Sometimes You Gotta Know the Right Person

We’ve all had the following experience.  You call customer service or walk into a store.  Perhaps something is broken or maybe you want to buy something.  But no one there seems to know what they’re doing. Frustration ensues and you may get your way or might end up walking out and going elsewhere.  Really there’s no other choice.  A multinational corporation isn’t just going to hand you the CEO’s cell phone number.

But when you’re dealing with a locally owned business in a small town things are different.  In a place like Cleveland people tend to know each other.  Sometimes a friend or coworker happens to be friends with the owner of the place you’ve been dealing with.  Thus it is possible to put in a phone call to the right person.

And in a place like the Delta that can be a real life saver.  Somethings are hard to find around here.  Chain restaurants are an example.  Car dealerships are another, though most towns have either a Ford or a Chevy dealership. So if you can’t find a product or service you may have to go far out of your way.  Usually that means a trip to either a Memphis or Jackson.

It’s just one of the prices one pays for living in the Delta.  But this is Mississippi, not the Moon.  There is a stronger sense of community around here than where I’m from.  If you fit in that can make some things, such as dealing with businesses, easier.  If you don’t well sad day for you.  Fortunately I get along well with my neighbors and coworkers.

I’m torn over whether or not everything above makes life easier or harder.  Back in Rockland you’re not as likely to happen to know the owner of the place you’re having an issue with.   But usually it’s possible to find a competing business.  The New York City area has basically everything a person could ever need so a savvy customer can learn how the game is played and maneuver through the tricky waters of the free market to a great deal.  Down in the Delta the business owner has more leverage unless your willing to drive.  But that same person is also just as likely to be a friend of a friend and maybe not see you as just another mark.  And as I’ve said before people are nicer down here. So perhaps this one aspect of life in the Delta isn’t any better or worse than life up North.  It’s just different. 

Article by Mike

Mike is the Head of Discovery Services for the Delta State University Library. He has lived in Cleveland since May 2013.

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