Thursday, November 4, 2010

Give Me The Pickle

Last week I had to attend a customer service training entitled: "Give them the pickle." It is based on Bob Farrell's restaurant experience when a customer complained that he had to pay for a pickle. The outcome was that the customer left and declared never to return if he had to pay for a pickle. Farrell's response: "Give 'em the pickle!" Yes, even in higher education this is apparently the new model. The students are our "customers" and we must dedicate ourselves to serving them better. Right.

Needless to say, I was less than enthusiastic about the event. It required a day of missed classes, extra driving, and a longer day for me -- none of which was appealing. However, in spite of the redundancy of the speaker, the heart of the training was useful. It got me to thinking about how can we "raise the bar" in how we serve others. In short, how can we do more than be average?

Some of the things I have thought about since then are:

Saying "thank you."
Looking a person in the eyes when I greet them.
Having a pleasant tone of voice.
Listening rather than plan my response.
Making someone look better than they are by not passing blame.
Taking responsibility for what I do and doing it better than average.
Being positive in my tasks -- even if it is a task that makes my skin crawl.
Enjoying others rather than dreading them.

Just think. This would not only enhance our work life, but wouldn't they enhance our home life as well?


  1. In my former life, I was in Organization Development. We learned to train people to think "Who is my customer"?

    We all have customers in our life that we serve, whether students or family or people who work for us or... actual customers.

    That always stuck with me (well, after teaching it a gazillion times it should).

    Love the story about the pickle, so true and I think I have been in that restaurant (okay, a similar place). :)

  2. Lovely ways to add beauty to our lives, Matty! I'm all for developing a culture of honour in our world!

  3. Yes, these are good things to practice all the way around! You never know whose day you will brighten!
    In reply to your comment on my blog and this "season of life"....yup.
    And having a grandson just intensifies it!

  4. My mom drilled saying Thank you into my head years ago!Lol But they are all good points!
    I have tried to slow down and really listen more when people talk to me.

  5. A new philosophy I'm trying to develop in my life is very similar to your list ... I live with a difficult person ... I've decided lately that no matter what I do, she's not going to change ... she's going to be who she is no matter what I do. So ... I've come to the conclusion that the only person I can change is me and my attitudes. It has made dealing with her easier because I choose not to let her upset me. :D


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!