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Date: November 4, 2011
Subject: This Sort of Stuff Will Be the End of America

This is
G&G Associates
Tax & Financial Consulting Services

This Sort of Stuff Will Be the End of America

Karibu (Welcome) G&G Readers,

When I dropped my rental car off at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Advantage car rental parking lot yesterday, the young attendant casually wandered up to my car. She never said hello. She never asked how the rental was, and she didn't respond to my questions... at least, not at first.

Her job at this point is to check for dents and scratches and windshield shatters. But I knew she was missing them all, not paying any attention. I had recorded several large dents and dings when I picked up the car just a days earlier... including a huge dent on the nose of the car.

But the story only gets worse after she debited my account and handed me my receipt. As I began to walk off, I remembered the GPS device I rented with the car.

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Here goes the conversation:

Me: Hi, do I need to take the GPS inside or can you check it in here?

Advantage Employee: ...silence...

Me; (a little louder, but perfectly polite…for real…I was polite): Hey, does this GPS in the car need to go back inside? I rented it and want to make sure it gets returned to the right place...

Advantage Employee: You need to put it in the bag. [Note: She was referring to the case the device came in when I picked up the car.]

Me: But does it need to go inside?

Advantage Employee: No, but you need to put it in the bag.

Me: I need to put it in the bag?

Advantage Employee: Yep.

Me: Why is that?

Advantage Employee: That's the way you got it, isn't it?

Me: Sure, I'd hope so... but now you're in the car and I'm heading to the bus... can't you take care of it for me?

Advantage Employee: Why would I do that? You're the one who took it out and was using it.

Me: But aren't I paying Advantage, and aren't they paying you?

Advantage Employee: Not enough.

Me: Wow... How much do you think it's worth to put the GPS away?

Advantage Employee: $5.

Me: I tell you what, I'll put it away... and you can pay me $1.

Advantage Employee (a half frown): But you used it, it's your responsibility.

Me: Nope, I already paid Advantage... You just debited my credit card. (I showed her my receipt she generated moments earlier.) So now it's your responsibility to take care of what your employer is paying you to do.

Advantage Employee: Whatever...

Look, this person's attitude reflects a huge problem today in America. And I'm seeing more of it... in restaurants, in stores, and on the phone.

It's a fundamental lack of understanding about hard work, money, and the value of attitude.

I don't know where or how it will end, but it's not going to be good for people like her. Not until she understands the value of service and working for someone else, and starts taking pride in the outcome of her actions. The businesses that allow this sort of stuff should go belly-up.

Next time you get bad service... do what I do and walk away... “Don't tip bad service out of guilt.” Tip because you got great service, great attitudes, or found someone that cares about the outcome.

Otherwise... we're doomed to a "whatever" sort of society.
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Metta (Wishing You the Best)

Asar Maa Ra Gray
Tax & Financial Consultant, RFC
G&G Associates
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LEGAL NOTICE: This work is based on what I’ve learned as a financial researcher and analyst based SEC filings, current events, interviews, corporate press releases and what I've learned as a financial consultant. It may contain errors and you should not base investment decisions solely on what you read here. It’s your money and your responsibility. Nothing herein should be considered personalized investment advice.


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