Last weekend was a very busy and eventful time here in Neosho. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the Christmas parade this year, and everything went off without a hitch. I do want to offer a big thank you to the chamber of commerce and the great leadership they exhibited in all the events last week. Lauri, Ashley, and Travis did a fantastic job and deserve to be recognized for their hard work, as well as all the city employees and others who were involved in the festivities. I love when people travel from all around to visit Neosho for events and when you meet them out on the street they express how much they enjoy visiting our community. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside when I see people enjoying themselves in our town.

 Good morning and thank goodness, it’s Friday!
Last weekend was a very busy and eventful time here in Neosho. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the Christmas parade this year, and everything went off without a hitch. I do want to offer a big thank you to the chamber of commerce and the great leadership they exhibited in all the events last week. Lauri, Ashley, and Travis did a fantastic job and deserve to be recognized for their hard work, as well as all the city employees and others who were involved in the festivities. I love when people travel from all around to visit Neosho for events and when you meet them out on the street they express how much they enjoy visiting our community. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside when I see people enjoying themselves in our town.
Do you like to eat at Chick-Fil-A? I don’t know about you but our family loves Chick-Fil-A! And not only is the food always fresh and great tasting, but the service is outstanding. I’ve heard that the franchise in Joplin is the number one in the country for drive-thru service, and I believe it. Customers can be lined up down the street and they’ll still get you through in 5 mins flat every single time. And the employees are always cheerful and service minded. I think it’s extraordinary how they operate, and I also think that their success is tied to their model of excellence and purposeful personal interaction.
 Unfortunately, in our culture, service has become a thing of the past. It amazes me when I am at some businesses and restaurants’ these days, and how rude and careless they are with customers. In some places, it’s almost as if the customer is an inconvenience to them or something! We live in a fast-paced society where people are glued to their phones and technology has taken the place of healthy human interaction. I personally don’t like to use the automated machines to take my order or check out my goods at Wal-Mart. I miss the good old days of human interaction. I remember when I was growing up we had a gas station that was what they called a “full service” station. And Mr. Zimmerman was the owner, the mechanic, and the one who would fill up your tank and check your oil while you were there. I always loved when we stopped there because he was the kindest old man and he would talk to you while he pumped your fuel. Even when I got my driver’s license and was sporting around in my slick 1987 Dodge Daytona hatchback five speed, I would always stop there to get fuel. Of course, then I could fill up my tank for less than ten bucks! Man, I miss those days…
Wouldn’t it be great if government operated like Chick-Fil-A? Where the real purpose was to serve the people to the best of their ability and do it with a smile. Where the needs of the people came first and there was an attitude of service that prevailed? I still think it’s possible if we expect to excel in service! We can always hope and pray, right? Until next time, God Bless Neosho!

Ben Baker is the mayor of Neosho and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.