Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Begging for a quarter

Maybe it's because I've been reading a book about service and what constitutes good service versus the poor kind.
But it seems to me the employees we ran across on President's Day didn't understand the concept.
First we waited, my granddaughters and me and my daughter, as the light granting us access onto the Timpanogos Highway cycled through without letting us go.
We had driven through the construction obstacle course after we'd been waved on by a couple of UDOT flag people.
We waited and waited until it finally became clear that the light was broken or serving only those going east and west. The line behind us was getting longer and we were losing hope.
I rolled down the window and called to the flag person who'd been watching us wait.
"Is the light not working?" I asked. "It never seems to change."
She grinned at us and waved and said something in gibberish. Then she grinned some more.
We backed up, made a U-turn on a decidedly unfriendly piece of road and went back the way we came. The line of cars waiting was about five blocks long by now.
So, trying to help out, I again rolled down my window and tried to speak to the flag person.
"Did you know the light up there isn't working?" I said, motioning north. "Nobody is getting through."
He grinned and waved and said nothing. That kind of set the tone for the day.
We went our merry way until we got to the South Towne Mall where the kids wanted to ride the Merry-Go-Round and drive the little cars in the eating area.
Since it's all quite expensive, we soon ran out of quarters so we tried to get change. The change machine didn't work and my daughter fed in our last two quarters before she noticed the ride took three quarters. Try to explain that to a 2-year-old who's all set to go.
I went over to the girl stationed at the Merry-Go-Round to tell her the change machine wasn't working.
I thought maybe she could help or call someone who could.
"I don't have any quarters," she said with a shrug. No help coming.
I tried the nearby businesses who apparently have a strict "We don't give away our quarters" policy.
The first said "Sorry. Everybody's been asking us that today!"(I'm sure they had been.)
The second said her computer wouldn't open unless we bought something.
So I bought a bag of 50-cent chips for $1.50 so I could get two quarters in change. She still wouldn't change my dollar bill for me.
I kind of understand this but not really.
Sure it's annoying to be constantly hit up for quarters but the rides bring people to the mall where they then spend money on drinks and food and toys. It's not our fault the change machine isn't working.
If they don't want to run out of quarters, why not stock up?
And if they really want people's business, why not be the one you can count on for the dang quarters?
The guy in my book on good service would be appalled.

1 comment:

  1. We have a phrase for this kind of stuff in England and its more than their jobs worth to be helpful or even use any of the small amount of common sense that the good Lord may have granted them with :)