A couple of weeks ago my mother experienced shortness of breath along with chest pains. Two hours later she called her sister who lives close by and told my aunt she was thinking that she should go to the emergency room. They could’ve called 9-1-1, but instead together they made the decision to have my aunt drive my mother to the closest emergency room in a hospital about 30 miles away.
My aunt is 91 and my mother is 90……
They made it to the E.R. and after a few days in hospital my mother was released and is doing fine. I talked with them about whether they thought they really made the best decisions to drive down themselves based on the symptom’s my mom was experiencing, the fact that ambulance service was readily available and that it was snowing that day. I hesitated to mention their age to them.
They both are very independent women who have great genes. I’m very happy that they both are very independent and it’s great that they rely on each other, but they reluctantly agreed that they probably made a bad decision even though it turned out okay so it wasn’t that bad of a decision. I suggested that perhaps they should’ve called 9-1-1 and they said that next time they would. I’m not so sure they will though.
If you look up the definition of decision in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary you will find:
“a determination arrived at after consideration”.
We make countless decisions every day just like my mom and aunt did. There are good decisions and bad ones, and all are based on a myriad of bits and pieces of information that we take into consideration. Most decisions we make are uneventful, but some carry great consequence for those who can be affected by them. Consequential decisions are often forks in the road and generally require more information and greater evaluation of the right or wrong road to follow. Those consequential decisions will most likely be based on the values or principals you hold. They therefore provide a clear view of who you are and what is truly important in your personal and business life.
You can be decisive in your decision making or you can hesitate and be indecisive. Indecision makes all decisions more difficult because when you’re uncertain, unsure of your decision, it will often lead to less-than-positive results. Even after giving great thought and consideration to a decision it can turn out badly, but with careful consideration and a look at all the information available, those difficult decisions you make tend ultimately to be the right ones.
If you’re an auto glass shop owner or manager you make decisions relating to whom you hire to work for your company. You decide what kind of on-going training you provide to your employees. You decide the quality of the auto glass you buy for them to install and you make a really big decision on the urethane adhesives that you buy for your auto glass technician (AGT) to use when they install windshields for your customers.
Does the urethane you buy cure in 1 to 4 hours and provide a safe drive away time for your customers and their passengers? Do you tell your customers when their vehicle is safe to drive? Is it really safe for them to drive? As the shop owner it’s your decision. You make a decision on whether your company will join the Auto Glass Safety Council and follow the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard – AGRSS® as a registered company or not. If you become an AGRSS Registered Company you open your doors to an independent 3rd party validation process proving that you adhere to AGRSS®. That decision is important to all consumers who expect that their auto glass replacement is installed safely. I strongly feel that supporting the Auto Glass Safety Council is an easy decision for anyone who provides auto glass replacements to consumers. What do you think?
Your AGTs are responsible for making decisions when they are installing auto glass too. An AGT could make the decision to take a short-cut during the installation, or he could go forward and complete an installation of a windshield where a rust issue exists which could cause an adhesion problem effecting the safe installation of the glass. Or he could contaminate the surface of the pinch-weld or glass, he could use an outdated urethane which could affect the adhesion of the glass installed, etc. Whether your company is a small one or the largest, you have AGTs making decisions that affect safety with each install. Are they making the right decisions for your customers?
When an insurance company makes decisions regarding which company it chooses to replace auto glass for policyholders, what information do you think it uses to make those decisions? What information do you think is important for agents or brokers who are in a position to recommend auto glass service providers to policyholders?
What are the key drivers for these decisions? Quality should certainly be the key driver. Price is also certainly a factor as is the importance of an efficient claim handling process for the insurance company, agent and/or broker. The service and convenience provided to the policyholder should also be a factor in the decision making of those who are in a position of influencing where a policyholder has their glass replaced. Neither the steering of a customer to a particular AGRR company that also happens to be answering the call for the insurance company nor the practice of handing a gratuity to the agent/broker should be a part of the decision-making process. Sadly it is. What do you think the key factors for those making these important decisions should include?
