Saturday, July 29, 2006

Culture Shocked

Here's the thing--people are nicer here than in California. You would think that people in CA would be nicer because everybody there is from someplace else, but no. I'm not saying that everyone is awful, not at all. It's just that people seem to be more friendly and polite here. You can strike up a conversation just about anywhere with just about anybody. This is good news for me since I am prone to doing that, and back home I was usually met with stares and not much else. Also, store clerks are polite,friendly and helpful. All the time. People actually care about doing a good job, and also are well informed and know what they're doing. Let me illustrate:
The other day I went to Target to get some shelving for the garage, they had some on sale. So Leo and I go in Target and before we get to the shelving section, three Target employees ask me if I'm finding everything okay. THREE. In the Sand City Target you can't even find one person to help you, and if you do, they don't know the answer anyway. So by the third time someone tried to help me I started to feel bad that they were so nice and I wasn't giving them an opportunity to do their job, so I asked where the shelving was that was on sale. The clerk was carrying a clipboard with a copy of the sale ad, so we found the item in the ad, and she took me right to where they were, she personally escorted us, she didn't just point and mumble like in CA. She then said that since this is heavy item that she would send another clerk back with a flatbed cart and that the shelving would be in the front when I was ready to check out. Whoa. I didn't even know how to act. So while we are waiting for the guy to come for the shelving, I notice that they were out of the one that was on sale, but they have a larger shelf that is not on sale, so I decided to cut my losses and buy the larger shelving. So when the guy with the cart gets there I tell him that they seem to be out of the one that was on sale, but to go ahead and load the larger non sale one. So he says that since I wanted the sale item but had to get another one, that they would give me the discount on the non sale shelving--25%. I was floored. He said to go ahead and finish shopping and when I was done to come up to the front and it would be there with the discount on it. Okay! I said. I was starting to realize that this outstanding service was not a fluke, this is how they operate. So we finish shopping and get to the check out, where I point to the cart with my shelves and tell the cashier I am purchasing those and that I was told that there would be a discount on them. Here's what she said--"Yes, I know." She knew the whole thing already! By this time I am slack jawed at the level of service I am getting at a Target, a TARGET, PEOPLE!! So I complete my purchase and this other Target guy comes up and says, we dont like to let the flat carts outside the store, so why don't you get your car and pull up to the front and I'll put it in your car for you. I didn't think I heard him correctly so I said excuse me? and he repeated it. So I went to my car in a daze, overcome by service. I pull up to the front and the guy loaded the shelves into my car. When I say thank you very much for all your help, he says, get this--"Thank you for your business". HE thanked ME for coming to Target! Leo was so confused by this time that he almost forgot to put the rest of the stuff we bought into the car. I had brought him along for the specifiic purpose of helping me with the heavy shelves, and he never had to do anything. We left wishing that the Target was closer so we could go there every day.
I could never have told this story if I still lived in California.
This morning we were out of milk so I couldn't make coffee. I decided to treat myself and get a coffee at Rocket Bakery a few blocks from my house. They let me write a check for my coffee. Then I went down the street to Rosauers to pick up milk and some other stuff, and the cashier took my stuff out to my car for me. The CASHIER, not the bagboy. I tell you, this is the best kind of culture shock ever. I feel sorry for people from here who move to California. Boy are they in for a surprise, and not a good one either.


Shelly Walker said...

Hey Karla!!! We miss you and are sorry to have missed your big send-off. We stopped in Delano, CA, at our friend's parents house for a couple days on the way back from the happiest place on earth. This entry reminds me of when Josh and I came back to Seattle for a visit from being stationed in Georgia. We went into Taco Time and the service (which was the same as when I grew up) was outstanding, and the place (also the same) was sparkling clean. We kept saying out loud how clean everything was and what great service they had. I'm sure they thought we were looney. I think they were actually more annoyed because it sounded like they weren't that way the last time we were there and what a big improvement they had made!

Tashi said...

The only problem with Spokane is that you have to convince your out of town friends that NO, the waitress is not hitting on you, she's really that friendly with everyone. After about the 4th bar, they start to believe you.....