It’s been widely accepted that we have transitioned from an agricultural/industrial economy to a service-based economy. We require and use a LOT of services! According to the media, the service economy in the USA and developing countries is mostly concentrated in financial services, hospitality, retail, health, human services, information technology and education.

We never ask these service sectors for bad service or bad advice or false information! Can you imagine asking; “Hey, I’d like to reserve a musty, smelly room?” Or “Dinner reservations for two, ignore us when we show up, then seat us at a damp table, and please serve our food late and cold?” How about “I’d like a long wait for my scheduled appointment and some uncomfortable chairs and really old magazines to pass the time?” Or “I’ll be there for my appointment on time with a cheerful greeting, so please ask the receptionist to either ignore me or resent my interruption?” Would you ask “Would you please include some unexpected hidden charges in my bill?” Or “When I call to complain, please lose me in a maze of recorded messages?” Or even “Please tell me you want my business and then mistreat me when I give it to you?”

No! We never ask for bad service, but more and more frequently we get it anyway. Instead of being served, we are “Ill Served” when we are mistreated, misinformed and misled. Yes, within the “Service Economy” there exists a growing “Ill Service” economy. We are ill-served by mockery, deceit, misinformation, one-sidedness, laziness, selfishness, delusion, narrow-mindedness and bad attitudes. That is not what we want or deserve. Whether we’re seeking service from a waiter, doctor, plumber, municipal, state or national official, service tech, mechanic, yard service, insurance or real estate agent, all we really want is good service at a fair price. And, to make it really attractive to give us good service, we give bonuses! If you give us great service and an appreciative attitude, we’ll hit the streets and tell our friends and family to do business with you. Free advertising! It seems like it would be a no-brainer, but, sadly, some organizations and employees just don’t get it or, even worse, just don’t care. Thank goodness for the places and people who still offer an affordable, quality product or service, and value their customers, clientele and constituents. They are the ones that will get my patronage, my loyalty, my readership, my views, my vote, and my hard-earned money!

Why Newspapers?

A social media campaign or a thirst for knowledge that includes newspapers is better because; a newspaper won’t force you to read the advertisements (and there are some really good advertisements) before you read the articles; newspapers have professional reporters, editors and fact checkers; a good newspaper doesn’t manufacture the news, they report it; opinions, however important they may be, such as mine, are not represented as facts, but rather are designated to the opinion columns. Besides that, I like the look and the feel of a newspaper, it never runs out of battery power, and I can put the articles about little Johnny’s award on my refrigerator!

Get a home-baked treat, find a bargain and help a child! There will be a bake sale & yard sale in White Springs this Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tourism Center parking lot on the corner of U.S. 41 and Bridge St. (CR 136). There will be a variety of delicious, home-baked goods, some gently-used clothing and numerous other items for sale to support the Project HOPE summer education STEM program that will take place at the Stephen Foster Stat Park June 17 to July 26. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and this summer’s program, “Energy and Environment,” will make this subject matter interesting, exciting and, yes, even fun! This event is open to the public, and parents are invited to pre-register their K-12 students for the STEM program. This is a community-based effort to help our kids. Please come get a treat, find a bargain and help a child!

This is a busy time of year at Stephen Foster State Culture Center and Big Shoals State Park. With all the beautiful weather, people are enjoying our parks for hiking, biking and camping as well as events. The 67th annual Florida Folk Festival will be May 24-26 here on the banks of the Suwannee River. This is a celebration of the State of Florida through music, dance, storytelling, arts, crafts and food.

The Stephen Foster Citizen Support Organization (CSO) will be hosting a free event at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, in front of the bell tower at the Heritage Stage. This event will be in conjunction with the “pot luck” dinner that takes place every year on Thursday evening. The CSO will provide a big pot of chicken and rice. After the meal, a huge dance on the Heritage Dance Stage will be provided into the evening. The CSO will be encouraging the people that are in attendance to join the Stephen Foster CSO and give them an opportunity to contribute to the Carillon Tower Repair. Please come out to support this and tell a friend to tell a friend to tell a neighbor, that we would love for everyone to support this event. The Florida Folk Festival is a huge event for the park and the area. Encourage people to come out and witness this wonderful festival as we celebrate this “Land of Flowers.” There are many volunteer opportunities that we still need filled. Please call 1‐877‐635‐3655 and ask for Catherine Bowron.

Did you know? Today, an estimated 2,700 Seminole and Miccosukee people live in Florida. At the Florida Folk Festival, you’ll see wonderful examples of traditional Seminole crafts, including, patchwork sewing, bead work, basketry and cooking.

Have you ever thought about writing a book but don’t know where to start? Starting May 30, from noon to 1 p.m., the Suwannee River Regional Library in Live Oak presents “Self-Publishing: a three part series.” If you’ve ever thought of publishing your own book, this three-part series of Self-Publishing classes would be perfect for you! Join Ms. Shirley Rivers as she teaches the first steps to being a self-published author — from getting manuscripts ready for publication; marketing and distribution; selecting platforms, setting up accounts, and steps in the actual publication process. You won’t want to miss it! Call the Suwannee River Regional Library at 386-362-2317

Well, once again I’ve said enough but, as always, I do want to remind you that if you have news you want to share, you should let “Life in White Springs” help. We’re always glad to hear about goings on in the community and will be glad to share anything that is appropriate for this column. Just contact Walter McKenzie at lifeinwhitesprings@gmail.com. I am thankful that we truly are all connected, and I hope that we can continue to feel proud of who we are and where we’re headed, and that we all appreciate how White Springs and its surrounding region is a very special place, to be honored and protected. As always, I look forward to seeing you out and about, enjoying your community and your life in White Springs.

Walter McKenzie

386-303-1394

lifeinwhitesprings@gmail.com

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