August 19, 2009

We're Who We Are When We're Young

I once read an article about a gasoline company who had been on top and had begun to slide. Another company seemed to be an up–and–coming company who was taking over. Research suggested that as generations were turning, more people were gassing up and shopping at the second gas station because as kids they were made to feel welcome; whereas at the first gas station they were made to feel unwanted.

I always felt wanted at Morgan's Service on the Corner in Clarkston. Heck, I still take my cars there because I get honest service. Plus, a chance to visit with Uncle John. But, when I was a young teacher in a small town, I went to the local "shop" to get some brake work done. Supposedly, the mechanic replaced some brake stuff (I paid for it, anyway) but when I bought new tires a few weeks later from UJ, he said, "Nobody's done anything to your brakes, Rick." Honesty, it's hard to come by.

It reminds me of a story of a kid. He lived in a small city in Oakland County in the '70s. Sometimes, when his grandma and mom would go shopping at the mall on Miller Road in Flint, he would get to go along.

"I remember standing in the doorway, looking at all the books and wondering when I would be able to read," he once told me. "I think it was a Barnes & Noble, but I know the books were Hardy Boys books."

The day was never complete until they had lunch and finished shopping. Sometimes lunch would include a trip into Hudson's but the best lunch was at that Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburger just down the road. Wendy's was hard to find back then, and especially up in that area.

"When we went to Flint, we would eat someplace special but I always preferred Wendy's. I mean, Burger Chef was great and all, but you could eat there in Waterford when we went to K–Mart or Kresge's," he said. "That was a short trip. Usually to Dad's carpet store."

Recently, I was talking to someone who was enrolling at a new place.

"The person in charge never looked at me, but told me that my information didn't come in and that I didn't qualify for this or that, with no explanation," I was told. "'No, no, nope,' was all he said."

I only hope that things get better in that situation because the first impression says a lot ... What we learn when we're young gets us ready for when we're old(er).

1 comment:

Carl and Sally said...

Thanks for the compliment!