Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Personal Service

For the past few months, there has been a radio ad playing that is an advertisement for car insurance with "personal service." In this commercial, someone is trying to sell the insurance to a guy based on this personal service, and the guy responds with something like, "Well, I don't really like service, and especially not *personal* service." It is supposed to be funny, and on the surface it is, because everybody wants personal service, right?

Well, today I figured out that I really don't like personal service all that much. I had been looking for a specific kind of paint at the local big-box home improvement store, and I couldn't find what I was looking for, so I went to two different paint stores. At both, it felt like they were trying to sell me a new car. Most of the things they had out on display were just accessories and specialty items. For regular paint, you pick a color, tell the salesman what finish and use you want, and they sell it to you without you even seeing a can of paint. Now, I understand that most of these stores are designed for the average joe-blow consumer who doesn't know his asshole from Jesus, but that's not me. Possibly because I have a higher IQ than a radish, or maybe because I am the queen of indecision, I actually want to evaluate all of my options, without some car salesman standing over my shoulder. I don't have a problem with somebody greeting me when I enter the store, and asking me if they can help me, but when I say I'm just looking around, I want them to go away until I request their help. If I want to compare labels for an hour, then I will. Because I am a very tactile person, I like for stores to have everything out on display, so I can see and touch all of my choices.

It's the same at shoe stores where they have one of each type of shoe displayed, and the salesperson will bring you the correct size. I don't really like having to wait for somebody else to get things for me, and I don't like people to be waiting on me to make a decision. Maybe I grew up middle-class enough to not really shop at stores where you get personal service, and so I can't get used to it. Who knows... All I do know is that I'll stick with the big-box stores and their crappy service. After all, who really wants personal service, anyway?


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