Thursday, April 25, 2002
Catering to a familiar customer
I'm tired of all the whining about customer service. Those people are just dead wrong and probably lazy. Anybody can see that customer service has never been better. We are, in fact, at the threshold of the Golden Age of Personal Service.
Just yesterday, I gave myself a big smile and swiped my credit card at a gas pump. I told myself I wanted a receipt, and I cheerfully filled my gas tank, whistling a happy tune as I cleaned my windows. I checked my oil without being asked.
At my neighborhood restaurant, I washed the gasoline off my hands and gave myself extra napkins and ketchup. Before I sat down, I wiped the salt and french fries off my table and the mustard off my chair. I seated myself by the window without greasing my palm.
Just when I thought service couldn't get any better, I was given the opportunity to dispense my own soft drink. I savored the perfect ratio of ice to soda. Then, I paid a visit to the salad bar, where I was right behind a little boy who dropped a couple of cherry tomatoes in the ranch dressing before he sneezed. As I was busing my table, I admired my efficiency but I did not expect a tip. I called myself Honey and left.
One cannot live by burgers alone, even with the addition of cheese-like substance and bacon. So I stopped off to pick up some groceries at the supermarket. And I use the term super advisedly. They have fresh flowers and toys and books and clothing.
Generally, however, they do not have a person available to bag groceries. So, I tell myself that I want plastic and I put my own bread under the cans of tomato juice. I break my own eggs. I do this with great dispatch and a chipper attitude. My friend Frank says that his store lets you scan your own groceries. I can't wait.
If you are really in the mood for outstanding customer service and you don't mind squandering a little time, I recommend air travel. To avoid customer-service representatives who send your luggage to Aruba and deposit you in Cleveland, many travelers have elected to carry their own suitcases aboard.
This customer service worked so well not counting the travelers with bags as big as Volkswagens that passengers are now allowed to serve themselves their own food. That is, each of us is entrusted to open our own packet of Meow Mix.
Banks, of course, have been in the forefront of improved customer service. Or at least in customer-service charges. My former bank teller used to give me a Star Brite mint. I get nothing from Jeanie, and if she doesn't like my attitude, she eats my Visa card. Sometimes I make a withdrawal, then give myself a mint, just for old times' sake.
Jeanie's cousin has been installed at Newport on the Levee, where I can become my own parking attendant, paying for my ticket in advance and checking myself out of the very confusing lot. I am consistently good-natured and tell myself to Have a nice day.
I print my own movie tickets, transport my own X-rays, develop my own photographs. I fit myself for shoes. I install my own telephones. I serve my own frozen yogurt.
In every imaginable way, I am at my service.
E-mail Laura at email@example.com or call 768-8393.
Moment of silence almost law
Smoker may be Ohio's savior
Last Coleman appeal: No telecast
City worker charged as loan shark
Curtis Norris, insurance exec, dies at 88
Fine Arts Fund hits goal amid turbulence
Indian Hill asks for help buying land
Lemmie taps two Dayton officials
State allots $1 million for local jobs program
Tristate A.M. Report
HOWARD: Some Good News
PULFER: Modern service
RADEL: The winner
SAMPLES: Sleeping dogs
Deputy accused of making lewd remarks to kids
Lebanon park chief forced out
Milford lot may become new school
Ohio 28 makeover proposed
Prison employee sues to save hair
Township won't back complex
Turning parents into friends
Cleveland mayor wants to keep schools control
Concealed-carry bill holstered
Former housing director gets prison sentence
Murder conviction ruled not proper
Sponsors of legislator's fund-raiser focus of panel
Voting problems investigated
Cabinet member resigns under cloud
Covington cleanup protested
Fund drive to help homeless
GOP blasts campaign funding
Jurors screened for Craven trial
Levee's tax break still in budget
NKU staff, faculty raises in proposed budget
Panel looks at smoking ban
Park burns land to restore trees
Quilter repeats '96 Paducah win
Struggling schools get $3.3-million boost
Teen has $10K to dampen smoking