Gallery: San Clemente Faves Spring 2007 [5 Images] Click any image to expand.
by Maggie Zeibak
Sherri of Beach Garden Cafe.Appreciation. Recognition. Acknowledgement. How often do we stop and express our thanks to the people we meet on a daily basis? Yes, most of us are remiss, perhaps relishing in a grumpy day, offering only perfunctory thanks, grabbing our purchases and bolting out the door. Shouldn’t we stop and think about the people who are in the service business and have to deal with brusque (read: rude) impatient, demanding, inattentive (read: talking on cell phone) unappreciative customers? Dealing with the general public is something that everyone should have to do during their lifetime to fully understand customer service and human behavior.
Shopping locally (and we hope that you do) we come into contact with bank tellers, waitresses, government employees, shop clerks, volunteers, fitness advisors, customer service personnel, pharmacy assistants … and each one can make an impression on us – both good and bad. Most of the time we are quick to criticize and complain when things go wrong, but rarely take the time to think about the person who cheerfully and efficiently performs his or her job to make our life run smoothly. Not necessarily the happy-clappy type, just someone who is friendly and stands out in a crowd.
Take Kenny for example. Kenny works at the 99Cent Only store and quickly and efficiently gets his customers through the checkout line. An expert checker, he is totally focused on scanning the items and immediately responds when he hears the “oh-oh” sound from the computer telling him to manually punch in a code. Not only does he give a friendly greeting but also, when someone exclaims over the reasonable bill, he loyally proclaims what a great store it is and how good the prices are. He’s been there since the store opened two years ago, or even before, as he was stocking the premises ahead of opening day. It’s always great to see Kenny in action and get through the line rapidly.
Elaine Brahler, a 17-year resident of San Clemente and self-proclaimed Beach Garden Café groupie, likes to take a bi-weekly pit stop there during her trail walk. She says, “My favorite employee in San Clemente, hands down, is waitress Sherri. She’ll be the first to tell you (and as loud as you please) that she is no spring chicken. But, she hustles like she’s twenty, dishing out her unique sense of humor along with great food and contagious laughter. As often as not, she’ll give you a casual squeeze on your way out the door and I always feel that my day just got better.”
Mike Dagher owner, Typo Business Machines on Del Mar. Weighing in on her favorite customer service person is avid golfer, Mel Hannigan - but she can’t stop at one. She says she loves going to Body Awareness on Avenida Pico where Kinga Night supervises her Pilates training. “She is such a darling girl and so very interesting. Born in Hungary, she trained as a gymnast and dancer then she and her husband, Nicholas, became professional magicians. She retired from magic and is now a full time Pilates instructor – extraordinaire!”
“My Physical Therapist, Chrissie Morgan, owns Body Awareness. She’s a working Mom with two small children and runs two physical therapy locations, one here in San Clemente, the other in Costa Mesa. She has personality plus and I think she’s the best therapist around.”
Down at the Senior Center, Nutritional Assistant Carolyn Tull, immediately nominated Joanne Lippert at Wells Fargo Bank on El Camino Real. “She’s a Senior Sweetheart who greets everyone sincerely and is very, very helpful. It is a pleasure to go into the bank”.
Carole Gates who heads up the Meals on Wheels volunteers and Cathy Lee (Head Honcho at the Senior Center) both agreed that soft spoken Mike Dagher at Typo Business Machines, 221 Del Mar was extremely prompt and considerate when he comes to fix or pick up printers or a fax that needs repair.
We love to be pleasantly surprised when someone exceeds our expectations, looks you straight in the eye and goes the extra mile, so when one of the hard-working people in San Clemente makes your day a little sunnier, tell them that you appreciate their efforts. We have jewels in our midst that constantly sparkle - it’s the courteous people who make this a great place to live. b