The woman who owns the laundromat where I drop off my laundry just called. She found my college ring in the laundry I just dropped off. Thank you, M.
M seems to be the only one of the 4 or so employees of the laundromat who remembers my name or phone number-I should mention that one laundry I used on the east side stopped asking me for my name or phone number on drop-off after about 3 weeks. Of course I kept coming back to that laundromat- that is just good customer service.
I pride myself in establishing the kind of relationships in my personal and professional life which are 1) usually enjoyable in and of themselves and 2) very likely to help things get done better. From the staff here at the Business School to the laundromat, I think it's clear this pays off, a lot. I think about an office issue recently which pitted my "inside contact" information against asking a favor of another department in the University, and I still think my solution was the better one.