Copies in hand, I left FedEx Kinko’s yesterday at about 6:15PM. Within five minutes I realized that I didn’t have my phone. I returned to Kinko’s less than 10 minutes after I left, but my phone wasn’t there. I searched the parking lot at dusk, as a wet, cold early Spring snow was poured down on me. I went back into Kinko’s again. I searched the parking lot again. I looked under the seats of my car about seven times.
No phone. I went to my cousin’s house and called my wife, Arna, to ask her to be on the alert for a call if someone found my phone – after all, she’s first on my speed dial. By the time I talked to her she had already received a call from a woman who found my phone, in Kinko’s. “I didn’t trust leaving it with the people at Kinko’s so I took it home with me,” the woman said.
“Where do you live,” asked Arna.
Schiller Park is more than a half-hour away, 45 minutes in this wet, slippery snow.
Think about this for a minute. She was a customer of FedEx Kinko’s, but didn’t trust their employees enough to leave a stranger’s phone with them. She thought I would be better off driving an hour and a half round-trip than risking that a FedEx Kinko’s employee might steal my phone.
What about the FedEx Kinko’s experience made this woman, who obviously is human and caring enough to want to get my phone back to me, not trust them at such a basic level?
Could it be as simple as cold, transactional, perfunctory customer interactions? Is there nothing FedEx Kinko’s could have done to earn the lowest threshold of trust from this person? Or, could they do a better job of putting a human face on their employees, so customers won’t think they are potential criminals?