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Vintage Things That Have Disappeared In Your Lifetime?

noonblueapples

Familiar Face
Messages
63
Location
Maine
LizzieMaine said:
If you ever come up here to Maine, stop into Moody's Diner, on Route 1 in Waldoboro -- which still has its original 1927 built-in wooden phone booth, fully intact and functional and entirely un-ironic.

A worthwhile stop even without the phone booth
 

Carlisle Blues

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,154
Location
Beautiful Horse Country
LizzieMaine said:
But good service is not exclusively a high-hat thing -- you can still find it humble surroundings if you look for it. There's a little lunchroom downtown where I go to breakfast every Saturday morning, and have for years -- and I never have to order. As soon as I take my seat, the waitress brings me my tea and a couple minutes later my meal arrives, along with a bit of cheerful conversation.

The trick, I think, is to be sure you treat the staff the way you'd like to be treated. No matter what kind of establishment you're shopping in, deal with the staff courteously and don't swagger around like you own the place, and they'll respond likewise. The service industry is the most thankless business there is, and people who work in it consistently see humanity at its most obnoxious -- so it's a real treat for them to be treated courteously by a customer. And they'll remember those who do.



Absolutely.....I was thinking 5th Ave. New York City in addressing the quoted poster....where I live right now Pop. 5000. is comprised of small businesses. They cater to those that do exactly as you say treat others as you would want to be treated. Do the aforementioned you will never be disappointed. Indeed, treating others as if you are superior to them in social standing or breeding you will always be met with contention and adversity. ;)

I will never forget when I was pumping gas or cleaning up dead mice as a janitor if I was treated with the respect due any human being my attitude was outstanding and it showed in my performance. It worked the same way when I headed my own Practice or worked on Wall Street.

There is no substitute for treating others with respect and value. :)
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
33,047
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Carlisle Blues said:
Absolutely.....I was thinking 5th Ave. New York City in addressing the quoted poster....where I live right now Pop. 5000. is comprised of small businesses. They cater to those that do exactly as you say treat others as you would want to be treated.

Which brings up an interesting point that takes us back to the whole question of why poor service is so common today: far more businesses today have no roots in the communities they serve. A corporate chain, bringing in its management from away, really has no reason to care what its customers think -- they know that once they've steamrollered the ma-and-pa merchants, they can do as they please, and service and proper training of staff cost money anyway. These carpetbag enterprises run on the theory that people don't care about service anyway -- all they want is cut-rate prices.

Golden-Era businesses tended to be much more locally rooted. When you went to a department store, whether you lived in a city or a small town, it was almost always locally owned and operated. The owner of the store was someone who came from the community, and felt responsible to it, and he insisted his staff live up to that responsibility -- because he knew his livelihood depended on it. Even the chains that existed then, the Woolworths and the A&Ps, followed that lead -- because consumers then expected it. It was part of the culture in a way that it isn't today -- which I think is the gist of what the original post was getting at.
 

klind65

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
Location
New York City
HTML:
LizzieMaine said:
Which brings up an interesting point that takes us back to the whole question of why poor service is so common today: far more businesses today have no roots in the communities they serve. A corporate chain, bringing in its management from away, really has no reason to care what its customers think -- they know that once they've steamrollered the ma-and-pa merchants, they can do as they please, and service and proper training of staff cost money anyway. These carpetbag enterprises run on the theory that people don't care about service anyway -- all they want is cut-rate prices. Golden-Era businesses tended to be much more locally rooted. When you went to a department store, whether you lived in a city or a small town, it was almost always locally owned and operated. The owner of the store was someone who came from the community, and felt responsible to it, and he insisted his staff live up to that responsibility -- because he knew his livelihood depended on it. Even the chains that existed then, the Woolworths and the A&Ps, followed that lead -- because consumers then expected it. It was part of the culture in a way that it isn't today -- which I think is the gist of what the original post was getting at.
Lizzie Maine,
You raise excellent points. I wonder if we as a society were to decide to make it clear to businesses that service and courtesy do matter, could we change things? Would it make a difference? And if so, what strategy might we use to convince them?

I've noticed a growing tendency of people to simply ignore things that hurt/bother/offend them rather than express outrage/disapproval/reproof. This laissez-faire attitude goes hand in hand with the loosening and ultimate demise of standards in so many areas of life. As Cole Porter's song says, "Anything Goes",..... and so with the businesses who feel they can get away with devaluing the customer.

My point is, somewhere someone needs to draw the line and begin insisting that service and courtesy do matter. Demand them! After all, society is made up of people, businesses couldn't operate without people.....ergo, doesn't the power to change things ultimately belong to us, the people!?

....What was that line from the film, "Network" .."..I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it any more!!"
 
Messages
11,579
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
Good service is a calculated time expense and we're in a period where cost is often the over-riding focus. In many things we are to educate ourselves to make decisions, and that is carrying over to places where we used to expect information from the sales help. For me the key tends to be at the Home Depot and similar chain stores. Some times you get an informed person that has those key tips for a better, easier job, but just as often you get someone for whom just knowing where an item is located is the extent of their knowledge and I understand that.

