So I was invited to serve on a board for a college program. Well truth be known, a really good friend passed on the invitation to me. She thought I’d be the perfect person to serve. After reading through the description and with each new sentence I was growing more and more excited about this opportunity. Serving on this board would provide experiences to network with like-minded professionals who absolutely believe in the importance of the customer experience. The director of the program who sent the invitation to my friend followed up with an invitation to me, asking that I schedule an appointment on her calendar. I must admit I thought that was a bit odd. I thought she’d want to talk with me and learn a bit more about me before investing thirty minutes in a conversation. I went ahead and scheduled for later the next week and when the time came I jumped on the call. I thought I was hopping on ZOOM, but actually it was a telephone call through Zoom. Again, I was a bit taken aback by this. This college director was looking for a professional to serve on this program board and you have access to Zoom, an application that allows an interviewer to see the interviewee. Isn’t this important, especially when selecting the viability of a board candidate? When I jumped on the call, I was greeted by a young professional. I immediately responded by offering a friendly hello followed by the name of the director.
"Hello Lori. I’m not actually the director. She has tasked me with speaking to you."
Really? I was deeply saddened by this director's behavior. She actually assigned OUR talk to one of her assistants. Immediately I knew I was no longer interested in this program, serving on the board, having this conversation, nothing. I was completely done. The assistant's greeting communicated her director's opinion: YOU are not important enough for my time so I'm passing you off to my assistant.
Of course, I was respectful and gracious to the young lady on the phone. It certainly wasn’t her fault. I answered her questions. She then explained the program, which is when I learned that I not only would be required to participate, but I would have to pay a fee to do so. Of course, the fee is significantly lower than what students would pay.
"Say what?" was my immediate internal response. I declined and thanked the assistant for her time.
I'm still shaking my head after participating in that conversation. If I could offer one piece of advice it would be THIS: If it's important and involves people, make the call, have the conversation, take the time. If the program is worth it, make sure you put the same amount of worth in the people you are attempting to recruit.