Monday, 5 February 2007

Greg - gentle giant, really

Included a paragraph about Greg's run-in with the scooter theives in our newsletter and one customer, quite reasonably, said that she found it a little unnerving. She said:

"... appreciate it's meant to be light-heartedly macho but to be honest I find it unnerving. I'd be very concerned having someone in my house who sorts out his disputes with his fists...and for his employer to then brag about it."

Fair point. Certainly don't want our customers getting the impression that our handymen are regularly involved in pavement brawls. I've copied below my reply, to hopefully allay the fears of any customer with similar concerns:

"Thank you for your feedback.

I did think long and hard about whether the tone of that section was too lighthearted given the serious nature of the assualt that Greg suffered, and was concerned about both making light of the danger he had been in and of giving the impression that we employ brutes for handymen. I redrafted it many times, but maybe I still didn't get it quite right. I was hoping that by including the fact that Greg is a former policeman (which he is) readers would see him as a gentle giant (which he also is) rather than as a bare-knuckled brawler (which he definitely isn't).

I would absolutely commend Greg's actions, though. He was probably in personal danger (although you can never be sure in that sort of situation until it is too late), and his/our property was certainly in danger. One of the group had already managed to rob him of his GPS unit and they were moments away from making off with his bike (including tools, phone and money). I don't think it is quite fair to compare Greg using his fists in that situation with the way he might resolve a dispute which might arise in a customer's home: Greg is actually very good at managing customer disputes (rare as they are) and it certainly doesn't involve violence!

But I quite understand your point, that my newsletter may have given a different impression, and I will take that on board for future issues (although I do hope we don't have any more similar incidents to report).

Thanks again for taking the time to offer your thoughts."