up” or “Robert, we are sorry to hear about your problems, how can we help?”. Eventually I got an email to join his pay to view site. Ron Paul is not a man of the people.
I tried it during the recent election when I got a few follows and requests to help campaign (meaning make a bunch of phone calls for free on their behalf) for some local candidates. In turn, I asked them about their thoughts on the issues I faced. No response. No response = No Vote or Support from me
So, since we only have 2 choices usually for office, if none of the candidates respond to me, I do not vote. If did vote, it is for Robert Tanguay, as I would rather get my name out then give my power to my enemy or someone who cares even less about me than my enemy does. I understand people are busy, especially those that run for office, but have someone respond to my inquiry. If you are going to have a Twitter account discussing how open you are, then you best make sure you actually respond to any inquiries made on your posts. It’s what the internet was made for.
When it comes to business, at every chance I get, I work with an independent, small business owner. They care about me. I can always reach them, and most of the time, I’m really just investing in my own community. If an independent is not available, then I go to a small company that I have the most sway over. We can make deals as we are both decision makers. I only go to companies with gatekeepers if I have no other choice such as internet services (for which we are all screwed), and I dream of a day when I can choose from a plethora of small business without gatekeepers for my necessary services.
We will never get past the gatekeeper as long as the gatekeeper wants us out. I welcome all discussion and comments and will always respond. Will you?