Surprise Me!

By Mark Dudley

In this day and age expectations (or you can call it entitlements) are high. Whether shopping for groceries or a house, consumers have great expectations.  They demand to be treated with a certain level of customer service. It really isn’t optional anymore, if they don’t get it from you, they’ll go somewhere else. These are just the facts.

This past week, I got to see this behavior play out before my eyes. I had the pleasure (although it was early and cold) to be a part of giving away $2000 gas for free in three different cities in South Carolina. We released the locations the night before, and in most cases there were folks lined up when we arrived in the morning. Many people were grateful, they smiled and thanked us. Some however, expected the free gas; it was as if we owed it to them. I’m sure they were happy to get it, but no pleasantries were exchanged. They simply got their gas and were on their way.

On the last day of this trip, we started to see a new reaction. Our location wasn’t as “main street” as the other two, so we had fewer cars waiting for the giveaway to start. After about 20 cars, we started surprising people. They had no idea they were getting free gas. They were simply pulling into the gas station to fill-up. The expression on their faces was priceless. This is when it really got fun. We began hearing stories of how payday was tomorrow and they didn’t know how they would afford gas to work that day. The people we met that morning were not expectant; they were surprised and grateful.

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