Kindness Versus Carelessness

Taking care of your clients with kindness and care matters.

It was a Friday evening, and I was frantically searching for a portable air conditioning unit online for my mom. My mom lives in an apartment by herself. She has severe COPD and it’s been super hot in Ontario – which makes breathing hard for her.

Every place she checked locally and in the surrounding area was sold out. Everywhere I checked online was sold out too – or their shipping dates extended into fall or winter.

Finally, I found one. Not the inexpensive kind, of course, those were all gone. I saw it on Home Depot’s website and bought it for her right away.

In today's world, it's easy to shine the light on what's gone wrong instead of focusing on the #kindness of others. How do you hold both realities? Read more. Share on X

Does your delivery speak of carelessness?

On Monday, the order hadn’t been processed yet and I noticed that the shipping address on my invoice didn’t show her apartment number. My assistant was kind enough to call and ensure they had it so this very important delivery didn’t go missing. 

Tuesday evening, I got a notification that the order had been processed and had shipped. I texted my mom Wednesday morning and told her it was out for delivery and should arrive by 9 p.m. that day. 

Around 5 p.m., I texted her to see if it had arrived yet. She said no. 

I clicked on the tracking link, which took me to the UPS website, and it said that they had delivered the package at 1 p.m.

See, my mom hadn’t left her apartment. She had stayed inside waiting all day and even gave up her afternoon nap for this delivery. To make matters worse, she was having lunch at the exact time they said they delivered it and was certain no one had knocked on her door.  

This made no sense.

The box was huge – how could it be missing? I asked her to go look outside and check the other apartments because UPS indicated they left this 92lb air conditioner at her front door.

Surely this was explainable? Kindness Versus Carelessness - Lisa Larter

The portable air conditioner was not to be found. It was officially missing. 

Someone must have stolen it in broad daylight. 

Kindness matters. How do you take care of your customers?

I called UPS. They quickly dismissed my story that they had not delivered this package and told me my only recourse was to fill out a claim online. 

To make matters worse, the representative on the phone was neither helpful nor empathetic to the fact that this fairly expensive item had gone missing.

I was starting to get really ticked off. 

As I waited for the claim forms to arrive via email, I planned what I would do next. I was going to call my credit card company and let them know it hadn’t arrived, and then call Home Depot and complain. 

And then I got the text…

“I found it, or rather, it found me. Some woman just called me. She got an order from Amazon today and she got my air conditioner too.” 

This woman didn’t live remotely close to my mother. Same street yet, different address by double digits, and not even close to being part of the apartment unit that my mom lives in.

At that moment, I’m simultaneously relieved that we found her air conditioner because my mom really needs it and I am annoyed that the UPS driver was so careless in his delivery.

However, I am also grateful for the kindness of people. The ones who pick up the phone to return something to a stranger that is clearly a valuable item.

In today’s world, it’s easy to shine the light on what’s gone wrong. 

And trust me, I wanted to shine that light brightly at UPS. 

Take care of your #customers and clients. Especially when things go wrong. #Excellence #FollowUp Share on X

But at the same time, this situation reminded me of a few things:

  1. There are still some really good, kind and generous people in this world. The woman and her husband who called my mom lifted, transported and delivered that 92lb air conditioning unit to my mom.
  2. I’m still waiting for UPS to respond to my tweet telling them what happened. This reminds me of how important it is to follow up and take care of your customers especially when things go wrong.

What recent experience reminded you of people’s kindness?


2 thoughts on “Kindness Versus Carelessness”

  1. I went to work yesterday and arrived at the door being handed a phone with no explanation. Ended up, I had to bring one of the people I support to emergency as he had fallen down. I had not even reflected on the normal demands of the day. When I got to the hospital, I realized that I had a zoom call scheduled with a group of senior artists and could not access them to cancel. I messaged a few of them to see if i gave them my login, they could host it.

    The youngest one was 65 and the other two were well into their 70s. My dilemma as how to pay attention to the very anxious man I was in hospital with, listening for our name to be called and responding when necessary and walk through the process with one who raised her hand to do the Zoom.. She was excited to do this but was also nervous and lives with a brain injury. The younger person of 65 was dealing with her husband who at that moment had sliced his hand with a bread knife. The clock was clicking.

    Finally the friend with the brain injury was able to get into the platform and was super excited that I “let” her do this. She, being a very social extrovert who live alone has found her lack of ability to do all her volunteer activities due to the lockdown extremely difficult. I was super relieved that I had someone who could show up and take over for me. She lived it as if I did her this favour by allowing her.. Funny how we all have different filters. She is now a Zoom queen and has informed me that she will now get her own account.

    1. Thanks for sharing this story, Rebecca! I love how you changed your perspective to focus on the positive that came out of this situation!

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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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