I worked in the paint department of just such a store in the 80's and learned a lot while there but I did come into the position with more knowledge than many do now. (My parents never hired a painter in their lives and I was always conscripted to be the number one helper as soon as my brother figured out how to get out of helping. Before that I was number two, in more ways than one!)

Actually, I have to relate that when I was asked about a product I did not know anything about I would first say I don't really know about this product I haven't used it, but let's take a look and see what they say. Then I would read the info and instructions outloud to the customer and for my benefit, and no one ever left in a huff over that. They appreciated that I was learning and they got a good intro to the information, it always got a thank you from the customer.

However from the store's point of view I wasted time, because no matter how busy it was and how many customers you helped it, was all about, cleaning and organizing, stocking the shelves, getting ready for the next sale and updating the prices.

Unless it was dead, you were always understaffed and couldn't truly help the customers and get the work done you needed to do.
 
Messages
11,579
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
One thing is that if you are a vendor to a chain store, you will find that they demand all sorts of service at a level that is frightening to a small business trying to compete.

At the same time the chain store offers a desparigingly low level of service to the average end user.

So chain stores understand service, they expect it, but just don't give it.
 

klind65

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
Location
New York City
John in Covina said:
Good service is a calculated time expense and we're in a period where cost is often the over-riding focus. In many things we are to educate ourselves to make decisions, and that is carrying over to places where we used to expect information from the sales help. For me the key tends to be at the Home Depot and similar chain stores. Some times you get an informed person that has those key tips for a better, easier job, but just as often you get someone for whom just knowing where an item is located is the extent of their knowledge and I understand that.

I worked in the paint department of just such a store in the 80's and learned a lot while there but I did come into the position with more knowledge than many do now. (My parents never hired a painter in their lives and I was always conscripted to be the number one helper as soon as my brother figured out how to get out of helping before that I was number two, in more ways than one.)

Actually, I have to relate that when I was asked about a product I did not know anything about I would first say I don't really know about this product I haven't used it, but let's take a look and see what they say. Then I would read the info and instructions outloud to the customer and for my benefit, and no one ever left in a huff over that. They appreciated that I was learning and they got a good intro to the information, it always got a thank you from the customer.

However from the store's point of view I wasted time, because no matter how busy it was and how many customers you helped it, was all about, cleaning and organizing, stocking the shelves, getting ready for the next sale and updating the prices.

Unless it was dead, you were always understaffed and couldn't truly help the customers and get the work done you needed to do.
You raise good points. Having worked in shops, you have a much better idea than I about all the factors involved. For me though, courteous professional and knowledgeable service is something I will seek out. If it costs me more, so be it.
 

Carlisle Blues

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,154
Location
Beautiful Horse Country
LizzieMaine said:
Which brings up an interesting point that takes us back to the whole question of why poor service is so common today: far more businesses today have no roots in the communities they serve. A corporate chain, bringing in its management from away, really has no reason to care what its customers think -- they know that once they've steamrollered the ma-and-pa merchants, they can do as they please, and service and proper training of staff cost money anyway. These carpetbag enterprises run on the theory that people don't care about service anyway -- all they want is cut-rate prices.

Golden-Era businesses tended to be much more locally rooted. When you went to a department store, whether you lived in a city or a small town, it was almost always locally owned and operated. The owner of the store was someone who came from the community, and felt responsible to it, and he insisted his staff live up to that responsibility -- because he knew his livelihood depended on it. Even the chains that existed then, the Woolworths and the A&Ps, followed that lead -- because consumers then expected it. It was part of the culture in a way that it isn't today -- which I think is the gist of what the original post was getting at.


Perhaps.....that is in the mind of the reader, therefore I interjected my perspective. Actually years of experience being a native New Yorker dealing with the eclectic culture and quire frankly, transplants who want to change things to suit their imported cultural views, albeit in an economic context.

However, one company that comes to mind is Nordstrom. They are based in Washington. Their vision and customer service is the gold standard for service oriented companies. Another is Costco. I have personally dealt with the CEO and again L.L. Bean and their executive staff. All companies have one thing in common; they are all "high end" regarding their customer service.

Nevertheless, arguing the view point of the original poster on a third party basis is academic. Without her arguing her own point we can only speculate. Thus her point, at best, is rendered moot.[huh]
 

klind65

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
Location
New York City
LizzieMaine said:
Which brings up an interesting point that takes us back to the whole question of why poor service is so common today: far more businesses today have no roots in the communities they serve. A corporate chain, bringing in its management from away, really has no reason to care what its customers think -- they know that once they've steamrollered the ma-and-pa merchants, they can do as they please, and service and proper training of staff cost money anyway. These carpetbag enterprises run on the theory that people don't care about service anyway -- all they want is cut-rate prices.

