Friday, April 12, 2013

Are You An Addict?



Just a few days ago we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the cellphone. It has revolutionized communications in just 4 decades. The Internet, texting, email and other new modes of communication own their birth and explosive growth to the cellphone. Dr. Martin Cooper, the inventor of the cellphone conceived the idea after seeing a military walkie-talkie. You probably remember "the brick".

The cellphone is so common that there are nearly 6 billion worldwide and by next year there will be more cellphone subscribers than the population of the world! Little by little landlines are disappearing as people no longer view them as needed. Have you seen a pay phone lately? But there are also several downsides to cellphones.

Bills for cellphones can easily exceed $100 a month and for many $200 a month for an individual or a family. A business may spend $1,000 or more per month. At one time we complained about a home telephone bill of $25.00 a month or a commercial telephone bill of a couple of hundred dollars. It's an expense of the instant communication society that did not exist in the past. There is also the cost of the cellphone itself partial paid upfront and in the monthly charge. There are charges for internet access, insurance, text messaging, and other add–on services.
Dr Martin Cooper with first cellphone



Instant communication devices have caused your Technicians to have created a dependence on you! They don’t need to think for themselves of solve problems on their own. Why should they take any responsibility if they can call you and let you make the decision or solve their problem? You have become an enabler for them.

We have all heard about the dangers in using the phone while driving. Then there is texting while driving. And for some surfing the internet on the cellphone while driving is happening. Recently a helicopter pilot crashed and died along with the others on the helicopter because the pilot was preoccupied with texting while flying.

Yesterday I was shopping at Lowe’s for some brackets to hang in our utility room and passed four different employees all talking on their cellphones as they were being paid by Lowes. Perhaps, some were on calls from customers or associates but I doubt that. How many lost hours does your company have from your employees spending countless hours on their cellphones talking, texting, or surfing the internet? Must of the touted efficiency gains of cellphones have been lost to misuse by employees.

Now on to my major point of the article, have you become a slave to that handful of plastic, chips, and buttons? A year or so ago, I had a business owner in my NATE review classes and then take the NATE test. All through the review classes he was a wreck because he couldn’t be constantly watching the screen of his phone. He barely made it through the test without his phone. He was an addict to the instant communication age. He actually had the shakes after the test as I checked his paperwork for submission to NATE. I see people constantly checking for texts, calls or the internet in restaurants, stores, malls, walking, and every other activity. I’m not talking an occasional check but every 2 or 3 minutes. Some of my family members can’t sit and eat a meal without checking their phones. It has become an addiction for many. This new addiction will cause us to hear about CA (Cellphone Anonymous). "My name is Dan and I'm a cellphone addict. It's been 1 hour since I last used my cellphone." There are very few calls or texts that are so critical that they must be responded to within seconds.
Cellphone Anonymous?



So what to do? Review you cellphone bills for ways to save costs. When your Techs call you to solve their problems, ask them how they would solve it. When they answer, hang up. Have a company cellphone use policy in place and active. You can be an example to your employees by not being connected 24/7 for every call. If there is an emergency, I guarantee you that you will hear about it quickly. Decide to turn your phone off after hours. Get a life! The world will not end! You won’t miss the blah-blah of most calls and texts!

Dan has been in the service industry for nearly 50 years. He has operated a large plumbing, heating and air conditioning service company and for the past 13 years has helped small companies in the service business to
grow and prosper. Contact him at Dan@SayYesToSuccess.com.


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