I live in a booming city, the kind where housing prices are skyrocketing and jobs are plentiful and the economy is hot, hot, hot. The kind of city where Taco Bells have to shut their doors for lack of employees, because there is a greater demand for workers than there are workers available. The kind of city where it's a worker's market, and most folks with a pulse can pretty much get a job in the service industry somewhere.
In this kind of booming city, as a general rule the quality of service is proportional to the availability of workers; the less available workers there are, the more likely a company is to settle for what they can get, and the poorer the quality and service of those whom they hire. This isn't true for every store and restaurant out there, but for a good majority of them.
This is why I generally brace myself for poor service. I literally psych myself up to expect bad service. Those of you who know the Mrs. Loquacious of days gone by, know that the old me would have verbally destroyed a service-worker for consistently incompetent, bad, or rude service. I would have probably torn some of these people a new butt-hole with my verbal lacing. You get the idea.
Nowadays, however, I save my energies, because incompetent, bumbling service seems to be the norm, not the exception, particularly in the lower-paying jobs. I expect that my change will not be counted correctly, I expect the workers not to know their products, I expect that appointments will "run late" and I will have to wait a long time, and I expect that requests and orders will get lost in the mail, the shuffle, the process. I fully prepare myself to have to deal with apathetic, ignorant, and downright grumpy service providers who hate their jobs but stick around for the paychecks.
Which is why it is a sad state of affairs when good quality service is a pleasant surprise. It is sad that being provided with competent, consistent service is such a rare treat that it catches me off guard and brings me delight. Shouldn't this be the norm, not the exception? Alas, it is not.
So, let me share my joy with you. I am delighting in the service of IRIS Optometrists in Oliver Village. This is the place where Hubbs got his sexy new frames. This is also the place where I have been fitted with two different trial pairs of contacts in the hopes of finding something that works for me. This is furthermore the place where my sexy new glasses came from, and the place that is replacing (for free) my scratched Nikon lenses. My pleasant surprise came in the form of a phone call this morning, to inform me that my repaired lenses/glasses are ready for pick-up. When I dropped them off last Wednesday, I was informed it would take over a week to get them shipped back. It has been exactly 6 days (therefore less than a week) and my glasses are ready! Way to go, IRIS! :)
They have consistently exceeded expectations by meeting (and beating) their own timelines several times over. They have also been friendly, enthusiastic, and polite in their interactions with me. Overall, I have been very very impressed.
So how sad is it that this great service stands out in my mind because the rest of the service I receive is mostly poor? Unbelievable.
I can't wait til the economy slows down.