Monday, October 22, 2012

But We COULD Have Nice Things

(Graphic found at Eschaton.  Click on image to enlarge.  Do it so you can read it easily.  Then please come back.  I'll explain it later.)

Susie Madrak found the most incredible article I've read in a long time.  I'm going to excerpt a little bit of it, but you really need to read the whole thing.

I never thought I'd use this column to write about a Laundromat's success. Or that the column would be sprinkled with words like "grace," "mercy" and "fabulous." But something other than Starbucks coffee is brewing at The Laundry Cafe, and it says a lot about community, expectations and - dare I say this? - love.

But let's first talk about owners Akins and Holland, who met while working together at Johnson & Johnson - Akins in marketing, Holland in sales. Both were deeply affected by the company's famous credo of responsibility to customers, employees, communities and stockholders.

So when they decided to go into business together - "Laundry is practically recession-proof," says Akins, "since people will always need clean clothes" - they wrote their own credo, which is printed on their business cards:

"Serve with honor. Grow with humility. Live with respect. Repay with generosity."

The men, who grew up poor, had seen little of those virtues in the dark, dingy and depressing Laundromats their families once used. ...

Hence, The Laundry Cafe, which attracted a crowd on opening day, April 13, and whose business has ballooned 300 percent since, using only word of mouth for advertising. Customers are pulled in by a breadth of amenities usually not offered in low-income areas. What makes them stay, the men are convinced, is the unspoken message those amenities telegraph: That customers are worthy of them.
 What these young men did was to turn a laundromat into a center for the community.  Yes, there are washers and dryers, but there's also coffee, and room for discussions and lectures and meetings.  And the people of that community have used it for all of that, and kept it neat and functioning.  It's their place as much as Akins' and Holland's.

Now compare that story with the vile message from Ed Conard.  See the difference?  More importantly, see the implications?

I hope you will pass both stories around freely, maybe even to your Congress Critter and the Administration.  And I also hope you will make some pretty strong demands.  We are worthy of having those demands met.

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Anonymous ThinlyVeiled said...

Beautiful story; I wish more folks thought/acted that way.

4:27 PM  

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