On October 23, 2003 I visited the Brigham Young University’s Parking Appeals Office and the Traffic Ticket Payment Office. Receiving any kind of ticket, whether it be speeding, parking, or so on, is not a pleasant ordeal. But, employees at these offices could make your visit a little more joyful than they do. “Service with a Smile,” might be helpful in making students ticket paying experience not so gloomy and resentful.
Upon entering the appeals office and meeting the appeals officer, I was not greeted with a warm “Hello” or “Hi, My name is Officer So and So. What may I do to help you today?” From the get go, I felt like he and I were both on the defensive.
But, I must say he did give me a break. A $50 ticket ended up being only $10. However, in my opinion the way he approached the “break” and the whole appeal, I would have rather paid the $50. Instead of saying, “I’ll tell you what I am going to do for you — Instead of making you pay the $50 fine, because I understand money doesn’t grow on trees, I am going to give you a break and only make you pay $10. How does that sound?” I would have been ecstatic about it.
But the situation was not approached that way. He took out the new citation, wrote that it had been reduced to $10 and handed it to me. I picked up my ticket, a bit upset about how smugly the whole situation was handled, and said, “Thank you for your help” and walked out of the office. Again, he did not say, “Thank you for coming or “Have a nice day.” He stared at his computer screen as I walked away. I’m not displeased because I have to pay the ticket but more so because I do believe I am a customer in this situation and “Service with a Smile” was not evident.
As I made my journey to the Payment Office, I got teary eyed about how smug and gloomy my visit to the Appeals Office ended up being. When I approached the window, again I was not greeted with a “Hello, How may I help you?” Instead, she stared at me and I stared at her and I put my ticket on the counter along with my debit card and endured another unpleasant experience.
Again, “Service with a Smile” was nowhere to be found. After signing the receipt, my mother has always taught me to be polite, again I said, “Thank you for your help,” with no reply from the individual at the window.
If I have learned anything in the twenty-four years of my life, it has been saying “Please” and “Thank You” can make a world of difference in any situation. Nothing says it better than the BYU Police/Parking Mission Statement Policy — “Treating others with courtesy, dignity, and respect.”
Just a friendly suggestion from a poor, struggling college student, “Service with a Smile goes a Thousand Miles!”
Nani K. Foster