My Life is a Seinfeld Episode

A memorable scene from “Seinfeld:”

Jerry I don’t understand. Do you have my reservation?

Rental Car Agent We have your reservation, we just ran out of cars.

Jerry But the reservation keeps the car here. That’s why you have the reservation.

Rental Car Agent I think I know why we have reservations.

Jerry I don’t think you do. You see, you know how to *take* the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation: the holding. Anybody can just take them.

Last week, I placed an online order with a major retailer.  According to the retailer’s website, the item was in stock and would be ready to pick up in an hour.  I was supposed to get an email when the order was ready. 

I waited a few hours and did not get an email.  I called the store.  My conversation:

Brian: “Hi, I’m Brian Gale.  I placed an online order a few hours ago for store pick up.  I haven’t gotten an email saying it was ready.  My order number is 1234.”

Store Agent:  “Let me look.  We don’t have the order yet.”

Brian:  “But your website said it was in stock and it would be ready in less than an hour.”

Store Agent: (Laughing) “Well, our website is wrong.  Sometimes, we don’t get online orders for days.”

Brian: “Why does your website say it will be ready in less than an hour?”

Store Agent: “You have to ask the corporate staff.”

Fortunately, I went to the store and was able to get my item.  And, for you Seinfeld fans, I did not even have to use the line about insurance!

Convergence between the physical and digital world was occurring prior to covid.  Covid certainly sped that trend up.  Managing inventories in disparate locations is not easy.  Trust me, I know from direct experience.  Your systems should not make promises your operations cannot keep.  Setting unrealistic expectations sets you up to disappoint customers.   

If you need a laugh, the Seinfeld clip is below. 

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