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Customer Service in the Post-Care Bear Era: A Whimsical Epitaph with Clues for a Better Tomorrow

by Ronald A. Gunn, Strategic Futures principal

This bulletin just in. In an Obverse/Perverse Twist on the movie hit, Sleepless in Seattle, Care Bears were the object of two overnight incidents of bizarre gang violence. In suburban Baltimore, a cuddle-huddle of 5 Care Bears was taken out in a late night drive-by shooting on a busy Timonium street. Witnesses report a careening mid-1960s Mopar vehicle with major fins—either a Plymouth or a Dodge—containing heavily armed Gen-Xers. They were screaming something incoherent about NordicTrack giveaways. "Nordic Track Militia Madness" was spraypainted in florescent orange across the vehicle’s side. Meanwhile, late at night in downtown Seattle’s Pioneer Square, aging Boomers in business casual attire and carrying pitchforks and torches, impaled and flared a large mound of Care Bears with an eerie robotic jerkiness. Chanting in a sing-song style, "Heal Your Inner Child with a Care Bear Roast, a Care Bear Roast..," the Boomers frightened homeless winos in the area who fled hurriedly as the bonfire grew. Departing winos shook their fists, mumbling promises to file written complaints with the City’s powerful Human Rights Commission. Cyberspace is chock full of angry threats against the cuddly toy that was so popular only a few years ago. No one seems to have a good explanation for what’s going on, but Strategic Futures® opines that, absent intervention, the outlook for customer service quality may be less than favorable. Turning to other business news…

It must have been a cold and dreary night several years back when it became unfashionable to care about much of anything. Beyond a loss of fashion, however, some of us mysteriously misplaced the ability to care about much of anything. While some people pretend that today’s cultural zeitgeist doesn’t seep into the affairs of business, we don’t play that game of make-believe at Strategic Futures®. What’s going on in American society is inextricably intertwined with business. You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the big, bright… What’s going on has tremendous implications for service quality—now and later.

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