Service of Anniversaries II

November 29th, 2010

Categories: Anniversaries, Celebrations, Customer Service, Service Personality


I’m almost a month late in recognizing the second anniversary of The Importance of Earnest Service, November 5, 2008. There have been a few guest posts among the 213 covering 183 categories and 1,429 approved comments.

blueribbonWhile I’ve interpreted the service concept broadly in these 24 months, I’ve chosen to celebrate this anniversary with a traditional case history to describe the exemplary service of a young man and woman who secured the entrance to my client’s November craft show/art fair at the Javits Center. They are worth celebrating.

They perform a physically punishing task. You try standing on cement in a drafty hallway for hours on end, checking every ticket and pass, answering the same questions about rest room and water fountain locations or whereabouts of an artisan or artist’s booth or “have you seen Gina or Joanna?” Think you’d keep your sense of civility and humor?

Adriana Rodriquez and Edward Cruz of the McRoberts Protective Agency did, graciously, becoming a seamless part of the producer’s team, swept up in the enthusiasm and celebratory feeling of the event, echoing the mood and energy of the craft show/art fair staff.

I was in and out of the show floor and up to the registration desk to meet press countless times daily. I heard Adriana and Edward say to departing visitors, “Hope you enjoyed the show! Thank you for coming!” That’s when I asked Richard Rothbard, the producer of the American Craft Show NYC and Contemporary Art Fair NYC, if they were his employees.

1876The security company they work for was founded in 1876. I’m not surprised it’s lasted this long. When I mentioned to Adriana and Edward that I write a blog about service and that I’d like to write about them, a very few minutes later, on my way past them yet again, they handed me a sheet of paper on which they’d neatly printed key information: the McRoberts and their names, along with the title of the event. Pleasant, cheerful and smart too!

Can you share an encouraging service story from an unexpected source to help extend the positive vibes of this great service experience and to help me celebrate The Importance of Earnest Service’s second birthday?


15 Responses to “Service of Anniversaries II”

  1. Neil Janovic Said:

    Hearty congratulations and a tip of the hat for your staying power and your continuous ability to make your blog lively and interesting.
    As a retailer and service provider in the past, I was truly fortunate to have a store manager who, after spending anytime with a customer, would close with honest sincerity, “Thank you and
    God bless you.” I received countless phone calls on how wonderful a shopping experience he provided. His behavior was infectious and left a lasting addition to everyone’s attitude that
    surrounded him. His explanation to me was “It doesn’t cost nuthin’ to be nice.” Best wishes and continued success to you and the blog. It certainly feels like it has been around for more than two years.
    Like and old friend.
    Neil Janovic

  2. Christine Whittemore Said:

    Congratulations, Jeanne!

    These blog birthdays are major milestones and lovely reality checks. I can’t imagine life before blogging it’s so much a part of me. Is it the same for you?

    Joyeux Anniversaire!



  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    There were many, many wonderful people who worked at your stores and I was always amazed and fascinated by how you maintained such a high level of service without being at each one yourself. You should share your secrets in a book!

    There was an incredible woman in charge of the window shade/blinds department at the Third Ave. in the 60s Manhattan store. Nobody knew these products as she did and she had a very gentle way of correcting an interior designer if you happened to be shopping with one. I had fallen in love with a shade I’d seen at the Kips Bay decorator showhouse. I described it to her and she had exactly the same one and she asked me, “Is privacy an issue?” When I said it was, she explained that while it kept out the sun, people on the outside looking in would have a full view of the room. She was so knowledgeable and lovely—a treasure.

    Years before I represented wallpaper clients and the association, I took the subway from Brooklyn to a store in the west 70s. That’s where I bought my first wallpaper, for a gracious hallway with high ceilings and curved walls. The staff was amazing and the wallpaper stunning and perfect for the space.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Thanks, Christine. I love writing my blog and I’m so happy to have a place to address what I see and think! I consider my blog deadlines as important as my client’s and the media’s, though the latter two take precedence. It’s a happy way to let off steam and a wonderful way to hear from friends, new and longtime!

