Southern Hospitality (or government conspiracy? — you decide)

It appears the government is reading my blog. For a quick catch up, see my last post — The Reluctant American. They have obviously conspired to restore my patriotic tendencies — and man do those sneaky bastards work quick. I’m on to them though. No way do I get two amazing customer service experiences in the span of one business day. Read on for my evidence of a government plot to exploit my writing talent by manipulating me into positive interactions with my fellow Americans.

Exhibit A: The Internet Installation Guy — for the last 3 days I’ve been trying to do a self-install of my new high speed Internet service. I consider myself pretty tech savvy so I was fairly confident that it was the equipment at fault and not user error.

  1. First, I’m given a window of service between 8-Noon and not only does he show up promptly at 9 AM, but he calls first.
  2. Then, he comes in and actually fixes the problem in less than an hour and is pleasant through the whole experience!
  3. Furthermore, it was probably my fault it wasn’t working because apparently even though the instructions tell me to use an Ethernet cable, apparently I should have clued into the fact that what I thought was a modem was actually a wireless router. This was hinted by the “Wireless SSID” and “Passcode” clearly labelled on the side.
  4. He didn’t patronize me once, and even made polite conversation while he spent his morning turning on the device I was too dense to operate. Then he complimented me on my fabulous new apartment.
  5. And to top it off, he wrote on the ticket that it was faulty wiring so he didn’t have to charge me! (He did write down his cell number on the quality survey — so maybe he was just being a flirt — but even that could be a government ploy to stroke my ego.)

Exhibit B: The Car Repair Shop — yesterday evening my tire was stabbed by a lawn gnome wielding a hack saw. I really tiny hack saw. I say this because I’m fairly certain the jagged slash mark in the middle of my tire could have only been created by a lawn-gnome-sized hack saw. And obviously a lawn gnome is the only person of a stature small enough to stab my tire and run away unseen. I already had to take my car back to the dealer for another small repair, so this afternoon I gave them a call to see what a new tire would run.

  1. Even though I called at about 10:30 in the morning, I wasn’t put on hold even once, but quickly connected to the service department.
  2. The guy gave me the price to replace my tire ($204 for a single tire — yikes!) and said that we were probably going to need to replace both the back tires to avoid uneven treads which might cause issues later on. At my obvious dismay, he was nice enough to ask where was the tire stabbed – ahem – punctured. If it was in the middle, then they could repair the tire for about $30. This was sounding much better.
  3. I got an appointment that day, and at 4:30 so it wasn’t super inconvenient for me to cut out of work.
  4. Upon arriving at the car shop (again with no wait!) we found out that unfortunately the hack saw created too wide of an incision, so my tire had indeed been murdered. Before I could even start to freak at the idea of shelling out almost $450 for new tires, the guy quickly reassured me that we could just do the one tire. Although it was still quite a dent and maybe I could have shopped around for a cheaper brand, I’m OCD so I know it would have driven me absolutely bonkers to put one different tire on my car — so I said go for it.
  5. The wait only took about an hour despite the twenty other customers in the lobby, and they actually checked in to give me a status update. The attendant came ’round and said “can I offer you an update or a pillow?” How cute is that?!
  6. And the final straw was when the guy gave me a discount on my tire for no apparent reason.

I rest my case. Pleasant customer service and free stuff. The government was totally subsidizing this operation.

Well Uncle Sam, guess what? It worked. God bless America, and god bless Southern hospitality.

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Is this patriotic enough for you? If you increase my rebate this year (you know just throw in a couple grand — it’ll be our little secret) then I’ll find a way to incorporate “the joys of democracy” and “obvious economic recovery” into every blog post. I promise, and pinky swear.

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