I had two episodes this week that capture the essence of customer non-service.
1. Charleston Post Office - On Tuesday at 10:30 AM I walked into the main lobby of the post office to find that the only the window open for service was the one inside the stamp store. There were 15 people waiting in line, many of whom looked exasperated as they stood holding heavy boxes they intended to ship. But the real pièce de résistance was the perky girl postal worker who was asking questions of all the patrons for a survey on - get this - CUSTOMER SATISFACTION! It seemed like the management had decided to herd all the cattle into one chute so the survey would be easier to perform.
2. The picture above requires some explanation: Today at the Huntington Bank drive in bank on the corner of Leon Sullivan Way and Lee Street there were three drive through lanes open PLUS one inside walk-in window. When I was there at around 1:15 there was only one teller trying to keep up with all four windows. But as I waited for my turn at the drive through I noticed that there were two bank employees walking to the cars as they waited delivering cans of soft drinks and candy bars. Soon they came my way and I rolled down my window so I could talk to them. "Would you like a candy bar or a soft drink?" they asked politely. "What's the occassion?" I inquired. I was not prepared for the answer: "It's Customer Appreciation Day!" they replied cheerfully. I thanked them for their offer and told them that THIS customer would appreciate it if they would go inside and help out with the workload. They laughed and walked back to their table of goodies. I continued to wait in line and watch them greet other customers with their appreciation. My drive through bank visit took over 20 minutes to complete. I felt really bad for the lady inside the box but she remained cheerful and polite in spite of it all. I wish I could say the same for myself.