The crustacean of customer service

At Maceys, the local grocery store chain, they have a little show that they have done on weekends, put on by the guy in charge at the meat department. It is a fun gimmick, where he dresses up in his wet suit, snorkel, and flippers, and walks out to the “stage” area (usually some chairs setup just by the deli department) to show kids a couple of different sea creatures. He also puts a plug in for the parents to go and buy these great meats over at the meat counter. The kids get to put on a plastic glove and touch the fish.

In the past couple weeks, we have timed our shopping visits to see the shows, which had ran pretty much every half hour for most of the day Saturdays. My daughter has enjoyed the shows, and the daddy / daughter shopping time together. I’ve even learned a few things about fish, and it has been a good experience.

Today, we went again hopping to see the Fish Master show. But this week, the sign said “Show Canceled Today.” I was bracing my daughter for the disappointment, as another family with four kids came by and also saw the sign.

The fish master was there, working behind the meat counter at his day job. He had his normal butcher apron and hat on. He came out to talk to the kids and apologize. He said they just didn’t have room to do it for the next three weeks with the other promotions that were also going on. And, he explained for the parents, the management has changed the show a bit so that when he does return, he will not do several small shows through the day, but will instead put on a couple of “big” shows.

And that effort of personally stepping out to talk to his young and disappointed fans was a great touch. But then, he went a little beyond that.

He thought for a second, and then invited the kids to step right up to the meat counter, and he would be back in just a moment. He had a normal job to do, and he quickly helped a paying customer that was waiting, then disappeared into the back. A moment later, out he came holding a live lobster.

As he and the lobster stepped out in front of the counter, he also grabbed a box of plastic gloves. They came directly in front of the waiting young audience. He proceeded to teach them about the lobster – how it can see; how it digests its food; that his teeth are inside of his stomach, and his kidneys are inside of his head, and how this guy can live on land for about two days before he has to return to the water. The kids put on a glove and touched the lobster, like they would normally get to do at the end of the show.  He mentioned that another customer had special ordered this creature, but had not come to pick it up yet. And in his abbreviated and impromptu show, he created a little customer service magic. He invited the kids to watch for signs advertising the returning show and come back and see him. And then he returned the sea creature to the back room, and proceeded to help more customers waiting.

That was excellent customer service, above an beyond the ordinary. Thank you, Fish Master!

1 thought on “The crustacean of customer service”

  1. I was once on an airplane leaving Salt Lake City. Someone visiting the fair city had picked up a local newspaper and carried it on the plane. I heard him looking at the advertisement, and expressing surprise to his seat companion, “They spelled the Macy’s store name wrong in the ad!” The lady beside him explained that this was not the department store, but a local chain of grocery stores, and it was spelled correctly.


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