Lets talk about stimulus packages and customer service

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Tooley Insurance Agency

Today there are many things being done at government level to help people that hurting financially.  When you see someone that is a friend benefiting from these you are grateful; but is this really the best answer?  Lets compare what happens to consumers (not big evil corporations) when the help comes directly from the government, and not through the private sector by comparing two scenarios.

During college I was offered a job as a janitor at a small business in the town where I was attending college.  Jobs were hard to find, and when the offered me $5.00 per hour to push a broom and scrub toilets I considered it a great offer.  After being faithful at these tasks and anything else I was asked to do for a while the pay started going up.  I did everything I could to be the best employee possible.  One day I was shocked when the owner walked up to his son and I and was frustrated that we were not "committed" enough.  I was confused and somewhat insulted... but still grateful for the job.  His son fired back that he didn't know what the owner was talking about.  To that end, the owner stated that he wanted us to get our feet wet.... be at work early, be so committed that we left every night with a headache.  What??!!??  But I was grateful for a job and set about examining my actions every day to figure out what he was talking about.  Guess what, when I reached the point that I was "invested" in the business, I really did leave every night with a headache.  That was because every customer was my best customer, every issue they had was my task to provide a solution for.  Any customer lost was unacceptable... my rules, not the bosses.  Then the boss would come through and say... John, how much do we pay you now?  Then the pay raise would come.  And come they did.  By the time I left the company at graduation I was pulling in double that pay (more than most men with families in town made), having my tuition paid at college, and a company vehicle.  But most of all, I left with experience that I still use today.  My customers are still King, I will do anything I am able to take care of them and give them a good experience.

Now contrast that to an experience my parents had yesterday:

Ahead of a predicted ice storm they go into a small (family owned) chain dairy store.  When they walk they are greeted by the glare of a college age man that is put out that he has several customers coming in.  When they get what they need and go to check out he is put out that they write him a check.  He types the check information in and announces loudly that their check was no good.  Being older, my parents knew that this was not correct, and my mother was humiliated to be accused of writing bad checks in front of other people in a small town.  She advised that there had to be a mistake, to which he defiantly turns the screen around and points at it and says "see rejected!".  So, she asks him to verify that the numbers are typed in correctly.  So, he holds her check up to her and begins typing one number at a time and then pointing at the check.  During this he mistyped the number 4 different times.  Each time, either due to computer issues or his complete incompetence, he had to clear the screen and start completely over.  Finally after on the 5th retry he got it right; and miracle of miracles... the check was good. 

So, compare the two stories, in one customer is King, the other, the customer is a pain.  What makes the difference?  If you don't want to be at work, but minimum wage keeps growing as the great equalizer, unemployent is hard for an employer to fight; why try harder?  They employer gets penalized for even giving someone a chance to earn a living, as a fired employee you get a paid vacation, and the consumer gets hassled.  Is this an enhancement?  Are we going about this correctly?

Comments (2)

Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

Thanks for article. We learn a lot of good information from Active Rain Blogs. Best Regards,

Jan 28, 2010 01:42 AM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

John, great point!  And knowing your parents, I'm surprised the guy still has his job...and maybe not a black eye!  LOL

Jan 28, 2010 02:04 AM