It has become a familiar story to many and is a sign that after a two-year pandemic, with its incessant lockdowns and restrictions, the public is so numb that tolerance is almost reflexive.
We now accept that near-enough is good-enough. Late deliveries are fine, poor service is okay, and the city's vacant offices are all honky-dory because we can work from home.
We accept what in normal times was unacceptable. A coffee machine that has been with a repairer for a month, three weeks to receive a shipment of medical supplies from Sydney.
We shrug our shoulders and put it down to isolation periods or supply chain breakdowns, but why should we accept this as the new norm? In how many cases is this merely an excuse for poor service or practice?
We will drown in inadequacy until we demand proper service and turn-around times. It will force managers who might be genuinely short of staff to hire a casual rather than customers being put out.
According to a VCCI survey, 42 per cent of employees are working in the office one to two days each week and 25 per cent three to four days - with a discernable lift in productivity from those back in the office. We can all attend a sold-out match at the MCG or a concert. So why the reluctance to return to the workplace and normality?