Friday, August 16, 2019

Customer Service People Deserve Respect.

I don't know why, I don't believe I will ever understand why; but why do tourists "test" welcome center representatives.  I've lost count of how many people would ask a question and afterwards say, "I was testing you to see how smart you are?"  Excuse me, how smart I am?  Could a person get anymore insulting?  I often learned that, when someone was about to be this rude to me, they would have a certain demeanor, a certain smug expression on his or her face.  Well I was ready for it, and that's when I would snap on my little "Hello, my name is NOT Google" name tag.  The person would read it, the smug expression would drop, and then a real conversation would take place.

Good!  These representatives, depending on which center you visit, can be highly trained in information about places to see, things to do, where to stay and have a meal.  They are not there to be made fools of due to someone being bored.  They are not walking computers, and certainly not there to be insulted.  They are there to help, and visitors need to learn two special words, "Thank you".

Now there is a center or two where the representatives are there for a paycheck and nothing more.  They don't care about learning the information, being able to read maps, and give out the proper ones. They don't care if you stay in the area or are just passing through.  These types are a blot upon those who do have a passion for being a tourist guide, and for sharing the love of what they do with others.

Anyway, I put together a little San Juan County Basic Information so the need to "test" can be avoided somewhat.  Hint, if you truly need to "test", be ready to leave one hell of a huge donation or tip.  It's the polite thing to do you know.

San Juan County Basic Information

Desert/High Desert
Open range/Brush land (mainly sage brush)

Major Industries

Farm Crops

LaSal – 6900 feet above sea level
Monticello – 7100 feet above sea level
Blanding – 6100 feet above sea level
Bluff – 4300 feet above sea level
Monument Valley – 5200 feet above sea level

The Bluffs of Bluff
Mexican Hat

Monument Valley

Does San Juan County have four seasons? 

Yes - spring, summer, fall and winter.

Does San Juan County have weather and what is it like year round?  
Yes, it has heat, rain, snow, hail, wind, thunderstorms, sun, clouds.  You know, like the rest of planet Earth.

We're going to Monument Valley, can we go inside the Indians' homes to see how they live?  
Umm, first off, they are Native Americans.  Second, please give me your names and addresses.  Why?  So I can give it out freely and tell everyone that your home is open to any and every one to visit at anytime.  

Why are there no straight roads, why are they so curvy?
The roadways were created to go around the natural landscape of the area, to avoid destroying its beauty.

....and here is a favorite story that my friends still get a laugh fest out of.  One day a woman came into a center I was working at and said, "I just drove up from Blanding and where are these mountains I was told I would see?"  (only one highway travels north from Blanding, Highway 191)

I walked her to the windows and asked, "You mean those mountains over there?" (pointing at the Abajo Mountains).

She responded with an incredulous tone of voice, "Hey, they weren't there before!"

...and my response?  "Oh, it's Wednesday.  They were sent out for cleaning, and were just put back." (mind you, there had not been any cloud cover to obscure the mountain range, it was a beautiful sunny day)

Abajo Mountains - Sunny Day

Abajo Mountains - Cloudy Day

Please take the time to engage the brain first, before opening the mouth.  Customer service people are not there to be your personal entertainment, and deserve the same respect that you expect for yourselves.  Give as good as you want to get.

Enjoy the journey!

Mary Cokenour

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