April 16, 2024
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April 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Acts of Kindness Should Be Recognized

Most of us give little thought to random acts that we take for granted. Rarely are workers in stores noticed for the menial jobs that they do. We were watching the men who were shlepping large boxes of fruits and vegetables around the farmer’s market. We can all be sure that they are not being paid more than minimum wage, if that. They are on their feet all day, picking up and cleaning up. We wonder if anyone has ever told them that they display the fruits very nicely. Yes, even in the farmer’s market, which Nina calls the “cocky fruit store,” people deserve to be thanked. It is bothersome to us that the cashiers in that store prefer to speak in Spanish the majority of the time. The language barrier is great, yet they are there day in and day out, without much recognition.

Just a few doors down from the fruit store is the epitome of customer service. One cannot find a more accommodating customer experience than at Grand and Essex. No matter who one deals with, each employee goes the extra mile to provide courteous and friendly service. Today Nina had an experience that she was blown away by. After arriving to pay for a large selection of goodies from the adjacent bakery section, to be delivered by us to Rochester during Chol Hamoed, she realized that she had left her credit cards and money at home. No problem, said the lovely lady at the cash register (we think Sha). She suggested that Nina should just call them with the number when she got home. Nina inquired if she should leave the goods there until she returned with the card. Absolutely not, she was told. “Just call us with the number.” We do not know of many stores that would have that policy. Off Nina went with the yummy goods intended to help celebrate the recent engagement of our granddaughter Esther Eisenberg to Dovid Axelrod. Upon arriving home she called the store. That is what you call customer service, way beyond. We have no vested interest in Grand and Essex and we are probably one of their poorest customers in terms of what we buy there (only because we rarely if ever buy take-out food), but they deserve this praise. It is not the first time that we have seen it there. None of us will forget the generous kiddushim they bestowed upon many communities in honor of their anniversary.

The only other store that people openly rave about is Trader Joe’s. They have a knack for hiring people who obviously are trained in excellent customer service. Nothing is too difficult for them to search for. Each employee in their stores shares all responsibilities, be it at the cash register, stocking the shelves or at the customer-relation desk. Looking for their Brooklyn babka and it doesn’t appear where it usually is? Just ask and an employee will run into the back of the store to see if they have more or will return with the status of when the next shipment will be arriving. And even more delightfully, they generally do it with a smile. No one seems to be annoyed at the many requests they get each day.

We fault other stores for not training their employees on appropriate customer service. Yet we feel that we also as consumers have a responsibility to be polite and acknowledge employees whether or not they are outwardly friendly to us. It is possible for each of us to make a concerted effort to thank a store employee. Maybe, just maybe, we would see some differences in the attitude of them towards us. Who doesn’t like to receive a compliment on their hairstyle, their smile (pretend), or the fact that they must be terribly overworked by the crowds in the store? If we all tried this we could actually watch and see if it would make a difference. We would like to know. If there is anyone who has had a positive experience with offering a compliment to a random employee (especially someone who does not seem friendly), let us know.

We are looking forward to your comments.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

 

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