Spyder McCluskey called me early this morning. He had to drop off his car at the shop for a new battery and sundry other issues and needed a ride back home.
He had assumed the guys at Firestone might give him a ride as he only lives about 10 blocks from their shop, but nooooooo. The service truck was broken. I don’t know about you but a broken service truck at an auto repair facility undermines their credibility with me. There were three guys behind the counter, it was not busy, yet no one could drive him home. Probably would have taken five minutes total there and back driver time. That’s service.
So I pick up Spyder and we go have a bagel on the way home. We start talking about service.
I have addressed this subject in the past, but the regular occurrence of bad service and the repetition of these bad habits make me want to re-visit it in hopes of making some small difference.
First of all, Fort Lauderdale, despite its diversification, is still a tourist town and therefore a town where service should be king. When I moved here in the mid 70’s, the level of service from individuals in the bars and restaurants was amazing, but it was also superb in grocery stores, gas stations, doctor’s offices and a hundred other occupations. People cared about treating customers with respect and a desire to make a good impression. We seem to have lost those aspirations along the way. Too bad. They are missed.
The lack of service and responsibility is widespread and not just limited to South Florida, the food and beverage industry or any other pre-determined group of people. Here’s another example.
Like many families, we have auto insurance that runs for 6 months, and then needs to be renewed. You make a down payment, the a couple more payments and you’re good for the six months. Last time this happened to me, I juxtaposed two numbers on the check and was $5.89 short. They sent me a letter; I paid the money and never heard from them again. The breakdown came when I discovered last week when I received a letter from the State of Florida than my driver’s license had been suspended due to not having insurance on my vehicle. I called the insurance company and discovered I had been canceled last November. My wife and I have been driving around for nearly three months without insurance, and we never knew. Now that’s service.
Now, since we had a lapse in insurance for more than 45 days, we qualify for a higher premium, and I have to go to the license bureau today and pay $150 to get my license reinstated. When I told the manager at the insurance company I thought they should pay the $150 because they failed to notify me… he laughed.
It reminded me of Lily Tomlin on the old Laugh-In show where she was the telephone operator. Remember “One ringie-dingie, two ringie dingies?” And when customers complained to her, her comment was “We don’t have to. We’re the phone company.”
No wonder people go postal.