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 Holiday Central > Yom Kippur > Service Agreement
Yom Kippur : The Service Agreement
By: Daniel Feldman, Contributor
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Last year, while I was working at the computer help desk at my company, some managers decided that it was time to compose a service level agreement The concept of this document was to detail the services the computer department would provide to our company’s users, and how long users can expect the computer department to solve hardware or software problems. Numerous managers gathered during the course of many months in an attempt to phrase the agreement in an appropriate “friendly” language that both managers and users could easily understand as well as agree to. The managers were concerned and skeptical that few users would agree to complying with the service level agreement.

When the agreement was finally emailed to all the other company group managers, they all signed to comply with the agreement without much thought or hesitation. The computer department managers were surprised that there was a quick response and that not one manager or user questioned the service level agreement. They wondered why no one made a fuss, considering that in my company, nothing new happens without about five people complaining, discussing, and revising a proposal about ten times. Did the users not understand the impact of the new agreement? Did they even bother to read it?

Well, the computer department eventually discovered the “sad” truth about how people perceived the help desk and the company’s computer department, overall. You see, all the users had been used to poor or practically NO service at all in our company. So, because the service level was already low, there was very little they had to agree with. Therefore, all the users were readily willing to sign the agreement! It was no big deal for them!

Yom Kippur offers you a chance to review your own service level agreement with your spouse, kids, relatives, neighbors, and friends. If you expected a lot from all these people, and are disappointed when they fell short of your expectations, perhaps, it is nothing more than their simply signing off on that service level agreement. If they expect little from you it could be because you don’t produce that much yourself. At the end, they are actually abiding by the same level that you provide them.

Similarly, we have a service level agreement with God. Throughout the day, and especially during the High Holy Days, we pray to God for so many things – pardoning our sins; listening to our prayers and appeals for help; granting us life, health, prosperity, happiness, and peace. Then, when it doesn’t happen we think God has fallen short of our “expectations” of Him. In actuality, God is just agreeing to his end of that service level agreement. He’s providing service in kind to the same low level of the service you provide Him. When your service to God is already low, there isn’t much that God needs to agree to!

May this Yom Kippur be a day when you “raise” the level of that agreement. The effort begins with you. Make a commitment to yourself that this will be the year that you will provide a higher level of service to everyone you care about. I might even suggest that you dare to provide yourself with an unusual challenge to exceed even your own expectations. God has already given you the gift of unlimited potential. It your choice and desire to use this gift properly and wisely.

Remember – if you expect others – and God – to agree to a higher level of that service level agreement, you have to first take the initiative to raise the level. You can only expect to get what you first give.

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