December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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96 || P R I N T W E A R D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 Dan Danbom is a Denver writer and the author of "Humor Meets the Workforce: Make Laughter One of Your Organization's Goals." LAST LAUGH B Y D A N D A N B O M S ome people judge businesses on the quality of their product, or how well they provide returns to their owners. I judge busi- nesses on the quality of their lousy service. And boy, is there a lot to judge. My latest example occurred in the subdued hamlet of Las Vegas, which I admit was a mistake in the first place as I could have saved everyone time and energy by simply mailing the casino my Master- Card. Compounding this error was my tried and true service disap- pointer: the airlines. Anticipating potential ill weather effects from global warming, the airlines are delaying flights. Mine was three hours late for reasons that airline personnel never divulged. If you have a secret, give it to an airline gate agent; it will never get out. Flying is a special part of the commercial world where people get less than they pay for. I belive that if a flight is three hours late, the airlines should make up for the inconvenience by letting everyone fly for free, refunding half your money, or just giving you a car. If the meal at a restaurant was three hours late—even if it were be- cause of fog—I'll bet the restaurant would try to make it up to me. Instead, the airline acted as if nothing were wrong. Then, to add insult to injury, they gave us little packets of sourdough mustard onion pretzels which not even starving squirrels would eat. Eating when traveling poses its own service challenges. I often resort to getting food from one of those fast-pizza places, even though the pizza often tastes like cardboard sprayed with a tomato- like substance. Recently, they messed up our order, and instead of sending me the pepperoni pizza, they gave me one made from what appeared to be a wolverine. I noticed before the uniformed delivery guy could get away, so I told him that he had the wrong order. "Call them," he suggested. "Why would I call them?" I asked. "You're right here. Can't YOU tell them? Why don't you give me my money back and have them call me." Here is another interesting development in the food service busi- ness: Some restaurants now have a system where, if you want to eat dinner there, you can call them, and they will save you a table! Although this might sound like what we commonly call "reserva- tions," it is not. Most restaurants won't take reservations because people often don't show up for them, which I suspect, again has something to do with the airlines. But if you call ahead, some res- taurants will now tell you that it's OK to come in and get a table that someone tried to reserve but couldn't. People complain about the Postal Service, but this is one place where I think the service is great. My Postal Service employee gets me my mail before 10 every morn- ing, which allows me lots of time to go through it and give my neighbors their mail. I wonder what planes they use? What a Nice Service NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This will be my last column for Print- wear. I think my first was about 12 years ago, during which time I've gone through three editors, four computers, two different names for the column, and one name change for the magazine. I appreciate the opportunity I've had to try to amuse you, and thank you for the many kind notes you've sent saying that I did.

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