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Nothing wrong with expecting person's best
Senior Moments
Rich DeLong is the executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care - photo by File photo

Last week, I was attempting to gather important health information for an elderly gentleman who needed our help. I was told it would take up to 10 business days before I could have the information.

Ten business days – wow! That could mean as many as 14 days from the time the information is requested.

It’s no wonder I speak to families almost daily regarding the health concerns of their loved ones and the frustrations they face as they seek real-life solutions for the people they care about most. Like it or not, life moves at a pace much quicker than 10 business days.

Although I’m very familiar with the definition of a business day, the business of taking care of people never takes a day off. Our elderly population needs our help and support every single day, and they depend on people like you and me to be there for them.

Unfortunately, we have been conditioned to settle for less than a person’s best effort.

The auto attendant that answers more phone calls nowadays than real people is another wonderful invention to help people feel like someone really cares about them. Plus, your call is monitored or recorded for quality assurance.

I figured quality assurance went out the window when I had to listen to eight different options from a menu that had recently changed. Although I was happy to know that my call was important to whomever I was going to speak with after being on hold for 10 minutes.

Whatever happened to real customer service?

I recently spoke to a customer representative (I don’t think they use the word "service" in their job title anymore). I was calling the newspaper – not this one, but one you are probably familiar with – regarding a delivery issue. The real problem here is this was my fifth call in nine days. Each time I called I was reassured that the issue would be handled, and I was thanked for placing a call to them. That was nice.

Hmmm, one would think an apology would have been more appropriate. After all, I wasn’t calling to show my appreciation for a job well-done.

Delivering newspapers was one of my first real jobs in life. I started out with a small route on my bike. In a short time, I was given an additional route and enlisted the help of my sister who was old enough to drive.

We would load her VW Bug with 300 plus newspapers and deliver them all before catching the bus for school.

After my sister went to college, my dad took her place. That was some of the best times I ever spent with my father. He taught me all about customer service and running an efficient business.

We didn’t just deliver a newspaper; we started everybody’s day with a smile and great service. Some of our customers wanted their paper placed inside the screen door. Others wanted it on top of the milk box.

Then there were some who were already up and we would bring it to the kitchen table. Now that’s what I call customer service.

Yesterday my newspaper was thrown under the car – not my car mind you, but the next door neighbor’s car. It took me 10 minutes to find and retrieve it. My father never would have allowed me to deliver a paper like that.

Always expect a person’s best my friends!

You can reach DeLong at 912-531-7867 or

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