I'm one of those annoying people who thinks that if you're paying for service, you should get good service.
When I worked in shops, I was taught that THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. That THE CUSTOMER LEAVES HAPPY.
Seems kind of old-fashioned now, in a world where 14 year olds think they're not being paid enough to wipe tables at Maccas.
And have you asked for help in your average K-Mart or Target lately? Service in K-Mart is so bad that I've stopped going there altogether, and Target is a last resort. I'd rather go without, or pay a little more and go into one of the small, locally-owned shops where they rely more heavily on customer satisfaction.
Or shop ON-LINE (hear me, Gerry Harvey?)
But at least if you live where tourism is a major factor in the local economy, service isn't entirely a foreign concept.
We used to go to Rainy Beach Town quite a lot. Rainy Beach Town is tucked quite out of the way, in WA. And service there is pretty hit-and-miss. Everything, except for the supermarkets, closes by midday on a Saturday - and when I say 'by' I mean sometimes 11:30 sees the doors slam shut. So we learned to shop fast.
The best part though, was the 'hospitality' industry.
The first place we stayed at, I left my gold bangles behind somehow. I rang the resort as soon as I got home, and the woman said, "Oh yes, one of the cleaners found them. Just a minute, I'll go look for them."
She came back and told me she could only find one, which was odd because she had put them in a safe place.
Resort safe? desk drawer? filing cabinet?
No. She had dropped them over the pens in her pen-pot, on her desk.
She went away and looked some more, and finally located the missing bangle, which had been 'moved by the cleaning staff'. One bangle. Moved from the pen-pot, leaving one behind.
"Right," I said. "Well, since we live 200 kms away, do you think that you could put them into an envelope and send them back to me, next time you're in the Post Office? I'm happy to pay postage and a little extra for your trouble."
"Oh, no." she said. "No. It's too much bother."
Eventually, I arranged for someone's friends' mother-in-law to go in and pick them up, give them to friend, who gave them to someone, who returned them to me.
And we never stayed there again.
And yes, everyone I knew heard that story.
The next place we tried, my husband was groped by a naked man and the woman who ran the place 'adopted' us and came to visit every day while celebrating something (there was always something to celebrate, it seems) and stayed till she ran out of whatever-she-was-drinking.
After that, we found some utterly gorgeous townhouses that we loved, though they were horribly expensive, and we had to book weeks ahead.
But the service was good!