Tuesday, August 2, 2016

customer service

granddaughter Sarah in 2011


The hometown grocery store, you always see someone you know, or you get to know someone new, so plan on some interruptions in your shopping, time to catch up with neighbors and friends.

I was eyeing the fried chicken and vegetables and corn bread at one end of the deli counter when the little old lady peeked up from behind the counter and asked could she help me. I stood on tiptoe so I could see her better and gave her my order.

"That lady that just left, she always thanks me for cooking her dinner, I don't correct her, she has oldtimers you know. My mom had that, she was in the nursing home -are you in a hurry?"

No ma'am.

"Well I would go to see her and one time I took some of her clothes out of her closet because I knew she would never wear them and took them home. Next thing you know my sister is calling, saying mom is upset because someone stole her clothes."

"One other time the lady that works there brought in mom's clean laundry and I was folding it and putting it away, she told my sister after that that I brought her a whole new wardrobe. It's bad, that oldtimers, and it's in my family, I'm worried 'bout that."

"What was it you wanted? 2 piece white? I'm sorry I kept you so long."

No problem, I've always got time to listen to a story.

Then to the checkout line, no express lane here.

"Just wait til they are running!”

I look around to see who the cashier is talking to, it is the lady in the next line trying to keep two toddlers in the buggy.

She continued the conversation to me: "My mama said I was running before I could walk. My sister would stop and talk to folks but I would just run, from one side of the store to the other. My sister talked all the time. She don't say nothing anymore."

The elderly gentleman bagging my groceries dropped my bananas into the bag. Dropped them. I might have said something if he had been a young lad, maybe not knowing any better, but this man is probably just trying to supplement his social security and I doubt he would appreciate any advice from me about how to bag groceries.

Besides I couldn't get a word in edgewise from the cashier telling me about her family.

"Did you find everything okay? You have a nice day now y'hear?

Yes I will, you too.

Then walking out, I see the friend of one of my grandkids - she waves and comes in for a hug. 

"I am living back home again with mama, I left that guy, it's all good now."

Ahh so much better than the cashiers at some stores where they scan the items with a blank stare, not making eye contact, just watching the clock waiting for a break to smoke or check their phone.

Customer service is different in a small town, more personal.

No, I am in no hurry if you want to talk, bring it on, and hugs are welcome, too.

Oh and thanks deli lady for cooking my supper!


1 comment:

motherkitty said...

OMG, it's the same in our tiny burg with two stop-and-go lights, two groceries, a McDonalds, a Subway, a True Value, a Shopko, a Peoples Bank and a Farmers Bank. There's a pretty nice hospital (where I worked for 17 years), a helicopter service, an airport, a country club, two pharmacies, and two doctors' offices. We have a population of less than 3K in town and less than 9K in the entire county, a place where everybody knows your name and your story. We have lots of Amish, a farmer's market, a county fair every year, a woman's club, homemakers clubs, and about 60 churches. We have farmers, mechanics, lots of out of work coal miners who now do construction or odd jobs, a sheriff's department, a city police department, and a huge county detention center to incarcerate miscreants from all over the state. We have two funeral homes and cemeteries galore. We have quilters, pink ladies, a Relay For Life event every year at our city-county park, a high school, middle school,and an elementary school. We are your typical small-town where everything that happens in a big city also happens here. Best of all, however, are the charming, caring, quirky people who live here and they all have a story to tell. Here's my story: One day, about five or six years ago, hubby and I, along with daughter and two of our grandchildren (the third wasn't born yet), were enjoying a nice lunch at our local Mexican restaurant. Our police chief, sheriff, state trooper and other law enforcement came in, said hello to all of us, and sat down at the next table. Without any urging or comment and long before it was popular, our then youngest granddaughter got up and went over to the chief of police, hugged him and said thank you. It was terribly hard to keep from shedding a few tears. I have never seen our chief of police blush so much and there were smiles and a few tears from all those burly law enforcement guys. So, that's how it is in our neck of the woods, where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the deer and the antelope play.