Almost every day, I yearn for the past times when our society rendered service — service of all kinds.
Some of us remember service stations when they indeed rendered service. When you pulled into the station and parked next to a pump, a service attendant came to your window and asked, “May I clean your windshield, check your oil and look under the hood to make sure all cables were connected?” They also checked your battery. Remember? Today, you pull into the gas station and do it all yourself. And, gas is a zillion times more expensive than in those days of service.
I can remember many years and days ago the service that was rendered when we flew. We dressed in business attire, arrived at the airport, parked at the curb and a “red cap” took our bags, checked our air ticket and gave us claim checks. We never saw the bags again until we arrived at our destination city.
Upon arrival, we picked our bags out in the baggage arrival area, secured a “red cap” with a cart and he escorted the bags and ourselves to a waiting taxi outside.
This in part holds true today except now you have to go through all the inconvenience at the check-in area, then find your way to security where you are treated as though you were criminals and ready to be thrown into prison. And, you are supposed to arrive at the airport two hours before your plane departs for a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.
I remember when we would arrive at the airport 45 minutes ahead of flight time, which was more than sufficient.
In retail stores, the service employees couldn’t do enough to assist you with your shopping. More recently I was in a name department store in a major city and couldn’t see any help to answer my questions.
Finally, I stood in an open area of the store and shouted, “Does anybody work here?” In moments employees came out of their hiding places and walked toward me. Try it, it works!
I often eat in restaurants. Today, in some locations, it takes 5 to 10 minutes before a wait staff comes to your table and inquires what would you like to drink? The drinks usually come rather quickly. After examining the menu and you are ready to order the waitperson may take another 10 minutes to drop by your table and take your order. Now, you hope the kitchen is not too busy so that your order won’t take too long to complete.
After your food is delivered, you take your time to enjoy each bite and finally you finish. Now, many waiters stop by and ask, “Are you still working on it”? What is that? Working on it! I usually say, no, it’s retired! They mean, are you through eating. Why not say it that way?
Now, sometimes it’s a game to find your waitperson to get your check. Oh well, I guess I must get used to it.
Remember when your post office offered a numbering system when you had to wait. Some even had bench seats to sit on while you waited for your number to come up for service. I have always found the post office workers to be polite, but why not resume the numbering system for waiting customers?
A few of us remember the days when the milk, butter and egg man came to your home five days per week and delivered the goods. What a convenience that was. Also, some cities had fruit and vegetable trucks that would cruise the neighborhood streets to offer their products. They usually had some sort of horn that would let you know they were outside.
I grew up in Los Angeles where we had the Helms Bakery. It was unusual in that they positioned bakery trucks all over the city to cruise the streets and offer their goods of coffee cakes, Danish and a selection of breads.
I remember when the laundry and dry cleaning people would pick up the soiled goods at your home, clean the items and bring them back to your home. The fee was minimal too. Those were the days!
Remember when your grocery store delivered the goods to your residence?
The service is still offered by a few markets, but you have to purchase at least $50 worth of items before they will do so. Some charge and others do not.
And then there were the theatre ushers. Where are they today? In other days when you entered the theatre an usher with a flashlight would escort you to your seat if it were dark. What a nice service! Few theatres today employ ushers.
After reading this you will remember other services that are no longer available today. It was a good world yesteryear. Not bad today, however.
Now, when I am rendered good service I sincerely thank that person. Keep it up, I always say. They usually smile and say thanks.