My family and I just enjoyed a spring break vacation in San Francisco (or we enjoyed two days and then we endured the cold rain during the others anyways). My 12-year-old son is a train fanatic and one of his favorites from his first-time visit to the city was definitely the cable cars. We got a pass when we got there and would often spend evenings just riding the cable car. To anywhere and back. Just because we could.
Our first cable car driver was just awesome. My son had the best time. He made everyone laugh. He pretended it was a roller coaster going up hills and down hills. Cable cars were FUN! The only problem was that we kept trying to recreate that first FUN ride and just never could.
We had one guy who said nothing. At all. There was one guy who repeatedly kept scolding everyone not to get anywhere near the grip or they would get their head chopped off. And it wouldn't be his fault. And no one listens. One man who screamed at a woman trying to get on with the stroller.
And, believe me, if I would have known he was so special, I would have gotten the first guy's name and made sure to call someone and point out how lucky they were to have him as an employee.
All of these guys did their job. By the book. They got me from Fisherman's Wharf to Union Square. In one piece. But, thankfully, one made it FUN.
It definitely made me realize why hiring for personality is imporant in a customer-service based business. And it made me think of what kind of "gripman" I want to be at my own job. It will make me think twice in the future about whether I want to be pretending I'm on a rollercoaster on the downhills or screaming at people to be careful or they will get their heads chopped off! (Yes, I'm afraid I've been guilty myself from time to time.)
And it should make you think too... How many of your own members are trying and trying (to no avail) to repeat their first great experience with your association?