Please Do Not Disturb the Accessories

A couple of weeks ago, I made a Gatorade and hot chocolate run during a break between  Wayne Kevin’s flag football games.  Grateful to have a “real” bathroom at my disposal instead of the portolets at the field, I availed myself of the facilities at the Gate Station on Magnolia Drive here in Tallahassee, where I purchased our drinks.

The Magnolia Drive Gate Station is, as convenience stores go, pretty  nice.  Many of the employees have been there for years and go out of their way to be welcoming and friendly.  I can count on the ladies’ restroom being clean.  This time, the restroom was beyond clean — it was decorated!!

I had my camera with me because I had had it at football, and my “hmmm, this has blog potential” sensor went off when my eye was drawn to the two identical signs posted on the wall.  They read:

We strive to keep our Ladies Room Clean & Fully stocked.
Our employees have also added decorative accessories to give our customers a more welcome & pleasant atmosphere.
We would appreciate it if our accessories were not disturbed, or removed from the restroom.
Thank you. 
I counted nine special decorative touches contributed by the Gate employees, including this quasi-nautical/natural arrangement on top of the commode:
I’m no interior decorator (a fact as well known as my compulsive reading), but I couldn’t completely grasp the theme.  The blue/aqua family was prominent (we are in Florida after all).  There was also a nod to the Christmas holiday:
Why did I find all of this blog-worthy?  There are a couple of reasons.  First, I detected in the double appearance of the sign a sincere investment on the part of the Gate employees in making my experience at their establishment “more”‘ than your average convenience store stop.  And a fervent hope on their part that the effort would not be negated by a thoughtless visitor. 
This bathroom decor also elicited many of the same emotions I felt about my kids’ efforts when they were little:
  • Gosh, I hope the effort works!
  • Man, I hope no one messes up what they’ve worked so hard on
  • Gee, I hope they aren’t disappointed if something gets “disturbed”
  • Please, Lord, don’t let them lose the optimistic view that something they create has the potential to make another person happy
  • Even if they are discouraged, give them the gumption and inner strength to try again
Thank you, Gate employees on Magnolia drive for beautifying an experience that is, to put it mildly, routine.  If your prints go missing:
Don’t despair.  Maybe someone’s atmosphere elsewhere was so yucky that they couldn’t resist appropriating one of your decorative touches.  Maybe a two year old stowed away one of the little balls in the display on your commode (been there, done that). 
Speaking only for myself, I appreciate the effort. 
Nine decorations, two signs, and one grateful customer.
Have you benefited from an extra effort on the part of employees at an establishment you frequent?  If so, comment!
And I’ll “run” into you next week. 

11 thoughts on “Please Do Not Disturb the Accessories

  1. Hey Paula,

    You do not know me, but I'm a fellow blogger. I have also known Bethany since her days down here in the Mobile on US 1 in Stuart Fl. She DOES truly care about her stores and her customers.

    I live in these places. I drink about three pots of coffee a day, and I ALWAYS know when I see Bethany, that the coffee is fresh and the stop will be pleasant. If with the insult of two. {Smile}

    I also know she REALLY appreciated your kind words. She is the Best.

  2. I sincerely appreciate your comments 🙂 It is always nice to hear that our customers appreciate our efforts. It is You & people like you, that we try so hard!!
    I had to put alot of thought in wording the sign, so not to offend anyone, and it seems to be working. Thank you, you have made my day 🙂
    Laura D. from Gate, Store 1194

  3. Great story, Paula! I'm afraid I couldn't think of any convenience stores around here that go out of their way like that to improve their customers' experience, but it's nice to hear there are some that do. Have a wonderful new year!

  4. Normally I wouldn’t comment on posts but I felt that I had to as your writing style is really good. You have broken down a difficult area so that it easy to understand.

  5. This is wonderful! We have always liked that GATE store, too! In fact, we even talked about it today, after running the GATE River Run in Jacksonville. Bravo, Paula, for sending kudos to those who truly deserve them!

  6. paula – good for you for not just taking the time to notice the extra effort put forth on “the customer's” behalf, but for also taking a minute to let the rest of us know about it … while there is a comical nature to the post, there is also a level of appreciation for the efforts of another that deserves to be recognized – and you did just that! and now i know where my next tank of gas will come from – the Gate on Magnolia – regardless of the status of my bladder! Paul Mitchell

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