Recently I bought a used book from a bookstore on line — I found it through BookFinder.com. My book arrived with reasonable dispatch and in the same condition it was advertised as. Since everything was satisfactory, I thought no more about it.
But today I've received a letter from the store's management asking me to leave feedback about them on the Amazon website.
I was surprised, since Amazon had no involvement in my order with them.
But I was still more surprised at this request:
Please note that we consider anything less than five star feedback to be a failing grade, so please get in touch with us if there are any problems to be resolved that we don't know about.
Evidently in the service economy, customers have to be coached as to how to evaluate a business, so that the business's marketing needs are met properly.
I am used to students writing to say they want an A or A+ and will work as hard as necessary to get one. And I am well aware of my own grievously arrogant perfectionism in my studies — which has the benefit of motivating me but also the pitfall of making me want to quit if I can't reach my ideals.
Until this morning, I had thought of these cases as character flaws — entitlement or vanity. It's a new thought to me that my students and I may also be practicing a kind of marketing spin.