Lost in space
One can't help but think we've lost
it. Sadly every vestige of courtesy,
service, and dignity is absent from
our culture. Almost everywhere I
frequent - care, commitment, and
responsibility seem to be lacking
Instead we now live in a world
where mediocrity, mendacity, and
not so passive aggression seem to
be perfectly acceptable. Is anybody
else as sick as I am of being smile
fucked while being screwed - all
while being forced to pay for it?!
Consider the airlines. Travelers are
regularly subjected to what once
was considered torture. It's quite
obvious that they hold the cards.
Hence one is forced to sit hours as
they resolve "maintenance" issues
and then cancel your flight. Only
to be sent to the opposite end of
a terminal in search of yet another
flight. Only to be finally shuttled
to a Siberian Doubletree versus
the five star hostelry you booked
and paid for at your destination.
Why do paying customers accept
being treated like cattle? Worse,
why are First Class passengers
who paid for said privilege still
treated exactly the same as those
who fly for free? In theory I'm all
for democracy but at some point
the airlines must acknowledge
that there is a difference. Paying
a premium should insure more.
Yet most accept their fate and
like lambs being led to slaughter
do and go exactly as they are told.
Let me be clear. I'm an adult and hence
am fully aware that mistakes happen.
However it seems equally obvious that
a true apology or courteous attempt to
rectify the situation by the wrong doer
no longer seems necessary. Is customer
service dead?! Has our lazy embrace
of corporate mediocrity placed us into
indentured servitude to their not our
bottom line? Somehow I find the very
idea that the customer no longer matters
more than shocking. Rather, I find the
entire experience highly insulting.
Sadly our monolithic corporate
approach to just about everything
is the problem. Parity has gotten
too big and true management is
far removed from reality. While
they publish reams of guidance,
the minimum wage employee
who actually serves their guests
doesn't care what headquarters
says. Aside from exceptions one
sees on Undercover Boss, most
go through the motions like
automatons on an assembly line.
Fortunately we live in a small town.
While most local establishments may
lack the perks of corporate packages,
the people who run them are actively
involved. The majority try to do their
best to make their customers happy.
It's certainly not perfect. However
given there is some sense of personal
responsibility involved, the experience
is most definitely better! Now if only
these folks could dream a little bigger
and try a little harder. Part of me still
yearns to be dazzled. Is that possible?
It seems that both we consumers and
those who offer goods and services
willingly accept the bare minimum.
I may be a big city snob but when I'm
paying - I want to be treated well. It's
the little touches that make even the
most pedestrian of processes unique.
Once someone wraps my purchase in
tissue or offers to gift wrap it - I'm
theirs forever. Said loyalty turns into
repeat business. Which means that
we all benefit from each transaction.
In my opinion that's good business.