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The shocking truth: impassioned customer service leads to flagrant law-breakery.

2009 October 15

alps can't drive 55It was a sunny October afternoon, a brisk and clear autumn day on I-70 en route to Dulles, Virginia. Alps Controls president Dave Meyers was tooling along the highway, anxious to reach his destination where he’d be able to once again engage our website’s customers on how they could use even more of our e-commerce tools to improve their business processes.

Minutes behind him, zipping along in his 2005 Ford Escape, Sales Rep Jim Kalafatis eagerly entertained the exact same thoughts. Because he had other appointments to make, Jim had decided to drive separately on this trip, so he’d been following Dave on the highway for about the last 180 miles.

It was a fateful choice. On a fateful afternoon. Because they were about to be met…by fate.

Dave crested a long hill, cranking along at a breezy 77 miles per hour when he saw the state trooper’s vehicle cleverly parked where it would be nearly impossible to see in time, which in fact was what Dave completely failed to do. Minutes later, Dave found himself the recipient of a $121 speeding ticket, courtesy of the state of Pennsylvania.

Pulling back onto the freeway, smarting from the kind of indignant irritation that such inconveniences cause, it took Dave just a few extra minutes before he picked up his phone to call Jim in the car somewhere behind him in the hopes of alerting him to the trooper’s trap.

Jim’s phone rang. Rang again. And went unanswered. Dave was left to wonder, worry, and – within about two minutes – not-so-quietly laugh to himself.

Because Jim was destined to suffer Dave’s fate. Also at 77 MPH, also to the tune of $121.
jim kalafatis and dave meyers proudly display their dedication to customer service
Is there a moral to this tragic tale? A lesson to be learned for future generations? An important truth about the universe and our humanity?

Not so much. But if there was, it would be something like this: Don’t drive 22 miles over the speed limit, especially when you’re approaching the blind side of a hill.

But maybe the bigger message – or at the very least the most important one that fulfills my mission here – is more like this: When it comes to our customers, each and every one of us at Alps is willing to go that extra mile.

And as fast as we possibly can.

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