There are too many dehumanizing institutions in our lives these days. We have all had the experience of getting stuck on a circular voicemail maze that feels like it leads to nowhere. Oligopolies or near monopolies like communications and cable television companies are particularly notorious for forcing their customers into the system rather than treating their customers like individuals.
Auto repair facilities that represent the manufacturers are another place where we feel like livestock in a corral rather than people who matter. Lately even small acts of humanity and consideration from a vendor will provoke intense gratitude and loyalty because this kind of behavior seems so counter-culture in so many of our marketplaces.
Here is a story that illustrates the point. Last week at Cassels Garage in West Melbourne, a customer with a thirty-five year history at Cassels stopped by to ask for advice. That is a telling detail. How many shops do you know that can keep a customer’s loyalty for decades? This customer had a relatively new riding lawn mower that was not starting consistently, and he was just looking for his mechanic to recommend a lawn mower repair shop.