As sales representatives, we are in the middle of communications both from the factories and from the retailers. There are times when we would like to either fire our factories or fire our customers, but of course, that is not possible or prudent for an occasional lapse on either part.
This pandemic has brought out the very good in many people and factories that should also be acknowledged. My factories, by and large, have been very gracious. Recently I got an email from one of my factories that I thought was well-written and should be shared. Here’s what he wrote:
Just a note to let you know we are now about five to six weeks on deliveries. This is very frustrating as we are trying our best and running six days a week. The lack of help due to the fact that most people can make more money staying home than working is directly affecting the ability to get enough people to run efficiently.
We have had very few order cancellations in spite of this. All customers are important, and we are shipping in the order received no matter how large or small the customer is. I cannot make exceptions as it is not fair to those who have waited. I do not like disappointing people, but we are absolutely doing our best. If it is good enough, great; if not, I understand. Whatever is left at the end of this madness, I will rebuild it back up.
At the end of the day, it’s only money, and one or two customers either way is not going to effect the day we retire one day either way. I am more concerned with the health of my family and employees, so we will continue to do the best we can while remaining safe and working a reasonable amount of hours.
If we lose customers, we lose them, and quite frankly that should be the least of our worries currently with everything going on.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have been very patient and not pestered the girls constantly. They appreciate it and are doing their best. Calling here five times a day changes nothing and only stops them from doing their jobs. They are not being short, but they have a tremendous work load currently and do not have the time to sit on the phone and chat. And they appreciate you respecting that, as most of you have.
I pray to God that you, your family and friends all stay safe. I hope that some sanity, understanding, patience and respect for other people, our nation and those that protect us starts happening. We live in the greatest country in the world, but you wouldn’t know it by watching the news.
Remember, at the end of the day there will always be more furniture and bedding to sell and money to be made, but you only get ONE life and family.
As you read that, please keep in mind that there is much to be grateful for, including the fact that we are in an industry that revolves around the home, a place of sanctuary that people undoubtably will be spending money to enhance. Our industry is far better positioned than travel, entertainment, and bars or restaurants to capture discretionary dollars that will be spent.
Take care of the challenges that come up from this new environment, but enjoy the ride because “you only get ONE life and family.”