At Your Service by Maggie Inge

At Your Service by Margaret Inge is a weekly column that examines a number of business issues directly related to the Central Catskills’ service economy.

At Your Service: Sept. 9, 2009

His smile is of the contagious variety; the accompanying twinkle in his eyes gives you the sense, that for just this moment, the world is populated by only you two. She seems to be clairvoyant; before you ask she is handing you what you wanted from behind the counter. He’s only six, but he can tell passersby how to get from his house to the local tourist venue. It may sound like an excerpt from the latest television reality series, but it’s what I found on an impromptu Catskill Mountain tour this holiday weekend.

At Your Service: September 2, 2009

In reaction to the economic panic of 1893 and a parallel decline in sales, The Pullman Palace Car Company (manufacturer of railroad cars) cut the wages of its employees. The company owned the town in which its workers lived. When the employees complained that the company had not reduced rents to correspond to the reduction in their income, owner George Pullman refused to talk to them. The workers went on strike on June 26, 1894.

At Your Service: August 26, 2009

“Try the steak, it’s so good that we can’t seem to keep it around,” the waitress smiled in a soft voice accompanied by a twinkle in her eye. Someone else might have enthusiastically offered, “The steak is so hot it’s flying out of here.” The art of closing the sale is always a matter of personal style.

At Your Service: August 19, 2009

In the midst of a telephone conversation with a friend, it occurred to me that the project I was about to begin was one that other circumstances (i.e., if I could afford to have someone else do it) he might be hired to do. In other words, he is a professional who earns his living doing what I was doing as an amateur. I took the opportunity to ask him a quick question about my little project.

At Your Service: August 12, 2009

“Change is the only constant.” It is a phrase and concept that we hear all the time and the subject of much conversation. In practical terms, we are increasingly challenged by the need to deal with change in every aspect of our lives.