Honk If You Love Your Customers!


Jeremy’s son gazing at the trash truck.

In my neighborhood, Friday is trash day.  Since having kids, the role of the waste collector in my life has changed dramatically.  Where it was previously just a weekly necessity to have my garbage cans emptied, now it is an event.  What’s not to love about gigantic trucks driving down the street with huge mechanical arms strong enough to pick up a trash can?

To give you a bit more context, this week’s pick up was for our yard waste.  My son Zackary and I spent the last few evenings trimming trees and loading the trimmings into trashcans.  We were both extremely proud of our work.  Today was the day that the trash truck would haul it all away.

When the truck pulled up to our house, Zackary ran outside to watch and was warmly greeted by the two gentlemen hauling the yard waste away.  He was delighted.  Next, the regular trash truck came by and he honked and waved at my boys as he drove by.

Without personally knowing anyone that does waste collection for the City of San Diego, I daresay customer service is not listed on the job description of a waste collector.  And yet the three gentlemen we encountered today knew who their customers were and chose to greet them in a friendly manner!  How cool is that?  It’s little gestures like this that make a big difference!


Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.


  • Garbage collector, dump truck driver or septic tank cleaner— people are still people. We long for a connection. As people we need that. It’s the foundation for relationships. And add into the mix a cute little kid that’s excited, who can resist.

    Those drivers get yelled at, cut off and flipped off daily. You better believe they love your kid. Your son gives them hope, encouragement and purpose. Zackary and other wide eyed kids along the route are the clean, fresh parts of their dirty day.

    Great post Jeremy.

    • Jeremy Watkin

      Great perspective as always, Doug! As customer service folks we have to stick together don’t we? We have a responsibility to be kind to our garbage collectors and other jobs that probably go under appreciated. Thanks for commenting!

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