Delivering quality customer service

The Lawn-Cutting Crew is a humor fiction blog. It's sort of like a comic strip, but without the drawings. It offers self-contained chapters and lots of laughs.

I arrived at work one morning to find the shop lined with several rows of metal folding chairs.

The shop superintendent, Shoemaker, was standing near the punch clock. He handed me a pamphlet as I approached him.

“What’s going on?” I asked, clocking in.

“We have a guest speaker today,” Shoemaker said. “The owner, Benito, is going to have some guy talk to us about the importance of providing quality customer service.”

He motioned across the room. I turned to see an older man in a business suit standing near one of the bay doors. With his colorful tie and slicked-back hair, he looked out of place in the cluttered shop full of greasy tools.

I claimed one of the metal folding chairs and started flipping through the pamphlet. It contained several blocky paragraphs and bulleted items about the importance of customer service. 

Once everyone was clocked in and seated, Shoemaker went to the front of the room to address the crowd.

“I’d like to introduce our guest speaker, Mr. Moore,” Shoemaker said. “Mr. Moore is going to talk to us today about delivering consistent, high-quality customer service.”

The man in the suit stepped forward to tepid applause. “Thank you, Mr. Shoe-Shiner. As you know, customers are a company’s most valuable asset. Without your customers, you have no company. Our goal, then, is to ensure we treat our customers with the highest level of respect. Our appearance — as well as our behavior toward the general public — dictates how we’re perceived as an organization.”

The irrigation specialist, Bryce, was sitting beside me, gnawing on a wad of tobacco. He snorted and spit a black chunk onto the shop floor.

“Perception is key,” Mr. Moore continued. “It’s the little details that customers notice. On the surface, you might deem them inconsequential, but neglecting them can destroy you. For example, your appearance. Are you well-groomed? Is your hair combed? Are there unsightly stains on your clothing? These are oversights that can damage the perception your customers have of you.” 

I looked around the room. Almost everyone was wearing ripped T-shirts and shorts with gaping holes.

“There’s no doubt that unsightly imperfections can damage your brand,” Mr. Moore said. “That’s why you must make an effort to look at the little things. Is your work vehicle clean? Are the tools neatly stored in the back? Are all the exterior lights functioning? Trust me, these are the details that the public will notice.”

I raised my hand.

Mr. Moore pointed at me. “Yes?”

“When you’re talking about public perception, does that also include company literature?” I asked.

Mr. Moore nodded. “Certainly.”

“OK, then,” I said, “because I was flipping through this customer-service pamphlet here, and on the first page alone, there’s a run-on sentence, two split-infinitives, a compound modifier missing a hyphen, and a possessive ‘its’ that has an apostrophe. Would you agree that these grammatical oversights reflect poorly on your organization?”

Mr. Moore stood there and glared. His face began to turn red.

“There’s no reason to get upset,” I said. “I’m just trying to provide quality customer service. That’s why we’re here, right?”

The room erupted in applause. Mr. Moore stomped out of the shop, kicking an empty folding chair out of his path. 

“Well,” I said, shrugging, “that wasn’t very customer-friendly.” 

Author: Allen

I’m a humorist and fiction writer, as well as the author of two books. One is a collection of humor, and one is a collection of short stories. Both books are available on Amazon. I always wanted to write a comic strip, but I can’t draw. Not even a stick-person. So that’s why “The Lawn-Cutting Crew” is a comic strip without drawings. I hope you enjoy!

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