Golden-Era businesses tended to be much more locally rooted. When you went to a department store, whether you lived in a city or a small town, it was almost always locally owned and operated. The owner of the store was someone who came from the community, and felt responsible to it, and he insisted his staff live up to that responsibility -- because he knew his livelihood depended on it. Even the chains that existed then, the Woolworths and the A&Ps, followed that lead -- because consumers then expected it. It was part of the culture in a way that it isn't today -- which I think is the gist of what the original post was getting at.
I was talking with a friend over the weekend and he mentioned having read in the paper that Wal mart has begun carrying organic foods. Now, the Wal mart representative interviewed stated that that decision was not based on any thing other than customer demand! People were willing to pay more for salubrious foods. A great example of the power of the people to impact the policies of these "unfeeling" corporate monstrosities. First organic foods, next...... probity, courtesy, accountability ??! At least it's possible.
 

Carlisle Blues

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,154
Location
Beautiful Horse Country
klind65 said:
that decision was not based on any thing other than customer demand! People were willing to pay more for salubrious foods. A great example of the power of the people to impact the policies of these "unfeeling" corporate monstrosities. First organic foods, next...... probity, courtesy, accountability ??! At least it's possible.


Actually that is a great example of commerce. I hardly think then CEO sat there and said, "Gee, I want to neglect my corporate responsibilities, my duties pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commission and create economic stress to the other Walmart customers by raising prices because I want to appease a sector of possible consumers because I am feeling charitable and jolly today".

I think a more appropriate example is as follows:Frank Woolworth explained the success of the business in those early days.
He said “I put it down to the great buying power that allows us to drive prices lower by helping factories to make
their goods more cheaply. And to making sure that everyone rich or poor - is welcomed in and treated with the
same respect.” The philosophy has served us well for 125 years !

Further, Corporations do not "feel". They are not designed to; they are designed to make money.....should they do so in a way that makes people "happy" then so be it. :eusa_doh:
 
Messages
11,579
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
THe corporate machinery of chain stores is like a huge ship and it often takes some time to bring on new items that are not considered part of their focus. Stores that are based on a histoy of low prices has that consideration in mind for so many items, so to bring in higher priced foods is a gamble because the perception of low prices and expensive choices may not fly.
The current economic situation has been a boon for store brands at most supermarkets and luxury items are taking a big hit.
 

Lady Day

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
9,087
Location
Crummy town, USA
LizzieMaine said:
Which brings up an interesting point that takes us back to the whole question of why poor service is so common today:

Good service can still be found, only now its a paid feature. Go to any store that has an 'express' or 'special customers' service where the lines are shorter, you get an attendant to reply to all your questions, special help out, etc. They bundle that in as a 'package' and charge for it. Gets you through the mess faster than a 'regular customer'. *Psspt*-regular customers, what do they do but keep the business afloat, losers.

So weve been duped, or rather they have figured out a way to make it acceptable for us to think that service we *should* get now has to be paid extra for.

LD
 
Messages
11,579
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
LD!

I don't know of any stores with the express-special customer set up. Express at the grocery store means you have less than 15 items as if the customer ahead can actually count that high.

Are there any stores out this way you can point to for examples?
 

Lady Day

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
9,087
Location
Crummy town, USA
A number of department stores off services like this. I know the Apple store does, and some high end electronics stores.

Places that offer 'memberships' are generally the same thing. You pay, not really in monetary amounts, but in information so you get the lower price.

LD
 

ThesFlishThngs

One Too Many
Messages
1,007
Location
Oklahoma City
A thought that popped into my head with all this talk of service (and forgive me if it's been brought up and I missed it) - I won't shop in a place that only offers self-checkout. Our Home Depot is beginning to be that way; it seems the only till that's open most times is the do-it-yourself one. With that in mind, I consciously avoid Home Depot now. If what I need can't be found at our smaller, friendlier Ace Hardware, I'll go to Lowe's (even though all the giant stores give me an unpleasant feeling). I wonder how many other people feel the same, and if the savings in payroll outweighs the reduction in possible shoppers who prefer to deal with a human?
 
Messages
11,579
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
Self check out is like laughing in the face of the patron. BUT as much as I resent it, I put up with it at Fresh & Easy because I can get a gallon of milk for $1.99 and that's a whole buck less than the grocery stores. :eusa_doh:
 

Carlisle Blues

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,154
Location
Beautiful Horse Country
In my experience great service is generally available. I believe you just have to know how to get it. For example, doing some research before hand and approaching a staff member with your findings and asking reasonable questions prompts a reasonable response. Conversely, expecting a treatise on the various products together with a comparative analysis is unreasonable; it will result in a negative shopping experience.

The corporate enitity, big or small, is driven by one thing; the "bottom line". Such has been the way of business since the beginning of it's existence. Including the "Golden Age". In fact the during that period it was more "dog eat dog" which has resulted in greater regulation for certain industries.

There are some stores where I shop, and will pay more, due to their return policy and customer service.
 

Lady Day

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
9,087
Location
Crummy town, USA
Parents being embarrassed when their kids scream and cry in public and having the courtesy to take them out of earshot of everyone else in order to calm them down.

I *really* miss that one.

LD
 

John Boyer

A-List Customer
Messages
372
Location
Kingman, Kansas USA
Lady Day said:
Parents being embarrassed when their kids scream and cry in public and having the courtesy to take them out of earshot of everyone else in order to calm them down.

I *really* miss that one.

LD


Good One! I miss that one, also :eusa_clap :eusa_clap

John
 

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