Where has the service gone?

The cashier greeted me with a quick hello and a smile, and jumped into the job of ringing up my grocery order. She went about her job with speed and confidence. When I handed her my money to pay the bill, she counted out my change in a slow, deliberate fashion so that I could see that she had given me the correct change. I chuckled quietly to myself. She probably thought I had lost my mind. I laughed because when I do pay with cash, which is a rarity anymore, the cashier usually hands me my change in a wad that I’m scrambling to put away so that I can get out of the way of the next customer. It’s a rarity anymore to see a cashier to go to those lengths.

Two days later, I went out with coworker for a quick lunch. We didn’t have a lot of time in our schedule, but we also needed to get away from the office. We needed the break from deadlines and if nothing else, staring at a mountain of emails. The waiter looked barely old enough to drive, but when we told him our time constraints, he got right to work getting our lunch to us. In fact, he had us in-and-out with time to spare


Memorable for the wrong reasons

I couldn’t help but think of the cashier and waiter the rest of the week. They had two very, simple jobs — probably weren’t paid much above minimum wage — but they went out of their way to make sure that I had the best, possible experience. How often can we say that anymore?

We’ve gained much over the years in the name of increased convenience and self service. Developers have gobbled up large chunks of open space and farmland so that we can have the convenience of having our every wish satisfied just minutes from our front door. We have stores open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have self-service and speedy check-out lines now (even though they never seem to be open.) We’ve invested heavily in technology so that you don’t have to deal with others.

While all good, we’ve lost much too.

We’ve given up improved service. We’ve lost the friendly, personal touch. We’ve lost the caring approach. While efficiency is good, it’s not everything, there’s still something to be said for a job well done.


Reality or a dream

Am I just nostalgic for a time lost or have I hit on the sad state of service in today’s society?


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