Thursday, May 27, 2010

Extra Mile

by Susan G. Haws

I buy a lot of sale items and use coupons.  With most grocery store cashiers I try to watch the screen to make sure I get my discounts, but with "Nancy" at my neighborhood Bashas' I never worry she will forget my coupons.  I relax as she rings up my total.  She not only remembers me she remembers all the regulars, and I have actually seen people get in a longer line just to have her check them out.  (I have too and I feel time is too short for lines.)   I also relax in "Joyce's" line, another cashier,  knowing I will get credit for all my savings.  As she was rearranging my heavy cat litter recently  to make it easier for me to put in my car I told her she didn't have to go to the extra work.  She replied that she does extra things whether they are noticed and appreciated or not; it's just for herself.  The extra effort "Nancy" and "Joyce" put into their jobs brighten the shopping experience.

Sometimes that little extra effort not only brightens a day it literally lightens a load.  Last Friday, the hottest day of the year to that point,  my A/C went out.  If it had just been me in the car it would have been an uncomfortable ride home, but with my frail elderly mother it became an urgent situation.  I fiddled with the fuse that had caused problems before and soon had the fan blowing on high.  But it was hot as a furnace.  The hundred degrees outside was refreshing by comparison.  After my futile attempts to reset the fuse, I called the dealership and with it after two PM on Friday they were not encouraging.  Actually they practically laughed at me.  Then I remembered a discount card I had bought from a young woman going door to door.  And called Big O, though  I would never have thought of them normally.  (My frugality to the rescue.)  They promised to get me right in.

While I don't enjoy canceling my plans and spending the afternoon in a waiting room, I was grateful for the air conditioned waiting room and when they said I needed a new compressor, I was not thrilled but at least it was diagnosed.  They also gave me a discount (Maybe no more than what they give everyone.), but it felt like they cared.  They even offered to have a person ride home with us, so they could take the car back and then work on it first on Saturday morning.  Even more than that they said they could have two people deliver the car so that I could pay ahead and wouldn't have to drive the person back to the shop.  I didn't have to tell them I would have had to get both a sitter (for my mom) and a ride to pick up the car, they just looked at us and offered.  That they recognized my obvious logistical problems and I didn't have to ask for these considerations made my life so much easier.  Also, I was low on gas so I gave them cash and they got the gas.  Saturday they called about nine AM and said they were on their way with the van.  Going the extra foot or mile can brighten a day or bring blessings for others, and definitely wins loyalty.

10 comments:

  1. sometimes it is hard to find good people in the business world. Lately all we hear on the news is how terrible business people can be. I am glad to hear there are good *local* people to trust.

    Looks like today will be another hot one.

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  2. I know what you mean. I can't help but look at my sidewalk each day and think that at least one person in the world cares about me. After some crazy took out the curb in front of our house we called the city to come in and fix it for us (their job). Now that alone isn't going the extra mile, but the fact they got there within days was; AND at my request, also fixed my neighbor's damaged curb (that had apparently been sitting in queue longer than mine but had gotten forgotten somehow). Well I thanked the fellows and gave them all sodas for taking the time. Unfortunately my concrete was put in by a newbie and sunk a bit after they left. It looked so sad, but there wasn't much I could do. But the next year when I saw them fixing yet another neighbor's curb I hailed them over. Lo and behold it was the same crew. They remembered me and I told them what happened to the sidewalk and they came right over to fix it. I told them I was baking cookies and I would bring them out a couple plates in gratitude. Well, that curb looks incredible folks, and the guy winked at me (innocently) and told me he'd mix me up a little extra concrete so my kids could make hand print molds in pie tins. They line our front walk even now. Every time the lead fellow is in the neighborhood he stops by my house to say hello and update me on his family and work. And once I even had cookies on hand to give him. :)

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  3. All through your story I found myself wishing I lived where you live! Experiences such as yours become fewer and farther between. I find myself wishing, for the first time in my life, that I could change the world and restore the little things that make life pleasant. A friendly cashier, an honest repairman, a civil civil servant. Thank you for reminding me that these people can still exist today.

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  4. A great reminder for all of us to be a little kinder! Glad to hear you had a positive experience. We have a great mechanic in Phoenix. My dad took his vehicle to this guy because he wanted an honest opinion about a dealership saying he had a leak in the power steering and needed to replace it asap. Our mechanic looked at Dad's car...no leak at all. No wonder dealerships get such a bad name.

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  5. Good customer service makes all the difference. Thanks for the stories.

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  6. One of the advantages of living in a small town is that everybody knows everybody and you don't have to whip out three forms of ID every time you make a purchase. We lived in Richfield UT for 33 years, where my husband was a teacher. Once in the days before debit cards (remember ancient history?) I went to the full-service pumps at the gas station to fill the tank, and when the attendant told me the total, I found I had neither cash nor a checkbook. "I'll be right back," I said. I drove to the ATM a couple of blocks away, took out some cash, and returned to pay. He knew I would come back because I was the teacher's wife and we were honest people.

    When we moved to Provo six months ago, one of the first things my sister-in-law said, who has lived here all her life, was, "Oh, I have a plumber you're going to love, and I know just where to get appliance repairs done, and…" Having those phone numbers at my fingertips has been like having a perpetual housewarming gift.

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  7. I live in an extremely small town and I don't have great experiences like this...so relish them Susan.

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  8. I really enjoyed reading everyone's experiences. Thank you for sharing your comments.

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  9. Susan, good post. I believe that service is the way of he future. People are tight with their money now and for good reason. Those willing to give good caring service will get our business. Corporations set up to do things on their terms will be part of the past.

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  10. Excellent first post, Susan!! Such a sweet message, too. We shuld all be a bit kinder--we may make someone's day.

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