In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 22, 2006 / 29 Elul, 5766

Service with a Smile

By Greg Crosby

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you can remember going to a shoe store, sitting down in a chair and having a sales clerk measure your foot, bring you several styles and sizes of shoes, put them on your foot for you, ask you to walk around in them and then ask you how the shoes feel, you probably qualify for social security. That level of retail service is long gone. If you encounter a shoe sales clerk at all these days, they'll do little more than bring out a pair of shoes you ask for from the back room, hand them to you and walk away. And that would be considered GOOD service.

This came to mind the other night as I was watching a really old movie on TV. I mean a really, really old movie. This one was from the mid 30's. In this film the guy goes into a department store, walks up to a counter and asks to see a pair of gray dress gloves displayed in the glass case. The salesgirl not only takes out the gloves, she smiles, and then proficiently puts them on his hand to be sure the size is right. How's that for service? Go into a store today and ask to see a pair of gloves and they'll direct you to the gardening department.

Personal service, at least as it relates to the everyday shopper, simply doesn't exist anymore. There are several possible reasons for this. One reason might be the decline in courtesy, manners, and formality overall in today's world. Another reason is that most of today's younger people just don't want it.

Also, the job of "store salesclerk" has been dumbed down. There was a time, a few decades ago, when a salesclerk was considered a good, solid, middle class occupation - not like it is now, just something to do for a paycheck until something better comes along. My dad was a salesman and he was good at it. A really good salesman took pride in his work and enjoyed the relationships he built with customers. Today's salesclerk is really not a salesperson at all. He or she is more of a stock clerk than anything else - with little or no knowledge of the merchandise they're paid to handle in the store.

Another obvious reason for the disappearance of good service is the class factor. Most retail stores are not classy anymore. They are quite simply not designed to be service oriented - they are set up for self-service. Who would expect to walk into a Target or Wal-Mart and be "waited on?" The idea is preposterous.

Although the service is better at "high-end" stores such as Saks, Nordstorm, and the designer boutiques, it wouldn't hold a candle to the old time service that was once available to most Americans at most stores half a century ago. There seems to be an edginess or impatience with many of the clerks at the expensive shops these days, why? Are they unhappy with their jobs? Or does the store purposely hire people with attitudes because they think it's "cool?"

"The customer is always right," "service with a smile" and "satisfaction guaranteed." What were once steadfast rules of retail have become nothing more than quaint outdated slogans - undoubtedly scoffed at by the 21st Century "sales representative." Antiquated mottos as passť as those dress gloves I spoke of from the old movie.

What I miss most is the courtesy. Okay, it may not have always been sincere, but it was welcomed nevertheless. Being treated as someone important is good for the psyche. Not too many of us are really all that important in the great scheme of things, I grant you. We all can't be billionaires, heads of industry, or celebrities - but isn't it a nice thing to be treated as if we were? In the brief time it takes to buy a jacket or a pair of shoes or even a pair of gloves, we should be given the modicum of respect and attention that was once so commonplace in my father's day.

Courtesy. A familiar expression you'd hear was "common courtesy." Just like the joke about "commonsense" not being all that common, you could say the same for courtesy. I don't expect courtesy to make a big come back in everyday life, but it sure would be nice if at least it gained popularity in the stores again. Are you listening Macy's? And while you're at it, you can toss "respect," "manners," and "dignity" into the mix too. I'll forgo the "class" this time. No sense in asking for the moon.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2006, Greg Crosby