October 17, 2003
Can I get some service?
Posted by Gordon Smith

After returning from my fall color tour, I decided to take advantage of the Grand Opening of a Michael's store not far from my home.

We had stockpiled a number of prints and other art works that needed framing, and Michael's was offering 50% off. Hard to resist. Three hours and $500 later, I emerged from the store, beaten into submission by a scatterbrained "framing consultant."

When I arrived at the framing department, I was the only customer, and only one framing expert was on duty. A perfect match. Except that whenever another customer arrived, my faithless helper would divert her attention to the new person, attempting somehow to satisfy both of us, but in fact satisfying neither.

Several times, I almost packed up and left, but I kept thinking that we were almost done. Just another reminder that retail is not just about products or systems, but pervasively about people.

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