We Idahoans are easy to deal with. Deal with it, competitors.

 

There’s nothing like a trip to Phoenix, and a journey through Sky Harbor International Airport, to remind an Idahoan how difficult life can be elsewhere in comparison to Idaho. Matt York AP

My husband and I just returned from a few days in Phoenix, reconfirming the joys of Boise. But more than that, I learned that Idahoans have a reputation.

Renting a car in Phoenix reminds me how much I like “easy” rather than complicated.

First, you take a 20-minute bus trip from the airport to the rental car center, which has multiple floors and seems to be about the size of our own airport.

Then, the line for the rental car snakes around for another 20 minutes. The customer service people were more patient than I would be, as each renter and family spent 8-10 minutes deciding on what car to take, whether to buy insurance and what type, whether to buy gas before returning the car or pay for the company to do it, and asking directions to find the way out of the rental pavilion onto the interstate.

My husband finally reached the counter. He handed over his license to the customer service person, who said, “Whew. I know this will be easy.”

“Easy? What do you mean?”

“You’re from Idaho, where people are nice and easy to deal with.”

He was right. Their transaction took about four minutes and we were on our way. Thanks to being easy and nice.

It turns out the young man had spent two years as a student at Boise State University. He loved his time in the city and hated having to move back to Phoenix (family called, though).

This reminds me of one of my favorite CEOs, who said years ago that “being easy to deal with can be a competitive advantage.”

Interestingly, on our Delta flight back, I noticed how easy, polite and nice the employees were. I suppose the bar is not so high these days when it comes to airlines, but it was striking how pleasant and calm they were.

Think about it: In this world of stress and demands, wouldn’t you prefer interacting with someone who’s “easy to deal with” than fighting your way to make a purchase or get a deal done?

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