Thursday, October 23, 2008

Am I Expecting Too Much?


Being a military family has afforded us the opportunity of living in several different cities in the U.S. as well as having been stationed overseas for one assignment.  We have lived places where customer service is an absolute given.  Businesses which pride themselves on being cordial, polite, and helpful.  The part I hate most about living in the DC area is the complete lack of good customer service.

To illustrate this, Baby Wingnut and I visited our local drugstore in order to get a roll of conventional film developed.  The huge sign outside the drugstore advertised one hour photo, which what I was looking for.  We entered the store and approached the photo counter.  There was only one employee working the check out and she was intently reading a magazine behind the counter.  I looked around for the typical photo developing envelopes to no avail.  After several minutes I finally asked the check out girl for some help. She hemmed and hawed and typed on the keyboard of two different registers before asking if I wanted to have the film sent out.  I asked her how long that might take, and she responded with a very indefinite couple of days. 

"Ok, then.  Don't you have one hour photo?" I asked.

"Well, yeah.  But she's not here yet.  She doesn't come in until later."  

"So what do people do when they want photo developing?  Come in hoping the lady is here?"

"Yeah."

"Alright, I guess I'll just take my business elsewhere." I finished in exasperation.

"Have a nice day." Which was clearly said sarcastically.  I suppose she was offended I actually expected her help in at least determining when I might hope for some service.

In what way does this drugstore believe it is running a successful business?  This is not the first problem I've had with the employees in this store.  They are consistently unhelpful and dull, but they are not alone.  This is the type of service I've come to expect everywhere I go in the DC area and it is one of the biggest reasons Wingnut and I do not plan on making this area our final home when he retires in a few years.  It's enough to make me miss flat, dry, tornado ridden Oklahoma!
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