I was at the gas station after work buying candy and drinks. A couple ahead of me in line were angrily accusing the man behind the counter, a man I see every day, of bad customer service. “He said his phone call was more important than three dollars and seventy five cents,” they said. “It’s a business call,” he countered, “it’s not chitchat with a friend.” They said they would call the better business bureau. “Go ahead,” he said, “my name is jimmy and I’m the owner.” I said nothing and rode home on my bike.
On Sunday I brought my car by for gas and the Sunday newspaper. And candy and drinks. A hotrod was parked more than a cars length from the pump. Jimmy in his white shirt was filling her up. “Hey man,” I said, “nice car man.” He pointed to a coupe in the corner of the parking lot and asked if I want to buy it. “No way, i dont have the money,” I said. Then I reminded him of that episode the other day and he got excited and told me he’d been on the phone with the petroleum company. Two things- it’s good for America that the man at the busiest gas station I know (corner of grand and Ashland) drives a nice car. 2- it’s hard to be consistently good in the service industry, no matter if that service is gas, candy and drinks.