Saturday, December 13, 2008

Circle K, Pets, and Service.

Circle K, funerals, and church appear to be some of the last bastions of politeness. Yes, that's the big convenience store of the west, the place where you can dash in, get your case of beer and dash out. The home of cigarettes in a hurry. Gallons of soft drinks in a single handy cup. Twinkies.

An odd thing happens when people go in and out those doors. They hold them open for one another. Why is that? Why do people in today's me me me, rush rush rush society pause for that moment of civility?

It's a refreshing moment of manners when you experience it. You all take a moment and feel gratitude for it once in a while and you'll find yourself just a little bit lighter for the day.


Nothing like a little kid to give you a chance for a spot of unique service in the adult section. As any parent or librarian knows, 10 minutes is an eternity to a child. 20 minutes is death by boredom.

When the stream of customers at the reference desk slows for a microsecond, nothing is better to avoid this death like books with puppies and kitties in them. Thank goodness they have great pictures.


In my library career, I've always maintained that my work may not necessarily make my customer a bit person. I do know it has made me a better person.

Here's a link that, while aimed at retail, is also heartening for those of us in public service:
Holiday Retail Workers Need Love, Too via Etiquette Hell Blog by admin on 12/11/08

"In a seven or eight hour shift, I deal with countless people. I have to be nice to them, whether they are nice or not. I have to make them feel welcome and loved without being creepy or obtrusive about it. I have to find every single piece of nonsense they ask for, even if I assure them we don’t have it.

Here’s the thing. Being a retail employee has made me an exemplary customer. I smile back. I don’t get in the way of their script. I try to give exact change and I always clean up after myself. And if I notice a cashier looking a little haggard, I pray for ’em really quickly."


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