Written by: Martin Dyhr

At CablesAndKits.Com, the new generation of employee is constantly being groomed and smelted (that is an odd combo) into a durable and versatile being. Back in the day when I first started, I was sent through a pilot training program (not to be read as being trained to fly a plane, although you never know around here) that included a 360 degree view of everyone’s job.

This program had been developed to help us better understand and deal with any issue once we hit the front line with customers.  Part of that time was spent in the warehouse touching on every aspect of what CablesandKits does to send out the best gear in the timeliest manner. After I went through receiving, conditioning, inventory, and shipping within the warehouse, I went through the different areas of the front office to learn the next process. I was submersed in accounting, customer service, order processing, logistics, and purchasing. The very last step was to actually train on my job in sales; imagine that!

Well I thought that it was very “progressive” of the company to make me so versatile, like a Swiss Army knife. Were they grooming me to run this place by myself?  Was I the next CEO in the making?……not that I am aware of. But even better, I was to be a new generation of super-employee that would understand it all, and could leap small buildings with little effort! (Well, maybe not the small building part, I may have let all that training go to my head). But CNK did do something quite useful for me and my coworkers and it wouldn’t truly shine in all of its glory until the following summer.

It was a Friday morning and since I had planned a weekend trip, I was only working half a day. So, I was moving at an alarmingly fast pace to ensure I completed everything necessary to leave without the mental burden of leaving behind unfinished business. Then Frank calls from Chattanooga, TN, frantic. He said two Cisco switches that provide the connectivity for an entire county’s Parks and Rec dept. were fried in an electrical surge the night before and that he needed something immediately to replace them.

Now think about it, what is a relaxing park without the internet? I quickly determined that we had exactly what the customer needed; only it was not fully prepped for sale as it still needed to be “conditioned” (the unique and extensive process all CablesAndKits pre-owned hardware goes through before being ready for sale) . Well no problem there, since I knew that the warehouse could make light work of this in no time.  I confirmed what we had and told the customer we could get this out the door same day.

As might be expected, getting it shipped that day wasn’t enough as it needed to be in his hands within hours and he was going to have to drive to our location to pick it up. As luck would have it, my ½ day and his physical location were eerily connected. You see, I took my ½ day to travel north by about 4 hours to visit family. Frank was 2 hours north of us in the exact direction I was heading. So I told him that I could take it to him provided he met me at an exit off the interstate. So now that you grasp the gravity of the situation you will appreciate what happens next.

I get the order placed at around 11:30 which gives me an hour and a half before I gotta hit the ground running with switches in arm. Plenty of time I thought, however on Friday’s the entire warehouse continues the tradition of taking lunch together from 11:30 till 1. This had only occurred to me after I had already made the promise to the customer that I could make this happen. DOH!

Sticking to one of the core values of excellence, I decided this was not going to deter me. As a matter of fact, I was trained to handle this!  Well, thankfully the equipment test had already been performed by one of our technicians as that was not part of my crash course. So I strolled out into the warehouse and accomplished everything that needed to be done after testing. I conditioned the switches, I packed them, I processed the order in the system and I had the finished product in my hands before I needed to leave. I performed the job of no less than 4 distinct positions, and it was like watching myself through an out of body experience. Pretty cool, and it all goes back to training.

I drove north with my wife and two hairy dogs in the back seat and had the switches handed off to the customer at a parking lot off of I-75 in time for him get everything plugged in, so the local kids could play Warcraft online while sitting on a merry-go-round (or something like that) . He was certainly grateful, and I left with a smile on my face knowing that we had given the customer a experience that he would not soon forget.

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