Having grown up in the Dark Ages (aka 20th Century), it was the way of things. You could count on it. It even happened at the gas pump! At the grocery store. At the shoe store. You get the picture. What stood out was the rare occasion, the exception to the rule, the one off. That’s what was shocking back in the day. I’m talking about consistent, polite, helpful customer service. (I added the exclamation point after gas pump for those too young to have known about gas attendants who always ran out to pump your gas for you. Self-service gas pumps didn’t exist anywhere, and they remain illegal in New Jersey and Oregon!). Today, lowered expectations help maintain social sanity when clerks make no eye contact, mumble rather than speak, talk to a co-worker or talk on their hands-free device while ‘serving’ you. Of course, in the ‘good old days’ store employees got training in order to be able to answer questions about their product – anybody out there sufficiently mature to have had the experience of buying shoes in a shoe store where measuring and fitting and ensuring a perfect fit was de rigueur, where the smile didn’t fade, even after a dozen or more rejected pairs, all searched in a back store room while you sat in comfort? I do want to add that it is a surprise and a delight, in this current climate, to encounter an employee who appears to enjoy their job, their customers, their product.
I’m picturing Kingdom ambassadors (you remember who they are) as Marketing Executives for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, only we don’t ‘sell’ our ‘product,’ we share it free of charge, just as we received it. The nagging question rattling around in my head is about the ‘consistent, polite, helpful customer service’ we offer. Linked to that query is a troubling business axiom: ‘A system is perfectly designed to give you the results you are now getting.’ Hmm. I wonder if our ‘customers’ find us to be a surprise and a delight? PD