Customer Service 101

Stormy weather on the customer service front.

Remember those threatening storm clouds that rolled over town last Saturday morning. They popped off some lightning bolts, rumbled with thunder and then, just as Canadian Tire was full of folks doing last-minute Father’s Day shopping, inside the store there was a momentary blackout.

Simultaneously there was an audible sigh as everybody in the store realized what it meant. The store’s entire electrical system – from lighting, to security alarms to cash registers – would have to reboot before things got back to normal. What was worse, with everything at a standstill, the line-up at the checkouts was growing fast.

Almost as quickly, with the temperature among impatient customers (and the store itself because the air conditioning also had to reboot), a guy in a blue Canadian Tire shirt slipped past the queue, grabbed an armful of bottled water and began handing out the bottles for free.

“Sorry for the inconvenience,” Kevin the store manager said. “We should have things back to normal in a couple of minutes.”

Getting my heart back

Even a decade ago, heart specialists would have to cut open a cardiac patient in order to see the inside of a beating human heart. Ultra-sound has changed all that.

Throughout the day, following my operation, I was restless. In fact, that night – last Friday – I couldn’t sleep in the hospital ward where I was recovering. Coincidentally, however, the Registered Nurse on the night shift had a few minutes to spare as she recorded my blood pressure and heartbeat, so she stopped for conversation. We talked about her birthplace – East Africa – and how she’d come to Canada in search of a career. Eventually, I asked her what her name was.

“Meseret,” she said. “It means foundation. My father chose it because it was a strong name.”