We had out-of-town company, by our long-time friends who raised four children here in Langley and now live on Texada Island (a three-ferry, full-day trip).
They, like many folks from outlying, small town areas like to shop here for certain items that are less expensive or unavailable near home.
They had limited time to get this all done before their son's anniversary party on Saturday afternoon. Since it had to be done Saturday morning, the busiest shopping time, my wife and I decided to drive our friends around separately.
Our friends have a challenging problem, with more than 5,000 bats roosting in the cavities of their vertical board-and-batten siding house on Texada Island.
We stopped at West Central Building Supplies on 62 Ave, loaded up several items, and the Shipper helped us find two (archive stock rare) special rolls of three-foot screen door-type screening.
We were impressed with the great service. The screen is to hang from the eaves which discourages the bats from returning to their roost they were accessing from the top of the batten board space. Word is they will fly under the screen to leave their roost, but won't fly under it to return to their roost.
Next, we stopped at Nufloors on the Bypass, for a special product they didn't carry - and the friendly gal at the counter referred us to another company and gave us a printout of a local map to redirect us. We were impressed with such helpful friendly treatment.
We then went to Home Depot, and a sales rep in the flooring department helped us find a special product my friend wanted to apply to his boat. Five minutes. Done. Excellent, instructive advice.
Then to the tools department for special lithium-ion battery impact and driver tools. My friend, a lifelong professional engineer is willing to pay more to avoid "Made in China," so I'm wondering how this is going to happen: $200 set with special lifetime warrantee offer, done in three minutes - again, very impressed with knowledgeable sales rep who with a two-minute spiel sold two sets to two different customers (made in Taiwan, much better than China).
Then to the seasonal department for bat houses. I had very low expectations of finding such a thing, and indeed, Home Depot doesn't carry this specialty item - but the salesman was really helpful, went on the internet, and located a bird store in South Surrey that carries a good selection of this unusual item. He even phoned to see if they had some in stock.
We drove to Birds Unlimited, and again received excellent service - out of there in 15 minutes with three bat houses that can accommodate about 6,000 bats.
Bats are desirable little creatures, in that they can consume up to 1/2 their body weight in insects daily.
A few more stops: patio furniture, etc.
Upon leaving each store or department we commented on the good service, then upon arriving back home we were commenting with our wives about the excellent service we got everywhere we went.
It doesn't happen by chance; it takes repeated, conscious effort. Our friends spent about $3,800 retail that rushed four-hour Saturday.
This was private-sector, non-union enterprise in action, something that the unionized sector might consider to strive to be better at.
No doubt many of us could strive to learn and practice better personal, pleasing, and effective communicating skills, too.
Roland Seguin, Langley
@ Copyright 2013