Like every good son, I called to wish my mom a happy Mother’s Day. Disappointed at not hearing the big ‘thank you’ for the flowers, I asked how she liked the arrangement. The florist never delivered the order. On Mother’s Day. No flowers. Why? “Our computer has been down for two days,” the proprietor told me when I called.

Mother’s Day is the florist industry’s Christmas season. But like many businesses, from the smallest to the largest, the excuses for not anticipating the havoc resulting from an outage are familiar: my business can ride through an occasional outage; investing in uptime assurance is too expensive; what I have is good enough. What they’re really saying whether they realize it or not is that their customers are not their first priority.

This florist has no idea what this misadventure has cost in lost business this past Mother’s Day and for many more to come. I, for one, will never go back