Tired of poor Customer Service? Blame our Culture of Dependency

Poor customer service 22Excellent Customer Service is one of the clichéd catch phrases that every company SAYS is important to them, but too few seem to really emulate.

It’s evidenced by the automated phone messages that repeatedly assure us that “our call is important to them”, and then make us jump through an endless labyrinth of prompts and codes. We see it with the grocery store cashier who doesn’t even make eye contact with us as he or she drones “…have a nice day…” in a Ben Stein-ian monotone

It’s not like this is rocket science, gang: a sincere smile, a pleasant “how may I assist you?”, and then actively helping us is really all we want.

We just don’t get it very often.

employee_of_month 5555We just covered the striking Fast Food employees (“Attention Fast Food workers: you may ALREADY be obsolete“), and their insistence on a Living Wage. Well, I’ve got some free advice for them: when you start becoming an added value to your employer, your employer will pay you more.

Or at the very least, if you are providing a truly superior level of service, your employer will be far more hesitant about replacing you with a voice-mail system or a touch-screen.

And yes, it really is that simple.

This all comes back to perspective: how much do we appreciate being gainfully employed? I propose that somewhere along the line, people ceased being happy or grateful about working. And although there’s more than just one reason for this, one HUGE contributing factor stands out to me: with our government spreading taxpayer-funded benefits like a farmer spreads manure, working has become the “sucker” option.

Why should you care about how well you perform your job’s duties, if the possibility of getting fired isn’t scary? 

For that matter, why work at all, when you can eat and live just as well (or at least well enough) by NOT working? 

This all leads me to an article from the UK Daily Mail, which tells of a recent study challenging various folks in Britain to live on the equivalent of what they’d have received when the English welfare state was born in 1949.

daily mail 5655

It’s very long but fascinating, and I strongly recommend you read the entire post. The results were more than a little depressing, with the article’s author summing it up this way:

The 1949 system worked best for those who wanted to work.

The system now works best for those who don’t.” 

And although she was referring to England, it’s impossible not to reach the same conclusion about this side of the Atlantic. 

There are those who’ll argue that this was always by design, while others will blame good intentions gone wrong. At this point, it doesn’t matter all that much.

Because now, the problem is worsening with each passing day. And if we don’t turn this around, quickly, poor Customer Service will be the least of our problems.

11 responses to “Tired of poor Customer Service? Blame our Culture of Dependency

  1. I remember you and I talking about the study by Heritage on what it meant to be “in poverty” in America. Frankly, there’s a part of me that understands the “why” of someone choosing to live in our current welfare system. You’ve got housing, utilities, TV’s, cellphones, etc. And the fear is “if I get off of welfare and actually TRY to support myself, I MAY NOT be able to keep all of these things”. In days past, one’s character would have scoffed at this notion, but now you have a class of people who have been convinced that they are “victims” and can’t succeed on a playing field that has been tilted against them.

    I don’t know the total solution to this, but the old adage of “if you don’t work, you don’t eat” would be one of the tenets of my program. Combine that with mandatory drug testing and time limits on receiving benefit, and you MIGHT be off to a good start.

    • QUOTE: “but now you have a class of people who have been convinced that they are “victims”.…”

      That they have, Pgh, and that’s the point: whether out of malice or misplaced compassion, they’re here. And more are being made, every day.

      And until we wrest control of the machines which are spitting them out, this will soon resemble a scene from ‘World War Z’, except the Zombies won’t be as fast:
      they’ll be fat, and probably sitting at home, watching their free cable.

    • Actually that old adage is in the Bible. “For while we were yet with you, we gave you this rule and charge: If anyone will not work, neither let him eat.”
      (2 Thessalonians 3:10 AMP)

  2. I’ve worked for a compassionate ministry for long enough to know this is true. Witness a client I remember: the young woman with three children, living in Section 8 housing…basically all her expenses were covered. She had a phone bill past due, and our ministry asked her, as one of our requirements, to raise $40 of the money (along with completing a budget, doing two Bible studies, etc.). She looked at the counselor blankly when told about raising some of the money herself. “Why?” she asked, completely baffled.

    We now have a rampant social problem called “generational poverty”–a whole class of people who literally have never lived any other way, and can’t see why they should change now.

    PGH has some good ideas for reform. But THIS government implementing tough reforms would be like “Hamlet” with a happy ending–unlikely and incongruous. We need a new show with a whole new cast.

    • “We need a new show with a whole new cast….”
      Oh, I call “Director”!!!


      We’ve all seen it, over and over again. People without jobs who don’t care, and people with jobs who ALSO don’t care if they keep it or not.
      It’s a sin (quite literally).

      And I agree: we’re not going to “nudge” this crew into changing anything. Not when it will take all of our efforts PLUS an act of God just to get them to stop destroying the freedoms we currently have.

      At least in the short term, this will not end well……

  3. Was listening to a radio talk show today. The caller said that a fast food worker typically made about $1500 a month, which is enough to afford a loft apartment, about $600 a month. If he wants to live a little larger, he can get a roommate and split the rent for a two bdrm, about 1200 a month. This is in Los Angeles where the cost of living is pretty high.

    So there’s no reason young adult men and women can’t afford to live away from home. It’s when they start buying the frills that everything goes to hell.

    • Amen, partner.
      When I moved away from home, I owned one suit, a (very old) vehicle, and two degrees.
      And that’s it.

      The first year was tight(!!!), but things got better, and better, and better. It’s amazing the doors that a willingness to do hard work can open up for you……..

      • And did you here about Ashton Kucher’s speech at the Teen Awards…He said opportunity looks a lot like work and then went on to tell about all the jobs he had had as a teenager and how he was never too good for the work.

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