What do you think this is, the Post Office?

You know, all my life I heard how terrible and inefficient and rude govt employees were. I was always directed to look at the post office anytime anyone suggested that we let the govt run or regulate anything. Better to let private industry do it. They have a profit motive, They have competition, so they will give better service for less money and in less time.

Maybe it was a lie in 1965, or 1975, or maybe it was the truth. I seem to remember waiting a long time at post offices when I was a kid. I also remember great customer service at the bank, the five and dime, the clothing store, but I don’t know if I can trust a 40-50 year old memory.

What I do know now is if I call on a local building dept, most of the time, I get people who will go a mile beyond their call of duty to help. If I go to the post office, the line moves fast, they are always polite and helpful.

Even the IRS, a few years ago, I worked for a company that did not with my taxes, and at the end of the year, I owed the govt money. I didn’t have much money come tax time, so I filed but didn’t pay, well, a few months later I got a scary looking default judgment or some sort of thing that made me think I might get free room and board if I didnt pay up. I called them right away, and they set up a convenient repayment plan, and then I got behind on the repayment plan (remember, I wasn’t making much money) and I got another scary looking letter. I called again, and they said, oh, next time, just call and let us know you are going to have to skip, and we will restructure the repayment.

About the same time I was struggling to pay my house, car, phone and power bills. Not only did I usually have to wait a lot longer to get thru to a human being, I found all the for profits were a lot less willing to work out a payment plan, and if they did, it usually had such a high penalty it was hardly worth it.

These days my finances are much better, for which I am very grateful! I do not find myself on the begging end for special consideration. I still have to deal with corporate “customer service” for my phone service or refunds, or even adding a new service or buying a new product or whatever. I find that I am in large part now, a customer service person, and I try very hard to always be polite, act quickly to solve my client’s problems, in short to offer the best customer service possible, not only because I am a nice guy, but because I strongly believe that good customer service is a great sales tool!

What I don’t understand, is almost every business I deal with in the private sector is worse than dealing with any govt agency I have ever had to deal with. If you are a manager or an employee in sales, service or in any way function to add to your company’s bottom line by interacting with the public, you would do well to be as kind and considerate and as helpful as the Post Office, or the IRS!


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