I thought I would take the time to recap some recent service experiences I have had. If you recall, I was complaining about having to load just about all of the cement bags at Menards by myself. I am still a little torqued about that, but I ended up patronizing their store again to purchase the treated lumber for the bridge span (which will sit atop the cement purchased previously). In this load (and there will be multiple) I purchased 25 2x12x12x10′ and 15 2x2x8′ treated boards. Pulling into the wood shed, my heart sank noticing that the 10’s were on the end of the SECOND floor of the shed which has one set of stairs a loooong way away. The worst part of it, is the distance from the second to first floor which made it impossible to simply slide the boards over the edge and then move them to the truck. A close second was the weight of these boards. If you want to test your strength wrestle a few of these babies out of their storage location in a small aisle. I made it through 3 and quickly decided this was going to take a few hours. Although my history of help is less than stellar at Menards, I noticed an employee on a forklift helping someone on the other side of the shed. A few internal pride discussion ensued before walking down and asking the guy to help me when he was done. He agreed and promptly came over to help once his other business was completed. Turns out the railings of the aisle come off providing a means to simply slide the boards straight out and across the raised forklifts. He helped load the 25 boards on the lifts, assisted in moving them to my truck and then went with me to help get the 15 8 footers which are stored in another location (I have no idea why by the way). So I need to keep some credit to Menards and their employee (ironically named Bryan) some credit for saving some sweat and allowing me to get out of there in under 30 minutes.
Contrasting this with a Burger King visit last week in East Peoria. Hungry after a night out, Linda and I decided to catch a late quick dinner. This place actually keeps a display in their back kitchen area that grades their service for the day. Rarely have I ever seen it over a ‘C-‘ but that night it was at an ‘A’. We walked up to the counter and looked for someone to take our order – everybody was back in the prep area. Minutes passed before one of the employees said he would be there in a little bit… waiting … waiting …. waiting. Finally he comes up and takes our order where I explicitly state I want onion rings instead of their fries. I go to pay and he walks away and says someone else will be back to get my money.. waiting … waiting …. waiting. A lady eventually comes up and takes my money. The food arrives the original clerk asks me if I want sauce for the chicken fries – thankful for him asking since I always forget, I requested one ranch and one sweet sour. He then stuns me and questions “You do not want more than that?” I responded that I really wanted two sweet and sour (which I did) and he said sure, “We don’t charge you like some stores try to do!” I knew exactly who he was talking about and thanked him for the free extra condiments. Although I had to wait, this experience put a satisfied smile on my face… which lasted until I was driving back to the house and Linda informs me they gave me crappy fries instead of the requested onion rings – Sigh.
Note, as a confession I was early to Menards on Sunday so dropped by Micky D’s to get a quick breakfast sandwich. I order a sausage and egg (no cheese) bagel. Forgetting to check before I left, the prophecy came true about carry out and there was cheese on the sandwich. I honestly though that the service industry was better when the unemployment rate was high but it is cresting over double digits now (thank you current government and oh great no change orator) and the service is not improving.
Oh well, shame on me for not validating the orders I guess.