    Sometimes I toss off a post and think, “B O R I N G, not your best” and it rings bells with people and generates the most comments. The surprise is a treat!

  5. Kathleen Fredrick Said:

    Congratulations, Jeanne, on a very successful blog. Yours is one of two I always read and always find interesting and enouraging. You’ve provided a way for us to acknowledge good service, something that does exist but not as often as it should. And those who provide good service should get a pat on the back. Keep up the good work.

  6. EAM Said:

    I would need to put in a vote for my Weight Watchers leader, Leanor in NJ. She has about 600 members and leads 4 classes on Saturday alone (she works 6 days/week). She always has on a cheerful smile, makes us laugh and offers an excellent blend of encouragement and nutritional support. She doesn’t make much money but you wouldn’t know it by her attitude. People don’t just like going to the meetings, for many, she is the reason that they keep on going and stay motivated.

  7. Carolyn Gatto Said:

    Congrats on your second anniversary Jeanne! Here’s to at least 22 more (what will blogs and the web be like in 2032???). Keep up the great work.

  8. Hester Craddock Said:


    Congratulations on your second birthday! The first two years are always the hardest, therefore I’m sure that we can look forward to many, perhaps easier for you to write,but just as successful posts in the future.

    Your story about the McRoberts people and how great they were reminds me of a story my late uncle once told me about a like, perhaps even more famous security service founded even before McRoberts was. My uncle was in the garment manufacturing business in New York City in the late 1940s when his factory began experiencing a series of robberies. He hired this agency, whose logo was an immediately recognizable picture of Lady Liberty holding a shield, to try to stop the thiefts. They continued unabated.

    One day he was having lunch in Soho, long before it became gentrified, in an old fashioned Italian restaurant, when he spotted a Capo of one of New York’s five Mafia families eating at a table across the room with some of his associates. This made him very nervious, but knew better than to show that he was uncomfortable. On the way out, the capo stopped by his table and said to him, “I understand that you fellas have had a few break-ins?” My uncle aknowledged the fact. The Capo then said, “Take the Madonna out of the window.” (The Madonna was the protective agency’s logo.)He did, terminated the agency, and quaked in his boots as to what he was going to have pay the Mafia in protection money. The robberies stopped, and the Capo and his Mafia family never asked for a dime then, or ever after.

    Now that is service!


  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    We want to know the name of the other blog you read! Perhaps we should also be reading it!

    Thanks for your lovely comment!

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    If all goes well, I hope to be writing some version of this blog in 20 years…and as you note, who in heaven’s name knows on what I’ll be writing it and in what format it will be? I hope in more than 140 character tweets and that the collective mind will still be able to absorb more than a few words at a time. Thanks so much for your support!

  11. Jeanne Byington Said:


    When a person loves what they do, and/or when they have pride in themselves, they will do an exemplary job.

    I marvel at assistants who complain about doing what they consider tasks far below them. They don’t understand how important a well-formatted proposal or properly collated activity report is and are baffled when, upon doing a horrendous job at both, they are not immediately promoted to design and implement a program. Further, they don’t get why the colleague who shined at these “lowly” tasks, the person on whom you could count night and day, was promoted …

    Let’s applaud your Weight Watchers leader!! Thank you for keeping up the positive service vibes!

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Your story proves yet again that it is important to have friends in the right places! This kind of support isn’t of much help to that other security firm. Guess they plied their trade in other industries!

  13. Kathleen Fredrick Said:

    The other blog is Huletts Current, which is written by the family who owned the hotel and casino where we go on Lake George. It’s specific to the North Country, and usually to Lake George or Hulett’s. It’s well done, informative and a nice blog. “Try it, you’ll like it!” Quite different from yours in approach and purpose. I think he gets very few responses, whereas you’re looking for comments.

  14. David Reich Said:

    Congratulations on two years of blogging.

    I think your posts have added something good to the blogosphere. Keep it up.


  15. Jeanne Byington Said:


    High praise from one of the most highly regarded and widely followed bloggers in the country! Thanks.

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