Customer Service Lessons from Friendly’s, Mormons, and the Red Cross

July 18, 2007 at 7:10 pm | Posted in America, Jesus Christ!, Video | 4 Comments

friendlys.jpgI have long been a fan of top-notch customer service, which seems to be a dying art.

A couple weekends ago, Ashlee and I stopped at a Friendly’s in West Haven, Connecticut to satiate a bizarre craving she was feeling for a chicken salad.  Who even knew that Friendly’s made a notable chicken salad?  As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of Wilbraham, but you can’t take Wilbraham out of the girl.  (Wilbraham, MA produced both Ashlee and Friendly’s.)

The experience could have been a complete disaster, as the booths were filled with the dregs of society and their wailing hideous babies, all stuffing their faces with ice cream.  It was a repugnant scene, to be sure.

But our waitress was an adorable young woman named Sara, who smiled and seemed happy to be there and just made me feel good about spending my money and raising my cholesterol.  In spite of her crappy job, she looked genuinely content and made the experience quite, well, friendly.  A simple smile goes a long way.  In fact, more than a decade later, I still remember a wonderful Friendly’s waitress from Madison, NJ, who I always admired during high school.

Also delivering top-notch customer service are the Mormons.  I was recently approached by some young Mormon lads while sitting on a park bench.  They wanted to know if I was interested in God.  And, of course, I was!

biglove.jpgSo the young Mormon lads gave me a number to call for a free God DVD.  Also a longtime fan of free things, I called the number immediately.  And after a pleasant conversation with another Mormon lad — don’t these Mormons have any chicks? — I promptly received the video, “Finding Faith in Christ.”  (Watch a clip below or get your own copy here.)

The movie featured some pretty awesome special effects — how in the name of Mitt Romney did they get Him to walk on water like that??? 

But I thought the actor who played Jesus came off as a pompous pretty-boy.  And how did they all trim their beards so nicely?  That’s not very authentic.  I also felt the guy who doubted Christ should’ve been named Thomas.  He was the doubter, after all.  Instead, the believer guy who witnessed to him was named Thomas.  That’s just confusing.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I was severely wasted during this viewing, which may have affected my analysis.)

Coincidentally, I was also severely wasted when another Mormon lad called to ask what I thought of the video.  What follow-up!  I lied and told him I hadn’t found the time to watch it.  And he said that when life and work and family overwhelm you, that’s when you need Christ the most.  He then offered to send a live representative to my home, which I politely declined. 

But I have no doubt that the representative would’ve been at my door the next day.  Because these Mormons, you see, understand the art customer service.  (They also let you be married to both Chloe Sevigny and Jeanne Triplehorn.  And that is a religion I can seriously get behind.  Oooooh yeah.)

Sara the waitress and the Mormon lads could certainly teach a thing or two to the Merrimack Valley Red Cross.

As a self-employed kinda guy, I have a somewhat flexible schedule.  And I figured I should take advantage of that by making myself available to a charity organization.  The Red Cross seemed like a natural fit.  If they need someone to respond, I can put my work on hold and respond, yaknow?  Go ahead and send me to a fire.  I can counsel these poor bastards who’ve lost all their belongings.  People love me!

redcross.jpgSo I made an appointment with the Red Cross office, and we discussed what I could do for them.  I said that ideally I wanted to be trained to join my local disaster response group, and the Red Cross lady thought that was a fine idea.  She also said I might be valuable as a volunteer for their media relations activities, and I agreed.  Let’s face it, Lucy the Dog has many assets that the Red Cross could use.

Anyway, she gave me some paperwork and told me that I’d receive a call shortly from the local Lowell group or something.  But naturally, I haven’t heard a word.  And this was weeks ago.

I don’t mean to bitch.  Too much.  But it’s somewhat disheartening to drive all the way out there, meet with them, offer my time, and then not even get a call or e-mail back.  Maybe the Red Cross has all the help they need.  Maybe money donors are what they want, rather than time and work donors.  And I’m fine with that. 

But how about a phone call, fellas?  It’s just good customer service.  And frankly, if you can’t extend that minor courtesy, I’m a tad reluctant to donate my money if and when I ever have any money to donate.  Get your shit together.



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  1. Remember Lucy, Mormons do not believe in the covenant of plural marriage, that is an antiquated notion for the LDS. However, if you do seek such an arrangement you would probably need to join a more fundamendalist sect, which believes in the “true word” of Joseph Smith….Then you could marry several girls who look nothing like Jeanne Tripplehorn or Chloe Sevigny. However, you would have to live in the remotest regions of the southwestern United States…Where was I. Oh yeah. Bill Burt sucks.

  2. And you’d have to wear that funky-looking underwears under the blistering southwestern sun. And Burt sucks donkey balls.

  3. […] their persistent efforts to recruit me to their ranks, I have no idea what Mormons believe or what their underpants look like.  Nor do I know what […]

  4. Red Cross is famous for inefficiency & was nortoriously slow post Katrina. If you want to volunteer, find a useful active group. There are many who need your help & thanks for vid!

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