Company Policy and the other Company Policy

I went to Subway the other day. I ordered the same thing I always order, a footlong half turkey, half salami. It’s what my girls like. My oldest likes only mustard and and black olives on hers. My middle likes cheese and mustard, therefore we split the footlong by each girls preferred toppings.

This particular time, the Subway sandwich artist (as they were once called in an old marketing campaign) told me he it was against company policy to make a footlong that way and he would have to charge me for two 6 inch subs.  I conceded to not wanting to increase his costs and asked that he only use half the turkey and half the salami, thereby making it a traditional footlong. He said he couldn’t, that by doing half the meat made it TWO 6 inch subs.

I proceeded to ask him how much a footlong turkey with 8 slices was. He said, “$5.20.”  I then asked how much a footlong salami with 8 slices was. He said, “$5.20.”  I then said, “OK! Please make a footlong with 4 slices of salami and 4 slices turkey.”  The brilliant sandwich artist replied with a brilliant answer, “You are asking me to break company policy. That is two 6 inch subs and I will have to charge you for two 6 inch subs.”

I left and we ate at Carl’s Jr’s.

This particular Subway has made this sub for me at least two times before. It’s on the way to the mountains. We stop often, going to or coming from skiing.

For most companies, there are two types of policy’s. The first company policy is to deliver an amazing customer experience, period! Very few companies have an official policy for delivering customers service, but every company has an implied policy on it. And, I am certain, there isn’t a company on the planet that has a company policy to fuck over the customer. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say, every company has a customer service policy, whether it’s implied or explicit. The second company policy is all the other company policies, like how much meat on a sandwich, who can can order from vendors, what you can say in the company blog and more. The second company policy is all the stuff in the corporate handbook.

What do you do when an explicit internal company policy contradicts the implied customer service policy?

It’s a simple answer. Unless it’s an egregious request or compromises the value of the company, the customer service policy ALWAYS trumps any other policy.

In other words . . . make the fucking sandwich.


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