Sunday, September 27, 2009

Driving - Let me pass - Get out of the left lane!

Talk to your children when you drive. Explain to them what you're doing and why you're doing it. That way you'll be raising a courtesy, thoughtful, and responsible driver. (I guess I'm assuming if you're reading this you are one - if you're not keep reading maybe you will be.)

I drive A LOT! We spend about half our time 310 miles from where we actually live - this equates to lots of road time. One of the things that just drives me nuts is when people drive in the left lane. In most cases the left lane is reserved for passing. You may have noticed many signs along the freeway which read "Keep Right - Except to Pass." These signs are for everyone. They don't read "Keep Right unless you are going 5 miles over the Speed Limit," or "Keep Right unless you feel it's your job to control everybody else's speed then stay in the left lane and drive the speed limit," no, it's a very simple statement "Keep Right Except to Pass."

Why is this important? It's a simple safety issue - if everyone always passes on the left if makes the whole process safer. If you pass and then get back in the right lane it allows other people to pass you safely.

If you are one of those people who gets personally offended when you get passed on the highway, try to think about it this way "Sure buddy, go ahead and zip on by me, that way you'll be the one that gets the ticket." If that doesn't work for you seek mental help - nobody is trying to insult you or your vehicle by passing you on the highway, they're just in a bigger hurry than you are.

If you're one of those people who drives in the left lane and then when someone comes up quickly behind you, you think "I'm already going over the speed limit, that person behind me doesn't need to be going any faster than I am." Get the HECK out of the left lane - Unless you're a police or highway patrol officer speed control is'nt your job. You're actions are probably making the guy behind you mad, which in turn will make him/her a more aggressive and dangerous driver. That makes the road less safe for all of us!

Most importantly, talk with your kids about passing and why and when to do it. Let them know that they should use the left lane for passing only.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When I am spending money I am NOT a Guest

I'm sure there are more than a few of us out there who think political correctness and "leading language" are out of control. I get irked about being called a GUEST when I am out spending my money. The term GUEST would "lead" one to believe that everything is FREE and as a GUEST you need to be appreciative of the fact that you are where you are, enjoying whatever it is you're enjoying.
When I have GUESTS in my home I never charge them. I go out of my way to insure that I have everything conceivable that they might need or desire. In reciprocation my Guests behave in a manner the indicates they appreciate everything I'm doing for them. Some of them send Thanks You gifts or invite me to their homes.
Compare that to being in a store, in a hotel, or at some other venue where I'm spending my hard earned cash.
I don't want the experience to be a leisurely, "guest like" experience. I want it to be a friendly, but generally a fast, business type experience. I want the people at the business I am working with to be knowledgeable and efficient. The idea of building me into a loyal "guest" by calling me one is far from effective. If you want me to be a loyal customer - and spend my money with you - quit calling me a guest and go back to calling me a customer. Get your employees to treat me like a customer instead of encouraging them to treat me like a "guest." Take a lesson from the folks at Les Schwab where customer service is king. Anytime I need something that Les Schwab can take care of for me, that's where I go. They are fast, friendly, efficient, knowledgeable and I am perceived to be a customer when I'm there. I like that.
If you're starting a new business, don't get hung up in the PC - Leading Word world. Call me what I am, a customer, and then treat me that way - I'll be back.
One last thing to ponder, I've heard people say on more than one occasion, "Customer Service isn't what it used to be". Maybe that's because so many stores/businesses are now calling it Guest Service.
What are your thoughts?