It's my pleasure

I love good customer service. I love it when I ask a Publix employee where to find flaxseed and I am then escorted to aisle 9. I enjoy being cheerfully greeted when I pop through the doors at Quik Trip  I applaud ARMC for sending me a survey to check the quality of my last visit. I relish saying "thank you" at Chick-fil-A just so I can hear "it's my pleasure".  And I appreciate Race Trac's clean restrooms and Sodapalooza free refills. I love good customer service.
We all enjoy good service. And companies, for the most part, are good at delivering it. So good in fact that most of us have come to expect it. Maybe even demand  it

So imagine my surprise when my doctor told me he had "fired" some patients. I thought back to several disappointments I'd had with his office and felt relieved that I hadn't complained about the grumpy receptionist or the delinquent immunization paperwork or the phone call for a minor emergency that never got returned. He went on to explain that his office was overloaded, his staff was overworked and he had some patients who were so demanding they they could not be satisfied. Through tired eyes and with slumped shoulders he said "They can't accept that some of our decisions don't go their way. They got mad that we couldn't do things to suit them all the time.  So I fired them. Not my employees. Those arrogant, impossible-to-please patients." I was now way past relief and into full- blown gratitude that I had not expressed my opinion all these years as to how they could better serve their customers . Whew.  I figured it was safe to assume, since I was sitting in his office, that I was not one of the patients he let go. I asked him how it felt. Great, he replied. Great.

I later reflected on times I've been a dissatisfied customer. To be sure, some of those were just plain bad experiences. An important - and promised - deadline missed. Shoddy installation of an expensive product.  Broken locks on a hotel room door.  Erroneous information by an technician on a price quote. Repeated misdiagnoses that eventually necessitated scarring surgery. Happy customer I was not.  Understandable.

But other it possible that my expectations were unreasonable?  Or at least self-centered? Was I so accustomed to getting what I wanted that my desire for good service had morphed into a demand instead? Have we as customers become arrogant and irrational?  Do we think that companies should bow before our throne of exaction?

And, if they refuse - whether the reason is justifiable or not - how do we react?  Do we throw an adult version of a temper tantrum?  Do we harass the poor employee who has to deliver the unwanted news?  Do we rant about our experience to all our friends....and all over social media?  Do we complain to the home office and insist on reparations?

I wish we didn't. 

But sometimes we do.

Whether it's a doctor's office or a fast food restaurant or some other provider of goods and services, are we as the American customer just a little over the top in what we think should be delivered?

And have you ever noticed that those folks who are the most onerous hardly ever say "thanks" when you are finally able to deliver what they demand ?

Kinda makes you wanna fire 'em, ya know what I mean?