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Emergence from isolation highlights the impact of customer service

Yes&Know By Aline Yamashita

As we climb out of our pandemic shells, human interaction is intriguing. There are those still tiptoeing with a sense of uncertainty. There are those skipping along, swinging their arms and happily sharing their maskless faces.

I’m one of those bare faces. I understand the reasons for the mandate, but its effects escalated my stress. I had a harder time seeing, hearing and breathing. Not to mention the number of times I had to change plans because I dropped a mask or forgot a mask.

So, I’m happier.

And I’m happier to see people with people. Coming out of isolation highlights the impact of customer service. Businesses had to retool and refresh as customers returned. They had to prepare for anxious customers. Some were challenged with finding employees who would return to a work site.

I am simply grateful to those who kept moving forward. Like Tomz Auto in Harmon. The truck was lagging. I could sense something was wrong. Sure enough, Tom welcomed us on the spot and looked in it. The brake pads needed changing. We shared how we needed the truck by a certain time, or else Eric’s OCD would spiral. Between Tom and DJ, their compassionate service was greatly appreciated. The truck was ready in time to pick Eric up from work.

A few weeks later, the truck jolted. Hmmm. I knew ignoring it wouldn’t solve the problem. So, I called DJ and asked if they could check it. His honesty was so appreciated. He explained that they could but that it sounded like a transmission issue and that Marianas Transmission was the place to go.

Keone at Marianas Transmissions and Automotive in Anigua answered the phone. He listened. I could hear him nodding over the phone. “Sure, bring it in first thing Monday. We’ll have a diagnosis in five minutes.” Sure enough, he and Nick looked at it. I listened to Nick’s recommendations and made an appointment. The truck was there by 8 a.m. and done by noon. I was so happy and relieved.

Both businesses answered their phones with human voices on the first or second ring. They listened and explained what they thought. They patiently repeated responses to my questions. They welcomed my business. It was wonderful that they knew their business.

The next splash of wonderful customer service I was treated to was at Faith Book Store in Hagatna. If you haven’t been there lately, go now. Their inventory is incredible. There’s something special for every occasion you can imagine. Shelves are full of personalized items. Items proudly announce “Guam.” There are mouse pads, frames, cups, journals and prayers.


But the best part of Faith Book Store is the team members, who will greet with a warm smile. You’re asked if you need help finding something. They know exactly which shelf it will be found. Ahyen Madrid is the manager who has every reason to be proud of her shop.

There’s a peaceful atmosphere that beams between items and between the people. She clearly works hard. Online shopping is available. When I commented about the very limited parking, she shared they’re looking for other opportunities. They deserve a place where parking and neighbors are supportive and loving.

Copy Express also excels in customer service. They, too, answer the phone. When you walk in, their attention is immediate and helpful. They are interested in meeting your needs. Their work is superb, from print technology to graphic design and much in between. Check out their website to see all that they do. They are happy to help you. The lines move quickly.

Face to face, these businesses listen and respond. There is an element of joy as they work. The Guam genius is represented well. Guam businesses are a real blessing.

Thank you for your resilience and drive. Hope you all have a successful, prosperous year. Personally, too. Good, hard-working people deserve good, happy family time. Cheers!

Aline Yamashita is a mom, a teacher and former senator. She served in the 31st and 32nd Guam Legislatures. You may write to her at

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