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on loyalty and bridge-burning


I’ve been an AT&T customer for over twenty years and for the most part and until recently, our relationship has been symbiotic.  

I decided to move and needed service transferred to my new location.  Over the course of five days I would spend a total of 7 hours on the phone with five different ‘representatives’, who would promise me service on a specific day and in the end, not deliver.  Why did I endure 7 hours of nonsense? Loyalty.

I called Spectrum, hurried in my request, now an emergency, at 5pm on a Friday evening.  I got in my car to drive to their office in rush hour traffic while shouting at an AT&T ‘retention’ rep.  I told her that unless she could get me service by 6pm I was going to cancel everything with them.  Somehow, we got ‘disconnected’, no doubt the result of a long day ended with yet anther raging customer.

I arrived to an empty parking lot, nearly in tears but hopeful.  At 5:30pm I walked into their office and was greeted by a young man named Mark.  He was smiling ear to ear and although they were closing in 30 minutes, his greeting felt like an 8 am welcome.  It was that effusive.  He not only provided me what I needed, but went above and beyond to offer personal tips about various services that were eye opening.  I left feeling relieved, armed with additional knowledge and impressed with his level of care.  Two hours later, I had service.

For a while my mind was prepared for an upcoming transition.  I just didn’t know exactly how it would look.  The decision to leave was not new. There were both signs and synchronicity at play again (read here) during this transition.

Therefore, moving forward from a place of stillness came swiftly and my hands were held by unseen forces guiding my steps.  There was a sense of shielding, shedding and letting go.  Finally, this did not feel like running away.

What am I grateful for?

  • Seeing a disconnect between loyalty, value and honesty. Seeing, feeling and appreciating the harm placed upon oneself by being loyal to the wrong person(s) or entity(s).
  • Seeing an immediate value in letting go of incorrect loyalty
  • Understanding that burning bridges often illuminates pathways to better ones
  • Appreciating the difference between loyalty to ideals and loyalty to realities


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