George’s birthday was going so well. My little lad turned three on Friday (where has the time gone) and he is now well and truly into the art of opening presents. So much so that I woke up this morning, five days after the ’big day’, to see our eagle-eyed boy spying more presents when, in fact, they were merely gift bags. Oh, the disappointment.
Anyway, back to the birthday. As I say, it had gone well.
Presents were enjoyed and, more importantly, interacted with. We then took a family trip to Banham Zoo that was largely good, even getting stuck in the mud and being pulled out by a tractor didn’t dampen spirits.
Then the celebrations were put on hold a little.
It started with a pothole – and I am sure you can guess the rest.
The steering on our family wagon finally gave up the ghost as we pulled up, fortunately, into a side road a few miles later.
So there we were. Husband, wife, two children, at 4.30pm on a Friday night in the middle of nowhere with a stationary car that had seen the steering rod come away from one of the wheels (that might not be the technical term).
With no family around to call and scream ‘help’, we were left in something of a pickle.
Breakdown recovery couldn’t help, for annoying reasons I won’t go into, and the first two local garages we called had all gone home for the weekend.
We were warned by a local man not to leave our car by the side of the road overnight which only added to the simmering desperation – even if my two children stoutly refused to moan through their shivers.
We finally found a shining knight. As soon as they heard we had a seven-year-old and a three-year-old on board, one local garage thought nothing of the time of day or day of the week and were with us within 15 minutes.
Stranded about 20 miles from home, they equally thought nothing of giving us a courtesy car so we could get back and restart the birthday celebrations.
Now, obviously, they are a business and the problems with the car were duly sorted and paid for.
But, and here’s my point, the thing that struck us in our hour of need was the simple customer service.
Friendly, courteous, sympathetic – they could tell we were a little concerned and did everything in their power to alleviate our problems.
There is good and bad in every business but simply putting the customer first should be the least one expects.
On Friday night, when George’s birthday went a little off the beaten path, we got this and so much more.
I am sure there are other great garages in the area but, on this occasion, take a bow Fordhams of Ixworth.