Service Smiles is an answer to the question What did I learn about Customer Service this week?
The Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services has an email list. They give updates to trash and recycling pickups.
Their notifications are clear and concise. It keeps me informed to any variations in the pickup schedule due to weather or other issues.
This is the most mundane of updates. There’s nothing sexy or exciting about trash and recycling pickups. Each new notice comes with a poem.
Alone, walking purposely uphill toward the bus stop,
Heavy grocery bags pulling your arms straight down.
So cold. Six degrees. They call it the Siberian Express.
I see you, and I gesture for you to climb into my back seat; I’ve replaced two regulators now, trying to roll down a frozen window.
“Where to?” “The bus stop.” “Where to, after that?” “The county road,” you say.
I make quick calculations of miles, of time, of traffic, of the dreaded round-about, And, against my cautious self, say I will take you home.
We travel together to get you there, and you tell me
You’re an unemployed social worker,
Your car is no longer useful,
You have health problems,
And you have grown children.
Now, in your 70’s, you live alone.
And they are doing well, so far away.
“No jobs around here, if you want to get ahead.”
Of me, you know nothing, except that I, too, am alone, With children doing well, so far away.
It seems enough.
—Patricia Simoni, “Timeshare”, recommended by subscriber DM
It’s nothing exciting. It’s not big and flashy and it won’t change minds or win hearts. But it made me smile.
The first few times I didn’t even read the email down far enough to see the poem. I saw it in the last one and went back and checked and there’s a poem in each message.
This mailing list is great customer service work. It fulfills its mission quickly. It says here is the current waste pickup schedule. And it adds some fun, ending with a poem.
This is great work and I salute whomever started this trend and hope they keep it up.