I've mentioned the folks at Lavi Furniture Industries. I pray at a pew built there. Our synagogue has grown, and my pew is a more recent purchase. It's in the style of the previous pews, but it's not the same color as the old ones. I asked our synagogue warden and was informed that the old color was just not available and this was the closest they had.
I had a little trouble getting my mind around the idea that the company couldn't put in an order for a few gallons of the color and finish they once supplied. But I have since learned that not being bothered seems to be part of the company culture.When I look at my pew, the corners don't line up and two armrests are now loose. I've fixed other synagogue furniture because of damage caused by loads that should have been anticipated. When some of the pews started wobbling, our warden was shown how to fix them and given some extra feet for the furniture. A friend of mine once did an install with Lavi. He related that the team lined up the pews according to a near wall and fixed them there despite the wall not being straight.
Looking around, I notice this lack of care shows up in all too many places. On the way to my synagogue (I go there a lot), a new sidewalk was put in. It replaced an asphalt path. It's all of five or six feet wide and a good six inches up from the ground surrounding it. When it rains though, big puddles form in the middle of the walk in various places. In other words, one of the problems it was put in to avoid has been perpetuated; the person finishing the walk obviously couldn't be bothered to put in just a little more material and shape the walk so the water runs to the sides.
Now I have a neighbor. With new construction in our community, more water flows onto our streets and, given the placement of his house, right into his back door. Our local government was here to fix it the other day. A new sewer grate was put in, but anyone with a little sense could see that it would only catch a portion of the flow. I hear that even the workmen commented that they didn't expect this fix to fix the problem.
So while I wonder how people become so shiftless, I notice that it doesn't take much to stand out, either to the good or the bad. And herein lies the opportunity. How hard would it have been for the folks at Lavi to say, “You know, we don't make that color any more, but for you, we'll get it” and then ask the customer for his endorsement on how they go the extra mile? What might it do for business if Lavi were to institute process reviews to make sure poor experiences aren't shared by the next customer? And when I think about the water at my neighbor's back door, I wonder how damage could have been mitigated if the guy who was putting in the drain called his boss and said, “this ain't gonna work; we ought to . . . ”
There are still plenty of people out there who appreciate when you take care of them. How hard would it be for you to think an extra moment before you act? And what might that be worth to the person across from you? I am sure that sometimes they won't even notice. But if you do it right, and you learn how to call attention to the difference you've made, you can only leave your people with an experience they'll want more of.
And as usual, if you want my help being great, and sharing that with the world, you ought to reach out, and we'll get you started.