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Do You Even Care?

Maybe it comes with age.  Or, maybe it is the culture.  You know, the feeling that the store clerk, the person on the telephone, or the restaurant waiter really could not possibly be more indifferent about poor quality or service.

The longer we live, the more evidence we gather that confirms that too many times, people just don’t care about a consumer’s complaint regarding something that does not measure up.  Sometimes, even appealing to the manager or supervisor does not help.  I am sure that some of the apathy that is felt has developed over time from so many that find fault with “everything”.  That results in those that are seeking to “serve” becoming calloused to all customers including those that have a genuine issue.

I have had those times that I even wrote letters to companies if I felt that their service was really poor or that their product was deficient.  Very rarely do I get a personal letter or phone call in response.  I have frequently received a form letter that expressed gratitude for my letter, an assurance that someone would look into the matter, and that my business was appreciated.  When I receive that kind of response, I can’t help but wonder if any of those statements are true.  And, I always take those moments to do a self-inspection….”Who did I meet today that feels I did not give them my full attention in helping them with their need?”  I always have repenting to do!

The story is told of a man who took an evening flight on which dinner was to be served to the passengers. Of course he was in first class, so we can expect that he would have received first class service and a first class meal. He was a bit hungry as he had missed lunch that day in order to attend a meeting so that he could catch an earlier flight home. He inquired of the flight attendant how long it would be before they would be serving dinner, and she was rather cross with him, but he tried to ignore her behavior when she responded that it would only be a bit longer. And so as dinner time arrived, the flight attendant came around with the cart and started passing out the wrapped dinner trays which included a tossed salad. When the passenger received his tray he was a bit anxious and began opening his salad, but he was met with a surprise upon peeling back the covering. There, on top of the mixture of lettuce and carrots and what have you, lay a roach. Of course after such a strong urge to eat, his hunger quickly left him and he no longer desired the salad or any other food they had to offer. He became quite furious and decided that when he arrived home he would most certainly send a scathing letter to the president of this particular airline. So he wrote the letter and mailed it off.

A couple weeks or so later he was surprised to receive a special delivery package in the mail. Lo and behold upon opening it up he saw that it was from the president of the airline. In contrast to his own letter full of contempt and anger, this letter from the airline president was just dripping with apology. He informed the passenger that the particular plane on which he had flown had been taken out of service. He told him it had been stripped and treated for bugs. He also told him that the flight attendant would most certainly be reprimanded, possibly up to and including termination from employment. And he ended by appealing to the passenger to continue to use this airline. As the passenger finished reading the letter, he noticed that there was another page clinging to the back of the letter. You see the secretary had made a grave mistake because the passenger noticed that this was his own letter. He pulled it apart and his attention was drawn to the unfamiliar scrawl of the airline president who had written these words to his secretary; “Send this guy the standard ’roach’ letter”.  (copied).