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.”

Unwelcoming States of America

I had three full hours to kill at Pearson's Terminal 1.
I had three full hours to kill at Pearson's Terminal 1.

I do a lot of travelling, but it seems over the past few years, most of my destinations have been cities in other Canadian provinces or overseas in Europe. Then, about a week ago, my freelance work took me south of the 49th parallel. My son-in-law volunteered to take me to the Toronto airport. However, one of us suggested altering my usual travel routine.

“Since it’s the States,” we both agreed, “maybe earlier is better.”