Home Editorial Local Landfill Provides an Unforgettable Experience

Local Landfill Provides an Unforgettable Experience

By Marjolijn Bijlefeld, Director of Custom Publications, Practice Advancement Associates

At my house, we’re still talking about our latest trip to the landfill. Yes, you read that right. The most mundane of tasks was elevated to something I want to talk about because of the efforts of one man.

Many people might not consider the man who sits at the entrance booth to be a customer service representative. There are hundreds of jobs where there’s only a momentary interaction, maybe 15 seconds or less, between customer and employee: clerks at the convenience store; someone working the drive-by window at a fast food restaurant; the agent at the airport who tells you what line to get into or the ticket-taker at the municipal landfill. Perhaps staff members in your billing department or even at the front desk fit that category.

But this man has taken the basic model of prompt, professional service—an expectation—and turned it into something extraordinary—without slowing my way to the recycling bins and dumpsters.

On a large chalkboard at the entrance, he writes a weekly trivia question. “34 years ago today, the #1 song was _____ _______ by the Bee Gees.” (No, it wasn’t Staying Alive—it was Night Fever.) “On this day in 1965, a food company introduced this cartoon food character.” (Poppin’ Fresh, aka the Pillsbury Doughboy). He invites everyone coming into the landfill to take one guess. There’s no prize or recognition. It’s just fun and memorable. It also brightens the prospect of having to haul another load of trash to the dump. In short, it’s brilliant.

So here’s the WO landfill challenge to you: how can or does your office staff elevate the mundane interactions. Do people drive away from your office with a big smile because something unexpected happened there? Share your story, and email me at mbijlefeld@jobson.com.

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