I arrived in reception and was early as usual. Interesting that the reception area contained nothing to read that seemed either current or relevant. The obvious thing to do was to get out my iPad and check through a few emails while I was waiting. I picked up a network called ‘xyz company wifi guest’ and clicked on it. Now I have to say this reception is in the middle of nowhere. It is pretty unlikely that any rogue surfer would be in range of the network and I am mildly irritated by the need to do this. I guess there is the possibility that, should someone be driving past at less than 10mph they may be able to get a hint of a signal. Anyway I wandered to reception to ask for the code. Receptionist didn’t know and asked a colleague. Second receptionist said she didn’t know as ‘they have changed it again’ and that receptionist 1 would have to phone the IT help desk Receptionist 1 then phoned the IT help desk. It took three calls and a lot of ringing to get someone to answer. She asked for the password and the IT people clearly asked who wanted it. My name was mentioned as a guest in reception. Unfortunately the mere mention of my name did not bring forth a result. It seems from the conversation that there must be an approved list and I was not on it. The receptionist then put the phone down and informed me that the IT help desk team would need an email from the head of HR before they could give me the code for the public wifi. She then began to dial the head of HR to pass my name on to them so that she could put the wheels in motion for me to be granted the hallowed web access. At this point I stopped her. There was no way I planned to trouble the Head of HR with a memo with my name on it, especially since I was about to meet her. So I finally had my meeting with the head of HR to discuss business their needs which include a need to focus on the customer, a need for more creativity and innovation in the business and greater empowerment and leadership. So here is a note to the IT department of the company. Don’t let your paranoia about web access strangle your customer service. To the manager of the receptionists – please give them a chance to do a decent job. Give them some information and the power to act To the Head of HR – change the policy. How do you expect to empower the workforce when the receptionist can’t even hand out a wifi code without written authority from you.