Yesterday I wrote about the Therapeutic Massage sign, and I went (outside) there to take a picture to include with my blog about it.  They were closed, so no sign was flashing.

Apparently, it won’t be flashing for awhile since I found this handwritten sign on the door: 

“All employees are on vacation.  Will be back at May 1st.  The gift card will not overdue.  Don’t worried.  Emergency call ###.”

I want a job where I can go on vacation from November until May!  While few of us have that luxury, I wonder if it feels that way to some of our clients:

> The doctor’s office I called, and learned that they are only there part-time on three days and closed the other two weekdays.
> A function in an organization that closes earlier than the rest of the business — and of course that is the one that receives the calls.
> Popular items that are on back order so the business may as well be closed since it can’t deliver the product that is wanted.
> Tourist attractions that are closed on federal holidays — precisely when people are off and have time to enjoy them.

I am not advocating working 24/7 or 365 days/year.  I do recommend that you think about what it would take to keep your business open or service responsive as many hours as you can.  Do you assign someone to check voice mail or email over the weekend during peak periods?  Can another office that is open later receive your calls after hours so that the client at least connects to a live person instead of recording?  Can you post hours on email signatures, homepages and in correspondence so customers are aware of when you will be available?

Hanging a sign in the window saying you are gone for the next six months is not acceptable.  Neither is having voice mail answer in the middle of the day on a Tuesday.

— beth triplett

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