We all have had to make many consequential personal and/or business decisions over the years. When we make those consequential decisions they often affect not only you and your family, but they also often have an unintended effect on others too. They aren’t easy, but they say a lot about your character.
The last stanza of the poem “The Road Not Taken”, penned by the great America poet Robert Frost says:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
#1 by Michele on February 7, 2012 - 4:06 pm
This blog struck a chord on several levels – the challenge of aging parents and decision-making balanced with the need for independence, making challenging decisions at life’s crossroads, and, of course – making the right decision when it comes to the inevitable replacement of autoglass. As both a former employee of the autoglass business and also a customer on more than one occasion, I feel incredibly lucky to have learned the importance of the right installation process and the structural importance of the windshield in relationship to the rest of my automobile. When phoning my insurance company on the unhappy occasions when my glass has needed to be replaced – I have no difficulty declining their suggestion of certain providers. Always go with AGRSS! And yes, the road less taken makes all the difference!
#2 by "Just Sayin'..." on February 10, 2012 - 7:37 pm
Thank you for your comments and thoughts on the “road less taken”. It does make all the difference and sometimes it’s a lonely road, but if you follow your values and principles it can’t be the wrong one.
#3 by Denny on February 8, 2012 - 3:05 am
I thought your blog to be good advice and very well put. I find that way to often that people shy away from making decisions in fear of making the wrong one. Good stuff keep it going.
#4 by "Just Sayin'..." on February 8, 2012 - 3:16 am
Thank you for your comments. Just like everyone you can’t always make the right decision. When you’ve figured out that you’ve made a bad decision you try to do the best you can to make it right and then move on. In the end you do the best you can. Good luck Denny!
#5 by Tim on February 8, 2012 - 2:34 pm
I’m not a big fan of becoming a AGRR member: 1) who patrols whether a technician or company is conforming to the rules and regulations. Safelite is a member,and I have technicians in my area that would not pass your test, but yet they proudly say they are a member. 2) I remember when being a NGA member was important, and where has that gone. 3) the TPA’s control most of where a insurance job goes. I’m not talking bad about the program or idea, but it seems to be the bigger the company, the easier it is to sweep the bad techs under the rug, and still be in the program.
In closing, us small independent shops are on our own island, with ships cruising by miles away, every now and then, one survivor makes it off the island and people notice them. They get reconized by the big companies and get bought up and change that small company and all its values. AGRR is just another island. I bet you could walk up to any person on the street, and if they have had autoglass replaced, they would not know what or cared about AGRR. Until we get rid of the monopoly. I’ve been in the business for almost 30 years, been with the big, middle and the smallest companies. Seems the best way to be visible is to be the smallest, sitting here on the small island, with a few others, watching the bigs slowly loose their market share.
Decisions, we all make them, hundreds a day, I support the idea of AGRR, but I know there are plenty of technicians that work in our industry, that if followed every day, would not pass your standards, but yet you still allow the company they work for be a member, and knowing this my DECISION is not to make my company a member. Do some house cleaning and I might change my mind.
#6 by "Just Sayin'..." on February 10, 2012 - 7:51 pm
I think you’re confusing AGRR (auto glass repair & replacement) with AGRSS (auto glass replacement safety standard). It is my understanding that the company you say is a member of AGRSS actually is NOT a registered member of the Auto Glass Safety Council which worked on developing the standard. I understand the issues you mentioned and appreciate your sharing your views on them as well. I would ask that you please take another look at AGRSS and the Auto Glass Safety Council. I think you’ll find that a number of changes have been made to how the organization works. Perhaps you could see that it may be something you’d join and support. Good luck regardless and thank you for sharing your views and comments.
#7 by Matt Thompsom on February 15, 2012 - 3:26 am
Happy to hear your mom is fine GOD Bless