Red Flags

May 18th, 2012 | By | Category: Geri Roskopf's Blog

A red flag is a warning – like when it’s used to show it’s unsafe to swim on a beach. The red flag signals something that demands attention or, in another figure of speech, an irritated reaction. The phone call I just received sure did wave some red flags for me. My irritated reaction: the blood pressure went up.

I realize that because of the profession we’re in, sometimes people are not happy and are basically having a bad day. I answered the phone and was blasted with: “The @#%* police department had my car towed.”

Right away, the language was a red flag. I listened to the caller rant and rave and then I explained the procedure to retrieve his car. When I got to the price, he went ballistic. “Why the @#% so much? It’s because you’re giving the police a kickback.”

At that point I was really seeing a red flag.

Another red flag: the “reality” tow shows on TV. I know they’re considered entertainment, but as I watched an episode last night, I just shook my head – fighting, swearing, greed, no respect for employees — all very unprofessional in my opinion. Is that really entertainment? Is this really how we want the public to see the towing industry?

Some of what happens on these shows is a reality in our business – like the phone call I received — but if we don’t change the red flags the public sees of our profession, we’re going to continue to receive the behavior we see and, as professionals, the towing industry takes two steps back.

Red flags like this demand attention or an irritated reaction – which is your response?