Have you had the experience of walking into a new store or restaurant on opening day? All bright and shiny, entirely overstaffed with smiling faces tripping over each other to help you. Or the grand opening of a grocery store, with the aisles all clean, the lighting bright, all the lanes open. Then you come back in a year or two or five – the linoleum is stained and yellowed, the ceiling tiles streaked with smoke and grease, doors are broken, light bulbs burnt out, signs are crooked, there are only two lanes open, staffed by clerks who are too busy to acknowledge you, and the portions are smaller.
It’s not just that the cost accountants moved in - something fundamental and special has been lost, and no one seems to have taken notice.