Monday, November 10, 2008

Nice People? What The...?

I realize that many of my posts on this blog tend to be somewhat.. err.. negative. After all, this is my place to vent to my heart's content, right?
However, today was a day that partially restored my faith in humanity (all right, that's a little over-dramatic).
I was taking a vacation day today, to catch up on things and have a 'decompression day' after the trip to Boston. While running errands, I went to the dry cleaner and was treated very nicely (to be fair, this place is always great). Then I went to get my oil changed. I had to go to three places (Jiffy Lube - closed due to hurricane damage, sticker stop didn't have my filter) and ended up at the Detail/Lube center at the Mister Car Wash on Gessner near I-10. These people were amazing! I can't remember the last time folks were so polite and helpful. The guy came in to show me my filters, and when I opted to not have them replace my cabin filter (can get it a lot cheaper elsewhere) he not only didn't try to hard-sell me, he immediately said "OK, I'll put a note in the comments on your invoice so you'll have a reminder". Then once the oil change was done, the lady who rang me up carefully explained their coupon attached for a free car wash (did you know they do that? makes the cost of the oil change a lot more reasonable!). Oh, they also have some pretty high-quality leather couches/chairs in the waiting room (and the coffee actually tasted good). I have to say, I came out of that place smiling and shaking my head. I'm not used to actual customer service these days, ya know?
Later, stopping by Kroger for some groceries, the girl who was sort of supervising the self-check-out lane actually said "Have a great day, sir" as I was walking out (could have done without the 'sir', but I guess I am old). Again, unexpected and refreshing.
I also made a trip to Sam's Club to talk to their optical shop and to pick up a few items. The lady who rang me up and I had a fun conversation about the person behind me (who had about 300 things on 3 floats -- she wasn't looking forward to ringing it all up!). Then she actually used my name as she thanked me and wished me a good evening. I don't remember that happening before at Sam's.
However, lest you think my cynicism is completely on hold, I had a rather lackluster experience at TSO. I recently got my eye exam and, sadly, it is time for reading correction. Now, I have an optician in the family, but he's in Florida and it is very difficult to select/buy glasses long distance. My plan was to see if I could find a frame here in Houston that (a) I like and (b) Chuck can get at his store. There is also a possibility that I'll get something here locally, as I want to get a 'regular' pair and a sunglasses pair. Chuck's store is very upscale and even with the "family discount", 2 pairs would/will set me back! Upon entering TSO, I looked around at their haphazard displays, nothing labeled as far as whether they were men's or women's frames (hard to tell these days as many truly are "unisex") but I couldn't narrow down my search. There seemed to be no grouping of frames by any criteria. On top of that, NOTHING was priced. There was only one employee in the store and although she was dealing with another customer, she never even acknowledged my presence. So, I left and shall never return.
So, TSO was crap, but overall, I was impressed and surprised by my fellow humans today. Thought I should let folks know.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you've lived here for so long and never found your way into the car spa.....

Going to that place for an oil change is almost as good as a pedicure!


Legolena Donato said...

it's funny, when people like cashiers or waiters/waitresses say "hi, how are you today?" or "Have a nice day!" i always respond with "Good, how are you?" or "you too" and they always look really surprised. i guess i'm nocer than most people in that respect :P