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April 23, 2009

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A "Bill" is harder and harder to find now-a-days in the world of big box stores. It sounds as though you have found someone that takes pride in what they do and really goes the extra mile to help customers.

I have a similar experience every time I go to a local small town hardware store. I know that their prices are going to be a little bit more but the direct service and genuine nicety of these people can not be paralleled. This little store still allows you to put stuff on account(big paper ledger) and they bill you at the end of each month. Once a Lowe's or Home Depot makes their way into that town, I imagine this little hardware shop will probably become something of the past.

One irony of bigger cities is because there are more employment opportunities, you get less talented people working in low-end service jobs. In most areas, someone who knows about networking gear can find a more high-paying job than working the floor at Office Max. But in more "out of the way" parts of the country, you will find talented people working in such places.

A quick test of general economic activity I sometimes use is whether most employees at fast-food places are native speakers of English. If they are, the local economy sucks and probably has for a long time.

My "Bill" is my auto mechanic Sam Postema. He has been great over the last few years. I trust him immensely and have actually had him over to my house to watch a few UofM football games!

Being an IT guy, I know how easy it is to take advantage of people if they simply do not know a trade but need the work done. It is the same way with an auto mechanic and I am glad to have Sam.

Good tip...I'll focus on getting a "Sam" in all my ignorant areas!

My "Bill" is the produce manager at the local supermarket. I always make seek out his advice on what is particularly fresh each week. He gives me tips on cooking fruits and veggies I've never tried before. He also pays attention to the things I want to buy - like beets with their greens on - and makes sure to point them out when they are available. It's not a farmers market, but it's pretty close.

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