Hello all. Ed Holpfer here with Verbal Defense & Influence.

I’d like to share something with you that everyone should consider while on the job.

My office window looks out over a fairly busy intersection in downtown Milwaukee. As I looked outside, I noticed a DPW truck pull over and two workers get out to unpack a line painting machine to re-spray the lines of a crosswalk.

This crosswalk spans a two-lane, one-way street and has a bus shelter on the corner. As one DPW worker unloaded the machine, the other grabbed a hand full of traffic cones to close a lane while they panted the crosswalk lines on that half of the street. The side they chose to do first was the same side of the street as the bus shelter.

Recognizing the customer

One young woman waiting for the bus noticed this and walked over to the worker laying the cones. I could see her point to the shelter, then over to the cones in the middle of the street. I could only assume that she was asking if the bus was still going to stop for her despite not being able to pull up to the shelter. After a moment, the DPW worker gave her a friendly wave as she walked back to the bus shelter and began helping his co-worker who was getting ready to paint a fresh set of white lines in the street.



The process only took a few minutes, and as they were wheeling the machine back to their truck, they both turned and headed back toward the street. They had noticed that the bus in question was on its way and the DPW worker who spoke with the young woman walked into the center of the one open lane of traffic and signaled to the bus driver to make sure he stopped for the people waiting to be picked up.

While this was happening, the other DPW worker was helping a man in a wheelchair navigate the traffic cones so he could get on the bus as well.

Addressing the customer’s needs

What really struck me about all this was that they could have said “It’s not my job.”

They were there to paint lines in the road, not make sure people got on their bus okay. But they understood good customer service. They were there representing the city which means that, even though its not what they were sent there to do, they helped others because it was the professional thing to do. It all goes back to treating everyone with dignity and respect.

No matter your profession, if you wear a uniform or not; as long as you are working on behalf of a company or organization, everyone you interact with is your customer.

Whether you are enforcing the law, teaching students, serving fast food or painting the lines of a crosswalk, good customer service IS your job.

How do you provide good customer service on behalf of the organization you represent?

Ed Holpfer, Verbal Defense & Influence

Vistelar Group –