New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Jump for Joy

One area where a huge city like New York can fall down is service. We have lip service of course - the beatitudes and platitudes recited by employees as instructed by policy manuals from the corporate office. But I mean real service, where the salesperson puts him or herself on the other side of the counter, sees another human who has a need and within reason, do what is required to satisfy that need without attitude.
I often find myself in a retail store looking for a salesperson, eventually to find a number of them congregated for what appears to be happy hour. Any effort to intrude is seen as an annoyance, taking them away from what appears to be more important matters and then to render service begrudgingly. A customer starts to feel guilty for disturbing the sales staff.
One can find good service in New York City, it is just not like the experience of being in a very small town where it feels like politeness and great service are universal. You have a sense that it is assumed this is the normal human condition. I yearn for these signs of humanity in New York City and when I find them I jump for joy.
Saturday I jumped for joy at the LMC Car Wash & Lube at 36-21 21st Street in Long Island City. The first thing I noticed was how clean this place was, particularly in light of traveling many blocks on a very blighted stretch of road. My car was in dire need of a wash - like many, the inconvenience of a few minutes and a few dollars usually seems too much to bear, spoiled as I am with the extraordinary conveniences of the modern world.
At LMC, after prep work, the car goes through its wash and dry cycles unoccupied - customers get to watch the entire process from behind the glass wall of their retail shop, which is stocked with all manner of auto supplies and accouterments. There were bottles of many hued liquids with the afternoon sun shining through them. Everything was in its place with a place for everything. Tidy, clean, efficient with good service and entertainment - watching your car become scrubbed clean is so much fun. All of this maybe the standard for retail establishments outside the city, but in New York, people will tolerate some very rough edges.
Perhaps many would consider my exuberance over a car wash to border on lunacy and maybe it is. Call it what you may, but when I find a place like LMC, I want to jump for joy ...


Pete said...

Good comments and a great shot, which reminds me I better go wash the car! :)


Anonymous said...

omg...when I first pulled up this photo, I thought it was a meat processing plant.

Gross, I know...

Simon said...

Your pictures, and more importantly your perspective on them are consistently interesting and informative.

I like to think that you also provide an excellent service, so Thank You!


Brian Dubé said...

Thanks all - it gives me great pleasure to know that my observations and experiences in this city resonate.

naomid said...

Before the photo loaded on my screen I thought it was a distressed and old version of J-C and Christo's Gates! Glad thats all over.