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MP Wealth Advisors Blog
Conundrum - 7/23/2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dan Petrey   
July 23, 2010

Conundrum

It is extremely obvious that our economy is now dominated by service oriented companies as manufacturing jobs are now mainly domiciled in countries whose labor is less expensive.  Well, if our economy is so service oriented why does it seem like in today's society we get so little service?

How many times have you walked up to a register to complete a transaction and wondered where the person's mind actually was?  It appears that; friendly, expedient, professional service is quite often a rarity.  So much so, that when you do receive that type of service it almost shocks you.

I have a few ideas as to the cause of this seemingly lacking friendly service.  As the world depends more and more on technology, human interaction is lessening.  Children seem to be born with the ability to work the; VCR (if they are even called that now), computer, video games, etc.  As they interact more and more with some type of computer or television screen they do not seem to fully develop personal skills.  When I was young questions were automatically directed to my father or mother.  If they did not know, (which was somewhat rare) or not immediately available I would go directly to the Encyclopedia Brittanica for guidance.  Today, parents are often overworked, overstressed, and possibly technologically challenged to be available for guidance.  Couple this with the fact the internet can provide unending data for any topic and our culture seems to have changed learning life's lessons from storytelling to data mining.  Think of the old television show, The Waltons as children would learn by; example, stories, advice from older siblings or grandparents, and compare that slow methodical digestive approach to today's frenzied pace. 

Since parents may be unavailable and grandparents frequently live somewhere else, children seem to not receive a wide variety of influential learning.  In days of old the local store owner or neighbor could also help develop a young person's sense of purpose in the world.  Currently, we worry about letting our children play outside for very valid fears about their safety. 

That frenzied pace previously mentioned also plays a role in the inability to receive anything but transactional gratitude.  If I am waiting in a drive thru lane and the car in front strikes up a needless conversation I can often feel the blood pressure rise.  This is a case where convenience, speed, and legible gratitude are actually indicative of superior service.  This desire to receive instantaneous product feeds into the frenzied pace of life and indirectly results in a lack of meaningful social development.

Most people, including myself, would frequent the establishment that made them feel welcome and actually valued as a customer if everything else were equal.  I seriously do not like walking out of a business and wondering just where exactly our society is headed when this is the best they could hire.  While learning from my parents that actions really do speak louder than words I often find myself, the customer, treating the employee with kindness hoping my example will show them the way.  (Rarely works unfortunately.)  I suppose without being inside someone's mind to determine their intent, or empathize with their unique situation, it will be nearly impossible to actually discern their level of social skill when you encounter that employee or establishment so infrequently.  Sounds like another conundrum to me.

Written By: Daniel Petrey, CFO, MBA

 
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