Thank you come again  

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Do you remember as a kid going to a restaurant that didn't involve a number to order? You could get a steak or a pasta without saying "Give me the #2 large." The waitress was usually friendly and if you were a little guy like I was she would wink at you after you placed your order. The tables were clean and there were about 10 other families in the restaurant enjoying a meal and enjoying the comfortable, friendly atmosphere of the restaurant.

Then came our fast food joints. Now when Mcdonalds first came to our town I was a little boy. There weren't any value meals back then, but you could get a burger, fries and a drink in around 5 minutes. It was very cool and the only difference between the restaurant and Mcdonalds was the food was served faster. See at first you didn't stand at the counter to get your food. It used to be that you ordered and when your meal was ready a worker from behind the counter came and brought you your burger. She (not many he's back then) smiled at you just like the other waitress and sometimes she would wink at you too (if you were a little guy). Everything was please and thank you and the place was clean enough to eat off the floor.

Time moved on and things got faster and faster. Pretty soon it was a drive-thru. Great idea for a fast world. You can just pull up to the window outside the restaurant and order. It took about 3 minutes now to get a burger, fries and a coke. Pretty darn good if you were working two jobs and only had time to wolf down a quick meal between jobs. The gal at the window was still friendly and smiled at you. She even still said please and thank you with a come again thrown in there. Now she was winking because you weren't such a little guy anymore.

THEN came the value meal. You didn't have to be bothered with asking for a burger, fries and a coke. Now it was a #1 with a coke. This took about the same amount of time, but you didn't have to actually talk to the person behind the counter anymore and they didn't have to talk to you all that much either. Now you might get a thank you, but the come again was thrown out the window. Well at least the restaurant was still clean.

Now we are at today. There are value meals at just about anyplace you eat. That includes the sit down restaurant where you aren't required to dress up. I don't think the fancy restaurant has degraded to a meal # status yet. You can get it supersized or not, and you don't have to tell them what you want to drink if you go in. They don't make your drink anymore, and if the person behind the counter even looks up at you once you are amazed. There is no please, no thank you and there is no come again. They know that you are going to choose one grease house or another and there is a good chance you will choose theirs again because you are in a hurry and the kids have to be to practice in a few minutes or your appointment ran long and there isn't time before your next class to make something to eat. The restaurant is no longer clean, the garbage cans are no longer dumped regularly. the floors get swept twice a day. In the morning before the days starts and the night before the crew goes home. Counter tops are cleaned upon request not when somebody leaves the table. After all if they had somebody in there just cleaning up they would have to pay 50 or 60 dollars a day for that. Can't cut into the bottom line like that.

Nothing is personal any longer. Everything is automated and rushed. We are all running around as fast as we can to get to the next goal for our day. We don't even bother to slow down and enjoy getting to our goal today. We don't bother to talk to the people around us anymore, because after all they don't really look like they want to talk to us. We allow the worker in the store or restaurant to be rude and unprofessional because we don't want to "waste" the time complaining to a boss that will probably do nothing about it anyway. We don't correct the worker when they make a mistake in our favor because we figure they have ripped us off plenty of times in the past.

Maybe if we slowed down just a little bit and actually smiled at the person next to us and said Hi. Maybe if we took the time to tell the manager of that store that this is the 4th time the cashier has been rude and unprofessional and if something isn't done we won't be shopping there any longer. Maybe if we gave that extra 45 cents back to the cashier next time they would return the favor when an error is made against us as well. Maybe I'm just getting older and starting to realize that things are far more crappy than they once were in my opinion. We have a ton more toys and gadgets but we traded those things for conversation and companionship. I think we just might have gotten the bad end of this deal.

This entry was posted at Saturday, October 09, 2010 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


It's one of those days, Bendigo, huh?

I think it's very interesting when you tell about how things were before, since I mostly remember the drive-thrus and the fast-fast-fast-food joints. I don't really go into fat-food restaurants much, but I think the same hurriedness and sometimes impoliteness that accompanies it can be seen practically everywhere.

The husband of one of my patients once told me that he was astonished and frustrated that people didn't say "hi" to each other at stores or other places. He told me that he always says "hi" to strangers he come across at the mall or smile at them because it makes him happy.

I agree. It's too bad that people are stuck in their little worlds and just smiling at a passerby can make a difference (because usually, they smile back) I try to do it more often (except when I'm walking outside at 1am lol :P)

October 9, 2010 at 7:03 AM

It's all about customer turnover now. move 'em in, move 'em out!

I knew the end was near when they stopped teaching the employees to count back change. at least they had to know how to do that! Now, any idiot can work there...
Oh yeah, I worked there...

October 9, 2010 at 7:56 AM seems to be one of those days more and more often...I guess I just miss common courtesy and good ol' fashion friendliness at a store or restaurant....Who knows maybe one day we will come full circle and it will be a nice experience to go out and eat again.

Pat...I totally agree..When I worked at a convenience store back in the day, we didn't have a scanner to tell us how much something was and we damn sure better be able to make change. Now if the machine breaks the poor sap behind the counter is usually lost as to how much change we are owed...

October 10, 2010 at 12:50 AM

This strikes a nerve with me. Customer service is a total lost art, except for the highest end. Of course, there are exceptions, but for the most part it's gone.

Slow down, give a smile, and simply say hello. We'd all be amazed at what would begin coming back at us.


October 11, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Bendigo, come on by CYM and check out my latest post, SHARE YOUR STORY...

I have a feeling I'd be sharing part of yours!


October 16, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Just wanted to let you know YOUR STORY is posted!

Unbelievable journey, Bendigo!

November 1, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Thanks for letting me share that story...It's funny but I'm a little embarrassed after reading it somewhere besides me

November 1, 2010 at 11:24 PM

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