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"Why Choose Between Fun and Content When You Can Have Both"

Bad Customer. Bad Boss. Bad Employee. Courtesy of Police Academy

1984. I know some of you weren’t even born yet. But I think everyone has seen the movie Police Academy. It seems to be on TV like every other day. For those of you who are fans of the Police Academy movie (the 1st one),  one of my favorite scenes is the parking lot scene. There’s an interaction between the employee, the customer and the boss that offers so much conversation:

Click here for a link to the video. I’m warning you now that there might be some language that might offend some of you.

After you’ve watched the video why not use it as a meeting ice breaker discussion. Ask yourself/your team:

  • Who started the problems?
  • How could it have been diffused?
  • How would you, if you were the boss, have handled this?
  • How would you have handled the customer?
  • If you were the customer, why were you such a jerk and how could you have handled it differently.
  • Come up with some great discussion questions of your own

Now of course it’s a movie and was meant to be funny, but I’m sure this stuff has happened to people, perhaps even you.

And I bet it is safe to say that Mahoney is not the author of Diary of the Happiest Employee on Earth!

Our most valuable resource sits 63′ ahead

I should have turned around, got on the highway, chased the driver and made him pull over. On the back of the 18-wheeler in big bold letters it read:

Our most valuable resource sits 63′ ahead

As I passed by the truck turning onto the entrance ramp of the highway I noticed “sits 10′ ahead” on the side of the trailer near the front, approaching the cab. How cool I thought. Someone actually took the “thank you to employee messages” that I talk about in Diary of the Happiest Employee on Earth and went a step beyond – or 63′ beyond – for all to see.

I should have turned back. I should have gotten a picture. I should have waved down the driver and done an interview right on the side of the highway. How cool is that, in big bold letters telling an employee doing their job that they are the most valuable resource…and each day thousands of people get to see that! That’s right customer, you’re not #1; our employee is.

But Mr. Customer, I’ll bet this employee is proud and happy and you’ll reap those benefits. And on doing some research I find that Crete Carrier is one of the highest paying carriers with high marks from employees and a high customer experience.

It’s just another example of why I came up with R+EE+CE=$$ and why we are hearing more and more about companies realizing it is time to put the employee first if they want satisfied customers. And by putting them first I mean doing things not talking about it! If this ain’t an example of putting your words to action I don’t know what is.

Now I have contacted people from the company to see if I could get a picture. I’ve even done a Google Search to find one. None around. The company rep did say he would send me one when the truck is back in the yard. Personally I hope that truck never ends up back in the yard long enough for pictures.

Brilliant employee experience idea. Brilliant marketing idea. Brilliant recruitment idea. Brilliant customer experience ideas. Congratulations Crete Carrier…’re brilliant!


UPDATE Janaury 26, 2012: Well it seems that the folks at Crete Carrier were watching Social Media feeds. And I made some new friends in the trucking world.


My new friend Jodi sent me this. This is the truck Jodi drives. Now it’s not the truck  I saw (company reps promise me that one is coming), but it delivers the same message. Way to go Jodi!


Crete Carrier Driver Jodi Judson drives this!


And my new friend John Lawrence sent me a link to a very similar one. You can check that out by clicking here.


John and Jodi, if you’re ever resting at the Southington CT TA make sure I know you’re in town. Coffee is on me.

If it’s called Sales and Service why does it appear like Sales vs. Service?

I’m writing this as I sit here at the Subaru dealer waiting for my car to be repaired. Seems two recalls that “could cause a fire” (and kill me?) were identified and that would just suck and not make for a very fun day.

The waiting area is comfortable. It is clean. There’s plenty to read. There’s free coffee. There’s a giant flat screen TV. But something is missing.

My salesperson.

I know he’s here. I heard them call his name. Wouldn’t it be cool if the service department let the guy who sold me the car know I was here? Imagine if the service department employees provided a report with appointments made for his customers. I’m sure his name is somewhere in my records. Imagine if he came over to say hi or Happy New Year. And if he’s not here, imagine if someone from the sales team just came over to say hi? How would that make me feel? What would that do for customer loyalty or the customer experience?

I have seen two other people get up and walk over to the sales area to say hello to people. I presume the person who sold them the car. But why does it have to be that way?

Too bad there is a line between sales and service in so many businesses; especially when it is referred to as Sales AND Service.
Want to get more out of your employees? Are you ready to develop Happy Employees and create an amazing customer experience. Rich DiGirolamo can show you how to implement the ideas presented in his book Diary of the Happiest Employee on Earth: 52 Provoking Thoughts for Creating a Great Workplace into your business and start reaping the rewards of higher productivity and more engaged employees. Get in touch today.

Your policies drive me away. Your employees keep me coming back.

Most customers suffer when a company has too many rules and policies in place. Employees are afraid to be original, different or stand out for fear of having their hands slapped or worse. Often times the few who ignore the rules make the most memorable impressions on customers; and often times keep them coming back.

I’ve never been excited by an airline, a bank, a big box retailer, etc. They all will always have a deal or special that entices. But I will go back to the place where one employee made me smile or makes me feel like a rock star when I walk in the door.

The challenge is allowing your employees to bring their true self to work. The first place to start looking how to make this happen is your policy manual.

This New Year’s Resolution will give multitaskers and overachievers an orgasm

Visiting family yesterday I picked up the Sunday comics (they actually still get the newspaper delivered to their home while I read/scan USA Today on my phone while under the covers in the morning).

The comic strip Blondie gave me a good chuckle. It was a spoof on New Year’s Resolutions. All the characters were running around declaring their resolutions to one another. The last panel of the strip has Dagwood commenting how these are the same resolutions people made in previous years.

How true!

How many times have you told others:

  • “I’m gonna save more money this year”
  • “I’m going to be nicer this year”
  • “I’m going to get healthier this year”
  • “I’m going to quit smoking this year”
  • “I’m going to be more charitable this year”
  • “I’m gonna lose that weight this year”

I could add to the list but you get it.

So here’s one action you can take that might accomplish many of your resolutions (pay attention multitaskers and overachievers!):

Make one less stop each week to buy that overpriced uber-calorie coffee drink or deadly pack of cigarettes. Now take half that money and put it in a jar. The other half donate to a charity. Yes, there are charities who appreciate a $2 donation; such as The Double D Diner: The World’s Only Virtual Diner Fighting Hunger.

Think about it. You won’t have to get up at 4:30AM every day to get to the gym. You won’t have to live on salad. You won’t experience complete nicotine withdrawal which causes you to become so cranky you are barking at everyone.

Take this one small step and you’re done. Saved money. You’re nicer. You’re on the road to being healthier, quitting smoking, losing weight and being more charitable. All by making one less purchase each week.

Now how’s that for achieving your New Year’s Resolution?

And think how many people will look forward to seeing you December 31, 2012 and seeing the transformed you; versus having to listen to you tell us that 2013 is going to be the year.

Happy New Year. Now get to work.


RICH DIGIROLAMO, founder Recess At Work, works with organizations to create happier work environments, strengthen work teams, design new programs, and create better relationships with customers and peers. In his new book Diary of the Happiest Employee on Earth: 52 Provoking Thoughts for Creating a Great Workplace he talks about why it is important to create a great employee experience throughout the year.

Are you ready to take a Recess with Rich, inject some new energy into your organization and create an even better employee and customer experience?