A Speedway gas station in my neighborhood is a wonderful place to find expressions of kindness before embarking on your morning commute. If you are feeling the Monday morning blues after getting up out of bed and is hesitate to go to work, you may be in need of some early morning Speedway kindness.

How Customer Service Used to Be

I remember back in the mid-seventies when southern store owners where exceptionally kind toward customers. The moment you walked into the store, before you can even smile, you were greeted with a big, “How are you today, Stevie”, or whatever your name was. You enjoyed going to the store as much as you loved going fishing or bird hunting.

The Cold Interaction

How things have changed? When you walk into stores today, you are basically a numbered customers who is met by a robotic “Hello” or 9 times out of ten, no “Hello” at all. You are simply another, seemingly dehumanized customer.

In some gas stations, you are simply ignored or met by a cold interaction, and then rushed from the checkout counter so that the customer behind them can receive the same indifferent treatment.  In other words, outstanding customer service has gone into oblivion.

A Key Reason for Change

Part of the reason for such poor customer service, I believe, is that the obsession with technology has made people robotic in their approach to customer interaction.  People, especially the millennium generation has abandoned the concept of good customer service in exchange for automated approach to dealing with the people who are responsible for sustenance of their jobs and businesses.

In general, the obsession with smartphones keep people too occupied to even interact with others while standing at the checkout line.  Instead of carrying on small talk, as in the day of old, people are busy texting or playing games. The opportune time to meet friends and influence people is wasted forever.

Refocusing on Outstanding Customer Service

However, the key to returning to outstanding customer service lies in the recognition that treating customer well is the key to winning loyalty and increasing customer base.  The genuine expression of kindness is medicine for the soul and spirit.

I go into Speed way each morning and many times in the afternoon, because of the kindness that is given and shared. The power of kindness can make you feel like you are a part of a whole big family of customers.  That is the way every customer wants to feel.

For me, my local Speedway gas station and outstanding customer service go hand in hand. It is my favorite destination for coffee, gas and other store items daily.






An early morning visit to Speedway or Holiday gas stations in the event that helps start my day. My purpose for going is to grab a cup of coffee, and perhaps a donut. My day isn’t complete unless I keep my regular routine of visiting one place or the other.  Either place offers a great experience. However, the similarities and differences are interesting.


Customer Service

Both Speedway and Holiday offer a pleasant customer service environment.  The condition of the store is always neat and clean.  And the items are well organized on the shelves.

Greetings and smiles are the first things you hear when you enter the stores.  Customer engagements are not phony. All store clerks practice good customer etiquettes.  You have a better feeling about your morning when you set out on your day.

Since I have been associated with both gas stations, I have observed very little upheavals regarding customers. Most of them go about their business filling up coffee cups, buying daily energy drinks, buying gas, exchanging good morning’s acknowledgments and going about their business.

The counter clerks are the ones who make your day. They are often extraordinary friendly women or men with genuine facial smiles. If you are a frequent guest, you may get special treatment, especially if the line is long. A clerk who knows you might open up an extra register just to get you through lines.  A joyful exchange will enlighten your day.


The Coffee Issue

The main difference between Speedway and Holiday is found in the service of their coffee.  Customers visit the coffee section of both stores, especially early in the morning. Dark Roast and Columbian brands are the main coffee serviced by Speedway while Rain Forest, Rico, and other coffee brands are served by Holiday.

What I have found less convenient is that Speedway doesn’t always have a watchful eye on its coffee machines and brands.  Many times I have found the machines empty of coffee. This is frustrating for people who are in a hurry to get to work. But this isn’t the only problem.  The hot water container is so slow that it sometimes takes 5 minutes to fill an entire cup.

Holiday’s coffee is always at the ready. Instead of just three options to choose from, a customer can select from among at least five brands of coffee, including caffeinated and decaf.  In addition, to coffee both Holiday and Speedway have an alternative selection of healthy teas, including green tea.

However, one of the most frustrating differences happens to be the manner in which the lids fit the coffee cups.  Speedway lids fit perfectly on its coffee cups, allowing no spillage.  But holiday lids present a struggle.  Getting the lid to fit tightly takes work and still, spillage is a possibility.  Often time while drinking coffee, I look down to find my clothing drenched with coffee.

Only if I could switch lids, these would be perfect.  Nevertheless, both gas stations offer a pleasant experience and make you want to come back.  You may even get addicted to the genuine engagement of the store clerks.