Monday, November 29, 2010

The Masses

A friend from out of town was here for the Thanksgiving holiday and he happened to stumble into one of Laredo's popular retail stores.  He was actually accompanying a relative who was looking to buy a single item after all the frantic Black Friday activity had subsided.

He was amazed at the disarray found within the aisles of the store:  Carts with merchandise were left behind (pictured) making it difficult for one to navigate through some sections of this well-known outlet.  While the amount of merchandise blocking the passageway was significant, I wasn't all that surprised, even after taking into account the amount of shoppers that must've gone out to make purchases this weekend.

I went on to explain to my amigo that this was a regular occurrence throughout the city.  If it wasn't merchandise abandoned in a toy store aisle, it was clothes thrown randomly about a t clothing retailer, or foodstuffs finding their way into every nook and cranny of a grocery store.  People just don't put things back the way they found them.  It's a lack of respect that carries over into open public spaces, such as roadways, parks and neighborhoods, where we see litter of all types flowing freely.

A.B. Barrera wrote another column in today's Laredo Times Business Journal entitled, "While Laredo Gains Consumer confidence, Customer Service Still Lacks."  Mr. Barrera has been tackling the subject of customer service and the effect it has on Laredo's image and economy.  I am, without a doubt, on board with Mr. Barrera's effort of promoting better customer service.  But what price are we paying if it's all being sabotaged by the actions of unruly store patrons?

While I totally agree that the shopping experience needs to be refined, something also has to give in the way of customer etiquette.  The impression we seek to convey depends largely on those serving our consumer needs.  But if we, as customers, run roughshod through our public spaces, then all the improvement efforts will be undone by those who live simply to act as if they're marking their territory. 

For those who visit Laredo, please excuse the mess.  We'll try to do something about it.

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