Guest Post, Marcus Goodyear: “The service is what matters”

Guest Post, Marcus Goodyear: “The service is what matters” June 4, 2012

For the next two weeks we’ll bring you some of the most interesting bloggers from the blogosphere all sharing what they learned from their first job. I already have a couple of dozen posts lined up, but there’s still room for you. Send me your idea here.

I first met Marcus Goodyear in 2007 at GodBlog in Las Vegas and I instantly liked him. A humble charm belies his brilliant mind and leadership ability. As the senior editor of The High Calling, he serves as my boss, overseeing the Weekly Calling that I am priviledged to author. And he’s a good manager, as he herds a gaggle of a couple of dozen part time workers from coast to coast with grace and persistent vision. He blogs occasionally at Good Word Editing, must most of his work is found at The High Calling. Here’s his submission to the project:

The Service is What Matters.

As a fifteen year old grocery bagger at Jumbo Foods in Enid, Oklahoma, I had two mantras.
“Would you like paper or plastic?” and “Let me help you to your car with these bags.”
The first was a real question. Some people preferred paper. Some plastic. As the bagger, I did my best to quickly sort and pack food without damaging anything. I thought of it as Tetris. Just keep up with the stuff coming down the conveyor belt. Smile and look happy. Juggle the canned goods away quickly. Group the fruits with grapes on top, nestled in the curve of a banana cluster. Be especially careful with eggs and bread.
The second was something we always offered. We were the store that served people well. Sometimes people gave me a tip, I think, but my memory is hazy on that point. You’d think I would remember that.
Instead, what I remember is loading groceries into a corvette and wondering about the impracticalities of grocery shopping in a corvette. I remember standing on the curb with several baskets from different customers, waiting for each to drive their cars over so I could load their trunk. I remember bagging groceries at the registers. I remember bagging ice in the back room until my hands were numb. I remember the great joy of being asked to burn stuff in the incinerator. I remember mopping the concrete floors late in the evening.
I was too young to run the register or drive the forklift. I couldn’t work late because of my age. But I worked hard on the weekends, helping people with their food.
It was a store that focused on customer service. I don’t necessarily remember any pep talks from the manager, but I knew that customer service was important. I was there to serve people, the customers, the cashiers, the other employees, even the manager.
That’s the lesson. Good work always begins with good service. Today, I manage a large online team, I write articles about faith and work, and I serve a nonprofit funded by a grocery store. I don’t know if that’s irony or destiny.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter. I get up every morning and head to work so I can continue serving people as best as I can. Sometimes people give me money for good service. Sometimes they don’t. Once I’ve paid my bills, I mostly don’t worry about it.
The service is what matters.
So how about you? For the next couple of weeks I’ll be highlighting voices from around the world, reflecting on what you learned at your first job. Send me a note here and join in! Click here to subscribe and not miss a single post. 
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