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Going that extra mile

Posted Monday, February 6, 2012, at 8:57 AM

You hear it all the time.

"You just can't find good help these days."

"Good customer service is a thing of the past."

And so on.

I have to admit I was one of the malcontents.

But recently I had an experience that turned me around a bit.

We were visiting a local establishment that carries everything from truck tires to clothing, from scented candles to saddles and tack, and from snacks to fur trapping equipment.

I will preface any further comments by simply saying I always have a pleasant time when I visit this "general store" type of business. The clerks are always nice and helpful. The management seems to be on top of things and always willing to help when and where help is needed. It's just a nice place to shop.

On this particular occasion, we just happened to be looking for a replacement pipe for some plumbing issues at the parsonage. We had made one trip and somehow managed to get the wrong piece. On our return visit, it turned out the store did not have the exact piece we needed, so I was resigned to looking somewhere else.

The young man who was helping us called for help from a fellow I guessed to be his immediate supervisor.

The young man set about trying to figure out how we could get what we needed without leaving the store. He looked at this and he looked at that. He measured this and he measured that. He opened this shrink wrapped-package and he opened that shrink wrapped-package.

He kept engaged with the task at hand, even when other clerks called him to ask questions themselves. He answered them the best he could over the walkie-talkie, but did not stop looking for a way to get the pipes and other assorted pieces to work together.

And it took a while, but he kept looking until he found just the right adapters and washers to get the job done.

"I didn't want you to leave without finding a solution," he said when I thanked him for his hard work and attention.

I am sure there are other establishments around town -- and throughout the county -- that offer such personal, top notch customer service. I fear they are few and far between.

For now, I just wanted to say "thanks again" to the folks at our town's equivalent to an old fashioned mercantile for giving an old preacher renewed faith in the next generation and for going the extra mile to help get he job done.



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Bob Stewart is pastor of Union Baptist Church. His long-running column ranges in topic from matters of faith to observations about life in Saline County, politics and the sights to see in travels throughout America.
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