Schedule Your Disaster

Schedule anything risky or way off pavement during regular business hours. In these days of COVID 19 and long before it, getting help is always more assured during the week in daylight. It shouldn’t be that way but it is.

As all of you have experienced during this crisis, getting hold of customer service can take hours on the phone if it ever comes at all. E-mails aren’t returned, voice mails go unanswered.

It’s as if companies have forgotten that there are temp agencies and that there are plenty of people at home that could easily fill a call center seat. Most call centers simply require an employee to log on to a website and everything proceeds from there.

The only reason companies haven’t staffed up must be to save money, the virus being the perfect excuse to not spend money on customer support.

And then there are the obvious things. Most BLM offices close on weekends. No help there. Same with most USFS field offices. Want to look at a claim folder at the county recorder’s office on a Saturday? Forget it. Better get your work done during the week.

Because of this, I’d advise risky activities take place during the week during normal business hours. Globalstar, for example, provides 24 hour service but only during the week. You should therefore, cross the north Atlantic between Monday and Friday. The same applies for most businesses, even those providing critical support.

Both of my parents were in hospice at the same time, although, very sadly, at two different locations. As my Dad was a former physician, he probably had the best health insurance possible. Still, we could not get night help for them. Despite the insurance plan saying we were entitled to a medical professional at night, no one never showed. Endless excuses from the medical provider, all of them relating to short staffing.

Few people want to work from 10 PM to 6 AM. That’s a fact. You’re not changing that. Call centers shouldn’t suffer from this since they can have people in different time zones working around the globe. But the fact is that they don’t.

If you do go venturing far off pavement during these dim times, make sure you have enough food and water to get through to Monday. I have a personal recovery service on my two sat devices called GEOS and in a real emergency I can push that button and help will be coming. Still, most of what we deal with are non-life threatening problems that don’t warrant an SAR team or a helicopter.

It’s all quite maddening.


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