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« Experiencing Dreams | Main | Best Buy & Those Pesky Customers »

July 13, 2004


Rebecca Robertson

Hi Katherine~

Awesome commentary! It irks me to no end when people establish self-worth at the expense of others. How did this phenomenon come about? I wonder if it is laziness... or stupidity? Whether in personal relationships or business, the rewards from making a connection in a way that is respectful and genuine is well worth the work involved.

Hope all is well!

David Wolfe

Consumers are getting more ruthless than ever, but in a civil sort of way. They will take note of poor treatment in restaurants, retail establishments, at airline counters, etc., with most saying little or nothing but never to return. Then the clueless vendor can naively say, "I wonder where all my customers went -- must be the weather, etc."

Actually, I think this augurs well for more frequent episodes of good customer experiences in the future because under Darwinian principles only the fittest survive and in today's marketplace good -- not just adequate -- but good, if not superior customer experiences are becoming de riguere.


I can't agree more with your word of wisdom - they suck. Tricks like dimming light on unattractive customers and making them feel like inferior is quite similar to some women trying to play hard to get. It may work for a short while but at the end, they are more than likely to join the lonely hearts club.

Ronni Bennett

Good post. I was reminded, when I read the story in the NY Times about a new restaurant, some years ago, in my neighborhood which sits at the cusp of Greenwich Village and SoHo, so quite a few oh-so-chic new restaurants tend to come and go here over the years.

When that new Italian place opened, I stopped in to make a reservation for dinner. The rail-thin hostess pulled herself up to her full 7 feet 4, looking down her long, pointy nose to inform me there was a SEVEN WEEK wait. I declined.

Each night, limousines deposited varieties of movie stars and fashion models whose names I can never remember at the door the the restaurant, but no locals could get in though the excellent reviews of the food made it interesting to us.

Six months later, as David Wolfe notes above, the beautiful people had moved on. The restaurant was half empty most nights and no one in the neighborhood ever tried the place. It closed a couple of months later.

About two months ago, a new French restaurant opened in the neighborhood. On the way back from the grocery on Saturday morning a few weeks, I noticed someone inside and knocked on the door. I told the man who answered - who turned out to be the owner - that I was happy to see a new place filling this empty spot and asked if I could have a menu to look over.

He pulled himself up to his full 7 feet 4, looked down his long nose at me and said, "We change the menu every day and we are booked for at least at month."

Right. And we here in the neighborhood will wave as you leave with your tail between your legs.

This is an old, old story. In theory, businesses learn from previous businesses' mistakes. How is it then that the restaurant business in particular is so stupid, do you think?

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