Day 209 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all!

My coat is a like this: the collar can be put up to keep your neck warm.

This morning I was reunited with my hounds-tooth coat. Okay so Vicki did not deliver it yesterday as promised but she did deliver it early today. And she apologised as she was at the Gold Coast and did not come home until this morning.


Still, what great service! As I closed the door with the coat in my arms, I looked at it lovingly and hugged it to myself  as one would do after finding a child that was lost. I know this is a bit much folks, but I really did appreciate having this great winter coat back. It just ticks all the boxes for keeping you warm and I primarily bought it to visit Sydney  in the winter when Maria and the girls lived there.

To think I was beginning to wonder what had happened to the phrase “Service with a Smile?” Well, I experienced it this morning. However it has  left me mulling this morning on how some customer service people go out of their way to do whatever they can for you, and others cannot be bothered and will tell you anything to get rid of you.

We found this even happened on the ship. One of our dinner companions Joan, liked green tea but there never seemed to be any in the buffet or even in the Restaurant but when Joan asked an official looking gentlemen he returned and whispered to her “Come here” and quietly gave her- on the sly – a few teabags to keep. Yet, according to all the others, green tea did not exist on board the ship!

I too had an experience one late night after dancing when Geoff and I went to the Horizons Buffet for some coffee and cake. I asked one of the Filipino waiters “Is there any whipped cream for my apple pie?” Eager to please he replied “Wait here Madam, I’ll see what I can do” and off he went.

After five minutes of waiting, I wondered where he had gone so I asked another waiter “One of the waiters has gone to get cream, tell him not to worry, I’ll have it without cream.” He replied adamantly: “Madam, there is NO CREAM at this time of night. None at all.” As I turned to leave, coming toward me was the first waiter carrying a big bowl of whipped cream!

I turned to the unhelpful waiter and said nicely: “Well, what do you call this??” I don’t think he knew what to say! The look on his face of amazement said it all. I thanked the helpful waiter and told him how wonderful he was. I asked him did he go and whip the cream but he only laughed and said he got it from the bar area.

Yes, Service with a Smile is a catchphrase which originated I believe, when P.G. Wodehouse wrote the book “Service with a Smile” which was published in 1961. I have never read the book but from my research it appears to be a ‘bit of a hoot’ set in a location known as ‘Blandings Castle’ and features the unstoppable Uncle Fred.


Since then we have heard a lot about ‘Service with a Smile’ but not too much about being served by people wearing such a smile. There are even industry awards in Newcastle (Australia) called “Service with a Smile Awards”. I would like to be present to see what happens at one of those awards. Would everyone be smiling there?

In the meantime, I may just nominate Vicki, who returned my coat,  for such an award. Mind you, she was adamant that she had done nothing out of the ordinary when I thanked her profusely and wished I could give her something to express my gratitude.

Now this folks, is the TRUE service … with a smile.  It is when the person expects NOTHING in RETURN for what they did for us. This indeed is …  SERVICE.

Thanks heaps Vicki!