Friday, September 16, 2011

Small Town Service

There is a lot of talk going around about US Post Offices closing, especially in small towns. They are hoping to save money and avoid totally going out of business by consolidating some of the functions of these smaller offices in local grocery or convenience stores.

Gone are the days when, as one man reminisced, you hitched up the mule and went to town to get the mail. It came in once a week, weather and road conditions permitting. When you got there, the postmaster/store owner/town crier would greet you with, "Oh, you got a postcard from Beth. She says she arrived home safely!"

It would seem that such small town service has gone the way of the mule drawn wagon to town along with the passing of the offices themselves.

Not always.

Recently i was treated to a reminder that such things can still exist, among people who own their own businesses and care very much about their customers. These people strive to give service that is in keeping with their ideals, and it shows.

Having been notified by #2 Son that the rear blinker on the driver's side of the van was burned out, i spent two days using hand signals for left turns and hoping the young drivers around me knew what that meant, before i could get to my favorite oil change shop. They do lots of small repairs and maintenance service, so i knew they would be able to handle it, and not botch it by breaking something, as one big box store with an auto department did to me on a couple of occasions.

When i stopped, the first thing the gentleman who greeted me said was, "You can't be here for an oil change already, it hasn't been long enough!" He recognized me, and had a mental idea of when he thought i should be back.

Upon informing him what was up, he went to the lift gate, opened it, asked me to turn on the signals on both sides one after the other, figured which bulb, and started right in without even pulling the van into a bay.

As i went inside to pet Suzie, their Dogo Argentino mascot, i was further greeted by the assistant manager, and we talked about dog breeds for a couple of minutes.

The change took only that couple of minutes, and as i pulled out my wallet to pay, the assistant manager said, "Oh, don't worry about it, it was only a bulb, we'll put in on the bill with your next oil change. No use doing a charge for so little."

Amazing. Customer service, from people who recognize you, value your business, and want to keep you coming back. The way it should be.

No doubt, i will be going back.

Today is:

Anne Bradstreet Day -- by Proclamation of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to honor Anne Bradstreet, America’s first poet, who is also recognized as the first published woman poet in the English language

Big E -- West Springfield, MA, US (one of New England's largest fairs; through Oct. 2)

Collect Rocks Day -- i guess it means besides all the ones in my head.

Constitution Day/Pledge Across America -- US

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 6, Children & Youth (sponsored by We, the World)

Feast of St. Ludmilla of Bohemia -- (Patron of The Czeck Republic and Slovakia)

Festival for Ra, Osiris, and Horus -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Harrogate Autumn Flower Show -- Harrowgate, England (Britains finest blooms show off; through the 18th)

Independence Day -- Malaysia; Mexico; Papua New Guinea

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer -- UN

Mayflower Day -- The ship left England on this day.

National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day

National Guacamole Day

National Play-Do Day

National Working Parents Day -- internet generated, enjoy if you have a working parent you want to thank

Owain Glyndwr Day -- Wales

POW/MIA Recognition Day -- US

Seven Sweets and Sours Festival -- Intercourse, PA, US (through tomorrow; celebrating all the flavors of fall)

St. Cornelius' Day (Patron against earache, epilepsy, fever, and twitching; of cattle, domestic animals, and epileptics)

St. Cyprian of Carthage's Day (patron of Algeria, North Africa)

St. Euphemia's Day

Stepfamily Day -- US (but if you have stepfamily you love, celebrate it wherever you live)

Wife Appreciation Day -- seems internet generated, but it sounds good to me!

Wo-Zha-Wa Days Fall Festival -- Wisconsin Dells, WI (fall festival; through the 18th)

Birthdays Today:

Marc Anthony, 1968
Jennifer Tilly, 1961
David Copperfield, 1956
Mickey Rourke, 1956
Robin Yount, 1955
Ed Begley, Jr., 1949
Peter Falk, 1927
B.B. King, 1925
Lauren Bacall, 1924
Allen Funt, 1914
James Cash Penney, 1875
Hildegard of Bingen, 1098

Today in History:

The Massachusetts village of Shawmut changes its name to Boston, 1630
Handel's "The Messiah" premiers in Dublin, 1741
The Great Seal of the United States is used for the first time, 1782
Russians set fire to Moscow shortly after midnight – the city burns down completely days later, 1812
Slavery is abolished in all French Territories, 1848
The Cherokee Strip, in Oklahoma, is opened, making land available to white settlers, 1893
Roald Amundsen discovers the magnetic south pole, 1906
William Durant, carriage-maker, founds General Motors Corp., 1908
Juan Perón is deposed in Argentina, 1955
Malaysia is formed, 1963
Cape Verde, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe join the United Nations, 1975
Shavarsh Karapetyan saves 20 people from the trolleybus that had fallen into Erevan reservoir, 1976
An earthquake measuring 7.5-7.9 on the Richter scale hits the city of Tabas, Iran killing about 25,000 people, 1978
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines join the United Nations, 1980
The Montreal Protocol is signed to protect the ozone layer from depletion, 1987
The Pound Sterling is forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism by currency speculators and is forced to devalue against the German mark, 1992


  1. Wow, what great small town service, so rare when it has anything to do with cars!

    And thanks for alerting me to a holiday I MUST celebrate: national Guacamole day!



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