Darwin – getting there is half the fun.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Put another way, you could say things are generally the same here in Darwin as home in Adelaide – aside from the obvious one, the weather.

There are differences obviously – but the weather really seems to be the only big difference.

There’s still the same stupid hiccups caused by miscommunications between different layers of staff. Qantas staff on phone are great and promise the earth assuring everything will be rosy and yet the people on the ‘ground’ obviously don’t get that message. What it seems like is a big company with lotsa little ‘groups’, all having their own internal ‘customer education’sessions on how to put the ‘company line’ yet not having enough interaction overlap to give a cohesive ‘customer experience’.

The best analogy I could give is it’s like a big game of ‘chinese whispers’.

The people do their best and are very congenial but there’s gaps in the system that generally you wouldn’t see, but travel with a disability and they become instantly obvious.

Besides which people either just don’t use common sense or have no real world idea of who they’re trying to serve – or maybe both.

And it’s not just in the air transport. The Hotel gave me the same type of experience. The needs were clearly outlined ahead of time to someone on the phone and somehow got missed, overlooked or just muddled up. Nothing was `life-threating’ or more than an inconvenience, but again it was clear that systems to ensure continuity of experience just weren’t either up to it, or the people just don’t care about details – even though they appear to.

It’s the little foxes that spoil the hedge‘ is how the saying goes. And, likewise, ‘The devil is in the detail‘. And that’s the upshot of it – the detail, the ‘little’ things.

In a world of ‘same-ness’ it’s the details that are going to make the difference.

And I’m not talking about details and little things in terms of mints on pillows, or smiles on faces, inflight treats or glib company catch phrases. I’m talking about every person in a company or organisation saying what they mean, meaning what they say and making sure it happens consistently down the line – paying attention to the details in the conversation.

Oh, I arrived fine, pretty much unstressed – even though I had to wait over an hour and half for a taxi at the airport, but really, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at that – it’s the same story in Adelaide. Luckily I was going on holiday and the time didn’t really matter. But if I had been on a schedule I would’ve been utterly stuffed and the rub is it would not have been due to a lack of detail planning with the information I had, but a lack of attention given to my detailed planning.

And so it goes. The saying ‘He who fails to plan, plans to fail‘ is holding less sway in my estimation of valuable things to remember….especially when it seems you’re dealing with systems whose value is on appearance rather than substance.


[tags]darwin, disability, travel, qantas, service[/tags]

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