Service With a Smile

By David McHale

Have you ever been to one of the big hardware stores and wondered “where is the helpful hardware man hiding?” Or, visit a department store, say the one that starts with an “M” and rhymes with “spacey” and could not see a clerk anywhere? That is not the case at the stores here in Kalibo. Last year, I blogged about my 17 trips to the Gaisano’s in Roxas City, the only name in malls on the Island of Panay. I am sure they miss me this year. My first shopping outing this year took me to a hardware store called “Handyman.” It looks like your average neighborhood hardware store with one glaring exception – the place is crawling with help. Imagine a world where the clerks at the hardware store gently remove the light bulbs you wish to purchase from their packages and individually test each one? Or, when you ask whether they have a particular light array (for the operating room) and an entire posse of helpers willingly and happily set about locating it? Unexpected. Amazing. I am not used to such service and admittedly a little creeped out by it (for a jaundiced American, can someone be too attentive?). But am I also happy that each one of them have a job that they enthusiastically embrace? Yes, and its easy to get used to.

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