Friday, May 30, 2008

Food for thought

I know you have heard that song line: “It’s all about the Benjamin ba-by” but I am here to tell you that it just isn’t true. For those that are not “Hip” like me, Benjamin refers to the hundred dollar bill. Ok I just gave away my not-with-it-ness by using the word Hip. I don’t even know what term they use these days for being "hip" but you know what I meant. The point is, that it really is all about the attitude ba-by.

These days, I sometimes look for a good attitude and customer service more than I do the actual product itself. I avoid some establishments and go out of my way to others based solely on the service that I receive. Some of it has to do with lack of job satisfaction but I truly believe that some people would be miserable no matter where they work. I work with some of these people and sometimes I just have to bite my lip because I really want to say something. Every once in a while I do slip when it is just too much to take. If I feel I am getting close to saying something, I sometimes retreat to my office and read some Bible verses and try to remind myself to keep quiet.

Recently though, I felt compelled to write two letters because of great service that I had received. The first one was about a local convenience store. I stop there from time to time for coffee or gas. Usually it is early in the morning, around 5 am. When I do stop, the people are always friendly and the place is really clean. If I find something like a coffee spill on the counter, I point it out and someone comes right over and cleans it up. I wrote to the company and told them how much I liked shopping at this particular store and they passed it along to the manager. They actually forwarded the email to the manager . The next time I stopped in, the girl at the counter asked me what my last name was. When I told her, she said “I thought it was you” and called for the manager. Oops, I sent the email in from work and it has my last name in it. The manager was in the back and came out and hugged me and said thank you. Now the store directly across the street is just the opposite. It is dirty, cluttered, and the people working there are not very friendly.

The other company I wrote to believe it or not was a fast food place called Mcburgers. (not their real name but you get the picture) I also sometimes stop there in the mornings on my way to work. When I get to the drive up window I am greeted with an Eeyore sounding voice that says “can I help you” I give my order and pull up to the first window. The girl at this window then says the price and nothing more. After I get my change, she says “pull up” At the pickup window however it is a whole different ball game. The window opens and a young girl with a bright smile greats me with a happy “Good morning sir, here’s your order”. Then she repeats what I ordered. After that she says “Have a great day” and I tell her to do the same. I usually only stop there a few times a month but this girl knows that I like jelly and what kind and she puts some in my bag without me asking. Sometimes I still ask for jelly just to check and she says I already put it in the bag.

I wrote to this company and told them about both girls and made a comparison between the two. I got a nice email back, thanking me for taking the time to comment and they also sent me a coupon for a free burger. (I didn’t expect to get anything but it was a nice gesture) The next time I stopped in, the first girl had changed her speech but not her attitude. She still sounded like Eeyore but she did say “good morning, can I take your order”? The other girl smiled even more than usual and I could tell that the comments had got back to them both. It is nice to hear something positive and not always the negative stuff. I think that is why I like my new job so much. When I do something good I hear about it. At my old job, we only heard negative things.

See you can make a difference if you speak up and say something positive.

Have a wonderful day,


Kathy said...

One of the great things about the internet is that most companies can be reached easily by e-mail. I have made it a habit to send messages to thank them for good service and to offer suggestions for how I could have been served better when that is necessary. Most businesses seem thankful for these e-mails and are quick to respond to them.

Lori said...

It's nice that you wrote to let people know about something good. A lot of people would only have written to complain. I'm sure it made those people's day to know that someone appreciated their polite attitude and good service. Good for you!

Sandy said...

I really enjoyed reading this Greg. It does make all the difference when you have someone friendly and courteous and remembers you and your likes.

We have found many times when we go out, these great people and always pull the manager aside and tell them about it.


Kati said...

I approach my work-day with the attitude that no matter how I'm feeling inside, I cannot help but feel better if I smile and put forth a good attitude. Some days it never becomes more than an act. But most days I see faces light up when they see my smile as they come in the door or leave past my desk. I've had perfect strangers tell me that my smile lights up a room. I've had otherwise curmudgeonly gentlemen tell me that seeing me so cheerful brightens their day. And a few folks have mentioned my sunny disposition.

Yes, there are certainly days I don't feel like it, but what right have I to drag strangers down with my head-aches or pms-ing. *wink* Unfortunately it's not possible to be so constantly cheery & upbeat around one's family because at some point, the wall simply has to come down.

But, it always astonishes me the way even FAKING a good attitude affects how _I_ view my job. A few of my coworkers who are all grumbles & scowls at the patrons always tell stories of how negative the folks we work with are. I find most of our patrons the exact opposite. I find them to be great people. And the more observant regular patrons also notice when something's not quite right with me, even with the sunny act going on, and will say things to try to brighten MY day. It's a reciprocal thing, I think. But it's also all about attitude. I could have a rotten attitude going into it, expecting others to make ME smile first. But I decide that I'm going to do my best to be the smile that brighten's their day. And that's all it takes is that decision.

I'm glad you've been able to brighten some days for some folks the way they've brightened yours. And I love hearing your upbeat attitude and take on things, Greg.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Great post! The majority of people don't do things like that. When I worked in customer service at a call center, it was very rare for people to give commendations, but I did get a few. You're much more likely to hear the negative complaints......previously being in the customer service position myself, I like to be sure and let the right people know I was satisfied.

Good for you for taking the time!

Angie said...

So nice. You're a good guy, Greg. Just thought I'd pass along that positive feedback to you!

Wanda said...

Greg ~~ You are one of the good guys and I wish I lived closer to meet you in person!!
Thanks for sharing that it's good to take a minute to write a letter.
We were in Verizon the other day to get our new area code in our cell phones. I wear hearing aids and don't always hear well, she was aware that I was having difficulty and made we feel so valued when she took time to see if I had understood what she was saying and even apolized if she was not speaking clearly. Her boss came up to the counter, and I told him he had a super employee...She said we had made her day!!!

Thanks Greg for reminding us to speak up, or email.


Connie Pombo said...

Greg, we need more folks like you. I think you need to do the 6:30 PM news. I stopped watching it ages ago. I guess they do share the "good" stuff, but not enough.

Thankfully, you were able to catch someone doing some "good" and you spoke up!


USAincognito said...

Excellent post. Sometimes we need to stop and thank people more often for their hard work.

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