Ship it overnight

I was working on a project a few years ago that got me a lesson in communication. I was reminded of the story tonight.

We were working at GM Shreveport trying to hit a deadline. We had done a major retooling and we were missing a few things. There is a critical piece of gear called a caterpillar drive and there was one place to get it from. The company is EDON located in Troy, MI and my contact was a guy named Paul.

My contact at the GM plant was a guy named John and he was tough to work with. I always got along with him and found him to be fair but he was tough. Tough to please and tough to negotiate with, but fair. John told me that in no way were we going to miss this start up deadline on this no matter what. He wanted that ‘cat’ drive and he wanted it now or we were going to hold up finishing the work and not be able to run the plant.

I got on the phone and called Paul. The ‘cat’ drive was going to be ready that evening and I made it clear we needed it shipped overnight. I called again a couple of times later in the day to confirm it was going to be done and that it would be shipped overnight. The last call I made I hear Paul say it was done and he personally made sure it was shipped overnight. Awesome.

Morning came and I was at the receiving dock when the morning shipments came in. Trucks came in and left and no ‘cat’ drive. There was a rumor that it had come in very early in the morning (before I got in) and I was on the hunt to try and find it. I did not want to tell John it was not there. I searched for about an hour and still no joy.

Finally I called Paul to see if I could get a tracking number. I wasn’t sure how it was shipped but it was clear it was not in. Paul answered the phone. I explained the ‘cat’ drive was not there yet and needed to know how he shipped it. There was dead silence on the other end for a few seconds. Paul said it would not be there. I asked him if he shipped it overnight and he said yes but it would not get there for 3 more days. Now I was silent and struggling to understand. Paul explained that he shipped it by Overnight Freight Company and not overnight.

Slowly it began to dawn on me we were in trouble but at the same time I began to laugh. It was clear that Paul had followed my directions to the letter. He shipped the drive ‘overnight’ and that was not what I wanted. I wanted it to arrive overnight.

I have to say John took it pretty well and we were able to meet the deadline with some adjusting but it is a story I will always have about communication and being clear about what you need.

Hope you have a great weekend. I’ll be here if you need me. Give me a call if I can help with anything, business or beyond. I’ll do all I can.

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Thanks for listening,

Jerry Robertson | Associate Broker | ALC Member
Keller Williams Realty | Atlanta Partners
4878 Manhattan Dr | Buford | GA | 30518

678-231-1578 Cell 678-935-1342 FAX


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