Shattering The Plexiglass

It's quite possible you've heard me talking, writing, or Instagramming about my neighborhood's new grocery store that opened last May. My obsession with this store is probably a glaring indicator that I've been living in urban neighborhoods too long. More than a decade of no convenient access to fresh fruit, and I'm cuckoo for grapefruit (and bananas and apples and spinach, oh my)!

But lately, my appreciation for this spot has grown beyond the food itself. While I do have a history of being incredible awkward around customer service, I also know what it's like to be treated like no one wants you in their place of business. In fact, I maybe got too used to it in my neighborhood establishments.

So today I'm writing for FCS Ministries, the non-profit behind our new grocery store. Here's a sneak peek below. Click over to read the full story.

Drive thrus are an interesting phenomenon. I can speak to my mother-in-law in Guatemala with crystal clarity for free, but it’s virtually impossible to order a 2-piece chicken meal correctly on the first try. Perhaps Y2K only impacted drive thru intercoms, and they are destined to remain in the technology landscape of the mid-80’s. [Remember Billy ordering in his second language? Even better!]

Having lived in city neighborhoods for more than a decade, I’ve discovered that garbled conversations across the length of the building are often just the first disconnection in the urban customer experience.

One fast food chain would lead me from a fuzzy, walky-talky exchange to a giant plexiglass box. I opened the box, deposited my credit card into the designated slot, and closed the box door. Then, the employee would retract it, remove my card, and fill the box with my order, card, and receipt before sliding it back out to me to open. We really didn’t speak. We certainly didn’t touch. Based on my zip code, this process was deemed the best way to interact with me and my neighbors.

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