The Incredible, Edible Egg!

A few months ago, I was fixing breakfast one Saturday morning. I had just finished taking photos of hummingbirds. I had cleaned the house, especially the kitchen. My wife was out of town and due to arrive home after weeks of caring for her mother who had been ill. I was multi-tasking and wishing I was not playing the part of a bachelor. I had fried the bacon and put about nine or ten eggs in a pot of water to boil them. 

While I was waiting on the water to boil, I was mentally organizing my thoughts for a blog I was writing on the blue heron and a missing fish. I rushed upstairs to my office to quickly google the “blue heron” to make sure my hypothesis about the sound of water (from my pond) being an attractant for the flighty fellows was indeed correct. 

As most of you who use search engines on a regular basis realize, sometimes these searches can take on a life of their own. I found endless numbers of articles on the “Blue Heron” but was having a difficult time finding information on their listening habits. Finally, I found the desired revelation and began to take notes for my blog. 

What seemed to be only a few moments was actually a larger block of time. 

Suddenly, I heard a loud sound. It sounded like a door slamming or someone dropping a chair. I thought maybe my son, Philip had entered from the back door and made a commotion. I called out his name and continued my research. After hearing a few more popping sounds, I finally went downstairs to see what Philip was up to. 

No Philip. What I found instead was waterless pot on a red hot stove. Inside were the remnants of two or three blackened eggs already cut into chunks of yellow, white and black pieces. Over the oven egg debris coated the ceiling with pieces of egg dangling across the kitchen floor. The cabinets were covered with egg, the microwave had a new egg facade and the floor looked as if someone had spilled a bowl of deviled eggs along with their shells. 

Fortunately, the eggs were not raw. They were “really hard” boiled. 

Clean up was not as hard as I thought it would be. It took less than an hour. 

Lately, I have boiled eggs and made iced tea. But I do not leave the sight. They say, “A watched kettle never boils”. I beg to differ. Watching a pot come to boil is almost as boring as watching paint dry, but my kitchen will never again be egged by an absent-minded blogger.

Photos copyright 2010 Jim Lockman/Click!

Customer Service Doesn’t Hurt

After a late meeting with a potential customer, my wife and I decided to get a quick roast beef sandwich around the corner at Arby’s.  It was almost 8:00 and the place looked deserted. 

When we entered the restaurant, we were welcomed by the manager or his assistant. Well, welcomed is a stretch. While he wasn’t ugly to us, friendly is not the adjective I would use either. He never smiled. It almost felt like we were an inconvenience. 

I realize people get tired and you can’t be “up” all of the time, but courtesy is really not that hard. 

This manager could have had us in the palm of his hand. Customers for life! And actually, I think a little effort to make the customer feel special would have resulted in a higher sales amount or a return visit in the near future. 

The radio news reported that some local restaurants will be closing after Christmas because of the economy. While I know this is a tough time for business, I also observe that many businesses are doing well. I think “customer service” is a key factor in their survival. 

Being courteous is contagious. Knowing your customer’s birthday or the names of his wife or children will make you a standout. Delivering goods or services ahead of schedule will make you remarkable. And giving your customers more than they are expecting will cement you into their brain cells. 

As our economy recovers, many say things will never be the way they were. I hope one of the things that disappears is rotten customer service and the attitude that some business is doing me a favor instead of the other way around. 

Last Monday, I took advantage of an offer to renew a business magazine subscription that had expired. They were practically giving it to me! I sent a check on Tuesday by snail mail to a post office in Iowa. Of course, Thursday was Thanksgiving. On Saturday, I received the latest issue of the magazine and the issue I had missed after my subscription expired. 

I was blown away! Even a week later, I have had trouble getting this experience out of my mind. (Hence, this blog.) That is the kind of customer service that has made this publisher successful. You can explain it away with talk of automation, but for me that kind of impression is unforgettable. 

Make an impression today. The customer is the most important person your business has. Without him, your business doesn’t exist. Every day is Thanksgiving to businesses that understand the value of customer loyalty.

Photos copyright 2010 Jim Lockman/Click!