In an age of customer service where minimum wage servitrons speak corporate-mandated friendly with even less conviction than a Paris Hilton apology, it's the little kindnesses that mean the most to me. The pleases and the thank yous... and this shelf.
This shelf sits next to the door of the downtown Top Pot coffee shop. Instead of fumbling with your bags and morning purchases, you can set down your latte and maple old-fashioned, freeing your hand for an easy exit. I forgot how much I liked this shelf, which was installed after the owners kept witnessing the awkward exits of many of their patrons. This shelf is a perfect example of one of the most important service qualities that exists, but yet doesn't come from any training manual, a sense of empathy and thoughtfulness. This shelf says, "Have a nice day." And really means it.