Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rainy Days

Today is a cold, gray, rainy day at the beach. I've heard that there are people out there who genuinely love these days but I've never met them. I do know people who enjoy the activities associated with a rainy day. You know, dressing in sweats and snuggling under a warm blanket on the sofa watching some chic flick on TV. Now that, I could identify with. But why can't you do those things on a sunny day? I'll tell you why. Because you feel guilty about not being productive on a bright, sunny day. Why is that? It really makes no sense if you think about it. You'd feel the need to be up cleaning, or working around the house. But either way, you're inside so what difference does it make what the weather is outside? This is why I want to go into the practice of Psychology; to try to understand why we think the way we do and what drives us or motivates our actions. So back to my original question. Other than the reasons discussed, or the fact that we actually need rain in order to live here on this earth (watering plants, animals, etc.), who out there enjoys a rainy day simply because of the rain? If you do, I'd be very curious to know why and what about it is appealing? I've never seen gray listed as someone's favorite color and there are very few things I can think of that are more fun when its raining and even that is an objective opinion. So what is it that the majority of us need to do in order to make these rainy days more pleasant? Let's take a moment to focus on the positive. It does in fact, make it possible for us to live. Our fruits, vegetables and even meat is better when its been properly and naturally watered. For those who don't like to do it themselves, the rain can "clean" your car, deck, or anything else you leave out there. And, of course, it gives us that much needed excuse to do nothing. And last but certainly not least, have you ever tried the actual act of dancing in the rain? It may just change your outlook on a day like today!

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Money = Better Service

I don't think anyone would argue this statement but I'm not sure how I feel about the "You get what you pay for" mentality and way of life Americans have. I agree that should be true for product but does service have to be a product as well? Good service is something that until you have experienced it, you may not know it even exists. When sitting at most pizza places, for example, the service goes like this. At best, its acceptable and meets expectation. However, you often find yourself with an empty glass, you may or may not have silverware and to ask for extra napkins makes no sense given that you could run the nearby convenience store and get them faster yourself. And to request a condiment to accompany the meal - don't even get me started! Most people will complain about these things but never speak up because after all, the meal was cheap and you get what you pay for. What?!? You paid for a cheap meal and that's what you got. You did not pay any less for the service and that's the problem. I believe this is a training issue that management should be held accountable for. Despite pay scales, it takes no less effort to give bad service versus good and if anything, a waiter or waitress can expect better tips or more pay for the latter. So why aren't they trained in this way and expected to give the best service? What we are in fact settling for is that the higher a person is on the economic scale is the better that they should be treated. This can't be right. People are said to be equal but that's obviously not true. If you don't believe that, think about your last experience at Wal-Mart or Family Dollar. For 9 out of 10, you either don't remember the service at all or it was not a pleasant experience in regards to the service. Now, have you walked through Williams Sonoma or Coldwater Creek lately? Or into a boutique in New York or LA? If you are used to department stores, it may be a culture shock. Everyone is ready and more than willing to greet and assist you, even before the purchase is final but still after. Its an experience everyone should have, whether you can afford a transaction or not. Try it sometime and then tell me that my perception of this is inaccurate and that the same service can be found at the local Dollar General! We should not settle for less than good service, no matter how much we're spending. No one would say they have worked any less for their $6 per hour than the person who worked for 5 times that so why are we ok with being treated as less?