So, there’s this election coming up in the Canadian province of Ontario. It’s where my home is, and people seem to be having a tough time deciding who to vote for. It’s a dilemma, for sure. The party who has been in power for the last eternity or so has proven itself time and again to be profoundly ethically challenged. But the party who is in the best position to take power away from them is really hitting a lot of discordant notes in terms of where their priorities are. What to do?
Fortunately, the answer is pretty easy for me, and I realized today that the reason is ultimately… well… customer service.
The guy I’m going to vote for lives down the street from me. His name is Jack MacLaren, a local farmer, and I’ve known him and his family all of my life. He’s only been in real politics for a few years, and got in for the right reasons. As the third or fourth generation of a family that owned this land since it was granted to them by the Queen, he was getting tired of trying to fight all of the government bureaucracy that was threatening his way of life. Rather than just complain about it, however, he figured he would try to fix things from the inside. Good on him.
Long before he became a politician (or “went to the dark side” as some would say), he and his entire family were icons of the community. There are very few, if any, people here who haven’t been touched by one or many acts of kindness from the MacLarens. I’ve watched him bring his tractor down from the farm to pull people out of ditches (myself included). He’s always there to pitch in when someone needed a hand, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him ask anyone for anything in return. He’s bright. He loves to laugh, and his word is his bond.
Let’s see – someone who is friendly, helpful, responsible, trustworthy and focused on the needs of others. Sounds to me like a pretty good description of what customer service is all about. Why wouldn’t I vote for someone like that? Is it really any different than the reasons we are loyal to a retailer, or a hairdresser, or a restaurant? We like them, we trust them, and they care about us.
For the record, I don’t follow politics much, and I’ve managed to live most of my life in blissful oblivion of the politics around me. Like many, my awareness perks up a little bit during election time. But sadly, like many, when I do start paying attention it only serves to reinforce my already low expectations. This disturbs me on a number of levels, but perhaps what hits me the hardest is that I’m not by nature a cynical guy. I don’t like being cynical. I want to look for the good in others. But with all of the lies and other sewage that spews out of the mouths of people trying to get elected, that’s a daunting challenge.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who really just wants in their politicians the same thing we want in our service providers. Gee – someone you like, trust, and who cares about you? I’d vote for that person every time.
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