As seems to happen at least every winter, my front left headlight has gone out, no doubt due to a weather and/or battery-related electrical short. And as I so often do in these situations, I decided on the latter day to attack the problem head-on. (I cut myself some slack for having been exceptionally busy this time around.) I drove to two service stations and neither was able to help on a Saturday evening. Both are places where I've had great customer service experiences in the past, but this time didn't quite measure up by being at least apologetic. Interestingly, I'd just been thinking while on the hiking trail about how coffee has, too often, been relegated to the kind of service industry where the employees aren't particularly passionate or enthusiastic about the task at hand--coffee--and, somewhat less often, aren't passionate about customer service either. I think it'd be a shame if we turned into stereotypical Europeans of yore, indifferent to the stranger and customer. However, if that is happening, it only sets the stage for those who are passionate to stand out from the crowd even more.
I realize that no one could run a coffeehouse on passion in Milwaukee, with a possible exception if it were merely a cart. But I do wish someone out there could free it from the doldrums. To work financially, it'd probably have to be piggybacked on high-end retail or something similar that generates a lot of cash. The coffee would then serve as a means of positioning the retail. Many or most who are reading this blog will, at some point in their lives, have experienced stellar coffee. That probably wouldn't be feasible here in Milwaukee, but there should be a way to consistently reach into A-/B+ territory rather than sticking to B-/C+ like flypaper. After all, it would seem that transcendence can be reached more easily in coffee than in other ventures--hold your employees' asses to the fire about changing out the coffee as often as they should, for example.