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Dial-A-Ride: More Communication Breakdowns, Inattention to Detail and Lack of Follow Through

July 29, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Rose and Denise,

Karen called yesterday asking if she could change her pick up and return trips for Friday to an earlier time. She wanted a 5:45 AM pick up and a 5:30 or so return. Karen spoke with Marcus at around 11:00. He said that he would check with Terri later in the afternoon and someone would call back later. After no follow up call by 4:30, Karen called back. Alecia told her there was no 5:45 AM pick up available so they agreed to leave things alone. What happened? A driver showed up this morning at 5:45! Karen wasn’t ready to leave at 5:45; she needed to have gotten up about half an hour earlier! If reservations are being changed for any reason, there absolutely must be communication with the customer. No changes should be made without confirmation that the loop has really been closed. Common sense! Nobody bothered to call Karen back to tell her the changes would be made after all! Worse, the driver went back to the van, talked with Rocky on the radio, then just simply left, without walking back to the house to properly explain the situation to Karen. This action makes the matter worse and is highly disrespectful and unprofessional. As is almost always the case, it was up to Karen to call, speak with Rocky and straighten things out! Gary is supposedly coming back at around 6:15; Karen had better not be late to work this morning!!!

This problem was caused by a breakdown in communication and a lack of follow through on the part of your reservationists. It is just that clear and simple. You guys wonder why we’re always so stressed out and hard on you. Reasons like this clearly illustrate the problems; your staff continuously shows they are not to be trusted. Please, show some character, conscience and personal fortitude by taking this situation seriously and actually addressing it promptly! Call Karen this morning. Oh, man! I still just can’t believe you guys did this. Now that this pick up has been rerouted, I hope it does not result in a second incident this morning where you make her late to work, too! Do not, for a second, think we’re just going to allow this issue to be swept under the rug without action; we expect that phone call!

Thank you,

Darrell Shandrow

Fortunately, Karen was not late to work. She got the “express ride”, arriving at around 7:00 AM. Nevertheless, the communication breakdown, inattention to detail and lack of follow up are unprofessional and represent signs of disrespect for people with disabilities and the elderly by an organization whose mission is specifically to provide service to these populations in our community! This behavior is harmful, stressful and completely unacceptable.

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