brian_finalIn our increasingly automated, drive through world the experience of customer service is a dying art.

More often these days we’re asked “Do you want fries with that?” by someone stuck in a scripted hamster wheel hell.

At our local grocery store we hear the same questions each and every time, “Did you find everything okay” and “Do you have any coupons?” Asked by an often expressionless cashier watching the clock until his/her next scheduled break.

There are exceptions of course, there always are and it is one of those exceptions that I will celebrate here.

My wife and I have the option of shopping for groceries at the local megastore that advertises the lowest prices which of course are offered at the expense of customer service and fellow shoppers who forgot their manners at home.

Then there’s the smaller, family owned grocery store. Its more expensive but the value far exceeds anything listed on the sales flier.

A little respect

My wife Cathy shared a story with me about an act of overwhelming respect, courtesy and consideration she witnessed while shopping at our local, family owned grocery store.

It was after a particularly heavy snow and she saw an elderly man leaving the store on a mobility scooter provided by the store for its patrons.

As he was crossing the busy driving lane in front of the store to reach the parking lot, his cart loaded with groceries, stopped as the battery died.

This frail gentleman attempted to stand and retrieve his groceries which he would then need to lug through the snow to his car.

Just then Cathy watched as the young man who was collecting the shopping carts from the parking lot intercepted the elderly gentleman.

This young man encouraged the gentleman to sit back down on the scooter. Then with all his strength he pushed the man, his groceries and the dead scooter all the way to the man’s car.

Once there, he placed the groceries in the man’s trunk and assisted the man into his car to make sure he did so safely.

Finally, this young man pushed the scooter back into the store.

Cathy placed her groceries in the car and returned to the store where she hoped to find the young man to express her gratitude for what she’d just witnessed.

She couldn’t find him but she did find the scooter, plugged in with a hand written note explaining that it was charging and encouraging patrons to select another one.

Who says the young generation is lost?

Where has all the attention gone?

I continue to have experiences in which I hold doors for people only to be greeted with looks of shock and expressions of gratitude when those I took the time to notice explain that, “No one does that anymore.”

I’ve noticed as well that we don’t seem to see each other any more. What’s up with that?

Where has our attention gone? To our cell phones perhaps.

Where ever its gone the result is that we’ve forgotten about each other in so many ways.

We act more like we’re in each other’s way when the reality is we’re each other’s company as we make our way through this life together.

I hope you’ll reflect upon this with me as I offer you a promise.

In this life I am with you. I see you and I respect you.

Thanks for being you.

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