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Service with a smile

Ray Augenstein

Ray Augenstein

Throughout the day, as we go about our daily business, we visit many establishments, such as the Grocery Store, the Bank, the Restaurants and other places where we are compelled to do our business. One of my pet peeves is the kind of treatment we receive from each of them. I like to be greeted with kindness, courtesy and/or a smile. I enjoy returning to the places that make me feel welcome and as if I was important to the business.

I am a business man myself, and I have over 100 people working for my company. Part of the training I offer my employees are courtesy and customer relationships. I know if my clients feel comfortable with my staff, they’re going to want to use my business more often. I’ve often thought of starting a service that would train waiters and service people in the public vector.

In some of the encounters I’ve had many of them certainly need to be trained in common courtesy. Now I do understand that occasionally somebody may have problems at home and they’re going through mental stress while they’re on the job. But the workplace, especially when they’re dealing with the public, is no place to bring the personal problems. I can guarantee you that if I have a waitress at a restaurant who smiles, treats me with respect and is responsive to my needs, I will leave her a bigger tip than I normally would someone who was grouchy, and acts as if I’m a bother to them.

I have been in grocery stores, where the clerk would be rude, insensitive and uncaring. Certain Walmart stores seem to be one of the biggest offenders. I have asked for help to find something I was looking for and they just pointed in the general direction, and said it’s over there.

Then I have had other clerks that, when I asked where something was, they said come with me and I’ll show you, and they took me to the object that I was looking for. Restaurants seem to be the biggest problem for me. Doesn’t it bother you, when you go into a restaurant that doesn’t have too many patrons, find a seat and wait then patiently for the waitress to notice you?

You can see them over in a corner with two or three fellow coworkers laughing and enjoying some story. Finally she looks your way and, as if surprised that someone would dare sit at her station, comes over. After taking our order she disappears for another half-hour or so. I know that the teaching staff is not really that busy because there are not that many patrons in the restaurant. I look over at the window where the food has been setting waiting for our waitress to pick it up and delivered to us.

I’m almost tempted to get up and go over and get my own food. When she finally does accomplish this task, she disappears again, and we don’t see her until it’s time for her to put the bill on our table. If we would like more coffee or anything more to drink or extra napkins, we have to hunt her down, or call loudly to get her attention.

I don’t like to get anybody in trouble and I feel sorry for these girls who are working trying to make a living. Perhaps some of whom are single mothers trying to support their children, but certainly they need to have some kind of training in how to deal with customers and customer relationships. They need to understand that the customers who sit at the tables are as guests in their home. Often the size of the tips they receive, will depend upon the kind of service they give.

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