A real handyman

live_banner_1This is "Benriman's" flyer. We got it in our mailbox a couple days ago. Benriman is a handy man. Offering handyman services is common in Japan now that the economy is weaker. But Benriman is no ordinary handyman.

benriman1Sure Benriman will do the usual stuff. Help move furniture, replace carpet, mow the lawn, help with renovation, etc. But perhaps it's the proliferation of handymen in Japan in recent years that has inspired Benriman to offer a few extra services.

1. Remove bee hives and snakes 2. Look for lost dogs and cats 3. Remove grey hair and give shoulder massages 4. Call someone with a man's voice 5. Write a love letter 6. Shop for cakesBenriman2 7. Store your bags or furniture 8. Register and pick up your new car

These are some useful skills. I'm sure Benriman will be a success. Watch for franchise opportunities!

They always screw you at the drive thru…

live_banner_1Everyone recognizes the scenario. You drive up and the tinny voice emanates from the menu board, saying something you never completely catch. You yell your order at the menu, as clearly as possible, never daring to ask a question. The tinny voice directs you to the window, where a high school student stands open handed reciting emotionlessly the price on the register. You struggle to pull your wallet out and settle up. With a fake smile, bags are handed through the window into your car. You take them, return the fake smile, then drive off in blissful anticipation of the junk food feast that lay ahead in the privacy of your own home.

2013-05-05 20.36.54BUT... Then you get home to find you've been shorted one order of fries. The anger wells up in you--both at that brain dead high school student and at yourself--because you know they always screw you at the drive through, but you didn't check... again.

So, now you think about getting back in your car and giving them a piece of your mind, but you don't. Then you think about calling, but you don't. You would never be able to find a phone number anyway. You just share the one order of fries you did get, and finish off with a bowl of breakfast cereal and milk.

But this time we did call. It was KFC for anyone keeping score. The one on Green Road in Fujigaoka. We didn't expect much, but we'd hit our drive-thru limit. Something had to be done.

But this is Japan, and things are different here. The call we'd expected to fall on deaf high school ears actually hit a nerve. My wife explained the situation in that cold voice that only surfaces after too many years of being screwed at the drive through. The guy on the other side apologized repeatedly and announced that he was on his way with a replacement order of fries. That's right! Ten minutes later a man in a jacket and tie showed up at our door with an order of fries and a free desert to boot! Yes, a jacket and tie! And so Japanese customer service once again proves it's the best in the world. I just hope we don't discover we'd just left the missing fries in the car... I guess we should've checked.

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