Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
Now Available on Smashwords for Kindle and other ebook readers!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Good customer service and a crisis of faith

So yesterday I wasn't feeling well, so I stayed home from work. Along in the afternoon I felt better, but since I had burned a sick day I decided to go ahead and get some things taken care of that had been neglected for a while, like a haircut. I also decided to head to the Apple store and pick up a second power adaptor for my new MacBook. I had never been to the Apple store here, because it's in a mall and I hate malls. Not to mention it's not on my side of town, and I can buy iPods in other places. As is evidenced by the fact that I have more than two iPods for each resident of my house, I can but iPods in far too many places.

But I digress. You'll have that, it's a blog. Deal.

So I went to the Apple store, and the first thing I noticed was how busy they were for midafternoon on a Tuesday. There were probably 30 people in the store shopping, which I thought was extraordinary traffic for a mid-sized city on a Tuesday. The next thing I noticed was how well-staffed the store was. There were probably 10 people in there working, if not 15. And this wasn't a huge store, just a typically-sized mall storefront. The kind of store that if it's a shoe store or a clothing store there might be 3-4 employees. But this joint had a dozen employees - and the traffic to back it up. So I walk in, someone comes over immediately to help me, gets my product and asks if I'm paying with a credit card. I respond affirmatively, and he says "then I can ring you up here" as he whips out a portable thingamajig that swipes my card, processes my purchase and emails me a receipt within seconds. He slapped a sticker on my box and I was out the door in less than three minutes.

As I was walking out I couldn't help but think how pleasant the whole experience had been. I didn't have to wait on anyone, and never stood in line. The kid knew the answer to my questions about other products, and was polite and efficient. As I walked to the car I couldn't help but think "I just had a positive shopping experience in a mall."

I don't know that I've ever really thought that before.

In other news, I watched Across the Universe yesterday afternoon before rehearsal, and it made me a little ill. Julie Taymor is one of those people who just sees the world a few degrees differently than most people, and I'm so jealous of her vision that it makes me wanna puke. I see the things that she does with film and theatre and it makes me want to either elevate my craft or just give up because I'll never be that good, and I'm not sure which. It did bring about a small crisis of faith, however, because listening to her in the special features interviews made me realize that I need to care more about my projects.

It's not that I don't care about the projects I undertake, but it's been a while since a project consumed me, lit me from within with a fire that threatened to burn me out. That kind of desire to produce great art is something that's currently missing in me, and my work suffers from it. Don't get me wrong, I still put on good shows, but the intensity of focus that I've brought to some projects in the past just isn't there and hasn't been for a while. I think I need a new medium.

I've said for years that I'm bored with plays, so I think I need to creatively hibernate for a little while and see what comes out. There are things and themes that I want to explore and experiment with, and I think after several years of just getting by I'm ready to start making art again.

No comments: